Sacred and Legendary Art
Published in 1848, this two-volume work was received with great praise. During a celebrated career, Anna Brownell Jameson (1794-1860) produced Shakespeare criticism, travel writing, biography, and art history, and was admired by contemporaries such as Mary Shelley and Thomas Carlyle. Taking an aesthetic rather than religious approach, the work is a study of the legends represented in Western art of the Middle Ages, ordered taxonomically. Though Jameson is considered the first professional female art critic, this is a reductive label; she was, rather, one of the great art critics of her age and her work is still of importance to art historians. Volume 2, which is richly illustrated, examines the Patron Saints of Christendom, the Virgin Patronesses, the early martyrs, the Greek and Latin martyrs, the early bishops, the hermits, and the warrior saints.