The Tree : Meaning and Myth, Hardback


This is a beautifully illustrated book celebrating the significance of trees throughout history and across the globe, looking at their place in nature, fiction, belief and art.

Trees - actual, mythical and metaphorical - are at the heart of mankind's relationship with the natural and supernatural world, a relationship that serves as a powerful index of both ecological and spiritual well-being.

The Tree: Meaning and Myth is beautifully illustrated with an incredible range of art and artefacts offering a wide-ranging cross-cultural approach to the subject.

We encounter the Egyptian tree goddess Hathor dispensing sustenance in the afterlife; the mighty oak sacred to Zeus; Adam and Eve alongside the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; the Buddha under the bodhi tree of enlightenment; Rembrandt's celebrated etching The Three Trees; and trees in modern art.

Profiles of twenty-five trees arranged alphabetically are complemented by a wonderfully diverse selection of images.

A sample of the trees featured include Baobab, Birch, Eucalyptus, Olive, Poplar, Oak, and Cocoa. 200 colour illustrations showcase an incredible range of art and artefacts, from Egyptian wall paintings, to ancient Greek vases and jewellery, Indian temple sculptures, Japanese woodcuts, Indonesian shadow puppets, British watercolours and a twenty-first-century tree of life from Mozambique.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 192 pages, 200 colour illustrations
  • Publisher: British Museum Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: History of art / art & design styles
  • ISBN: 9780714150857



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