Study Guide

City of Bones Art and Culture

By Cassandra Clare

Art and Culture

Chapter 2

The floor was littered with discarded balls of paper, a sure sign that her creative juices weren't flowing the way she'd hoped. (2.2)

Little wads of paper: evidence of creative constipation. Clary needs more inspirational fiber.

"I've got a bunch of meetings with my art group, and ten more classes at Tisch." (2.68)

One of Clary's short-term goals is to attend summer classes at the prestigious Tisch School of Art. Guess what? You can, too.

Chapter 11

Chiaroscuro, [Clary] thought. The art of shadows and light. (11.165)

Clary's art education enables her to make nifty arty metaphors about Jace and his inner conflict between light and dark.

Chapter 12

There was a queasy sense of something organic about the bikes, like the bio-creatures in a Giger painting. (12.20)

So they look like the alien from Alien with wheels. We do not want to know what the exhaust pipe is sticking out of.

Chapter 14

The sight was as surreal as one of the abstract Magritte paintings Jocelyn had loved. This one, Clary thought, would be called The Stairs to Nowhere. (14.128)

Actually, we think a better name would be This is Not a Staircase,in honor of Magritte's famous work This is Not a Pipe.

Chapter 17

If a rune could bring a painting to life, then maybe— (17.143)

If it doesn't work, then Clary has just succeeded at defacing a painting, which she will probably feel pretty rotten about later.

[Clary] cradled [her sketchbook] to her chest, not wanting to draw in it, just craving the feel and smell of familiar things: ink, paper, chalk. (17.136)

Art is as much about physical sensations as it is about mental ones. And for Clary, art's kind of like home.

[Jace] looked like a fair-haired angel from a Rembrandt painting. (17.8)

This is meant to be compliment, and something that Clary, an art student, would think, but it sure doesn't sound very masculine or heroic. Sorry, Gabriel.

Chapter 18

"My mother painted the Mortal Cup into Madame Dorothea's tarot deck." (18.38)

The Ace of Cups can represent love and creativity, and repressed emotions. Or it can be a magical artifact that might hold the very fate of mankind. Who knew Tarot could be so serious?

Chapter 22

As it usually did, thinking of how she would draw it helped. (22.139)

Art therapy, anyone? Clary's eye for art assists her special Sight in seeing what really exists.