Renaissance

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Description: The Altarpiece in Renaissance Venice
The painting and carving of altarpieces was one of the most important and characteristic tasks of Italian Renaissance artists, yet the altarpiece as an artistic genre has been surprisingly neglected by art historians. This book—the first detailed study of the altarpiece in a major center of Renaissance art—focuses on Venice from 1450 to 1530. Peter Humfrey, an authority on Venetian painting, explores a wide range of issues surrounding altarpieces as an art form. These include the traditions of decoration of Venetian churches, the sacred and secular functions that altarpieces were expected to perform, the market for altarpieces, and the professional world of the Venetian artist. He discusses altarpieces by Bellini, Cima, the three Vivarini, and the young Titian, as well as by numerous other painters and sculptors of the period.

A central theme of the book is the relation between the altarpieces and their original physical and liturgical context. Throughout, Humfrey tries to reintegrate altarpieces with their intended settings, both for the sake of recapturing their full visual effect and as a basis for examining the ideological relationship between their subject matter and the altar table below. He also examines the complex mixture of motives, worldly as well as pious, that prompted fifteenth-century Venetians to spend large sums of money on commissioning altarpieces for the churches of their city. The first part of the book is thematic, dealing with the making, placement, and function of the altarpiece. The second part is a chronological discussion of specific works, focusing on the ways in which the artists met challenges posed by specific commissions. An appendix to the book gives further factual and bibliographical information about one hundred major Venetian altarpieces of the period.

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Print publication date July 1993 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780300053584
EISBN 9780300258035
Illustrations 315
Print Status out of print
Description: Ambitious Form: Giambologna, Ammanati, and Danti in Florence
Ambitious Form describes the transformation of Italian sculpture during the neglected half century between the death of Michelangelo and the rise of Bernini. The book follows the Florentine careers of three major sculptors—Giambologna, Bartolomeo Ammanati, and Vincenzo Danti—as they negotiated the politics of the Medici court and eyed one another's work, setting new aims for their art in the process. Only through a comparative look at Giambologna and his contemporaries, it argues, can we understand them individually--or understand the period in which they worked.

Michael Cole shows how the concerns of central Italian artists changed during the last decades of the Cinquecento. Whereas their predecessors had focused on specific objects and on the particularities of materials, late sixteenth-century sculptors turned their attention to models and design. The iconic figure gave way to the pose, individualized characters to abstractions. Above all, the multiplicity of master crafts that had once divided sculptors into those who fashioned gold or bronze or stone yielded to a more unifying aspiration, as nearly every ambitious sculptor, whatever his training, strove to become an architect.
Print publication date January 2010 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780691147444
EISBN 9780300249712
Illustrations 170
Print Status in print
Description: Facture: Conservation Science Art History Volume 1: Renaissance Masterworks
With this volume, the National Gallery of Art introduces a journal presenting the latest conservation research on works in its collection. Named for “the manner in which things are made,” Facture addresses aspects of conservation from treatment and technical art history to scientific research.

The inaugural volume focuses on great works of the Renaissance, studying sculpture, painting, and drawing from various points of view. With the publication of this biennial journal, the National Gallery maintains a tradition of fostering dialogue among art historians, scientists, and conservators working in the international museum community.


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Print publication date October 2013 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300197426
EISBN 9780300256987
Illustrations 190
Print Status in print
Description: The Image of the Black in Western Art, Volume III: From the “Age of...
In the 1960s, art patron Dominique de Menil founded an image archive showing the ways that people of African descent have been represented in Western art. Highlights from her collection appeared in three large-format volumes that quickly became collector’s items. A half-century later, Harvard University Press and the Du Bois Institute are proud to publish a complete set of ten sumptuous books, including new editions of the original volumes and two additional ones.

The much-awaited Artists of the Renaissance and Baroque has been written by an international team of distinguished scholars, and covers the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The rise of slavery and the presence of black people in Europe irrevocably affected the works of the best artists of the time. Essays on the black Magus and the image of the black in Italy, Spain, and Britain, with detailed studies of Rembrandt and Heliodorus’s Aethiopica, all presented with superb color plates, make this new volume a worthy addition to this classic series.

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Print publication date November 2010 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780674052611
EISBN 9780300244496
Illustrations 193
Print Status in print
Description: Images and Identity in Fifteenth-Century Florence
Renaissance Florence, of endless fascination for the beauty of its art and architecture, is no less intriguing for its dynamic political, economic, and social life. In this book Patricia Lee Rubin crosses the boundaries of all these areas to arrive at an original and comprehensive view of the place of images in Florentine society. The author asks an array of questions: Why were works of art made? Who were the artists who made them, and who commissioned them? How did they look, and how were they looked at? She demonstrates that the answers to such questions illuminate the contexts in which works of art were created, and how they were valued and viewed.

Rubin seeks out the meeting places of meaning in churches, in palaces, in piazzas—places of exchange where identities were taken on and transformed, often with the mediation of images. She concentrates on questions of vision and visuality, on “seeing and being seen.” With a blend of illustrations; close analyses of sacred and secular paintings by artists including Fra Angelico, Fra Filippo Lippi, Filippino Lippi, and Botticelli; and wide-ranging bibliographic essays, the book shines new light on fifteenth-century Florence, a special place that made beauty one of its defining features.
Print publication date August 2007 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300123425
EISBN 9780300226959
Illustrations 256
Print Status in print
Description: The Intellectual Life of the Early Renaissance Artist
At the beginning of the fifteenth century, painters and sculptors were seldom regarded as more than artisans and craftsmen, but within little more than a hundred years they had risen to the status of “artist.” This book explores how early Renaissance artists gained recognition for the intellectual foundations of their activities and achieved artistic autonomy from enlightened patrons. A leading authority on Renaissance art, Francis Ames-Lewis traces the ways in which the social and intellectual concerns of painters and sculptors brought about the acceptance of their work as a liberal art, alongside other arts like poetry. He charts the development of the idea of the artist as a creative genius with a distinct identity and individuality.

Ames-Lewis examines the various ways that Renaissance artists like Mantegna, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Dürer, as well as many other less well known painters and sculptors, pressed for intellectual independence. By writing treatises, biographies, poetry, and other literary works, by seeking contacts with humanists and literary men, and by investigating the arts of the classical past, Renaissance artists honed their social graces and broadened their intellectual horizons. They also experienced a growing creative confidence and self-awareness that was expressed in novel self-portraits, works created solely to demonstrate pictorial skills, and monuments to commemorate themselves after death.
Print publication date April 2000 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300083040
EISBN 9780300220476
Illustrations 153
Print Status in print
Description: The Invention of the Italian Renaissance Printmaker
Before the age of multimedia, how did the invention of a new technology affect the careers of Renaissance artists? In this groundbreaking book Evelyn Lincoln examines the formation of the new career of printmaker during the late fifteenth century and throughout the sixteenth century in Italy. She focuses particularly on the practical relationship between the ancient skill of drawing and the more modern techniques of artisans who made prints by engraving images into copper or wood. Looking closely at the widely diverse prints issuing from early Italian presses, Lincoln shows how Italian social, religious, and educational practices are revealed in these printed images, demonstrating how the printmaker’s training and experience affected the look of the finished work.

Lincoln builds her discussion around the work of three printmakers practicing at different times and under varying economic opportunities and restraints: Andrea Mantegna in Mantua, Domenico Beccafumi in Siena, and Diana Mantuana (Diana Scultori) in Rome. She shows how the occupational origins of early printmakers and publishers affected how they thought about the functions of multiple images. This account of their work—at powerful courts, in a small republic, and in a cosmopolitan city—sets the prints in the context of related paintings, sculpture, and architecture, describing a period when printmaking opened up new ways to make a living and transformed the mechanisms of Renaissance visual culture.
Print publication date August 2000 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780300080414
EISBN 9780300243130
Illustrations 132
Print Status out of print
Description: The Ivory Mirror: The Art of Mortality in Renaissance Europe
We often imagine the Renaissance as an age of exceptional human progress and artistic achievement. But, intriguingly, macabre images proliferated in precisely this period: unsettling depictions of Death personified, of decaying bodies, of young lovers struck down in their prime. These morbid themes run riot in the remarkable array of artworks featured in The Ivory Mirror. Nearly 200 artworks—from ivory prayer beads to gem-encrusted jewelry to exquisitely carved small sculptures—present us with an aspect of this era that is at once darker and more familiar than we might have expected. Focused on the challenge of making choices in an increasingly complex and uncertain world, Renaissance artists turned to poignant, often macabre imagery to address the critical human concern of acknowledging death, while striving to create a personal legacy that might outlast it. The essays gathered here discuss the development and significance of this transformative art of the past, while exploring themes that are still relevant today: how does one navigate the implicit tension between mortality and morality and seek to balance individual pleasure with the pursuit of a greater good?

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Print publication date September 2017 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300225952
EISBN 9780300260007
Illustrations 161
Print Status in print
Description: Michelangelo, Drawing, and the Invention of Architecture
Winner of the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award
Winner of the Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award


In this engaging book, Cammy Brothers takes an unusual approach to Michelangelo's architectural designs, arguing that they are best understood in terms of his experience as a painter and sculptor. Unlike previous studies, which have focused on the built projects and considered the drawings only insofar as they illuminate those buildings, this book analyses his designs as an independent source of insight into the mechanisms of Michelangelo's imagination. Brothers gives equal weight to the unbuilt designs, and suggests that some of Michelangelo's most radical ideas remained on paper.

Brothers explores the idea of drawing as a mode of thinking, using its evidence to reconstruct the process by which Michelangelo arrived at new ideas. By turning the flexibility and fluidity of his figurative drawing methods to the subject of architecture, Michelangelo demonstrated how it could match the expressive possibilities of painting and sculpture.

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Print publication date September 2008 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780300124897
EISBN 9780300260151
Illustrations 281
Print Status out of print
Description: Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe
An unusual collaboration among distinguished art historians and historians of science, this book demonstrates how printmakers of the Northern Renaissance, far from merely illustrating the ideas of others, contributed to scientific investigations of their time. Hans Holbein, for instance, worked with cosmographers and instrument makers on some of the earliest sundial manuals published; Albrecht Dürer produced the first printed maps of the constellations, which astronomers copied for over a century; and Hendrick Goltzius's depiction of the muscle-bound Hercules served as a study aid for students of anatomy.

Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe features fascinating reproductions of woodcuts, engravings, and etchings; maps, globe gores, and globes; multilayered anatomical "flap" prints; and paper scientific instruments used for observation and measurement.

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Print publication date September 2011 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780300171075
EISBN 9780300238365
Illustrations 271 Illus.
Print Status out of print
Description: Raphael, Dürer, and Marcantonio Raimondi: Copying and the Italian Renaissance...
In early sixteenth-century Italy, works of art came to be understood as unique objects made by individuals of genius, giving rise to a new sense of the artist as the author of his images. At the same time, the practice of engraving, a medium that produced multiple printed images via collaborative processes, rapidly developed. In this book, Lisa Pon examines how images passed between artists and considers how printing techniques affected the authorship of images.

Pon focuses on the encounters between the engraver Marcantonio Raimondi and three key artists: Albrecht Dürer, Raphael, and Giorgio Vasari. She reevaluates their work in light of the tensions between possessive authorship and practical collaboration in the visual arts.

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Print publication date February 2004 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780300096801
EISBN 9780300260137
Illustrations 93
Print Status out of print
Description: The Renaissance Print: 1470–1550
Printmaking matured in western Europe between 1470 and 1550, when the great generation of artists and printmakers brought international recognition to print as an art form. This book examines the technical and aesthetic experimentation that went into printmaking, workshop practices, and the material and social contexts of print production, and it gives the fullest account ever written of the ways in which Renaissance prints were produced, distributed, and acquired.

David Landau and Peter W. Parshall pose a range of practical questions about the production of prints. They investigate, for example, what materials were used, how they were acquired, and how a Renaissance printmaker's workshop operated. They explore the evidence that individual prints were beginning to be esteemed as works of art rather than as inexpensive substitutes for them, and the relationship between prints made to be collected and those of a more ephemeral nature intended for a wider audience. They discuss how prints were valued during the period, including the relative value of woodcuts to engravings, and engravings to etchings. And they investigate how prints evolved in relation to the pictorial arts of the Renaissance generally. Examining documentary evidence and many individual prints, Landau and Parshall provide an integrated view of the Renaissance print as a social and artistic enterprise and reevaluate the achievements of the most influential phase in the history of European printmaking.
Print publication date September 1996 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300068832
EISBN 9780300222050
Illustrations 383
Print Status in print
Description: The Sacred Image in the Age of Art: Titian, Tintoretto, Barocci, El Greco,...
Underlying the religious art of the Renaissance is a tension between the needs of the Church and the impulse to create great works. This book presents sacred images from the 15th and 16th centuries, leading up to two pivotal events in 1563. The Council of Trent, which signified the beginning of the Counter-Reformation, defined requirements that curtailed the freedom of painters and patrons in creating art for churches, while the founding of the Accademia del Disegno in Florence symbolically acknowledged that artists had achieved the status of creators not craftsmen. Marcia B. Hall takes a fresh look at some of the greatest painters of the Italian Renaissance not typically associated with sacred imagery and shows how they navigated their way through the paradox of "limited freedom" to forge a new kind of religious art.

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Print publication date March 2011 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780300169676
EISBN 9780300235876
Illustrations 214 Illus
Print Status out of print
Description: Storytelling in Christian Art from Giotto to Donatello
Recounting the biblical stories through visual images was the most prestigious form of commission for a Renaissance artist. In this book, Jules Lubbock examines some of the most famous of these pictorial narratives by prominent artists, including Giovanni Pisano, Giotto, Ghiberti, Donatello, and Masaccio. The author explains how artists portrayed biblical events so as to be easily recognizable and, at the same time, to captivate the viewer long enough to encourage the search for deeper meanings.

Lubbock shows that the Church favored the production of images that lent themselves to being read and interpreted in this way, and he demonstrates how the pleasurable activity of deciphering these meanings can work in practice. The book is richly illustrated, with many photographs specially taken to show how the paintings and relief sculptures appear in the settings for which they were originally designed.

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Print publication date September 2006 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780300117271
EISBN 9780300246018
Illustrations 169
Print Status out of print
Description: The Traveling Artist in the Italian Renaissance: Geography, Mobility, and Style
This important and innovative book examines artists' mobility as a critical aspect of Italian Renaissance art. It is well known that many eminent artists such as Cimabue, Giotto, Donatello, Lotto, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian traveled. This book is the first to consider the sixteenth-century literary descriptions of their journeys in relation to the larger Renaissance discourse concerning mobility, geography, the act of creation, and selfhood.

David Young Kim carefully explores relevant themes in Giorgio Vasari's monumental "Lives of the Artists," in particular how style was understood to register an artist's encounter with place. Through new readings of critical ideas, long-standing regional prejudices, and entire biographies, "The Traveling Artist in the Italian Renaissance" provides a groundbreaking case for the significance of mobility in the interpretation of art and the wider discipline of art history.
Print publication date December 2014 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300198676
EISBN 9780300232554
Illustrations 167
Print Status in print
Description: The Villa in the Life of Renaissance Rome
Tracing the history of the Roman villa during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, David Coffin presents the first comprehensive study of the subject of villeggiatura (withdrawal to a country residence) in English. Further, his book is the first in any language to analyze the villa in terms of its social function and meaning rather than its architecture and formal properties. Coffin draws on a wide variety of printed material and previously unused sources to explore twenty of the most important residences built by dignitaries of Church and State. Early plans and drawings and photographs aid him in reconstructing the leisure activity of the leaders of Renaissance society in the settings that were built to enhance it.
Print publication date January 1979 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780691002798
EISBN 9780300249705
Illustrations 246
Print Status out of print
Description: Words for Pictures: Seven Papers on Renaissance Art and Criticism
The Italian Renaissance was a creative period for art criticism as well as for art itself. The early efforts to give verbal accounts of visual representations and their quality throw light not only on the art of the period but also on art criticism at any time. This collection of papers by art historian and critic Michael Baxandall represents his thinking over the past forty years on the relation between language and art. He offers seven thought-provoking pieces, three of which are new and written specifically for this book. Focusing on works of the fifteenth century, Baxandall shows with fresh insight how words match the experience of looking at paintings and sculptures.

The author introduces the basic Renaissance framework for art criticism and proceeds to explore various humanist critical writings of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. He concludes with a major new essay on Piero della Francesca’s Resurrection of Christ in which he probes the visual experience of a painting that criticism seeks to verbalize.
Print publication date July 2003 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300097498
EISBN 9780300220506
Illustrations 41
Print Status in print