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A fascinating new history of art, this gloriously illustrated book reveals how materials, techniques, and ideas have evolved over the centuries, inspiring artists to create their most celebrated works. Covering a comprehensive array of topics, from the first pigments and frescos to linear perspective in Renaissance paintings, the influence of photography, Impressionism, and the birth of modern art, The Story of Painting follows each step in the evolution of painting over the last 25,000 years, from the first cave paintings to the abstract works of the last 100 years. Packed with lavish colour reproductions of paintings and photographs of artists at work and the materials they used, it also focuses on key paintings from each period to analyse the techniques and secrets of the great masters in detail. Immerse yourself in the pages of this beautiful book and find yourself dazzled by new colours; marvel at the magic of perspective; wonder at glowing depictions of fabric and flesh; understand cubism; and embrace abstraction. It will transform your understanding and enjoyment of paintings forever.
500 years after the death of Leonardo Da Vinci, Ben Lewis considers the unrivalled legacy of his art through an original biography of the `Salvator Mundi' (Saviour of the World) - the lost Da Vinci painting. In 2017, Leonardo da Vinci's small oil painting, the Salvator Mundi was sold at auction for $450m. In the words of its discoverer, the image of Christ as saviour of the world is `the rarest thing on the planet by the greatest human being who ever lived'. Its dazzling price also makes it the world's most expensive painting. For two centuries art dealers had searched in vain for the Holy Grail of art history: a portrait of Christ as the Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci. Many similar paintings of greatly varying quality had been executed by Leonardo's assistants in the first half of the sixteenth century. But where was the original by the master himself? In November 2017, Christie's auction house announced they had it. But did they? The Last Leonardo tells a thrilling tale of a spellbinding icon invested with the power to make or break the reputations of scholars, billionaires, kings and sheikhs. Lewis takes us to Leonardo's studio in Renaissance Italy; to the court of Charles I and the English Civil War; to Holland, Moscow and Louisiana; to the galleries, salerooms and restorer's workshop as the painting slowly, painstakingly, emerged from obscurity. The vicissitudes of the highly secretive art market are charted across five centuries. It is a twisting tale of geniuses and oligarchs, double-crossings and disappearances, where we're never quite certain what to believe. Above all, it is an adventure story about the search for lost treasure, and a quest for the truth.
Embark on a grand tour of art history with this guide to the story of art, and the big ideas and themes behind the world's most important artistic movements, artworks, and artists. The Art Book explores the more than 80 of the world's most groundbreaking artworks by history's most influential painters, sculptors, and artists with stunning visuals and insightful quotations. Discover key artworks and artists from across the globe, stretching from the prehistoric Altamira cave paintings and Chinese jade carvings to more impressionism, symbolism, cubism, and pop art. Understand the ideas that inspired masterpieces by Botticelli, Rembrandt, Klimt, Matisse, Picasso, and dozens more, with The Art Book's fascinating overview of painting, drawing, printing, sculpture, conceptual art, and performance art, from ancient history to the modern day.
An authoritative history of art history from its medieval origins to its modern predicaments In this wide-ranging and authoritative book, the first of its kind in English, Christopher Wood tracks the evolution of the historical study of art from the late middle ages through the rise of the modern scholarly discipline of art history. Synthesizing and assessing a vast array of writings, episodes, and personalities, this original and accessible account of the development of art-historical thinking will appeal to readers both inside and outside the discipline. The book shows that the pioneering chroniclers of the Italian Renaissance "Lorenzo Ghiberti and Giorgio Vasari "measured every epoch against fixed standards of quality. Only in the Romantic era did art historians discover the virtues of medieval art, anticipating the relativism of the nineteenth century, when art history learned to admire the art of all societies and to value every work as an index of its times. The major art historians of the modern era, however "Jacob Burckhardt, Aby Warburg, Heinrich Wo ^lfflin, Erwin Panofsky, Meyer Schapiro, and Ernst Gombrich "struggled to adapt their work to the rupture of artistic modernism, leading to the current predicaments of the discipline. Combining erudition with clarity, this book makes a landmark contribution to the understanding of art history.
The Hamburg banker's son Aby Warburg (1866-1929) was one of the most influential art historians and cultural theorists of the 20th century. His life's work was devoted to tracing antique formulas of representation in the depiction of human passions in Renaissance art. For this epoch-spanning relationship, he developed the term `pathos formula' (Pathosformel). In a lecture given in 1905 in the Konzerthaus in Hamburg, focusing on the young Albrecht Durer's Death of Orpheus, Warburg outlined his thoughts in front of the original drawing, which he had borrowed from the rich holdings of the Kunsthalle in order to better illustrate his idea. This drawing, pivotal in the young artist's development as an ambitious response to classical antiquity, was displayed during the lecture alongside a group of engravings and woodcuts which included not only some of Durer's own seminal later prints, such as Melencolia I, but also engravings by Andrea Mantegna which Durer copied in 1494, the same year he drew the Death of Orpheus. Warburg's `pop-up exhibition' of eleven works has here been reconstructed and analyzed, using his fascinating lecture notes, sketches and slide lists. First developed by the Hamburger Kunsthalle in 2011, subsequently on view in Cologne in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum and now at The Courtauld Gallery, each institution has interpreted the material slightly differently, while retaining the core Warburg group. Aby Warburg aimed at unlocking the meaning of an art work by excavating its roots in its cultural context. By restaging his legendary display of 1905 with Durer's Death of Orpheus at its heart, the exhibition and accompanying book present some of the most skillful and ambitious works on paper ever produced and also seek to introduce into Warburg's rich intellectual universe to a broader public, hoping thereby to offer both sheer enjoyment and food for thought.
This volume brings together new research by some of the world's leading experts, exploring the artistic production and cultural context of Renaissance sculpture from Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise to the small bronzes of Giambologna and his followers. The essays cover a range of sculptural materials and forms to cast fresh light on the artists, their creative and collaborative processes, and those who commissioned, owned and responded to their work. The papers were originally presented at a conference at the V&A in 2010 as part of the Robert H. Smith Renaissance Sculpture Programme.
Leonardo da Vinci was the epitome of the Renaissance humanist ideal, a logical polymath of epic proportions who excelled and had interests not just in art but in invention, anatomy, architecture, engineering, literature, mathematics, music, science, astronomy and more. His oeuvre is astounding and he is rightly famed for his masterpieces of painting such as the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, and his astonishingly technical and graceful drawings. The phenomenon that was Leonardo would not of course have flourished to such an extent had it not been for the patronage and sponsorship of the Medici family, who commissioned a large proportion of the art and architecture of the era and fostered a fertile climate for creativity. This sumptuous new book offers a broader view of this master artist in the context of this environment, alongside the work of other key artists who benefited from the Medicis, from Brunelleschi through Donatello to Michelangelo and Raphael.
Leonardo's greatest work of science beautifully reproduced for the 500th anniversary of his death. This edition offers a high-quality facsimile reproduction of Leonardo Da Vinci's Codex Leicester, a collection of his scientific writings. Named after Thomas Coke (later Earl of Leicester) who purchased it in 1719, Codex Leicester holds the record as the most expensive book ever when it was bought by Bill Gates in 1994. Consisting of 72 pages, it was handwritten in Italian by Leonardo using his characteristic mirror writing, and is supported by drawings and diagrams. The Codex Leicester is an extraordinary mixture of Leonardo's observations and theories. Topics include his explanation of why fossils can be found on mountains; the flow of water in rivers; and the luminosity of the moon which Leonardo attributed to its surface being covered by water which reflects light from the sun. The facsimile reproduction is complemented by three further volumes that include a new transcription and translation, accompanied by a paraphrase in modern language, a page-by-page commentary, and a series of interpretative essays. These four volumes together introduce important new research into the interpretation of the texts and images, on the setting of Leonardo's ideas in the context of ancient and medieval theories, and above all into the notable fortunes of the Codex within the sciences of astronomy, water, and the history of the earth, opening a new field of research into the impact of Leonardo as a scientist after his death.
Old St Peter's Basilica in Rome stood for over eleven centuries until it was demolished to make room for today's church on the same Vatican site. Its last eyewitness, Maffeo Vegio, explained to the Roman hierarchy how revival of the papacy, whose prestige after the exile to Avignon had been diminished, was inseparable from a renewed awareness of the primacy of Peter's Church. To make his case, Vegio wrote a history founded on credible written and visual evidence. The text guides us through the building's true story in its material reality, undistorted by medieval guides. This was its living memory and a visualization of the continuity of Roman history into modern times. This volume makes available the first complete English translation of Vegio's text. Accompanied by full-color digital reconstructions of the Basilica as it appeared in Vegio's day.
Originally published in Dutch and translated to Spanish for the fourth centenary celebration of the death of El Greco in 2014, this book is a comprehensive study of the rediscovery of El Greco -- seen as one of the most important events of its kind in art history. The Nationalization of Culture versus the Rise of Modern Art analyses how changes in artistic taste in the second half of the nineteenth century caused a profound revision of the place of El Greco in the artistic canon. As a result, El Greco was transformed from an extravagant outsider and a secondary painter into the founder of the Spanish School and one of the principle predecessors of modern art, increasingly related to that of the Impressionists -- due primarily to the German critic Julius Meier-Graefe's influential History of Modern Art (1914). This shift in artistic preference has been attributed to the rise of modern art but Eric Storm, a cultural historian, shows that in the case of El Greco nationalist motives were even more important. This study examines the work of painters, art critics, writers, scholars and philosophers from France, Germany and Spain, and the role of exhibitions, auctions, monuments and commemorations. Paintings and associated anecdotes are discussed, and historical debates such as El Greco's supposed astigmatism are addressed in a highly readable and engaging style. This book will be of interest to both specialists and the interested art public.
Campbell and Cole, respected teachers and active researchers, draw on traditional and current scholarship to present complex interpretations in this new edition of their engaging account of Italian Renaissance art. The book's unique decade-by-decade structure is easy to follow, and permits the authors to tell the story of art not only in the great centres of Rome, Florence and Venice, but also in a range of other cities and sites throughout Italy, including more in this edition from Naples, Padua and Palermo. This approach allows the artworks to take centre-stage, in contrast to the book's competitors, which are organized by location or by artist. Other updates for this edition include an expanded first chapter on the Trecento, and a new `Techniques and Materials' appendix that explains and illustrates all of the major art-making processes of the period. Richly illustrated with high-quality reproductions and new photography of recent restorations, it presents the classic canon of Renaissance painting and sculpture in full, while expanding the scope of conventional surveys by offering a more thorough coverage of architecture, decorative and domestic arts, and print media.
`Kemp is a natural storyteller... This book leads you on a journey through the life, work and legacy of one of history's most intriguing figures.' The Times In an engaging personal narrative interwoven with historical research, Martin Kemp discusses a life spent immersed in the world of Leonardo, and his encounters with great and lesser academics, collectors and curators, devious dealers and unctuous auctioneers, major scholars and authors, pseudo-historians and fantasists. He shares how he has grappled with swelling legions of `Leonardo loonies', walked on the eggshells of vested interests in academia and museums, and fended off fusillades of non-Leonardos, sometimes more than one a week. Examining the greatest masterpieces, from the Last Supper to Salvator Mundi, through the expert's eye, we learn first-hand of the thorny questions that surround attribution, the scientific analyses that support the experts' interpretations, and the continuing importance of connoisseurship. Throughout, from the most scholarly interpretations to the popularity of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, we are reminded of Leonardo's unique genius and wonder at how an artist from 500 years ago continues to make such compelling posthumous demands on all those who engage with him.
Part of a series of exciting and luxurious Flame Tree Notebooks. Combining high-quality production with magnificent fine art, the covers are printed on foil in five colours, embossed then foil stamped. And they're powerfully practical: a pocket at the back for receipts and scraps, two bookmarks and a solid magnetic side flap. These are perfect for personal use and make a dazzling gift. This example is based on 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Vermeer.
An artist's extraordinary challenge to himself reveals the genius of Michelangelo in the making. Many believe Michelangelo's talent was miraculous and untrained, the product of "divine" genius-a myth that Michelangelo himself promoted by way of cementing his legacy. But the young Michelangelo studied his craft like any Renaissance apprentice, learning from a master, copying, and experimenting with materials and styles. In this extraordinary book, Alan Pascuzzi recounts the young Michelangelo's journey from student to master, using the artist's drawings to chart his progress and offering unique insight into the true nature of his mastery. Pascuzzi himself is today a practicing artist in Florence, Michelangelo's city. When he was a grad student in art history, he won a Fulbright to "apprentice" himself to Michelangelo: to study his extant drawings and copy them to discern his progression in technique, composition, and mastery of anatomy. Pascuzzi also relied on the Renaissance treatise that "Il Divino" himself would have been familiar with, Cennino Cennini's The Craftsman's Handbook (1399), which was available to apprentices as a kind of textbook of the period. Pascuzzi's narrative traces Michelangelo's development as an artist during the period from roughly 1485, the start of his apprenticeship, to his completion of the Sistine Chapel ceiling in 1512. Analyzing Michelangelo's burgeoning abilities through copies he himself executed in museums and galleries in Florence and elsewhere, Pascuzzi unlocks the transformation that made him great. At the same time, he narrates his own transformation from student to artist as Michelangelo's last apprentice.
A never-before-seen presentation of art and architecture from the Renaissance era, in elegant, informative, and engaging three-dimensional form. Accompanied by stunning art and ingenious pop engineering, Renaissance Art Pop-Up Book presents the talent and imagination of some of the most influential artists in history. Ranging from the influences of Gothic art on the early Renaissance to the culmination of High Renaissance, this book follows the appearance of new forms in religious and secular painting and the burgeoning use of groundbreaking techniques, such as perspective and narrative in painting; new innovations in architecture; and the unique genius of artists from all over Europe. The book features the most outstanding artists, art, and architecture of the period, including the frescoes of Giotto, Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, and the works of Caravaggio, Botticelli, Titian, Durer, and Massacio, to name only a few. Innovative pop-ups include a working camera obscura; da Vinci's -flying machine-; Piero della Francesca's View of the Ideal City, with removable perspective lines; Brunelleschi's majestic Duomo in Florence; and a fold-out timeline of the Renaissance. Showcasing the artistic innovations of the era in interactive format, this book gives the reader a fresh perspective, thereby teaching the principles and history of the Renaissance in a new and unique way. Renaissance Art Pop-Up Book is a superb tour of the greatest achievements of the world's early masters, and is the perfect educational gift for art lovers of all ages.
Verrocchio was arguably the most important sculptor between Donatello and Michelangelo but he has seldom been treated as such in art historical literature because his achievements were quickly superseded by the artists who followed him. He was the master of Leonardo da Vinci, but he is remembered as the sulky teacher that his star pupil did not need. In this book, Christina Neilson argues that Verrocchio was one of the most experimental artists in fifteenth-century Florence, itself one of the most innovative centers of artistic production in Europe. Considering the different media in which the artist worked in dialogue with one another (sculpture, painting, and drawing), she offers an analysis of Verrocchio's unusual methods of manufacture. Neilson shows that, for Verrocchio, making was a form of knowledge and that techniques of making can be read as systems of knowledge. By studying Verrocchio's technical processes, she demonstrates how an artist's theoretical commitments can be uncovered, even in the absence of a written treatise.
When the Aztec Empire emerged to dominate central Mexico from 1460
to 1519, vast amounts of tribute wealth flowed into the capital
city of Tenochtitlan, enabling artists and architects to create
sophisticated works on a monumental scale. Confronting a
civilization without precedent, some Spanish conquistadors and
missionaries looked to the classical past for explanations and
parallels were drawn between two great empires--the Aztec and the
In sixteenth-century Northern Europe, during a time of increasing religious and political conflict, Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel explored how people perceived human nature. Bruegel turned his critical eye and peerless paintbrush to mankind's labors and pleasures, its foibles and rituals of daily life, portraying landscapes, peasant life, and biblical scenes in startling detail. Much like the great humanist scholar Erasmus of Rotterdam, Bruegel questioned how well we really know ourselves and also how we know, or visually read, others. His work often represented mankind's ignorance and insignificance, emphasizing the futility of ambition and the absurdity of pride. This superbly illustrated volume examines how Bruegel's art and ideas enabled people to ponder what it meant to be human. Published to coincide with the four-hundred-fiftieth anniversary of Bruegel's death, it will appeal to all those interested in art and philosophy, the Renaissance, and Flemish painting.
At the turn of the fifteenth century, private devotionals became a speciality of the renowned Ghent-Bruges illuminators. Wealthy patrons who commissioned work from these artists often spared no expense in the presentation of their personal prayer books, or `books of hours', from detailed decoration to luxurious bindings and embroidery. This enchanting illuminated manuscript was painted by the Master of the David Scenes in the Grimani Breviary (known as the David Master), one of the renowned Flemish illuminators in the sixteenth century. Every page of the manuscript is exquisitely decorated. Fine architectural interiors, gorgeous landscapes and detailed city scenes, each one depicting a narrative, form the subjects of three full-size illuminations and forty-two full-page miniatures. There are floral borders on a gold ground or historiated borders in the Flemish and Italian style on every page. It is one of the finest examples of medieval illumination in a personal prayer book and the most copiously illustrated work of the David Master to survive. The manuscript owes its name to the French Queen, Marie de Medici, widow of King Henri IV. For a time she went into exile in Brussels, where she is thought to have acquired the manuscript before moving again to Cologne. An inscription in English states that she left the book of hours in this city, and it is here that an English manuscript collector, Francis Douce, may have acquired the book and eventually donated it to the Bodleian Library. Together with a scholarly introduction that gives an overview of Flemish illumination and examines each of the illustrations in detail, this full-colour facsimile limited edition, bound in linen with a leather quarter binding and beautifully presented in a slipcase, faithfully reproduces all 176 leaves of the original manuscript.
At the end of his long, prolific life, Titian was rumored to paint directly on the canvas with his bare hands. He would slide his fingers across bright ridges of oil paint, loosening the colors, blending, blurring, and then bringing them together again. With nothing more than the stroke of a thumb or the flick of a nail, Titian's touch brought the world to life. The clinking of glasses, the clanging of swords, and the cry of a woman's grief. The sensation of hair brushing up against naked flesh, the sudden blush of unplanned desire, and the dry taste of fear in a lost, shadowy place. Titian's art, Maria H. Loh argues in this exquisitely illustrated book, was and is a synesthetic experience. To see is at once to hear, to smell, to taste, and to touch. But while Titian was fully attached to the world around him, he also held the universe in his hands. Like a magician, he could conjure appearances out of thin air. Like a philosopher, his exploration into the very nature of things channelled and challenged the controversial ideas of his day. But as a painter, he created the world anew. Dogs, babies, rubies, and pearls. Falcons, flowers, gloves, and stone. Shepherds, mothers, gods, and men. Paint, canvas, blood, sweat, and tears. In a series of close visual investigations, Loh guides us through the lush, vibrant world of Titian's touch.
To commemorate the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci's death, world-renowned da Vinci expert Martin Kemp explores 100 of the master's milestones in art, science, engineering, architecture, anatomy, and more. Leonardo da Vinci was born in the small Tuscan town of Vinci in April 1452. Over the centuries, he has become one of the most famous people in the history of visual culture. Spring 2019 marks the 500th anniversary of his death in May 1519, with exhibitions and events planned across Europe and the United States. This lavishly illustrated volume by Martin Kemp--one of the world's leading authorities on da Vinci--offers a fresh way of looking at the master's work. Kemp focuses on 100 key, broadly chronological milestones that cover an extraordinary range of topic across Leonardo's many fields of discipline: painting, where he brought new levels of formal and emotional grandeur to his works, including The Last Supper and Portrait of Lisa del Giocondo (the "Mona Lisa"); anatomical studies, which are extraordinary for their sense of form and function (Studies of the Optics of the Human Eye and Ventricles of the Brain); engineering marvels, noted for their range and extraordinary visual quality (Gearing for a Clockwork Mechanism and Wheels without Axles and Designs for a Flying Machine); and his progressive engagement with a range of sciences--anatomy, optics, dynamics, statics, geology, and mathematics.
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