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Filling notebook after notebook with sketches, inventions, and theories, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) not only stands as one of the most exceptional draftsmen of art history, but also as a mastermind and innovator who anticipated some of the greatest discoveries of human progress, sometimes centuries before their material realization. From the smallest arteries in the human heart to the far-flung constellations of the universe, Leonardo saw nature and science as being unequivocally connected. His points of inquiry and invention spanned philosophy, anatomy, geology, and mathematics, from the laws of optics, gravitation, heat, and light to the building of a flying machine. In his painting, Leonardo steered art out of the Middle Ages with works such as The Last Supper and the world-famous La Gioconda or Mona Lisa depicting not only physical appearances, but a compelling psychological intrigue and depth which continues to draw crowds of mesmerized visitors to masterpieces in Paris, Milan, Washington, London, and Rome. This book brings together some of Leonardo's most outstanding work to introduce a figure of infinite curiosity, feverish imagination, and sublime artistic ability, often described as having "not enough worlds for to conquer, and not enough lives for to live" (Alan Woods).
A bird-monster devouring sinners, naked bodies in tantric contortions, a pair of ears brandishing a sharpened blade: with nightmarish details and fantastical painterly schemes, Netherlandish visionary Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450-1516) secured his place as an art historical magnet. Five hundred years on from his death, his extraordinary works continue to enthrall scholars, artists, designers, and musicians. This large-scale TASCHEN monograph presents the complete Bosch oeuvre, celebrating the artist's staggering compositional scope and most bizarre and intricate details through full-page reproductions, abundant details, and a fold-out spread drawn from The Last Judgement. With guidance from art historian and Bosch expert Stefan Fischer, we explore the many compelling elements that populate each scene, from hybrid creatures of man and beast, to painterly assaults on the body, and a pictorial use of proverbs and idioms. Particular attention is given to Bosch's most famous work, the mesmerizing, terrifying triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights.
Fascinating and highly informative, The Appearance of Witchcraft explores how visual representations of witchcraft contributed to the widespread acceptance of witch beliefs in sixteenth-century Europe and helped establish the preconditions for the widespread persecution of witches.
Focusing on the visual contraction, or figure of the witch, and the activity of witchcraft, Zika places the study in the context of sixteenth-century withcraft and demonological theory, and in the turbulent social and religious changes of the period.
Zika argues that artists and printers used images to relate witchcraft theories, developed by theologians and legitimated by secular authorities, to a whole range of contemporary discourses on women and gender roles, sexuality, peasant beliefs and medical theories of the body. He also examines the role of artist as mediators between the ideas of the elite and the ordinary people.
For students of medieval history or anyone interested in the appearance of witchcraft, this will be an enthralling and invaluable read.
As cryptic as they are compelling, the masterpieces of Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450-1516) remain some of the most enduring enigmas of the art world. Their intricate, allegorical, and often startling content has captivated not only art historians, but also fashion designers, rock stars, writers, and punk rockers, as well as countless modern and contemporary artist successors. Although rooted in the Old Netherlandish tradition, Bosch developed a highly subjective, richly suggestive style to render both the celestial bliss of heaven and the grotesque tortures of hell, most famously and meticulously excecuted in The Garden of Earthly Delights. Here, as in his other known works, his artistic language combined religious humility with a razor-sharp wit, often playing off pictorial versions of contemporary proverbs or figures of speech. This book ties together the elusive threads of Bosch's oeuvre to provide a concise introduction to an at once haunting and enthralling pictorial world.
Published on the 500th anniversary of Tintoretto's birth, this unprecedented publication celebrates one of Renaissance Italy's greatest painters Jacopo Tintoretto (1518 or 1519-1594) was known for the remarkable energy of his work. His contemporary Giorgio Vasari described him as the "most extraordinary brain that painting has ever produced." Considered to be one of the three great painters of 16th-century Venice, along with Titian and Paolo Veronese, Tintoretto is admired for his dramatic treatments of sacred and secular narrative subjects and his insightful portraits of the Venetian aristocracy. His bold and expressive brushwork, which made his paintings seem unfinished to his contemporaries, is now recognized as a key step in the development of oil-on-canvas painting. This lavishly illustrated study, published to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the artist's birth, features more than forty of Tintoretto's paintings, including many large-scale pieces that convey the breadth and power of his narrative works, along with a sample of his finest drawings. An international group of scholars led by Robert Echols and Frederick Ilchman explores Tintoretto's artistic activity and situates his life and work in the context of his contemporaries' work and of the Renaissance in Italy, providing a fundamental point of reference for modern scholarship and an essential introduction to the artist's career and oeuvre.
The brightly colored tin-enameled earthenware called maiolica was among the major accomplishments of decorative arts in 16th-century Italy. This in-depth look at the history of maiolica, told through 140 exemplary pieces from the world-class collection at the Metropolitan Museum, offers a new perspective on a major aspect of Italian Renaissance art. Most of the works have never been published and all are newly photographed. The ceramics are featured alongside detailed descriptions of production techniques and a consideration of the social and cultural context, making this an invaluable resource for scholars and collectors. The imaginatively decorated works include an eight-figure group of the Lamentation, the largest and most ambitious piece of sculpture produced in a Renaissance maiolica workshop; pharmacy jars; bella donna plates; and more.
The Brueghels, Pieter the Elder, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, and Jan Brueghel the Elder, embody one of the largest dynasties of Flemish painting. This richly documented work sheds new light on Flemish painting from the 15th to the 17th century.
Leo Steinberg was one of the most original and daring art historians of the twentieth century, known for taking interpretative risks that challenged the profession by overturning reigning orthodoxies. In essays and lectures that ranged from old masters to contemporary art, he combined scholarly erudition with an eloquent prose that illuminated his subject and a credo that privileged the visual evidence of the image over the literature written about it. His works, sometimes provocative and controversial, remain vital and influential reading. For half a century, Steinberg delved into Michelangelo's work, revealing the symbolic structures underlying the artist's highly charged idiom. This volume of essays and unpublished lectures explicates many of Michelangelo's most celebrated sculptures, applying principles gleaned from long, hard looking. Almost everything Steinberg wrote included passages of old-fashioned formal analysis, but here put to the service of interpretation. He understood that Michelangelo's rendering of figures as well as their gestures and interrelations conveys an emblematic significance masquerading under the guise of naturalism. Michelangelo pushed Renaissance naturalism into the furthest reaches of metaphor, using the language of the body and its actions to express fundamental Christian tenets once expressible only by poets and preachers--or, as Steinberg put it, in Michelangelo's art, "anatomy becomes theology." Michelangelo's Sculpture is the first in a series of volumes of Steinberg's selected writings and unpublished lectures, edited by his longtime associate Sheila Schwartz. The volume also includes a book review debunking psychoanalytic interpretation of the master's work, a lighthearted look at Michelangelo and the medical profession and, finally, the shortest piece Steinberg ever published.
A beautiful book that argues artists were fascinated by still life painting considerably earlier than previously thought This eloquent and generously illustrated book asserts that artists were fascinated by and extremely skilled at still life significantly earlier than previously thought. Instead of the genre beginning in the early 17th century, noted scholar David Ekserdjian explores its origins in classical antiquity and the gradual re-emergence of still life in Renaissance painting. The author presents a visual anthology of finely executed flowers, fruit, food, household objects, and furnishings seen in the background of paintings. Paintings are reproduced in full and paired with detailed close-ups of still-life elements within the work. Ekserdjian further examines both the artistic and symbolic significance of a chosen detail, as well as information about each artist's career. Featured works include radiant paintings from Renaissance greats such as Da Vinci, Durer, Holbein, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Van Eyck, as well as the work of less-celebrated masters Barthelemy d'Eyck and Ortolano.
How did maps of the distant reaches of the world communicate to the public in an era when exploration of those territories was still ongoing and knowledge about them remained incomplete? And why did Renaissance rulers frequently commission large-scale painted maps of those territories when they knew that they would soon be proven obsolete by newer, more accurate information? The Mapping of Power in Renaissance Italy addresses these questions by bridging the disciplines of art history and the histories of science, cartography, and geography to closely examine surviving Italian painted maps that were commissioned during a period better known for its printed maps and atlases. Challenging the belief that maps are strictly neutral or technical markers of geographic progress, this well-illustrated study investigates the symbolic and propagandistic dimensions of these painted maps as products of the competitive and ambitious European court culture that produced them.
The art of the Sistine Chapel, decorated by artists who competed with one another and commissioned by popes who were equally competitive, is a complex fabric of thematic, chronological, and artistic references. Four main campaigns were undertaken to decorate the chapel between 1481 and 1541, and with each new addition, fundamental themes found increasingly concrete expression. One theme in particular plays a central role in the chapel: the legitimization of papal authority, as symbolized by two keys-one silver, one gold-to the kingdom of heaven. "The Sistine Chapel: Paradise in Rome" provides a concise, informative account of the decoration of the Sistine Chapel. In unpacking this complex history, Ulrich Pfisterer reveals the remarkable unity of the images in relation to theology, politics, and the intentions of the artists themselves, who included such household names as Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Raphael. Through a study of the main campaigns to adorn the Sistine Chapel, Pfisterer argues that the art transformed the chapel into a pathway to the kingdom of God, legitimising the absolute authority of the popes. First published in German, the prose comes to life in English in the deft hands of translator David Dollenmayer.
The amazing tales of the knight Theuerdank and his companion Ehrenhold constitute the last great epic verse of the late Middle Ages. The courageous knight's journey to woo his future wife, Mary of Burgundy, and his triumph in battles and other perilous acts of bravery are the focus of this highly embellished "real-life" story of Emperor Maximilian I (1459-1519). A king of Germany before becoming Holy Roman Emperor in 1508, Maximilian was a great patron of the arts, but also the first modern-age ruler to recognize its potential for propaganda. He commissioned a trilogy of luxurious illustrated books to immortalize his existence, among them Theuerdank-the only volume to be published during his lifetime, composed by Melchior Pfinzing, based on Maximilian's rather fanciful draft. The 118 ornate, gold-adorned woodcuts-one for each chapter-were made by Hans Burgkmair the Elder, Hans Schaufelein, and Leonhard Beck, while the typeface (known as the Theuerdank typeface and marked by striking "elephant trunks") was especially designed for the book by the printing workshop of Hans Schoensperger the Elder. This edition, inspired by an extremely rare hand-colored original from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich, comes with an essay by Stephan Fussel (covering Maximilian's life and work, as well as his role in the art of printing and use of printed materials) and selections from Melchior Pfinzing's clavis, or "key," which was included in the original to kindly point out to Maximilian's contemporaries exactly what part of the tales were more fiction than fact. The collection also showcases the famed "elephant trunks" typeface in double-spread fascimiles-true to the original down to every stain and smudge. A chapter-by-chapter retelling of the tales in modern vernacular sheds light on the narrative strategy and real events behind the allegories.
Living with Leonardo is a set of highly focused memoirs, a personal journey interwoven with historical research that encapsulates the author's relationship with Leonardo da Vinci over more than half a century. We learn of his encounters with the vast population that surrounds Leonardo: great and lesser academics, collectors and curators, devious dealers and unctuous auctioneers, major scholars and authors and pseudohistorians and fantasists; but also 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. Kemp leads us through his thinking on the Last Supper and the Mona Lisa, retells his part in the identification of the stolen Buccleuch Madonna and explains his involvement with and his theories on the two major Leonardo discoveries of the last 100 years, one of which plummeted into controversy (La Bella Principessa), while the other underwent a rapid ascent into widespread acceptance (Salvator Mundi). We learn firsthand 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 rare 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.
This book tells the remarkable story of Palazzo Rucellai from behind its celebrated facade. The house, beginning with its piecemeal assemblage by one of the richest men in Florence in the fifteenth century, has witnessed endless drama, from the butchering of its interior to a courtyard suicide to champagne-fueled orgies on the eve of World War I to a recent murder on its third floor. When the author, an art historian, serendipitously discovers a room for let in the house, she lands in the vortex of history and is tested at every turn-inside the house and out. Her residency in Palazzo Rucellai is informed as much by the sense of desire giving way to disappointment as by a sense of denial that soon enough must succumb to truth. House of Secrets is about the sharing of space, the tracing of footsteps, the overlapping of lives. It is about the willingness to lose oneself behind the facade, to live between past and present, to slip between the cracks of history and the crevices of our own imagination.
During the years 1627 and 1628, Charles I of England purchased the cream of the Gonzaga art collection, belonging to the dukes of Mantua, in what would become the greatest art deal of the 17th century. Among the treasures sold were ancient statues and stunning paintings by Titian, Raphael, Correggio, and Rubens. This book examines this fascinating and significant art sale from the perspective of the man who orchestrated it-Daniel Nijs (1572-1647), a Flemish merchant, collector, and dealer living in Venice. Christina M. Anderson brings Nijs to life, asserting that he was more than the avaricious and unscrupulous trader that most modern writers and scholars deem him to be. Anderson's evocative text describes Nijs's unique talent as a dealer, rooted in superior commercial skills, connections to artistic and diplomatic circles, and a deep love of art. The narrative reveals that Nijs was ultimately the pivotal figure involved with the Gonzaga sale, though also-when he later fell into bankruptcy and dishonor due to a deal gone awry-the most tragic.
This new Catalogue Raisonne, Part III in the series on Natural History, is based on the collection originally formed by Prince Federico Cesi in the early 17th century and later acquired by Cassiano. These drawings constitute the first truly scientific study of fossilized woods and are executed with such finesse, skill and detail that they will be of immense interest both to art-historians and to historians of science. The drawings, the majority of which have remained unstudied and unpublished until now, include specimens of wood and animal fossils, ammonites and concretions, pyrits and baked clays, as well as a series of field drawings giving the sites where these specimens were found. The introductory essays discuss the background to Cesi's project as well as the importance of the drawings to the history of seventeenth- century culture and science.'Scott & Freedberg's book will prove to be an important resource for all those interested in the history of geology, and it is a must for all university libraries.' (Howard J. Falcon-Lang in Geological Magazine, Volume 138/4 - 2001)
Henry VIII had extravagant ideas of image and authority and loved his possessions. He owned over 2000 pieces of tapestry and 2028 items of gold and silver plate. This work is not only a catalogue, but also a source of information for the study of Tudor society. In its listings the inventory provides information about Henry's personal and declining health problems, for example his bandages for ulcers are listed.;The original inventory is in two parts: one in the possession of the Society of Antiquaries and the other in the Harley Collection of the British Library. Volume one is a transcription of the inventory itself. The second and third volumes include explanatory essays by experts together with illustrations. In addition, the authors provide evaluations of the objects in monetary and social terms.
During the later 15th and in the 16th centuries pictures began to
be made without action, without place for heroism, pictures more
rueful than celebratory. In part, Renaissance art adjusted to the
social and economic pressures with an art we may be hard pressed to
recognize under that same rubric-an art not so much of perfected
nature as simply artless. Granted, the heroic and epic mode of the
Renaissance was that practiced most self-consciously and proudly.
Yet it is one of the accomplishments of Renaissance art that heroic
and epic subjects and style occasionally made way for less
affirmative subjects and compositional norms, for improvisation
away from the Vitruvian ideal. The limits of idealizing art, during
the very period denominated as High Renaissance, is a topic that
involves us in the history of class prejudice, of gender
stereotypes, of the conceptualization of the present, of attitudes
toward the ordinary, and of scruples about the power of sight
Superb reproduction of most popular 16th-century lace design book by Queen of France's favorite patterner. Contains all of the nearly 100 original patterns for point coupe, reticella and guipure; the second part describes square netting and embroidery on cloth. 83 full-page plates.
In this quincentennial year of Holbein's birth, this is the first
comprehensive annotated bibliography of texts relating to this
important Northern European Renaissance artist, with an
accompanying historiographic essay on various aspects of Holbein's
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. National Gallery: Wilton Diptych.
Accompanying the exhibition at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, this catalogue explores one of the most important artists of the Renaissance. Fra Angelico (c. 1395-1455) transformed painting in Florence with pioneering images, rethinking popular compositions and investing traditional Christian subjects with new meaning. His altarpieces and frescoes set new standards for quality and ingenuity, contributing to Angelico's unparalleled fame on the Italian peninsula. With the intellect of a Dominican theologian, the technical facility of Florence's fi nest craftsmen and the business acumen of its shrewdest merchants, he shaped the future of painting in Italy and beyond. The exhibition reunites for the fi rst time Fra Angelico's four reliquaries for Santa Maria Novella (1424-34; Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Museo di San Marco, Florence). Together they cover key episodes in the life of the Virgin Mary and capture in miniature some of his most important compositional innovations. Assembled at the Gardner with exceptional examples of Angelico's narrative paintings from collections in Europe and the United States, this exhibition explores his celebrated talents as a storyteller and the artistic contributions that shaped a new ideal of painting in Florence.
This is the first English translation of Francesco Sansovino's (1521-1586) celebrated guide to Venice, which was first published in 1561. One of the earliest books to describe the monuments of Venice for inquisitive travelers, Sansovino's guide was written at a time when St. Mark's Piazza was in the process of taking the form we see today. With in-depth descriptions of the buildings created by the author's father, noted sculptor and architect Jacopo Sansovino (1486-1570), including the Mint, Library, and Loggetta, the volume presents a vivid portrait of Venice during a particularly rich moment in the city's history. An engaging introduction and scholarly annotations to the original text provide the modern reader with an appreciation of the history of this great city as well as a practical guide for seeking out and enjoying its Renaissance treasures.
Discover the limitless imagination of the famous 15th century Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, who remains to this day one of the most mysterious figures in all of Art History. The book itself is uniquely bound; it opens like a triptych, its five panels revealing the most bewitching examples of Bosch's work, allowing the reader to be captivated by the uncanny and powerful dimensions of his art. The story of each triptych is told through in-depth descriptions of each panel. The reader is invited to discover the details and symbols that enrich every painting, exploring the odd figures and scenes that have perplexed and amused Bosch's audience since their entry into western canon.
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