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This book provides a new perspective on Sienese painting after the Black Death, asking how social, religious, and cultural change affect visual imagery and style. Judith Steinhoff demonstrates that Siena's artistic culture of the mid and late fourteenth century was intentionally pluralistic, and not conservative as is often claimed. She shows that Sienese art both before and after the Black Death was the material expression of an artistically sophisticated population that consciously and carefully integrated tradition and change. Promoting both iconographic and stylistic pluralism, Sienese patrons furthered their own goals as well as addressed the culture's changing needs. Steinhoff presents both detailed case studies as well as a broader view of trends in artistic practice and patronage. She offers a new approach to interpreting artistic style in the Trecento, arguing that artists and patrons alike understood the potential of style as a vehicle that conveys specific meanings.
Shedding new light on the renowned Renaissance artist, this book examines all of da Vinci's known paintings using recent advances in technology and the latest art historical research. While Leonardo da Vinci is one of history's most studied and renowned artists, there are many myths surrounding his work. Beginning with his birth and early maturity in the workshops of the Florentine masters, Alessandro Vezzosi delves into the provenance of disputed works such as Madonna Litta and La Bella Principessa. He demonstrates how recent advances in technology have aided researchers in studying and restoring da Vinci's art--including uncovering forgeries--and he explores the artist's scientific achievements in the fields of optics and paint composition. An exquisitely produced plate section looks at the most significant aspects of da Vinci's work, and offers numerous comparative examples in the form of archival documents, preparatory studies, and contemporary paintings. A fitting tribute to da Vinci, this wide ranging book applies 21st-century knowledge to help answer centuries-old questions about the Renaissance genius.
This is an updated version of the enduring classic that first introduced the concept of "imperfect beauty" to the West. Text, images, and book design seamlessly meld into a wabi-sabi-like experience.
"Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and
incomplete . . .
Author Leonard Koren was trained as an architect but never built anything--except an eccentric Japanese tea house--because he found large, permanent objects too philosophically vexing to design. Instead he created "WET: The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing," one of the premier avant-garde magazines of the 1970s. Subsequently Koren has produced unusual books about design- and aesthetics-related subjects. Koren resides in both America and Japan. For more information, visit www.leonardkoren.com.
We have become used to looking at art from a stance of detachment. In order to be objective, we create a "mental space" between ourselves and the objects of our investigation, separating internal and external worlds. This detachment dates back to the early modern period, when researchers in a wide variety of fields tried to describe material objects as "things in themselves"--things, that is, without the admixture of imagination. Generations of scholars have heralded this shift as the Renaissance "discovery" of the observable world. In Poetry in a World of Things, Rachel Eisendrath explores how poetry responded to this new detachment by becoming a repository for a more complex experience of the world. The book focuses on ekphrasis, the elaborate literary description of a thing, as a mode of resistance to this new empirical objectivity. Poets like Petrarch, Spenser, Marlowe, and Shakespeare crafted highly artful descriptions that recovered the threatened subjective experience of the material world. In so doing, these poets reflected on the emergence of objectivity itself as a process that was often darker and more painful than otherwise acknowledged. This highly original book reclaims subjectivity as a decidedly poetic and human way of experiencing the material world and, at the same time, makes a case for understanding art objects as fundamentally unlike any other kind of objects.
No period has been more discussed, dissected and argued over than the Renaissance, and every age has reconstructed it in its own image. Today's emphasis is on its complexity - the way ideas, politics, religion, society, art and science depended upon and affected one another. The Renaissance Complete does away with watertight divisions by means of a lucid, innovatory system of cross-references and brings the image to centre stage. The fascinating range of topics covered includes the revival of classical learning, the printing press, the rise of the nation-state, philosophy and the role of women. The scope is all-embracing: Italy, France, Spain, Britain, Germany and the northern countries; courts and patrons, painters and sculptors, churchmen and traders, men, women and children. Over 1,000 illustrations are carefully focused on over 100 key topics, subject-matter taking precedence over art history. An impressive information resource provides biographies, timelines, bibliography, a gazetteer of museums and galleries and an illustrated glossary.
This book retraces the development of classical imagery in the visual arts of the Italian Renaissance. Luba Freedman examines poems, letters and treatises on art, which testify to the contemporary desire to depict classical myths in the style and spirit of Ovid's Metamorphoses, and to re-create the artistic patronage of the ancient Romans. This new development in art was driven by collaboration between humanists, artists, and their patrons. The extant artifacts of Roman antiquity, in addition to the study of Greek and Latin texts which brought to light descriptions of ancient paintings, were used as models for re-creating the visual culture of antiquity. Paintings of classical myths that were shaped all'antica, or in the manner of the ancients, allowed humanists to link the modern Rome with its ancient ancestry.
A gloriously illustrated volume that looks at the remarkable armor of a key Habsburg commander and its relationship to contemporary Renaissance fashion This sumptuously illustrated book celebrates a curious masterpiece of German Renaissance art--the Landsknecht armor of Wilhelm von Rogendorf (1523). Recently conserved to its original glory, this magnificent suit of armor, made for a trusted courtier, diplomat, and commander of infantry units for the Habsburgs, deceives the eye: the steel sleeves drape in graceful folds, with cuts in the surface, suggesting the armor is made from cloth rather than metal. The author of this fascinating volume explores the question: why does the armor look this way? Stefan Krause delves back five centuries to the political, social, and cultural context in which von Rogendorf lived. Among other key venues in the Holy Roman Empire, this story takes the reader to the court of Emperor Charles V in Spain and to Augsburg, the leading center of armor making, where Rogendorf was introduced to the court armorer of Charles V, Kolman Helmschmid (1471-1532). Helmschmid was famous for his inventive and masterfully sculptured works, and this book elaborates on his unique contributions to the history of armor, and how and why von Rogendorf's suit was informed by contemporary fashion.
For four hundred years Caravaggio's (1571-1610) staggering artistic achievements have thrilled viewers, yet his volatile personal trajectory-the murder of Ranuccio Tomasini, the doubt surrounding Caravaggio's sexuality, the chain of events that began with his imprisonment on Malta and ended with his premature death-has long confounded historians. In a bravura performance, Andrew Graham-Dixon delves into the original Italian sources, presenting fresh details about Caravaggio's sex life, his many crimes and public brawls, and the most convincing account yet published of the painter's tragic death at the age of thirty-eight. With illuminating readings of Caravaggio's infamous religious paintings, which often depict prostitutes and poor people, Graham-Dixon immerses readers in the world of Italy at the height of the Counter-Reformation and creates a masterful profile of the mercurial painter's life and work.
With contributions by Sarah Cartwright, Jessie McNab, J. Kenneth Moore, Eve Straussman-Pflanzer, Wendy Thompson, and Jeremy Warren Many famous Italian Renaissance artworks were made to celebrate love and marriage. They were the pinnacles of a tradition---dating from the early Renaissance---of commemorating betrothal, marriage, and the birth of a child by commissioning extraordinary objects or exchanging them as gifts. This important volume is the first to examine the entire range of works to which Renaissance rituals of love and marriage gave rise and makes a major contribution to our understanding of Renaissance art in its broader cultural context. Some 140 works of art, dating from about 1400 to 1600, are discussed by a distinguished group of scholars and are reproduced in full color. Marriage and childbirth gifts are the point of departure. These range from maiolica, glassware, and jewelry to birth trays, musical instruments, and nuptial portraits. Bonds of love of another sort were represented in erotic drawings and prints. From these precedents, an increasingly inventive approach to subjects of love and marriage culminated in paintings by some of the greatest artists of the Renaissance, including Giulio Romano, Lorenzo Lotto, and Titian.
'An absorbing book, beautifully told and with the writer fully in command of a huge body of research' Philip Hensher, Mail on Sunday There was an epic sweep to Michelangelo's life. At 31 he was considered the finest artist in Italy, perhaps the world; long before he died at almost 90 he was widely believed to be the greatest sculptor or painter who had ever lived (and, by his enemies, to be an arrogant, uncouth, swindling miser). For decade after decade, he worked near the dynamic centre of events: the vortex at which European history was changing from Renaissance to Counter Reformation. Few of his works - including the huge frescoes of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling, the marble giant David and The Last Judgment - were small or easy to accomplish. Like a hero of classical mythology - such as Hercules, whose statue Michelangelo carved in his youth - he was subject to constant trials and labours. In Michelangelo Martin Gayford describes what it felt like to be Michelangelo Buonarroti, and how he transformed forever our notion of what an artist could be. 'It is a measure of [Michelangelo's] magnitude, and Gayford's skill in capturing it, that you finish this book wishing that Michelangelo had lived longer and created more' Rachel Spence, FT 'One of our most distinguished writers on what makes modern artists tick . . . It is very difficult to cut through the thicket of generations of scholarship and say anything new about David, the Sistine Chapel, The Last Judgement, the Basilica of St Peter's or many of Michelangelo's other masterpieces, but Gayford manages to do so by encouraging us to think - and look - at both the obvious and the overlooked' Sunday Telegraph 'Only the most ambitious biographer can take on the talent of Michelangelo Buonarroti' The Times
A groundbreaking work on how the topic of scale provides an entirely new understanding of Inca material culture Although questions of form and style are fundamental to art history, the issue of scale has been surprisingly neglected. Yet, scale and scaled relationships are essential to the visual cultures of many societies from around the world, especially in the Andes. In Scale and the Incas, Andrew Hamilton presents a groundbreaking theoretical framework for analyzing scale, and then applies this approach to Inca art, architecture, and belief systems. The Incas were one of humanity's great civilizations, but their lack of a written language has prevented widespread appreciation of their sophisticated intellectual tradition. Expansive in scope, this book examines many famous works of Inca art including Machu Picchu and the Dumbarton Oaks tunic, more enigmatic artifacts like the Sayhuite Stone and Capacocha offerings, and a range of relatively unknown objects in diverse media including fiber, wood, feathers, stone, and metalwork. Ultimately, Hamilton demonstrates how the Incas used scale as an effective mode of expression in their vast multilingual and multiethnic empire. Lavishly illustrated with stunning color plates created by the author, the book's pages depict artifacts alongside scale markers and silhouettes of hands and bodies, allowing readers to gauge scale in multiple ways. The pioneering visual and theoretical arguments of Scale andthe Incas not only rewrite understandings of Inca art, but also provide a benchmark for future studies of scale in art from other cultures.
Bosch lived and worked over 500 hundred years ago in the Netherlands' town of 's Hertogenbosch, from which he takes his name. He is best known for his fantastical, wondrous art full of strange creatures both grotesque and heavenly. The work he has left behind still defies the imagination. Taking account of the latest research, Hieronymus Bosch: Masterpieces of Art gives an overview of what is known of this elusive painter and draughtsman, and reproduces his (and some of his followers') impressive work, from traditional Biblical stories with a Boschian twist, such as the Adoration of the Magi, to his apocalyptic Four Visions of the Hereafter. His diptychs and triptychs, such as the famously complex Garden of Earthly Delights are covered as well as his stunning line drawings, such as The Wood Has Ears, The Field Has Eyes.
The religious turmoil of the sixteenth century constituted a turning point in the history of Western Christian art. The essays presented in this volume investigate the ways in which both Protestant and Catholic reform stimulated the production of religious images, drawing on examples from across Europe and beyond. * Eight essays by leading scholars in the field * Brings art historians and historians into productive dialogue * Broad chronology, from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century * Broad geographical coverage * Richly illustrated
A brilliant colorist and masterful storyteller, Dutch mannerist Joachim Wtewael (1566-1638) wielded a remarkably skilled brush and the technical ability to show it off in intricate compositions. He took inspiration from a wide range of biblical and mythological sources to create imaginative, often quite erotic scenes. While such pictures were prized in Wtewael's time, more recently they were hidden away--behind other paintings, in leather folders on bookshelves, and in the reserves of great museums. This richly illustrated volume brings together more than fifty of Wtewael's finest paintings and drawings, from a small jewel-like picture on copper depicting Mars and Venus to large-scale mannerist showpieces such as The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian and Perseus and Andromeda. A pillar of the Utrecht community, Wtewael was engaged in business, religion, and politics as well as art. He adopted the exotic mannerist style, full of artifice and inventive manipulation, and continued to be fascinated by the challenge of creating sophisticated variations well into his maturity, when other Dutch artists had turned to naturalism. This book explores Wtewael's amazingly refined and detailed paintings and drawings, shedding light on his reputation, his life, and the conflicted times--marked by iconoclasm and strife--in which he thrived. Exhibition schedule: *Centraal Museum Utrecht, February 21-May 25, 2015*National Gallery of Art, Washington, June 28-October 4, 2015* Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, November 1, 2015-January 31, 2016
The life and times of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1526/30-1569) were marked by stark cultural conflict. He witnessed religious wars, the Duke of Alba's brutal rule as governor of the Netherlands, and the palpable effects of the Inquisition. To this day, the Flemish artist remains shrouded in mystery. We know neither where nor exactly when he was born. But while early scholarship emphasized the vernacular character of his painting and graphic work, modern research has attached greater importance to its humanistic content. Starting out as a print designer for publisher Hieronymus Cock, Bruegel produced numerous print series that were distributed throughout Europe. These depicted vices and virtues alongside jolly peasant festivals and sweeping landscape panoramas. He would eventually increasingly turn to painting, working for the cultural elite of Antwerp and Brussels. This monograph is a testament to Bruegel's evolution as an artist, one who bravely confronted the issues of his day all the while proposing new inventions and solutions. Rather than idealizing reality, he addressed the horrors of religious warfare and took a critical stand against the institution of the Church. To this end, he developed his own pictorial language of dissidence, lacing innocuous everyday scenes with subliminal statements in order to escape repercussions. To produce this XXL-sized collection, TASCHEN undertook a comprehensive photographic campaign, capturing all the breadth and splendid detail of Bruegel's oeuvre like never before. The result gathers all 40 paintings, 65 drawings, and 89 engravings in pristine reproductions-each piece a unique witness to both the religious mores and the close-knit folk culture of Bruegel's time.Marking the 450th anniversary of his death and his first ever monographic exhibition at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, this volume is the most immersive journey into Bruegel's unique visual universe.
In 12 essays by a distinguished group of art historians, Art and Technology in Early Modern Europe explores the relationship between artistic and technological advances from the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution. * Provides a broad definition of technology for this period and addresses the influence of technological shifts on the history of early modern art * Covers c.1420-1820, the time period between the advent of the printed image and that of the photographically produced image * Discusses a wide range of early modern artists tools, instruments, skills, and techniques and their historical applications * Highlights a frequently overlooked aspect of research within art history that yields substantial insights into the analysis of the making and viewing of art
Featuring detailed scenes of court pageantry and life-size portraits of members of the French Valois dynasty woven in wool, silk, and precious metal-wrapped threads, the Valois Tapestries are one of the most extravagant sets of hangings produced in the 16th century. The precise circumstances surrounding the tapestries' commission and their arrival at the Medici court in Florence, as well as the significance of the specific scenes depicted, however, have eluded scholars for years. Presenting new research into the political maneuvering of the Valois and Medici courts and providing extensive physical analysis gathered during a recent cleaning of the tapestries, this volume offers brand new insight into why these magnificent works were made and what they represent.
In this study, Luba Freedman examines the revival of the twelve Olympian deities in the visual arts of sixteenth-century Italy. Renaissance representations of the Olympians as autonomous figures in paintings, sculpture and drawing were not easily integrated into a Christian society. While many patrons and artists venerated the ancient artworks for their artistic qualities, others, nourished by religious beliefs, felt compelled to adapt ancient representations to Christian subjects. These conflicting attitudes influenced the representation of deities intentionally made all'antica, often resulting in an interweaving of classical and non-classical elements that is alien to the original, ancient sources. This study, the first devoted to this problem, highlights how problematic it was during the Cinquecento to display and receive images of pagan gods, whether shaped by ancient or contemporary artists. It offers new insights into the uneven absorption of the classical heritage during the early modern era.
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