David Hotchkiss Price, a specialist in Renaissance cultural and ecclesiastical history, has broken new ground with this comprehensive analysis of Renaissance humanism as the foundation for Dürer's religious art and, in particular, for Dürer's reception of the Reformation movements. Price also offers an innovative study of the relationships between text and image, and a pioneering assessment of the representation of Jews in Dürer's religious art.
David Price is Associate Professor of History and of Church History, Southern Methodist University.
A Rothschild prayer book; an Italian bronze casket by Antico; a lavishly illustrated Carnival chronicle from sixteenth-century Germany; an altarpiece by the famous Flemish painter Pieter Brueghel the Younger—much of the artwork in this book, held by Australian collections, is essentially unknown beyond the continent, and so this collection of essays will surprise even specialists. The authors showcase these extraordinary objects to their full potential, revealing a wide range of contemporary art and historical research.
No city but Florence contains such an intense concentration of art produced in such a short span of time. The sheer number and proximity of works of painting, sculpture, and architecture in Florence can be so overwhelming that Florentine hospitals treat hundreds of visitors each year for symptoms brought on by trying to see them all, an illness famously identified with the French author Stendhal.
While most guidebooks offer only brief descriptions of a large number of works, with little discussion of the historical background, Judith Testa gives a fresh perspective on the rich and brilliant art of the Florentine Renaissance in An Art Lover’s Guide to Florence. Concentrating on a number of the greatest works, by such masters as Botticelli and Michelangelo, Testa explains each piece in terms of what it meant to the people who produced it and for whom they made it, deftly treating the complex interplay of politics, sex, and religion that were involved in the creation of those works.
With Testa as a guide, armchair travelers and tourists alike will delight in the fascinating world of Florentine art and history.
In the first contemporary single-volume survey of the three arts of Venice—painting, sculpture, and architecture—Norbert Huse and Wolfgang Wolters offer an important counterbalance to the traditional orientation toward painting as the city's preeminent art by focusing on architecture as the essential Venetian art. They begin their study in 1460, when Venice was one of the key powers of Italy, and end with the death of Tintoretto in 1594, a period of waning international power. In the process, they define the distinctly Venetian terms by which the city and its culture should be understood. With over three hundred illustrations and an exhaustive bibliography, this volume makes an impressive contribution to art historical scholarship.
"The historical aspect of this book is splendid, but where it excels is in its fearless and thought-provoking critical judgements. . . . it will lead both beginners and experts to new joys."—David Ekserdjian, Times Literary Supplement
Many studies have shown that images—their presence in the daily lives of the faithful, the means used to control them, and their adaptation to secular uses—were at the heart of the Reformation crisis in northern Europe. But the question as it affects the art of Italy has been raised only in highly specialized studies.
In this book, Alexander Nagel provides the first truly synthetic study of the controversies over religious images that pervaded Italian life both before and parallel to the Reformation north of the Alps. Tracing the intertwined relationship of artistic innovation and archaism, as well as the new pressures placed on the artistic media in the midst of key developments in religious iconography, The Controversy of Renaissance Art offers an important and original history of humanist thought and artistic experimentation from one of our most acclaimed historians of art.
While the masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance are usually associated with Italy’s historical seats of power, some of the era’s most characteristic works are to be found in places other than Florence, Rome, and Venice. They are the product of the diversity of regions and cultures that makes up the country. In Endless Periphery, Stephen J. Campbell examines a range of iconic works in order to unlock a rich series of local references in Renaissance art that include regional rulers, patron saints, and miracles, demonstrating, for example, that the works of Titian spoke to beholders differently in Naples, Brescia, or Milan than in his native Venice. More than a series of regional microhistories, Endless Periphery tracks the geographic mobility of Italian Renaissance art and artists, revealing a series of exchanges between artists and their patrons, as well as the power dynamics that fueled these exchanges. A counter history of one of the greatest epochs of art production, this richly illustrated book will bring new insight to our understanding of classic works of Italian art.
Gender, Space, and Experience at the Renaissance Court investigates the dynamic relationships between gender and architectural space in Renaissance Italy. It examines the ceremonial use and artistic reception of the Palazzo Te from the arrival of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1530 to the Sack of Mantua in 1630. This book further proposes that we conceptualise the built environment as a performative space, a space formed by the gendered relationships and actors of its time, asserting that the Palazzo Te was constituted by the gendered behaviors of sixteenth-century courtiers, but it was not simply a passive receptor of gender performance. Through its multivalent form and ceremonial function, Maria F. Maurer argues that the palace was an active participant in the construction and perception of femininity and masculinity in the early modern court.
Today few would think of astronomy and astrology as fields related to theology. Fewer still would know that physically absorbing planetary rays was once considered to have medical and psychological effects. But this was the understanding of light radiation held by certain natural philosophers of early modern Europe, and that, argues Mary Quinlan-McGrath, was why educated people of the Renaissance commissioned artworks centered on astrological themes and practices.
Influences is the first book to reveal how important Renaissance artworks were designed to be not only beautiful but also—perhaps even primarily—functional. From the fresco cycles at Caprarola, to the Vatican’s Sala dei Pontefici, to the Villa Farnesina, these great works were commissioned to selectively capture and then transmit celestial radiation, influencing the bodies and minds of their audiences. Quinlan-McGrath examines the sophisticated logic behind these theories and practices and, along the way, sheds light on early creation theory; the relationship between astrology and natural theology; and the protochemistry, physics, and mathematics of rays.
An original and intellectually stimulating study, Influences adds a new dimension to the understanding of aesthetics among Renaissance patrons and a new meaning to the seductive powers of art.
Originally published in 1983, Leo Steinberg's classic work has changed the viewing habits of a generation. After centuries of repression and censorship, the sexual component in thousands of revered icons of Christ is restored to visibility. Steinberg's evidence resides in the imagery of the overtly sexed Christ, in Infancy and again after death. Steinberg argues that the artists regarded the deliberate exposure of Christ's genitalia as an affirmation of kinship with the human condition. Christ's lifelong virginity, understood as potency under check, and the first offer of blood in the circumcision, both required acknowledgment of the genital organ. More than exercises in realism, these unabashed images underscore the crucial theological import of the Incarnation.
This revised and greatly expanded edition not only adduces new visual evidence, but deepens the theological argument and engages the controversy aroused by the book's first publication.
Christ's Crucifixion is one of the most recognized images in Western culture, and it has come to stand as a universal symbol of both suffering and salvation. But often overlooked is the fact that ultimately the Crucifixion is a scene of capital punishment. Mitchell Merback reconstructs the religious, legal, and historical context of the Crucifixion and of other images of public torture. The result is a fascinating account of a time when criminal justice and religion were entirely interrelated and punishment was a visual spectacle devoured by a popular audience.
Merback compares the images of Christ's Crucifixion with those of the two thieves who met their fate beside Jesus. In paintings by well-known Northern European masters and provincial painters alike, Merback finds the two thieves subjected to incredible cruelty, cruelty that artists could not depict in their scenes of Christ's Crucifixion because of theological requirements. Through these representations Merback explores the ways audiences in early modern Europe understood images of physical suffering and execution. The frequently shocking works also provide a perspective from which Merback examines the live spectacle of public torture and execution and how audiences were encouraged by the Church and the State to react to the experience. Throughout, Merback traces the intricate and extraordinary connections among religious art, devotional practice, bodily pain, punishment, and judicial spectatorship.
Keenly aware of the difficulties involved in discussing images of atrocious violence but determined to make them historically comprehensible, Merback has written an informed and provocative study that reveals the rituals of medieval criminal justice and the visual experiences they engendered.