Art and international relations during the Late Bronze Age formed a symbiosis as expanded travel and written communications fostered unprecedented cultural exchange across the Mediterranean. Diplomacy in these new political and imperial relationships was often maintained through the exchange of lavish art objects and luxury goods. The items bestowed during this time shared a repertoire of imagery that modern scholars call the first International Style in the history of art.
Marian Feldman's Diplomacy by Design examines the profound connection between art produced during this period and its social context, revealing inanimate objects as catalysts—or even participants—in human dynamics. Feldman's fascinating study shows the ways in which the exchange of these works of art actively mediated and strengthened political relations, intercultural interactions, and economic negotiations. Previous studies of this international style have focused almost exclusively on stylistic attribution at the expense of social contextualization. Written by a specialist in ancient Near Eastern art and archaeology who has excavated and traveled extensively in this area of the world, Diplomacy by Design provides a much broader consideration of the symbolic power of material culture and its centrality in the construction of human relations.
The so-called Flemish Primitives, a group of 15th-century painters from the Burgundian Netherlands, acquired their name in the 19th century. Among them were world-famous artists such as Rogier van der Weyden, Hans Memling, the brothers Van Eyck, and Hugo van der Goes. Their masterpieces, oil paintings minutely detailed in luminous colour, are a high point of Western European art, which, together with the Italian Renaissance paintings, laid foundations for modern art. This scholarly in-depth analysis focuses on the artistic, religious and social significance of their art, as well as how the paintings themselves were collected, evaluated and studied over the centuries.'"the clearly written essays address crucial and current issues" "this is an efficient and essential study that seeks to integrate the form, content, and function of these paintings" "highly recommended" - American Library Association"written by a truly all-star cast of authors" "this book is both authoritative and readable, concise yet engaged with the essentials: artists, works, history of interpretation, and current methodologies. It should make for a splendid teaching tool" - The Art Book
From Henry Darger's elaborate paintings of young girls caught in a vicious war to the sacred art of the Reverend Howard Finster, the work of outsider artists has achieved unique status in the art world. Celebrated for their lack of traditional training and their position on the fringes of society, outsider artists nonetheless participate in a traditional network of value, status, and money. After spending years immersed in the world of self-taught artists, Gary Alan Fine presents Everyday Genius, one of the most insightful and comprehensive examinations of this network and how it confers artistic value.
Fine considers the differences among folk art, outsider art, and self-taught art, explaining the economics of this distinctive art market and exploring the dimensions of its artistic production and distribution. Interviewing dealers, collectors, curators, and critics and venturing into the backwoods and inner-city homes of numerous self-taught artists, Fine describes how authenticity is central to the system in which artists—often poor, elderly, members of a minority group, or mentally ill—are seen as having an unfettered form of expression highly valued in the art world. Respected dealers, he shows, have a hand in burnishing biographies of the artists, and both dealers and collectors trade in identities as much as objects.
Revealing the inner workings of an elaborate and prestigious world in which money, personalities, and values affect one another, Fine speaks eloquently to both experts and general readers, and provides rare access to a world of creative invention-both by self-taught artists and by those who profit from their work.
“Indispensable for an understanding of this world and its workings. . . . Fine’s book is not an attack on the Outsider Art phenomenon. But it is masterful in its anatomization of some of its contradictions, conflicts, pressures, and absurdities.”—Eric Gibson, WashingtonTimes
Leonardo, The Last Supper
Pinin Brambilla Barcilon and Pietro C. Marani University of Chicago Press, 2001 Library of Congress ND623.L5A683 2001a | Dewey Decimal 759.5
Leonardo's Last Supper, one of the most important works of the Renaissance if not all of Western art, was painted between 1494 and 1498 in the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. From the moment that the prior at the monastery complained to Leonardo that the work was taking too long, the Last Supper has endured centuries of controversy, neglect, and difficulty. Leonardo, The Last Supper, translated from the Italian, is the definitive document of the recently completed project to reverse these centuries of decline by restoring the painting and preserving it in a manner that generations of conservators have failed to do.
The technical problems with the Last Supper began as soon as Leonardo started to paint it. He jettisoned the traditional fresco technique of applying paint to wet plaster, a method unsuited to Leonardo's slow and thorough execution, and created the work instead with an experimental technique that involved painting directly on the dry plaster. With this renegade method, Leonardo rendered one of the most enduring painting techniques volatile and unstable. Added to this initial complication have been centuries of pollution, tourists, candle smoke, and the ravages of age, not to mention food fights in the refectory staged by Napoleonic soldiers and Allied bombs in 1943. By the middle of the twentieth century, the Last Supper was in desperate need of a complete restoration.
Pinin Brambilla Barcilon was chosen to head this twenty-year project, and Leonardo, The Last Supper is the official record of her remarkable effort. It first documents the cleaning and removal of the overpainting performed in the other attempts at restoration and then turns to Barcilon's meticulous additions in watercolor, which were based on Leonardo's preparatory drawings, early copies of the painting, and contemporary textual descriptions. This book presents full-scale reproductions of details from the fresco that clearly display and distinguish Leonardo's hand from that of the restorer. With nearly 400 sumptuous color reproductions, the most comprehensive technical documentation of the project by Barcilon, and an introductory essay by art historian and project codirector Pietro C. Marani that focuses on the history of the fresco, Leonardo, The Last Supper is an invaluable historic record, an extraordinarily handsome book, and an essential volume for anyone who appreciates the beauty, technical achievements, and fate of Renaissance painting.
Pottery Analysis is a rich and comprehensive sourcebook that draws together diverse approaches to the study of pottery—archaeological, ethnographic, stylistic, functional, and physicochemical. Using pottery as a starting point for insights into people and culture, Prudence M. Rice examines in detail the methods for studying the fired clay vessels used worldwide from prehistoric times to present.
Just as a single pot starts with a lump of clay, the study of a piece’s history must start with an understanding of its raw materials. This principle is the foundation of Pottery Analysis, the acclaimed sourcebook that has become the indispensable guide for archaeologists and anthropologists worldwide. By grounding current research in the larger history of pottery and drawing together diverse approaches to the study of pottery, it offers a rich, comprehensive view of ceramic inquiry.
This new edition fully incorporates more than two decades of growth and diversification in the fields of archaeological and ethnographic study of pottery. It begins with a summary of the origins and history of pottery in different parts of the world, then examines the raw materials of pottery and their physical and chemical properties. It addresses ethnographic and ethnoarchaeological perspectives on pottery production; reviews the methods of studying pottery’s physical, mechanical, thermal, mineralogical, and chemical properties; and discusses how proper analysis of artifacts can reveal insights into their culture of origin. Intended for use in the classroom, the lab, and out in the field, this essential text offers an unparalleled basis for pottery research.
In 1928, after eleven years of extensive research and editing, Dr. Jacob Baart de la Faille finally finished the first catalogue raisonné of Vincent van Gogh’s work. Soon after, however, de la Faille discovered that he had mistakenly listed dozens of forged works as genuine in the catalog. He quickly set out to set the record straight but was met with strong resistance from art dealers, collectors, critics, politicians, amongst others—all of whom had self-interested reasons to oppose his corrections.
To this day, the international art world struggles to separate the real Van Goghs from the fake. A Real Van Gogh begins with the story of de la Faille and moves into the late decades of the twentieth century, outlining the numerous clashes over the authenticity of Van Gogh’s works while simultaneously exposing the often bewildering ramifications for art critics and scholars when they bring unwelcome news.