front cover of Abortion in Early Modern Italy
Abortion in Early Modern Italy
John Christopoulos
Harvard University Press, 2020

A comprehensive history of abortion in Renaissance Italy.

In this authoritative history, John Christopoulos provides a provocative and far-reaching account of abortion in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy. His poignant portraits of women who terminated or were forced to terminate pregnancies offer a corrective to longstanding views: he finds that Italians maintained a fundamental ambivalence about abortion. Italians from all levels of society sought, had, and participated in abortions. Early modern Italy was not an absolute anti-abortion culture, an exemplary Catholic society centered on the “traditional family.” Rather, Christopoulos shows, Italians held many views on abortion, and their responses to its practice varied.

Bringing together medical, religious, and legal perspectives alongside a social and cultural history of sexuality, reproduction, and the family, Christopoulos offers a nuanced and convincing account of the meanings Italians ascribed to abortion and shows how prevailing ideas about the practice were spread, modified, and challenged. Christopoulos begins by introducing readers to prevailing ideas about abortion and women’s bodies, describing the widely available purgative medicines and surgeries that various healers and women themselves employed to terminate pregnancies. He then explores how these ideas and practices ran up against and shaped theology, medicine, and law. Catholic understanding of abortion was changing amid religious, legal, and scientific debates concerning the nature of human life, women’s bodies, and sexual politics. Christopoulos examines how ecclesiastical, secular, and medical authorities sought to regulate abortion, and how tribunals investigated and punished its procurers—or did not, even when they could have. Abortion in Early Modern Italy offers a compelling and sensitive study of abortion in a time of dramatic religious, scientific, and social change.

[more]

front cover of The Accommodated Animal
The Accommodated Animal
Cosmopolity in Shakespearean Locales
Laurie Shannon
University of Chicago Press, 2013
Shakespeare wrote of lions, shrews, horned toads, curs, mastiffs, and hellhounds. But the word “animal” itself only appears very rarely in his work, which was in keeping with sixteenth-century usage. As Laurie Shannon reveals in The Accommodated Animal, the modern human / animal divide first came strongly into play in the seventeenth century, with Descartes’s famous formulation that reason sets humans above other species: “I think, therefore I am.” Before that moment, animals could claim a firmer place alongside humans in a larger vision of belonging, or what she terms cosmopolity.
 
With Shakespeare as her touchstone, Shannon explores the creaturely dispensation that existed until Descartes. She finds that early modern writers used classical natural history and readings of Genesis to credit animals with various kinds of stakeholdership, prerogative, and entitlement, employing the language of politics in a constitutional vision of cosmic membership. Using this political idiom to frame cross-species relations, Shannon argues, carried with it the notion that animals possess their own investments in the world, a point distinct from the question of whether animals have reason. It also enabled a sharp critique of the tyranny of humankind. By answering “the question of the animal” historically, The Accommodated Animal makes a brilliant contribution to cross-disciplinary debates engaging animal studies, political theory, intellectual history, and literary studies.
[more]

front cover of Advertising the Self in Renaissance France
Advertising the Self in Renaissance France
Authorial Personae and Ideal Readers in Lemaire, Marot, and Rabelais
Scott Francis
University of Delaware Press, 2019
Advertising the Self in Renaissance France is a study of how authors and readers are represented in printed editions of three major literary figures of the French Renaissance: Jean Lemaire de Belges, Clément Marot, and François Rabelais. Print culture is marked by an anxiety of reception that became much more pronounced with increasingly anonymous and unpredictable readerships in the sixteenth century. To allay this anxiety, authors, as well as editors and printers, turned to self-fashioning in order to sell not only their books, but also particular ways of reading. They advertised correct modes of reading as transformative experiences that helped the actual reader attain the image of the ideal reader held up by the text and paratext, experiences provided by selfless authors. Thus, authorial personae were constructed around the self-fashioning offered to readers, creating an interdependent relationship that anticipated modern advertising.

Published by University of Delaware Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
 
[more]

front cover of The Aesthetics of Service in Early Modern England
The Aesthetics of Service in Early Modern England
Elizabeth Rivlin
Northwestern University Press, 2011

In The Aesthetics of Service in Early Modern England, Elizabeth Rivlin explores the ways in which servant-master relationships reshaped literature. The early modern servant is enjoined to obey his or her master out of dutiful love, but the servant's duty actually amounts to standing in for the master, a move that opens the possibility of becoming master. Rivlin shows that service is fundamentally a representational practice, in which the servant who acts for a master merges with the servant who acts as a master. 

Rivlin argues that in the early modern period, servants found new positions as subjects and authors found new forms of literature. Representations of servants and masters became a site of contact between pressing material concerns and evolving aesthetic ones. Offering readings of dramas by Shakespeare, Jonson, and Thomas Dekker and prose fictions by Thomas Deloney and Thomas Nashe, Rivlin suggests that these authors discovered their own exciting and unstable projects in the servants they created.

[more]

logo for Harvard University Press
Against the Jews and the Gentiles
Books I–IV
Giannozzo Manetti
Harvard University Press, 2017
Giannozzo Manetti (1396–1459) was a celebrated humanist orator, historian, philosopher, and scholar of the early Renaissance. Son of a wealthy Florentine merchant, he participated actively in the public life of the Florentine republic and embraced the new humanist scholarship of the quattrocento, oriented to the service of the state and the reform of religion. Mastering not only classical Latin but also Greek and Hebrew, he gained access to a whole library of sources previously unknown in the Latin West. Among the fruits of his studies is his treatise Against the Jews and the Gentiles, an apologia for Christianity in ten books that redefines religion in terms of “true piety,” and relates the historical development of the pagan and Jewish religions to the life of Jesus. The present volume includes the first critical edition of Books I–IV, together with the first translation of those books into any modern language.
[more]

front cover of The Age of Subtlety
The Age of Subtlety
Nature and Rhetorical Conceits in Early Modern Europe
Javier Patiño Loira
University of Delaware Press, 2024
A craze for intricate metaphors, referred to as conceits, permeated all forms of communication in seventeenth-century Italy and Spain, reshaping reality in highly creative ways. The Age of Subtlety: Nature and Rhetorical Conceits in Early Modern Europe situates itself at the crossroads of rhetoric, poetics, and the history of science, analyzing technical writings on conceits by such scholars as Baltasar Gracián, Matteo Peregrini, and Emanuele Tesauro against the background of debates on telescopic and microscopic vision, the generation of living beings, and the boundaries between the natural and the artificial. It contends that in order to understand conceits, we must locate them within the early modern culture of ingenuity that was also responsible for the engineer’s machines, the juggler’s sleight of hand, the wiles of the statesman, and the discovery of truths about nature. 
[more]

front cover of Albrecht Dürer and the Epistolary Mode of Address
Albrecht Dürer and the Epistolary Mode of Address
Shira Brisman
University of Chicago Press, 2016
Art historians have long looked to letters to secure biographical details; clarify relationships between artists and patrons; and present artists as modern, self-aware individuals. This book takes a novel approach: focusing on Albrecht Dürer, Shira Brisman is the first to argue that the experience of writing, sending, and receiving letters shaped how he treated the work of art as an agent for communication.

In the early modern period, before the establishment of a reliable postal system, letters faced risks of interception and delay. During the Reformation, the printing press threatened to expose intimate exchanges and blur the line between public and private life. Exploring the complex travel patterns of sixteenth-century missives, Brisman explains how these issues of sending and receiving informed Dürer’s artistic practices. His success, she contends, was due in large part to his development of pictorial strategies—an epistolary mode of address—marked by a direct, intimate appeal to the viewer, an appeal that also acknowledged the distance and delay that defers the message before it can reach its recipient. As images, often in the form of prints, coursed through an open market, and artists lost direct control over the sale and reception of their work, Germany’s chief printmaker navigated the new terrain by creating in his images a balance between legibility and concealment, intimacy and public address.
[more]

front cover of American Railroads
American Railroads
Decline and Renaissance in the Twentieth Century
Robert E. Gallamore and John R. Meyer
Harvard University Press, 2014

Once an icon of American industry, railroads fell into a long decline beginning around the turn of the twentieth century. Overburdened with regulation and often displaced by barge traffic on government-maintained waterways, trucking on interstate highways, and jet aviation, railroads measured their misfortune in lost market share, abandoned track, bankruptcies, and unemployment. Today, however, as Robert Gallamore and John Meyer demonstrate, rail transportation is reviving, rescued by new sources of traffic and advanced technology, as well as less onerous bureaucracy.

In 1970, Congress responded to the industry's plight by consolidating most passenger rail service nationwide into Amtrak. But private-sector freight service was left to succeed or fail on its own. The renaissance in freight traffic began in 1980 with the Staggers Rail Act, which allowed railroad companies to contract with customers for services and granted freedom to set most rates based on market supply and demand. Railroads found new business hauling low-sulfur coal and grain long distances in redesigned freight cars, while double-stacked container cars moved a growing volume of both international and domestic goods. Today, trains have smaller crews, operate over better track, and are longer and heavier than ever before.

Near the end of the twentieth century, after several difficult but important mergers, privately owned railroads increased their investments in safe, energy-efficient, environmentally friendly freight transportation. American Railroads tells a riveting story about how this crucial U.S. industry managed to turn itself around.

[more]

logo for Harvard University Press
Andrea del Sarto
S. J. Freedberg
Harvard University Press, 1963

Sydney J. Freedberg presents an interpretive analysis and a full Catalogue Raisonné of Andrea del Sarto’s achievement. The interpretive work includes an account of Andrea’s career as a painter, illustrations of all his authentic paintings and many of his drawings, a brief biography, and a selective bibliography. The painter’s style and its place in the history of Italian painting are discussed in detail. The author questions current concepts of a sudden “triumph of Mannerism” in Florence after 1520 and presents a more balanced interpretation of this era.

The Catalogue Raisonné includes a complete critical catalogue of Andrea’s paintings and drawings, an inventory of lost works, and a full account of paintings and drawings attributed to the artist. Documentary information on Andrea’s life and the details of dating and attribution which are the basis for the interpretive text are also included. The illustrations in this volume supplement those in the interpretive work and will be of particular interest to scholars and art historians.

[more]

logo for Harvard University Press
Andrea del Sarto
S. J. Freedberg
Harvard University Press, 1963

Sydney J. Freedberg presents an interpretive analysis and a full Catalogue Raisonné of Andrea del Sarto’s achievement. The interpretive work includes an account of Andrea’s career as a painter, illustrations of all his authentic paintings and many of his drawings, a brief biography, and a selective bibliography. The painter’s style and its place in the history of Italian painting are discussed in detail. The author questions current concepts of a sudden “triumph of Mannerism” in Florence after 1520 and presents a more balanced interpretation of this era.

The Catalogue Raisonné includes a complete critical catalogue of Andrea’s paintings and drawings, an inventory of lost works, and a full account of paintings and drawings attributed to the artist. Documentary information on Andrea’s life and the details of dating and attribution which are the basis for the interpretive text are also included. The illustrations in this volume supplement those in the interpretive work and will be of particular interest to scholars and art historians.

[more]

front cover of Angelinetum and Other Poems
Angelinetum and Other Poems
Giovanni Marrasio
Harvard University Press, 2016

Giovanni Marrasio (d. 1452), a humanist poet from Noto in Sicily, spent the major part of his poetic career in Siena and Ferrara before returning to Palermo in the role of a medical doctor serving the University of Palermo. In Siena, Naples, and Palermo he hovered on the edge of the courts of the Este and of Alfonso “the Magnanimous” of Aragon without ever winning the title of court poet he coveted.

Marrasio was esteemed in the Renaissance as the first to revive the ancient Latin elegy, and his Angelinetum, or “Angelina’s Garden,” as well as his later poems (Carmina Varia) explore that genre in all its variety, from love poetry, to a description of a court masque, to political panegyric, to poetic exchanges with famous humanists of the day such as Leonardo Bruni, Maffeo Vegio, Antonio Panormita, and Enea Silvio Piccolomini. This volume contains the first translation of Marrasio’s works into any modern language.

[more]

front cover of The Anonymous Renaissance
The Anonymous Renaissance
Cultures of Discretion in Tudor-Stuart England
Marcy L. North
University of Chicago Press, 2003
"The Anonymous Renaissance offers a paradigm-shifting look at print culture in early modern England. North demonstrates through sound historical discussions and readings that anonymity was one of the defining practices of Renaissance authorship. It is difficult to overstate the originality and importance of this new study."-Jennifer Summit, Stanford University

The Renaissance was in many ways the beginning of modern and self-conscious authorship, a time when individual genius was celebrated and an author's name could become a book trade commodity. Why, then, did anonymous authorship flourish during the Renaissance rather than disappear? In addressing this puzzle, Marcy L. North reveals the rich history and popularity of anonymity during this period.

The book trade, she argues, created many intriguing and paradoxical uses for anonymity, even as the authorial name became more marketable. Among ecclesiastical debaters, for instance, anonymity worked to conceal identity, but it could also be used to identify the moral character of the author being concealed. In court and coterie circles, meanwhile, authors turned name suppression into a tool for the preservation of social boundaries. Finally, in both print and manuscript, anonymity promised to liberate an authentic female voice, and yet made it impossible to authenticate the gender of an author. In sum, the writers and book producers who helped to create England's literary culture viewed anonymity as a meaningful and useful practice.

Written with clarity and grace, The Anonymous Renaissance will fill a prominent gap in the study of authorship and English literary history.
[more]

front cover of Apollo and Vulcan
Apollo and Vulcan
The Art Markets in Italy, 1400-1700
Guido Guerzoni
Michigan State University Press, 2011
Guido Guerzoni presents the results of fifteen years of research into one of the more hotly debated topics among historians of art and of economics: the history of art markets. Dedicating equal attention to current thought in the fields of economics, economic history, and art history, Guerzoni offers a broad and far-reaching analysis of the Italian scene, highlighting the existence of different forms of commercial interchange and diverse kinds of art markets. In doing so he ranges beyond painting and sculpture, to examine as well the economic drivers behind architecture, decorative and sumptuary arts, and performing or ephemeral events.
     Organized by thematic areas (the ethics and psychology of consumption, an analysis of the demand, labor markets, services, prices, laws) that cover a large chronological period (from the 15th through the 17th century), various geographical areas, and several institution typologies, this book offers an exhaustive and up-to-date study of an increasingly fascinating topic.
[more]

front cover of Architectural Involutions
Architectural Involutions
Writing, Staging, and Building Space, c. 1435-1650
Mimi Yiu
Northwestern University Press, 2014

Winner of the MLA Prize for Independent Scholars

Taking the reader on an inward journey from façades to closets, from physical to psychic space, Architectural Involutions offers an alternative genealogy of theater by revealing how innovations in architectural writing and practice transformed an early modern sense of interiority. The book launches from a matrix of related “platforms”—a term that in early modern usage denoted scaffolds, stages, and draftsmen’s sketches—to situate Alberti, Shakespeare, Jonson, and others within a landscape of spatial and visual change.

As the English house underwent a process of inward folding, replacing a logic of central assembly with one of dissemination, the subject who negotiated this new scenography became a flashpoint of conflict in both domestic and theatrical arenas. Combining theory with archival findings, Mimi Yiu reveals an emergent desire to perform subjectivity, to unfold an interior face to an admiring public. Highly praised for its lucid writing, comprehensive supplementary material, and engaging tone, Architectural Involutions was the winner of the 2016 MLA Prize for Independent Scholars.

[more]

front cover of The Architecture of the Italian Renaissance
The Architecture of the Italian Renaissance
Jacob Burckhardt
University of Chicago Press, 1987
"There may not be any book on architecture so delightful to dip into; one wishes there were a pocket edition to take on an Italian vacation—not only for its information and vision but for such pleasant reminders as that the citizens of Treviso carried Tullio Lombardo's friezes through the town in triumph before they were attached to a building."—D. J. R. Bruckner, New York Times Book Review
[more]

logo for Harvard University Press
Ariosto and the Arabs
Contexts for the Orlando Furioso
Mario Casari, Monica Preti, and Michael Wya
Harvard University Press

Among the most dynamic and influential literary texts of the European sixteenth century, Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso (1532) emerged from a world whose horizons were rapidly changing. The poem is a prism through which to examine various links in the chain of interactions that characterized the Mediterranean region from late antiquity through the medieval period into early modernity and beyond. Ariosto and the Arabs takes as its point of departure Jorge Luis Borges’s celebrated short poem “Ariosto y los Arabes” (1960), wherein the Furioso acts as the hinge of a past and future literary culture circulating between Europe and the Middle East. The Muslim “Saracen”—protagonist of both historical conflict and cultural exchange—represents the essential “Other” in Ariosto’s work, but Orlando Furioso also engages with the wider network of linguistic, political, and faith communities that defined the Mediterranean basin of its time.

The sixteen contributions assembled here, produced by a diverse group of scholars who work on Europe, Africa, and Asia, encompass several intertwined areas of analysis—philology, religious and social history, cartography, material and figurative arts, and performance—to shed new light on the relational systems generated by and illustrative of Ariosto’s great poem.

[more]

logo for Harvard University Press
Aristotle and the Renaissance
Charles B. Schmitt
Harvard University Press, 1983
This cogent essay explores a hitherto unstudied aspect of Renaissance intellectual history and refines our understanding of the impact of Greek philosophy on Western thought. It is generally recognized that Aristotle was a touchstone for the learned world in the Middle Ages. Charles Schmitt shows here that what happened in the following centuries was not a mere continuation of the medieval tradition but a vital new development, influenced by the ideas of this era of ferment. He samples the response to Aristotle during the Renaissance, viewing the writings of Catholics and Protestants, humanists, scholastics, and scientists; he surveys the different kinds of works from which Renaissance readers learned their Aristotle; and he looks at the extent to which Aristotelians assimilated other modes of thought in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and early seventeenth centuries. Schmitt's analysis offers intellectual historians a corrected picture of this important period.
[more]

front cover of Armies and Ecosystems in Premodern Europe
Armies and Ecosystems in Premodern Europe
The Meuse Region, 1250-1850
Sander Govaerts
Arc Humanities Press, 2021
Using the ecosystem concept as his starting point, the author examines the complex relationship between premodern armed forces and their environment at three levels: landscapes, living beings, and diseases. The study focuses on Europe’s Meuse Region, well-known among historians of war as a battleground between France and Germany. By analyzing soldiers’ long-term interactions with nature, this book engages with current debates about the ecological impact of the military, and provides new impetus for contemporary armed forces to make greater effort to reduce their environmental footprint.
[more]

front cover of Arms and the Woman
Arms and the Woman
Classical Tradition and Women Writers in the Venetian Renaissance
Francesca D'Alessandro Behr
The Ohio State University Press, 2018

Arms and the Woman: Classical Tradition and Women Writers in the Venetian Renaissance by Francesca D’Alessandro Behr focuses on the classical reception in the works of female authors active in Venice during the Early Modern Age. Even in this relatively liberal city, women had restricted access to education and were subject to deep-seated cultural prejudices, but those who read and wrote were able, in part, to overcome those limitations.
 
In this study, Behr explores the work of Moderata Fonte and Lucrezia Marinella and demonstrates how they used knowledge of texts by Virgil, Ovid, and Aristotle to systematically reanalyze the biased patterns apparent both in the romance epic genre and contemporary society. Whereas these classical texts were normally used to bolster the belief in female inferiority and the status quo, Fonte and Marinella used them to envision societies structured according to new, egalitarian ethics. Reflecting on the humanist representation of virtue, Fonte and Marinella insisted on the importance of peace, mercy, and education for women. These authors took up the theme of the equality of genders and participated in the Renaissance querelle des femmes, promoting women’s capabilities and nature.
 
[more]

front cover of Art and Curiosity Cabinets of the Late Renaissance
Art and Curiosity Cabinets of the Late Renaissance
A Contribution to the History of Collecting
Julius von Schlosser
J. Paul Getty Trust, The, 2021

For the first time, the pioneering book that launched the study of art and curiosity cabinets is available in English.

Julius von Schlosser’s Die Kunst- und Wunderkammern der Spätrenaissance (Art and Curiosity Cabinets of the Late Renaissance) is a seminal work in the history of art and collecting. Originally published in German in 1908, it was the first study to interpret sixteenth- and seventeenth-century cabinets of wonder as precursors to the modern museum, situating them within a history of collecting going back to Greco-Roman antiquity. In its comparative approach and broad geographical scope, Schlosser’s book introduced an interdisciplinary and global perspective to the study of art and material culture, laying the foundation for museum studies and the history of collections. Schlosser was an Austrian professor, curator, museum director, and leading figure of the Vienna School of art history whose work has not achieved the prominence of his contemporaries until now.
 
This eloquent and informed translation is preceded by Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann’s substantial introduction. Tracing Schlosser’s biography and intellectual formation in Vienna at the turn of the twentieth century, it contextualizes his work among that of his contemporaries, offering a wealth of insights along the way.

[more]

front cover of The Art and Government Service of Francesco di Bartolomeo Alfei (c. 1421 - c. 1495)
The Art and Government Service of Francesco di Bartolomeo Alfei (c. 1421 - c. 1495)
Visual Propaganda and Undercover Agency for the Republic of Siena
Anabel Thomas
Amsterdam University Press, 2023
In 1454 the Sienese painter Francesco di Bartolomeo Alfei faced litigation from the Mercanzia in Siena for defaulting on a contract from one of the leading Franciscan confraternities in the city. Two fellow Sienese artists, Giovanni di Paolo and Sano di Pietro, had recently completed a new altarpiece for the same entity. Anabel Thomas considers how the two commissions were linked and questions why Francesco di Bartolomeo Alfei’s brief to fresco the confraternity chapel remained unfinished. In a wide ranging analysis of mainly unpublished records, focussing on the artist’s association with key members of Sienese society, fellow artisans and government officials, Thomas concludes that Francesco di Bartolomeo Alfei might have honoured his contract had he not become immersed in the military strategy, diplomacy and visual propaganda of the Republic of Siena. +
[more]

front cover of Art and Ocean Objects of Early Modern Eurasia
Art and Ocean Objects of Early Modern Eurasia
Shells, Bodies, and Materiality
Anna K Grasskamp
Amsterdam University Press, 2021
During the early modern period, objects of maritime material culture were removed from their places of origin and traded, collected and displayed worldwide. Focusing on shells and pearls exchanged within local and global networks, this monograph compares and connects Asian, in particular Chinese, and European practices of oceanic exploitation in the framework of a transcultural history of art with an understanding of maritime material culture as gendered. Perceiving the ocean as mother of all things, as womb and birthplace, Chinese and European artists and collectors exoticized and eroticized shells’ shapes and surfaces. Defining China and Europe as spaces entangled with South and Southeast Asian sites of knowledge production, source and supply between 1500 and 1700, the book understands oceanic goods and maritime networks as transcending and subverting territorial and topographical boundaries. It also links the study of globally connected port cities to local ecologies of oceanic exploitation and creative practices.
[more]

front cover of Art and Witchcraft in Early Modern Italy
Art and Witchcraft in Early Modern Italy
Guy Tal
Amsterdam University Press, 2024
The figure of the witch is familiar from the work of early modern German, Dutch, and Flemish artists, but much less so in the work of their Italian counterparts. Art and Witchcraft in Early Modern Italy seeks to explore the ways in which representations of witchcraft emerged from and coincided with the main cultural currents and artistic climate of an epoch chiefly celebrated for its humanistic and rational approaches. Through an in-depth examination of a panoply of arresting paintings, engravings, and drawings—variously portraying a hag-ridden colossal phallus, a horror-stricken necromancer dodging the devil’s scrabbling claws, and a nocturnal procession presided over by an infanticidal crone—Guy Tal offers new ways of reading witchcraft images through and beyond conventional iconography. Artists such as Parmigianino, Alessandro Allori, Leonello Spada, and Angelo Caroselli effected visual commentaries on demonological notions that engaged their audience in a tantalizing experience of interpretation.
[more]

front cover of The Art of Conjecture
The Art of Conjecture
Nicholas of Cusa on Knowledge
Clyde Lee Miller
Catholic University of America Press, 2021
“Learned ignorance,” the recognition that God is beyond us and our knowing capacities is the theological concept for which Nicholas of Cusa is most famous. Despite God’s apparent absence Nicholas offers original ways to think about God that would unite his presence with his absence. He called these proposals “conjectures” (coniecturae). Conjecture and conjecturing are central to the methodology of Nicholas’s philosophical theology and to his thinking about human knowledge. By using concrete examples from the everyday life of his times as symbolic imagery Nicholas makes what we say about God imaginatively available and theoretically plausible. He called such conjectural symbols “aenigmata” (= “symbolic or ‘enigmatic’ conjectures”) because they partially clarify and likewise point to an exact truth that is beyond us. Novel and imaginative, Nicholas’s conjectural examples break with the traditional medieval Aristotelian examples and provide further evidence of his role as a figure bridging medieval and Renaissance thought. Following his earlier book, Reading Cusanus (The Catholic University of America Press, 2003), Clyde Lee Miller here examines and comments on the meaning of “conjecture” in Nicholas of Cusa. The Art of Conjecture: Nicholas of Cusa on Knowledge explores what Nicholas meant by conjecture and its import as demonstrated in his treatises and sermons. Beginning with Nicholas’ On Conjectures, Miller analyzes a series of conjectural symbols and proposals across Nicholas’s less frequently discussed texts and recently published sermons. This early Renaissance thinker offers an original and ground-breaking way of framing speculation in philosophical theology and more generally in philosophy itself.
[more]

front cover of Art of Death
Art of Death
Visual Culture in the English Death Ritual c.1500 - c.1800
Nigel Llewellyn
Reaktion Books, 1991
How did our ancestors die? Whereas in our own day the subject of death is usually avoided, in pre-Industrial England the rituals and processes of death were present and immediate. People not only surrounded themselves with memento mori, they also sought to keep alive memories of those who had gone before. This continual confrontation with death was enhanced by a rich culture of visual artifacts. In The Art of Death, Nigel Llewellyn explores the meanings behind an astonishing range of these artifacts, and describes the attitudes and practices which lay behind their production and use.

Illustrated and explained in this book are an array of little-known objects and images such as death's head spoons, jewels and swords, mourning-rings and fans, wax effigies, church monuments, Dance of Death prints, funeral invitations and ephemera, as well as works by well-known artists, including Holbein, Hogarth and Blake.
[more]

front cover of The Art of Experiment
The Art of Experiment
Parmigianino at The Courtauld
Edited by Ketty Gottardo and Guido Rebecchini
Paul Holberton Publishing, 2022
A showcase of the Courtauld Gallery’s outstanding Parmigianino collection.

Accompanying an exhibition at London’s Courtauld Gallery, this stunning catalog presents works by the Renaissance artist Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, better known as Parmigianino (1503–1540).

Fundamentally a draftsman at heart, Parmigianino drew relentlessly during his relatively short life, and around a thousand of his drawings have survived. The Courtauld’s collection comprises twenty-four sheets. In preparation for the catalog, new photography and technical examinations have been carried out on all the works, revealing two new drawings that were previously unknown, hidden underneath their historic mounts. They have also helped to better identify connections between some of the drawings and the finished paintings for which they were conceived. This stunning illustrated catalog presents the whole Courtauld collection and sheds light on an artist who approached every technique with unprecedented freedom and produced innovative works that are still admired by artists and collectors today.
[more]

front cover of The Art of the Network
The Art of the Network
Strategic Interaction and Patronage in Renaissance Florence
Paul D. McLean
Duke University Press, 2007
Writing letters to powerful people to win their favor and garner rewards such as political office, tax relief, and recommendations was an institution in Renaissance Florence; the practice was an important tool for those seeking social mobility, security, and recognition by others. In this detailed study of political and social patronage in fifteenth-century Florence, Paul D. McLean shows that patronage was much more than a pursuit of specific rewards. It was also a pursuit of relationships and of a self defined in relation to others. To become independent in Renaissance Florence, one first had to become connected. With The Art of the Network, McLean fills a gap in sociological scholarship by tracing the historical antecedents of networking and examining the concept of self that accompanies it. His analysis of patronage opens into a critique of contemporary theories about social networks and social capital, and an exploration of the sociological meaning of “culture.”

McLean scrutinized thousands of letters to and from Renaissance Florentines. He describes the social protocols the letters reveal, paying particular attention to the means by which Florentines crafted credible presentations of themselves. The letters, McLean contends, testify to the development not only of new forms of self-presentation but also of a new kind of self to be presented: an emergent, “modern” conception of self as an autonomous agent. They also bring to the fore the importance that their writers attached to concepts of honor, and the ways that they perceived themselves in relation to the Florentine state.

[more]

front cover of Art, Politics, and Development
Art, Politics, and Development
Philipp H Lepenies
Temple University Press, 2013
In his groundbreaking study, Art, Politics and Development, Philipp Lepenies contributes to the ongoing controversy about why the track record of development aid is so dismal. He asserts that development aid policies are grounded in a specific way of literally looking at the world. This “worldview” is the result of a mental conditioning that began with the invention of linear perspective in Renaissance art. It not only triggered the emergence of modern science and brought forth our Western notion of progress, but ultimately, development as well.
Art, Politics, and Development examines this process by pulling from a range of disciplines, including art history, philosophy, literature, and social science. Lepenies not only explains the shortcomings of modern aid in a novel fashion, he also proposes how aid could be done differently.

In the series Politics, History and Social Change, edited by John C. Torpey
[more]

front cover of Artemisia Gentileschi and Feminism in Early Modern Europe
Artemisia Gentileschi and Feminism in Early Modern Europe
Mary D. Garrard
Reaktion Books, 2023
An accessible introduction to the life of the seventeenth-century's most celebrated women artists, now in paperback.

Artemisia Gentileschi is by far the most famous woman artist of the premodern era. Her art addressed issues that resonate today, such as sexual violence and women’s problematic relationship to political power. Her powerful paintings with vigorous female protagonists chime with modern audiences, and she is celebrated by feminist critics and scholars.
 
This book breaks new ground by placing Gentileschi in the context of women’s political history. Mary D. Garrard, noted Gentileschi scholar, shows that the artist most likely knew or knew about contemporary writers such as the Venetian feminists Lucrezia Marinella and Arcangela Tarabotti. She discusses recently discovered paintings, offers fresh perspectives on known works, and examines the artist anew in the context of feminist history. This beautifully illustrated book gives for the first time a full portrait of a strong woman artist who fought back through her art.
[more]

front cover of Artisans, Objects and Everyday Life in Renaissance Italy
Artisans, Objects and Everyday Life in Renaissance Italy
The Material Culture of the Middling Class
Paula Hohti Erichsen
Amsterdam University Press, 2020
Did ordinary Italians have a ‘Renaissance’? This book presents the first in-depth exploration of how artisans and small local traders experienced the material and cultural Renaissance. Drawing on a rich blend of sixteenthcentury visual and archival evidence, it examines how individuals and families at artisanal levels (such as shoemakers, barbers, bakers and innkeepers) lived and worked, managed their household economies and consumption, socialised in their homes, and engaged with the arts and the markets for luxury goods. It demonstrates that although the economic and social status of local craftsmen and traders was relatively low, their material possessions show how these men and women who rarely make it into the history books were fully engaged with contemporary culture, cultural customs and the urban way of life.
[more]

front cover of Aspects of the Renaissance
Aspects of the Renaissance
Edited by Archibald R. Lewis
University of Texas Press, 1967

The Renaissance has long posed a problem to scholars. It has been generalized as an emergence of intellect and will in all fields of human endeavor, but because it is diversely manifested in varying attitudes and forms at various times in the Western world, this vast era of Western European history has resisted definitive boundaries.

To help clarify the problems inherent in the study of the Renaissance and its relationship to the preceding and subsequent historical periods, an international conference was held in Austin, Texas, in April, 1964, jointly sponsored by the South Central Renaissance Conference and The University of Texas. The ten papers here presented reveal how during the symposium leading scholars representing several academic disciplines shared their approaches and insights into the politics, economics, science, literature, art, music, philosophy, and religion of this complex era.

[more]

front cover of At the Margins
At the Margins
Minority Groups in Premodern Italy
Stephen J. Milner
University of Minnesota Press, 2005
Slaves, foundlings, prostitutes, nuns, homosexuals, exiles, the elderly, and mountain communities - such groups stood at the margins of society in premodern Italy. But where precisely the margins were was not so easily determined. Examining these minorities as the buffer zones between more readily recognizable centers, At the Margins explores identity as a process rather than a fixed entity, stressing the multiplicity of groups to which individuals belonged. By tracing the shifting relations of social margins to centers in Italy between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries - and showing how these shifts in turn relate to social order and identity formation - the authors challenge entrenched ideas about the nature of the Renaissance and its role in shaping modernity. Behind much cultural theory lies a critique of the centrality of modernity and its foundations in the discourse of Renaissance humanism. And yet, as this volume reveals, the insights of contemporary cultural theory serve to expose the flaws in this picture of cultural hegemony and, in decentering the Renaissance, return it to the heart of cultural debate.
[more]


Send via email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter