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Some sixty years after the Spanish conquest of Mexico, a group of Nahua intellectuals in Mexico City set about compiling an extensive book of miscellanea, which was recorded in pictorial form with alphabetic texts in Nahuatl clarifying some imagery or adding new information altogether. This manuscript, known as the Codex Mexicanus, includes records pertaining to the Aztec and Christian calendars, European medical astrology, a genealogy of the Tenochca royal house, and an annals history of pre-conquest Tenochtitlan and early colonial Mexico City, among other topics. Though filled with intriguing information, the Mexicanus has long defied a comprehensive scholarly analysis, surely due to its disparate contents. In this pathfinding volume, Lori Boornazian Diel presents the first thorough study of the entire Codex Mexicanus that considers its varied contents in a holistic manner. She provides an authoritative reading of the Mexicanus's contents and explains what its creation and use reveal about native reactions to and negotiations of colonial rule in Mexico City. Diel makes sense of the codex by revealing how its miscellaneous contents find counterparts in Spanish books called Reportorios de los tiempos. Based on the medieval almanac tradition, Reportorios contain vast assortments of information related to the issue of time, as does the Mexicanus. Diel masterfully demonstrates that, just as Reportorios were used as guides to living in early modern Spain, likewise the Codex Mexicanus provided its Nahua audience a guide to living in colonial New Spain.
Over the course of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, European society confronted rapid monetization, a process that has been examined in depth by economic historians. Less well understood is the development of architecture to meet the needs of a burgeoning mercantile economy in the Late Middle Ages and early modern period. In this volume, Lauren Jacobi explores some of the repercussions of early capitalism through a study of the location and types of spaces that were used for banking and minting in Florence and other mercantile centers in Europe. Examining the historical relationships between banks and religious behavior, she also analyzes how urban geographies and architectural forms reveal moral attitudes toward money during the onset of capitalism. Jacobi's book offers new insights into the spaces and locations where pre-industrial European banking and minting transpired, as well as the impact of religious concerns and financial tools on those sites.
In art history, we tend to be on first name terms only with the most revered of masters. The Renaissance painter and architect Raphael Santi (1483-1520) is one such star. The man we call simply Raphael has for centuries been hailed as a supreme Renaissance artist. For some, he even outstrips his equally famous, equally first-named, contemporaries, Leonardo and Michelangelo. From 1500 to 1508, Raphael worked throughout central Italy, particularly in Florence where he secured his reputation as a painter of portraits and beautifully rendered Madonnas, archetypical icons within the Catholic faith. In 1508 he was summoned to Rome by Pope Julius II and later embarked on an ambitious mural scheme for the Stanza della Segnatura in the Vatican. Within this room, Raphael's The School of Athens is considered a paradigm of the High Renaissance, merging Classical philosophy with perfected perspectival space, animated figures, and a composition of majestic balance. This essential introduction explores how in just two decades of work, Raphael painted his way to legendary greatness. With highlights from his prolific output, it presents the mastery of figures and forms that secured his place not only in the trinity of Renaissance luminaries but also among the most esteemed artists of all time.
The reputation of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) as an inventor and scientist, and his complex personality, have sometimes almost overshadowed the importance of his aims and techniques as a painter. This exquisite book focuses on a crucial period in the 1480s and 90s when, as a salaried court artist to Duke Ludovico Sforza in the city-state of Milan--freed from the pressures of making a living in the commercially minded Florentine republic--Leonardo produced some of the most celebrated and influential works of his career. "The Last Supper," his two versions of "The Virgin of the Rocks," and "The Lady with an Ermine" (a beautiful portrait of Cecilia Gallerani, Ludovico's mistress) were paintings that set a new standard for his Milanese contemporaries. Leonardo's style was magnified, through collaboration and imitation, to become the visual language of the regime, and by the time he returned to Florence in 1500, his status had been utterly transformed.
This new examination of Leonardo's painting career and his lasting impact on Italian Renaissance style features works from U.S., British, and European collections. Collectively, they represent the diverse range of his artistic output, from drawings in chalk, ink, and metalpoint to full-scale oil paintings. Together with the authors' meticulous research and detailed analysis, they demonstrate Leonardo's consummate skill and extraordinary ambition as a painter.
This book brings together essays about painting in Venice during three centuries of remarkable artistic production, influence, and exchange. The chronological scope of the anthology reflects the crucial interrelationship between the life of the arts and the republic, but also indicates the longevity of the distinctive, but not in the least isolated, mode of making and looking that engaged painters and viewers both inside and outside of Venice. The focused themes that emerge in the essays-the artist's self-perception, the role of innovation and tradition in formal and material aspects of pictorial composition, the artistic exchange between Venice and other cities, both east and west, and the unique political and social pressures on artistic production and reception-reflect the Venetian engagement with many of the central concerns that preoccupied early modern artists. The dialogue established between Venetian art and society underpins all of the essays in the anthology; however, their critical focus remains on the formal, stylistic, and structural aspects of the pictures and how these visual mechanisms express meaning and shape viewer response.
This study brings together leading scholars from Europe and the United States to consider the art of Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/98-1543) from a variety of perspectives and disciplines. Generously illustrated and based on the most up-to-date research, the book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in Holbein the Younger and his magnificent art. In chapters relating to artistic exchange, the contributors discuss what Holbein knew of French and Italian art and how he utilized this knowledge. Conservation and technical chapters examine the materials and techniques in the painting The Ambassadors and documentary evidence on a series of festival paintings on canvas. Two contributors examine the artist's woodcuts, particularly Dance of Death, in the light of contemporary political and theological issues. In addition, the historical and theoretical circumstances and contexts of Holbein's portraits are investigated, notably their associations with classical antiquity and its revival in humanist thought. The book also considers the impact of the first scholarly monograph on Holbein's reception and how German Romantic literary art criticism of the early nineteenth century shaped an image of his life and art.
Michelangelo's Last Judgment was the most criticized and discussed painting of the sixteenth century. The subject of the Last Judgment has been a barometer of cultural mood throughout history. It can be interpreted, as Michelangelo did, as the moment when mortals attain immortal bliss or, in more unsettled times, as the terrifying moment when we face the justice of the Lord and are found wanting. The painting must hold in tension admonition and celebration. Michelangelo created his fresco in the final flowering of Renaissance humanism. Four years after its unveiling, the Council of Trent began meeting and the Counter-Reformation was under way. Caught on the cusp of a major shift of values, Michelangelo and his fresco were praised by lovers of art and condemned by conservative churchmen who sought a tool with which to exhort the wavering faithful, tempted to defect to Protestantism. This book explores the context, both historical and biographical, in which the fresco was created and the debates about the style and function of religious art that it generated.
Definitive in its scholarship and thrilling in its scope, this lavishly illustrated volume offers the first book-length study of Luca Signorelli (1450-1523), sometimes described as the "least-known major artist" of the Renaissance. Twenty years of painstaking archival research have produced this portrait of Signorelli in public and private life-an adventurous painter who believed art was divinely inspired, and an affectionate family man who participated energetically in public life. In his paintings-of which the Last Judgement in Orvieto cathedral is his undisputed masterpiece-Signorelli integrated his observations of daily life with a fresh and sensitive approach to representing religious subjects. A student of Piero della Francesca, Signorelli was influential into the early 16th century, though he was ultimately eclipsed by his friends Raphael and Michelangelo. Signorelli's work is represented in museums around the world, and this book now offers new audiences and scholars a complete picture of one of the Renaissance's most significant and intriguing artists.
Objects of beauty and prestige with their rich color and fine detail, early Netherlandish oil paintings were among the most widely sought-after works of the Renaissance. Beginning in the early 15th century with Jan van Eyck, and ending in the mid-16th century with the career of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, this magnificently illustrated book explores the achievements of this glorious and innovative period in Netherlandish painting.
Susan Frances Jones focuses on over 50 selected works from the National Gallery, London collection to illuminate the roles played by paintings in political, domestic, religious, and secular contexts. Drawing on the Gallery's remarkable research into materials and techniques, she describes how painters' working and creative practices changed and shifted over time. The author also considers whether Northern European artists, like some of their counterparts, laid claim to intellectual as well as artistic sophistication.
In this book, Robert Maniura explores the role and importance of the miraculous image in the art and devotional practices of Renaissance Italy. Using the records of Giuliano Guizzelmi, a Tuscan lawyer, he focuses on his stories of miracles of local shrines, including Santa Maria delle Carceri, a painting of the Virgin Mary on a wall of the town prison, and the relic of her belt in the Prato Cathedral. Guizzelmi's stories build a powerful picture of the visual culture of the period, involving images that were kissed, worn and applied to sick bodies in rituals of healing. They also place his devotional activity in the context of his everyday life. Moreover, the paintings of Guizzelmi's burial chapel also engage with contemporary pictorial conventions and show how his concerns can inform our understanding of contemporary art, notably the works of his late fifteenth-century contemporaries, Ghirlandaio, Perugino and Filippino Lippi.
This book presents and explore s the Waddesdon Bequest, the name given to the Kunstkammer or cabinet collection of Renaissance treasures which was bequeathed to the British Museum by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, MP in 1898. The Bequest is named after Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, a fairy tale French chateau built by Baron Ferdinand fro m 1874 - 83, where the collection was housed during his lifetime. As a major Jewish banking family, the Rothschilds were the greatest collectors of the nineteenth century, seeking not only the finest craftsmanship in their treasures, but also demonstrating g reat discernment and a keen sense of historical importance in selecting them. Baron Ferdinand's aim, often working in rivalry with his cousins, was to possess a special room filled with splendid, precious and intricate objects in the tradition of European courts of the Renaissance and Baroque periods . It was understood at the time that a collection of this quality could never be formed again, given the rarity and expense of the pieces, and the problems of faking and forgery of just this kind of material. T he book will unlock the history and romance of this glorious collection through its exploration of some of its greatest treasures and the stories they tell. It will introduce makers and patrons, virtuoso craftsmanship, faking and the history of collecting from the late medieval to modern periods, as told through the objects . Treasures discussed will include masterpieces of goldsmiths' work in silver ; jewellery ; hardstones and engraved rock crystal; astonishing microcarvings in boxwood, painted enamel, ceram ic and glass; arms and armour and `curosities': exotic treasures incorporating ostrich eggs, Seychelles nut, amber or nautilus shell. Scholarly catalogues have appeared for parts of this splendid collection but this book will open up the Bequest for the g eneral reader. By looking at individual objects in detail, and drawing on new photography and research, the book will enable readers to see and understand the objects in a completely different light.
Botticelli is one of the most admired artists of the Renaissance period and his seductive Venus and graceful Primavera are among the world's most recognisable works of art. This catalogue raisonne of Botticelli's paintings offers more than two hundred full-colour illustrations and meticulous scholarship by the distinguished Renaissance art historian Frank Zollner , described by The Financial Times, when reviewing this book's previous edition, as "a fabulous, accessible scholar; his book has luscious reproductions and exquisite detail." Presented in chronological order, the facts of Botticelli's life and career are insightfully discussed against the background of the artistic upheaval that marked the Renaissance period. The artist's reinterpretations of ancient myths as well as his religious paintings are thoughtfully explored in this sumptuously illustrated volume, which will please scholars and delight lovers of fine art books everywhere.
A comprehensive survey examining the vibrant and sumptuous art of illumination during a period of profound intellectual and cultural transformation Hand-painted illumination enlivened the burgeoning culture of the book in the Italian Renaissance, spanning the momentous shift from manuscript production to print. This major survey, by a leading authority on medieval and renaissance book illumination, gives the first comprehensive account in English of an immensely creative and relatively little-studied art form. Jonathan J. G. Alexander describes key illuminated manuscripts and printed books from the period and explores the social and material worlds in which they were produced. Renaissance humanism encouraged wealthy members of the laity to join the clergy as readers and book collectors. Illuminators responded to patrons' developing interest in classical motifs, and celebrated artists such as Mantegna and Perugino occasionally worked as illuminators. Italian illuminated books found patronage across Europe, their dispersion hastened by the French invasion of Italy at the end of the 15th century. Richly illustrated, The Painted Book in Renaissance Italy is essential reading for all scholars and students of Renaissance art.
Michelangelo is universally recognized to be one of the greatest
artists of all time. In this vividly written biography, William E.
Wallace offers a substantially new view of the artist. Not only a
supremely gifted sculptor, painter, architect, and poet,
Michelangelo was also an aristocrat who firmly believed in the
ancient and noble origins of his family. The belief in his
patrician status fueled his lifelong ambition to improve his family
s financial situation and to raise the social standing of artists.
Michelangelo s ambitions are evident in his writing, dress, and
comportment, as well as in his ability to befriend, influence, and
occasionally say no to popes, kings, and princes. Written from the
words of Michelangelo and his contemporaries, this biography not
only tells his own stories but also brings to life the culture and
society of Renaissance Florence and Rome. Not since Irving Stone s
novel The Agony and the Ecstasy has there been such a compelling
and human portrayal of this remarkable yet credible human
Giovanni Bellini (active c. 1459; died 1516) was one of the most innovative and influential painters of the Venetian Renaissance and was among the first Italian artists to paint in oil, rather than the more traditional medium of egg tempera. This special edition of the National Gallery Technical Bulletin offers a revelatory in-depth investigation of Bellini's technique, and how it evolved over more than five decades, through an examination of the artist's works in the National Gallery's collection. With twelve focused entries on specific paintings, including masterpieces such as The Agony in the Garden and Doge Leonardo Loredan, this volume is full of new and exciting discoveries that expand our understanding of Bellini's painting practice. In addition, there is an account of the long and challenging restoration of The Assassination of Saint Peter Martyr and an introductory essay that places Bellini's technical achievements in the context of Venetian painting of the 15th century, including his early training with his father, Jacopo; his working relationship with his brother, Gentile, and brother-in-law, Andrea Mantegna; and the practices of Giovanni's own workshop.
"Saint James Freeing Hermogenes," an important painting by one of the world's most beloved Renaissance artists, was privately owned and rarely seen until two decades ago, when it was acquired by the Kimbell Art Museum. Now an eminent authority reviews previous studies on this beautiful Fra Angelico painting and draws on new technical and archival research to provide a more precise reconstruction of its original format and context. In analyzing this painting, Laurence Kanter reexamines and confirms Fra Angelico's status as a pioneer of the new representational style championed in Florence in the early fifteenth century by Brunelleschi, Masaccio, and Donatello, and he shows why he was one of the great artistic minds of his age. Kanter presents both detailed information for students and an introduction for the general reader to the methods and procedures of reconstructing and interpreting history when little contemporary written testimony survives.
The Spanish artist Diego Velazquez (1599 - 1660) was one of the mo st important painters of the Golden Age. Taking as its starting point a group of masterly children's portraits from the high - profile collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, this opulent volume shows a representative cross - section of Velazquez 's oeuvre, which also includes kitchen still lifes, religious subjects, mythological themes and history paintings. As the court painter of King Philip IV of Spain, Diego Velazquez advanced to become one of the outstanding portraitists of his time. Through their modern and psychologically profound representation of the subject, his likenesses remain an experience for the viewer to this day. Above all the Spanish master's highly individual view of man and his world make his paintings stand out among contempor ary works and render him unique. With contributions by renowned specialists the volume shows Velazquez's development as a painter and traces his uniqueness through comparisons with works by famous contemporarie
This catalogue presents more than fifty masterful Italian drawings from the 16th and 17th centuries: working drawings, preparatory sketches, and finished compositions that have been added in recent years to the private collection of Jean and Steven Goldman. In her essay, Jean Goldman assesses the role of drawing in the business of art, and the collection within the context of Mannerism. She and Nicolas Schwed coauthor detailed entries on the works' attributions, subjects, and functions, complete with documentation including provenance, bibliography, exhibition history, and comparative illustrations. The catalogue presents the work of more than forty artists, some of whom, such as Giorgio Vasari and Pietro da Cortona, were major figures, and others who were virtually unknown. Together, these magnificent works trace the rise and evolution of Mannerism in Italy.
Albrecht Durer's prints and drawings have inspired hundreds of artists, both during his life and after his death. Yet his talent as a painter and colorist, and his enthusiasm for the scientific world have not been widely appreciated. Durer's influence was both international and intergenerational-indeed Picasso claimed to have been inspired by the 16th-century artist. Reproduced in stunning detail and including illustrations of Durer's most famous prints and drawings, a catalog raisonne of his paintings, and biographical research, this book presents a Durer for the 21st century. Producing more self-portraits than any other artist of his day; mass marketing his best-selling prints; even inventing his own monogram logo; Albrecht Du rer was commercially astute long before today's generation of self-promoting and financially-savvy artists. There are 55 extant Durer paintings, of which 17 are in dispute. Using scientific research, this book puts all arguments to bed resulting in the definitive catalog raisonne of the paintings. Drawing on in-depth research, this book reveals the truth behind Durer and his art.
This new volume in the series of National Gallery collection catalogues focuses on 16th-century Bologna and Ferrara. The Gallery holds the most important collection of these paintings outside Italy, including works by Garofalo representing his entire range as an artist; exquisite and grotesque miniature narratives by Mazzolino; a large masterpiece by the short-lived genius known as Ortolano; and some of the most dazzling paintings by the eccentric Dosso Dossi. There are two altarpieces by Lorenzo Costa along with his highly original Concert, and Francesco Francia's Buonvisi altarpiece. The book defines the special quality of works from the region, but also traces the influence of Perugino, Raphael, and Titian. New archival and technical research and provenance information reveal the fortunes of artists' reputations across a long arc in the history of taste.
A comprehensive new survey of the work of this most influential Florentine artist and teacher Andrea del Verrocchio (c. 1435-1488) was one of the most versatile and inventive artists of the Italian Renaissance. He created art across media, from his spectacular sculptures and paintings to his work in goldsmithing, architecture, and engineering. His expressive, confident drawings provide a key point of contact between sculpture and painting. He led a vibrant workshop where he taught young artists who later became some of the greatest painters of the period, including Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Lorenzo di Credi, and Domenico Ghirlandaio. This beautifully illustrated book presents a comprehensive survey of Verrocchio's art, spanning his entire career and featuring some fifty sculptures, paintings, and drawings, in addition to works he created with his students. Through incisive scholarly essays, in-depth catalog entries, and breathtaking illustrations, this volume draws on the latest research in art history to show why Verrocchio was one of the most innovative and influential of all Florentine artists. Published in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC Exhibition Schedule National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC September 15, 2019-January 12, 2020
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