The Celestine monks of France represent one of the least studied monastic reform movements of the late Middle Ages, and yet also one of the most culturally impactful. Their order - an austere Italian Benedictine reform of the late thirteenth century, which came be known after the papal name of their founder, Celestine V (St Peter of Murrone) - arrived in France in 1300. After a period of marginal growth, they flourished in the region from the mid-fourteenth century, founding thirteen new houses over the next hundred years, taking their total to seventeen by 1450. Not only did the French Celestines expand, they gained a distinctive character that separated them from their Italian brothers. More urban, better connected with both aristocratic and bourgeois society, and yet still rigorous and reformist, they characterised themselves as the 'Observant' wing of their order, having gained self-government for their provincial congregation in 1380 following the arrival of the Great Western Schism (1378-1417). But, as Robert L.J. Shaw argues, their importance runs beyond monastic reform: the late medieval French Celestines are a mirror of the political, intellectual, and Christian reform culture of their age. Within a France torn by war and a Church divided by schism, the French Celestines represented hope for renewal, influencing royal presentation, lay religion, and some of the leading French intellectuals of the period, including Jean Gerson.
The Church, the Councils, and Reform brings together leading authorities in the field of church history to reflect on the importance of the late medieval councils. This is the first book in English to consider the lasting significance of the period from Constance to Trent (1414-1563) when several councils met to heal the Great Schism (1378) and reform the church.
Margaret King shows what the death of a little boy named Valerio Marcello over five hundred years ago can tell us about his time.
This child, scion of a family of power and privilege at Venice's time of greatness, left his father in a state of despair so profound and so public that it occasioned an outpouring of consoling letters, orations, treatises, and poems. In these documents, we find a firsthand account, richly colored by humanist conventions and expectations, of the life of the fifteenth-century boy, the passionate devotion of his father, the feelings of his brothers and sisters, the striking absence of his mother. The father's story is here as well: the career of a Venetian nobleman and scholar, patron and soldier, a participant in Venice's struggle for dominion in the north of Italy.
Through these sources also King traces the cultural trends that made Marcello's century famous. Her work enlarges our view of the literature of consolation, which had a distinctive tradition in Venice, and shifting attitudes toward death from the late Middle Ages onward.
For the depth and acuity of its insights into political, cultural, and private life in fifteenth-century Venice, this book will be essential reading for students of the Renaissance. For the grace and drama of its storytelling, it will be savored by anyone who wishes to look into life and death in a palace, and a city, long ago.
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
The role played by women in the evolution of religious art and architecture has been largely neglected. This study of upper-class women in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries corrects that oversight, uncovering the active role they undertook in choosing designs, materials, and locations for monuments, commissioning repairs and additions to many parish churches, chantry chapels, and almshouses characteristic of the English countryside. Their preferred art, Barbara J. Harris shows, reveals their responses to the religious revolution and signifies their preferred identities.
Medieval European culture was obsessed with clothing. In Fashioning Change: The Trope of Clothing in High-and Late-Medieval England, Andrea Denny-Brown explores the central impact of clothing in medieval ideas about impermanence and the ethical stakes of human transience. Studies of dress frequently contend with a prevailing cultural belief that bodily adornment speaks to interests that are frivolous, superficial, and cursory. Taking up the vexed topic of clothing’s inherent changeability, Denny-Brown uncovers an important new genealogy of clothing as a representational device, one imbued with a surprising philosophical pedigree and a long history of analytical weightiness.
Considering writers as diverse as Boethius, Alain de Lille, William Durand, Chaucer, and Lydgate, among others, Denny-Brown tracks the development of a literary and cultural trope that begins in the sixth century and finds its highest expression in the vernacular poetry of fifteenth-century England. Among the topics covered are Boethian discourses on the care of the self, the changing garments of Lady Fortune, novelty in ecclesiastical fashions, the sartorial legacy of Chaucer’s Griselda, and the emergence of the English gallant. These literary treatments of vestimentary variation—which develop an aesthetics of change itself—enhance our understanding of clothing as a phenomenological and philosophical category in medieval Europe and illustrate the centrality of the Middle Ages to theories of aesthetics, of materiality, and of cultural change.
To read accounts of late medieval banquets is to enter a fantastical world where live lions guard nude statues, gilded stags burst into song, and musicians play from within pies. We can almost hear the clock sound from within a glass castle, taste the fire-breathing roast boar, and smell the rose water cascading in a miniature fountain. Such vivid works of art and performance required collaboration among artists in many fields, as well as the participation of the audience.
A Feast for the Eyes is the first book-length study of the court banquets of northwestern Europe in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Christina Normore draws on an array of artworks, archival documents, chroniclers’ accounts, and cookbooks to re-create these events and reassess the late medieval visual culture in which banquets were staged. Feast participants, she shows, developed sophisticated ways of appreciating artistic skill and attending to their own processes of perception, thereby forging a court culture that delighted in the exercise of fine aesthetic judgment.
Challenging modern assumptions about the nature of artistic production and reception, A Feast for the Eyes yields fresh insight into the long history of multimedia work and the complex relationships between spectacle and spectators.
This book examines the art and ritual of flagellant confraternities in Italy from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries. Meeting regularly to beat themselves with whips, members of these confraternities concentrated on the suffering of Christ in the most extreme and committed way, and the images around them provided visual prompts of the Passion and the model suffering body. This study presents new findings related to a variety of artworks including altarpieces, banners, wall paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and paintings for the condemned, many from outside the Florence-Rome-Venice triangle.
"Demonstrates the clarity of [Brown's] editorial technique, his thoroughly impressive control of the sources, his exhaustive knowledge of the repertory, and his penetrating stylistic insight. It is a summation of his quarter century of scholarship."—Journal of the American Musicological Society
The Renaissance was not just a rebirth of the mind. It was also a new dawn for the machine.
When we celebrate the achievements of the Renaissance, we instinctively refer, above all, to its artistic and literary masterpieces. During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, however, the Italian peninsula was the stage of a no-less-impressive revival of technical knowledge and practice. In this rich and lavishly illustrated volume, Paolo Galluzzi guides readers through a singularly inventive period, capturing the fusion of artistry and engineering that spurred some of the Renaissance’s greatest technological breakthroughs.
Galluzzi traces the emergence of a new and important historical figure: the artist-engineer. In the medieval world, innovators remained anonymous. By the height of the fifteenth century, artist-engineers like Leonardo da Vinci were sought after by powerful patrons, generously remunerated, and exhibited in royal and noble courts. In an age that witnessed continuous wars, the robust expansion of trade and industry, and intense urbanization, these practitioners—with their multiple skills refined in the laboratory that was the Renaissance workshop—became catalysts for change. Renaissance masters were not only astoundingly creative but also championed a new concept of learning, characterized by observation, technical know-how, growing mathematical competence, and prowess at the draftsman’s table.
The Italian Renaissance of Machines enriches our appreciation for Taccola, Giovanni Fontana, and other masters of the quattrocento and reveals how da Vinci’s ambitious achievements paved the way for Galileo’s revolutionary mathematical science of mechanics.
More than forty years ago in the state archives of Lucca, Italy, musicologist Reinhard Strohm noticed that bindings on some of the books were unusual: they consisted of the pages of a centuries-old music manuscript. In the following years, Strohm worked with the archivists to remove these leaves and reassemble as much as possible of the original manuscript, a major cultural recovery now known as The Lucca Choirbook.
The recovered volume comprises what remains of a gigantic cathedral codex commissioned in Bruges around 1463 and containing English, Franco-Flemish, and Italian sacred music of the fifteenth century—including works by the celebrated composers Guillaume Du Fay and Henricus Isaac.
This facsimile of the choirbook includes all the known leaves, ordered according to their proper placement in the original codex. In the introduction, Strohm tells the fascinating story of this choirbook, identifying its early users and reconstructing its travel from Bruges to Lucca.
Machiavelli: A Portrait
Christopher S. Celenza Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress JC143.M4C38 2015 | Dewey Decimal 320.1092
“Machiavellian”—used to describe the ruthless cunning of the power-obsessed and the pitiless—is never meant as a compliment. But the man whose name became shorthand for all that is ugly in politics was more engaging and nuanced than his reputation suggests. Christopher S. Celenza’s Machiavelli: A Portrait removes the varnish of centuries to reveal not only the hardnosed political philosopher but the skilled diplomat, learned commentator on ancient history, comic playwright, tireless letter writer, and thwarted lover.
Machiavelli’s hometown was the epicenter of the Italian Renaissance in the fifteenth century, a place of unparalleled artistic and intellectual attainments. But Florence was also riven by extraordinary violence. War and public executions were commonplace—Machiavelli himself was imprisoned and brutally tortured at the behest of his own government. These experiences left a deep impression on this keen observer of power politics, whose two masterpieces—The Prince and The Discourses—draw everywhere on the hard-won wisdom gained from navigating a treacherous world. But like many of Machiavelli’s fellow Florentines, he also immersed himself in the Latin language and wisdom of authors from the classical past. And for all of Machiavelli’s indifference to religion, vestiges of Christianity remained in his thought, especially the hope for a redeemer—a prince who would provide the stability so rare in Machiavelli’s worldly experience.
Donated in the late fifteenth century to the papal choir, the musical manuscript Cappella Sistina14 reflects a new style of mass composition used by some of the era’s most noted composers. Masses for the Sistine Chapel makes the complete contents of the Cappella Sistina14—held in the Vatican Library—available for the first time.
Featuring fifteen masses and four mass fragments, this volume includes works by such composers as Guillaume Du Fay, Johannes Ockeghem, and Antoine Busnoys. In a comprehensive introduction and critical commentary on each work, Richard Sherr places the choirbook in its historical context, describing its physical makeup as well as the repertory. Sherr’s critical edition of this celebrated manuscript finally provides the insight necessary to inform future performances and recordings of its influential contents.
Leo Steinberg was one of the most original and daring art historians of the twentieth century, known for taking interpretative risks that challenged the profession by overturning reigning orthodoxies. In essays and lectures that ranged from old masters to contemporary art, he combined scholarly erudition with an eloquent prose that illuminated his subject and a credo that privileged the visual evidence of the image over the literature written about it. His works, sometimes provocative and controversial, remain vital and influential reading.
For half a century, Steinberg delved into Michelangelo’s work, revealing the symbolic structures underlying the artist’s highly charged idiom. This volume of essays and unpublished lectures explicates many of Michelangelo’s most celebrated sculptures, applying principles gleaned from long, hard looking. Almost everything Steinberg wrote included passages of old-fashioned formal analysis, but here put to the service of interpretation. He understood that Michelangelo’s rendering of figures as well as their gestures and interrelations conveys an emblematic significance masquerading under the guise of naturalism. Michelangelo pushed Renaissance naturalism into the furthest reaches of metaphor, using the language of the body and its actions to express fundamental Christian tenets once expressible only by poets and preachers—or, as Steinberg put it, in Michelangelo’s art, “anatomy becomes theology.”
Michelangelo’s Sculpture is the first in a series of volumes of Steinberg’s selected writings and unpublished lectures, edited by his longtime associate Sheila Schwartz. The volume also includes a book review debunking psychoanalytic interpretation of the master’s work, a light-hearted look at Michelangelo and the medical profession and, finally, the shortest piece Steinberg ever published.
The first treatise of its kind to be written in a European vernacular.
Around 1460, Michele Savonarola produced the extraordinary Mother’s Manual for the Women of Ferrara, a gynecological, obstetrical, and pediatric treatise composed in the vernacular so that it could be read not only by the learned but also by pregnant and nursing mothers and the midwives and wet nurses who presided over childbirth. Savonarola’s work is not merely a trivial set of instructions, but the work of a learned scholar who drew on, among others, the ancient Greek physicians Hippocrates and Galen, and Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine. The first of its kind, Savonarola’s Mother’s Manual helps readers understand both the development of late-medieval and early-modern obstetrics and gynecology, as well as the experiences of women who turn to advice books for help with reproductive issues. This book also provides a key to understanding why and how a new genre of book—the midwifery manual or advice book for pregnant women—arose in sixteenth-century Italy and eventually became a popular genre all over Europe from the early modern period to the present day.
The writings gathered here finally make available in one place Lowinsky's major essays—including four previously unpublished ones—in two volumes that are lavishly provided with musical examples and illustrations.
"Professor Lowinsky's method is the only kind of 'writing about music' that I value."—Igor Stravinsky
A new history of one of the foremost printers of the Renaissance explores how the Age of Print came to Italy.
Lorenz Böninger offers a fresh history of the birth of print in Italy through the story of one of its most important figures, Niccolò di Lorenzo della Magna. After having worked for several years for a judicial court in Florence, Niccolò established his business there and published a number of influential books. Among these were Marsilio Ficino’s De christiana religione, Leon Battista Alberti’s De re aedificatoria, Cristoforo Landino’s commentaries on Dante’s Commedia, and Francesco Berlinghieri’s Septe giornate della geographia. Many of these books were printed in vernacular Italian.
Despite his prominence, Niccolò has remained an enigma. A meticulous historical detective, Böninger pieces together the thorough portrait that scholars have been missing. In doing so, he illuminates not only Niccolò’s life but also the Italian printing revolution generally. Combining Renaissance studies’ traditional attention to bibliographic and textual concerns with a broader social and economic history of printing in Renaissance Italy, Böninger provides an unparalleled view of the business of printing in its earliest years. The story of Niccolò di Lorenzo furnishes a host of new insights into the legal issues that printers confronted, the working conditions in printshops, and the political forces that both encouraged and constrained the publication and dissemination of texts.
In 1482, the Florentine humanist and statesman Francesco Berlinghieri produced the Geographia, a book of over one hundred folio leaves describing the world in Italian verse, inspired by the ancient Greek geography of Ptolemy. The poem, divided into seven books (one for each day of the week the author “travels” the known world), is interleaved with lavishly engraved maps to accompany readers on this journey.
Sean Roberts demonstrates that the Geographia represents the moment of transition between printing and manuscript culture, while forming a critical base for the rise of modern cartography. Simultaneously, the use of the Geographia as a diplomatic gift from Florence to the Ottoman Empire tells another story. This exchange expands our understanding of Mediterranean politics, European perceptions of the Ottomans, and Ottoman interest in mapping and print. The envoy to the Sultan represented the aspirations of the Florentine state, which chose not to bestow some other highly valued good, such as the city’s renowned textiles, but instead the best example of what Florentine visual, material, and intellectual culture had to offer.
Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini (1405-1464, elected Pope Pius II in 1458) was an important and enigmatic figure of the Renaissance as well as one of the most prolific writers and gifted stylists ever to occupy the papacy
Often called the musical equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Trent codices have dramatically broadened our understanding of Renaissance music. Much has been written about this collection of fifteenth-century music manuscripts, most of which were discovered in the Cathedral at Trent, but none of the seven codices--generally called Trent 87 through Trent 93--has ever been published in its entirety. Thus Rebecca Gerber’s edition of Trent88, which took more than a decade to prepare, will be the first to appear. As such, this volume is a landmark in the publication of early music.
Trent88 comprises an extensive anthology of 145 compositions tailored to the ceremonial and daily religious services of the period. The international scope of the collection is both impressive and significant: early English, French, German, and Spanish mass cycles appear alongside simple hymns and Magnificats. Music by renowned composers—including Guillaume Du Fay, Johannes Ockeghem, Johannes Cornago, and John Bedingham—is joined here by an even larger repertory of anonymous compositions with great aesthetic and historical value. Edited to accommodate both scholars and performers, and augmented with Gerber’s expert introduction, this volume will significantly deepen existing knowledge of a crucial period in the history of music.
This study uncovers how Saint Cecilia came to be closely associated with music and musicians.
Until the fifteenth century, Saint Cecilia was not connected with music. She was perceived as one of many virgin martyrs, with no obvious musical skills or interests. During the next two centuries, however, she inspired many musical works written in her honor and a vast number of paintings that depicted her singing or playing an instrument.
In this book, John A. Rice argues that Cecilia’s association with music came about in several stages, involving Christian liturgy, visual arts, and music. It was fostered by interactions between artists, musicians, and their patrons and the transfer of visual and musical traditions from northern Europe to Italy. Saint Cecilia in the Renaissance explores the cult of the saint in Medieval times and through the sixteenth century when musicians’ guilds in the Low Countries and France first chose Cecilia as their patron. The book then turns to music and the explosion of polyphonic vocal works written in Cecilia’s honor by some of the most celebrated composers in Europe. Finally, the book examines the wealth of visual representations of Cecilia especially during the Italian Renaissance, among which Raphael’s 1515 painting, The Ecstasy of Saint Cecilia, is but the most famous example. Thoroughly researched and beautifully illustrated in color, Saint Cecilia in the Renaissance is the definitive portrait of Saint Cecilia as a figure of musical and artistic inspiration.
This volume investigates the state of same-sex relations in later medieval England, drawing on a remarkably rich array of primary sources from the period that include legal documents, artworks, theological treatises, and poetry. Tom Linkinen uses those sources to build a framework of medieval condemnations of same-sex intimacy and desire and then shows how same-sex sexuality reflected“and was inflected by“gender hierarchies, approaches to crime, and the conspicuous silence on the matter in the legal systems of the period.
This innovative book reassesses the history of musicology, unearthing the field’s twentieth-century German and global roots. In the process, Anna Maria Busse Berger exposes previously unseen historical relationships such as those between the modern rediscovery of medieval music, the rise of communal singing, and the ways in which African music intersected with missionary work in the German colonial period. Ultimately, Busse Berger offers a monumental new account of the early twentieth-century music culture in Germany and East Africa.
The book unfolds in three parts. Busse Berger starts with the origins of comparative musicology circa 1900, when early proponents used ideas from comparative linguistics to test whether parallels could be drawn between nonwestern and medieval European music. She then turns to youth movements of the era—the Wandervogel, Jugendmusikbewegung, and Singbewegung—whose focus on joint music making influenced many musicologists. Finally, she considers case studies of Protestant and Catholic mission societies in what is now Tanzania, where missionaries—many of them musicologists and former youth-group members—extended the discipline via ethnographic research and a focus on local music and communities. In highlighting these long-overlooked transnational connections and the role of global music in early musicology, Busse Berger shapes a fresh conception of music scholarship during a pivotal part of the twentieth century.
Johan Huizinga’s much-loved and much-contested Autumn of the Middle Ages, first published in 1919, encouraged an image of the Late French Middle Ages as a flamboyant but empty period of decline and nostalgia. Many studies, particularly literary studies, have challenged Huizinga’s perceptions of individual works or genres. Still, the vision of the Late French and Burgundian Middle Ages as a sad transitional phase between the High Middle Ages and the Renaissance persists. Yet, a series of exceptionally significant cultural developments mark the period.
The Waxing of the Middle Ages sets out to provide a rich, complex, and diverse study of these developments and to reassert that late medieval France is crucial in its own right. The collection argues for an approach that views the late medieval period not as an afterthought, or a blind spot, but as a period that is key in understanding the fluidity of time, traditions, culture, and history. Each essay explores some “cultural form,” to borrow Huizinga’s expression, to expose the false divide that has dominated modern scholarship.
Women and Power at the French Court, 1483—1563 explores the ways in which a range of women “ as consorts, regents, mistresses, factional power players, attendants at court, or as objects of courtly patronage “ wielded power in order to advance individual, familial, and factional agendas at the early sixteenth-century French court. Spring-boarding from the burgeoning scholarship of gender, the political, and power in early modern Europe, the collection provides a perspective from the French court, from the reigns of Charles VIII to Henri II, a time when the French court was a renowned center of culture and at which women played important roles. Crossdisciplinary in its perspectives, these essays by historians, art and literary scholars investigate the dynamic operations of gendered power in political acts, recognized status as queens and regents, ritualized behaviors such as gift-giving, educational coteries, and through social networking, literary and artistic patronage, female authorship, and epistolary strategies.
Between the twelfth and the sixteenth centuries, women assumed public roles of unprecedented prominence in Italian religious culture. Legally subordinated, politically excluded, socially limited, and ideologically disdained, women's active participation in religious life offered them access to power in all its forms.
These essays explore the involvement of women in religious life throughout northern and central Italy and trace the evolution of communities of pious women as they tried to achieve their devotional goals despite the strictures of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. The contributors examine relations between holy women, their devout followers, and society at large.
Including contributions from leading figures in a new generation of Italian historians of religion, this book shows how women were able to carve out broad areas of influence by carefully exploiting the institutional church and by astutely manipulating religious percepts.
Caterina Vigri (later Saint Catherine of Bologna) was a mystic, writer, teacher and nun-artist. Her first home, Corpus Domini, Ferrara, was a house of semi-religious women that became a Poor Clare convent and model of Franciscan Observant piety. Vigri's intensely spiritual decoration of her breviary, as well as convent altarpieces that formed a visual program of adoration for the Body of Christ, exemplify the Franciscan Observant visual culture. After Vigri's departure, it was transformed by d'Este women patrons, including Isabella da Aragona, Isabella d'Este and Lucrezia Borgia. While still preserving Observant ideals, it became a more elite noblewomen's retreat.Grounded in archival research and extant paintings, drawings, prints and art objects from Corpus Domini, this volume explores the art, visual culture, and social history of an early modern Franciscan women's community.