David Hotchkiss Price, a specialist in Renaissance cultural and ecclesiastical history, has broken new ground with this comprehensive analysis of Renaissance humanism as the foundation for Dürer's religious art and, in particular, for Dürer's reception of the Reformation movements. Price also offers an innovative study of the relationships between text and image, and a pioneering assessment of the representation of Jews in Dürer's religious art.
David Price is Associate Professor of History and of Church History, Southern Methodist University.
A Prayer Book owned by the Rothschilds, an Italian bronze casket by Antico, a lavishly illustrated Carnival chronicle from sixteenth-century Germany, an altarpiece by Pieter Brueghel the Younger - much of the artwork in this book, held by Australian collections, is essentially unknown beyond the continent. The authors of these essays showcase these extraordinary objects to their full potential,revealing a wide range of contemporary art and historical research. This collection of essays will surprise even specialists.
In the first contemporary single-volume survey of the three arts of Venice—painting, sculpture, and architecture—Norbert Huse and Wolfgang Wolters offer an important counterbalance to the traditional orientation toward painting as the city's preeminent art by focusing on architecture as the essential Venetian art. They begin their study in 1460, when Venice was one of the key powers of Italy, and end with the death of Tintoretto in 1594, a period of waning international power. In the process, they define the distinctly Venetian terms by which the city and its culture should be understood. With over three hundred illustrations and an exhaustive bibliography, this volume makes an impressive contribution to art historical scholarship.
"The historical aspect of this book is splendid, but where it excels is in its fearless and thought-provoking critical judgements. . . . it will lead both beginners and experts to new joys."—David Ekserdjian, Times Literary Supplement
This abundantly illustrated book examines the figure of Balthazar, one of the biblical magi, and explains how and why he came to be depicted as a Black African king.
According to the Gospel of Matthew, magi from the East, following a star, traveled to Jerusalem bearing precious gifts for the infant Jesus. The magi were revered as wise men and later as kings. Over time, one of the three came to be known as Balthazar and to be depicted as a Black man.
Balthazar was familiar to medieval Europeans, appearing in paintings, manuscript illuminations, mosaics, carved ivories, and jewelry. But the origin story of this fascinating character uncovers intricate ties between Europe and Africa, including trade and diplomacy as well as colonization and enslavement.
In this book, experts in the fields of Ethiopian, West African, Nubian, and Western European art explore the representation of Balthazar as a Black African king. They examine exceptional art that portrays the European fantasy of the Black magus while offering clues about the very real Africans who may have inspired these images. Along the way, the authors chronicle the Black presence in premodern Europe, where free and enslaved Black people moved through public spaces and courtly circles. The volume’s lavish illustrations include selected works by contemporary artists who creatively challenge traditional depictions of Black history.
Many studies have shown that images—their presence in the daily lives of the faithful, the means used to control them, and their adaptation to secular uses—were at the heart of the Reformation crisis in northern Europe. But the question as it affects the art of Italy has been raised only in highly specialized studies.
In this book, Alexander Nagel provides the first truly synthetic study of the controversies over religious images that pervaded Italian life both before and parallel to the Reformation north of the Alps. Tracing the intertwined relationship of artistic innovation and archaism, as well as the new pressures placed on the artistic media in the midst of key developments in religious iconography, The Controversy of Renaissance Art offers an important and original history of humanist thought and artistic experimentation from one of our most acclaimed historians of art.
While the masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance are usually associated with Italy’s historical seats of power, some of the era’s most characteristic works are to be found in places other than Florence, Rome, and Venice. They are the product of the diversity of regions and cultures that makes up the country. In Endless Periphery, Stephen J. Campbell examines a range of iconic works in order to unlock a rich series of local references in Renaissance art that include regional rulers, patron saints, and miracles, demonstrating, for example, that the works of Titian spoke to beholders differently in Naples, Brescia, or Milan than in his native Venice. More than a series of regional microhistories, Endless Periphery tracks the geographic mobility of Italian Renaissance art and artists, revealing a series of exchanges between artists and their patrons, as well as the power dynamics that fueled these exchanges. A counter history of one of the greatest epochs of art production, this richly illustrated book will bring new insight to our understanding of classic works of Italian art.
The use of perspective in Renaissance painting caused a revolution in the history of seeing, allowing artists to depict the world from a spectator's point of view. But the theory of perspective that changed the course of Western art originated elsewhere-it was formulated in Baghdad by the eleventh-century mathematician Ibn al Haithan, known in the West as Alhazen. Using the metaphor of the mutual gaze, or exchanged glances, Hans Belting-preeminent historian and theorist of medieval, Renaissance, and contemporary art-narrates the historical encounter between science and art, between Arab Baghdad and Renaissance Florence, that has had a lasting effect on the culture of the West.
In this lavishly illustrated study, Belting deals with the double history of perspective, as a visual theory based on geometrical abstraction (in the Middle East) and as pictorial theory (in Europe). How could geometrical abstraction be reconceived as a theory for making pictures? During the Middle Ages, Arab mathematics, free from religious discourse, gave rise to a theory of perspective that, later in the West, was transformed into art when European painters adopted the human gaze as their focal point. In the Islamic world, where theology and the visual arts remained closely intertwined, the science of perspective did not become the cornerstone of Islamic art. Florence and Baghdad addresses a provocative question that reaches beyond the realm of aesthetics and mathematics: What happens when Muslims and Christians look upon each other and find their way of viewing the world transformed as a result?
The question of whether true friendship could exist in an era of patronage occupied Renaissance Florentines as it had the ancient Greeks and Romans whose culture they admired and emulated. Rather than attempting to measure Renaissance friendship against a universal ideal defined by essentially modern notions of disinterestedness, intimacy, and sincerity, in this book Dale Kent explores the meaning of love and friendship as they were represented in the fifteenth century, particularly the relationship between heavenly and human friendship.
She documents the elements of shared experience in friendships between Florentines of various occupations and ranks, observing how these were shaped and played out in the physical spaces of the city: the streets, street corners, outdoor benches and loggias, family palaces, churches, confraternal meeting places, workshops of artisans and artists, taverns, dinner tables, and the baptismal font.
Finally, Kent examines the betrayal of trust, focusing on friends at moments of crisis or trial in which friendships were tested, and failed or endured. The exile of Cosimo de’ Medici in 1433 and his recall in 1434, the attempt in 1466 of the Medici family’s closest friends to take over their patronage network, and the Pazzi conspiracy to assassinate Lorenzo and Giuliano de’ Medici in 1478 expose the complexity and ambivalence of Florentine friendship, a combination of patronage with mutual intellectual passion and love—erotic, platonic, and Christian—sublimely expressed in the poetry and art of Michelangelo.
Gender, Space, and Experience at the Renaissance Court investigates the dynamic relationships between gender and architectural space in Renaissance Italy. It examines the ceremonial use and artistic reception of the Palazzo Te from the arrival of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1530 to the Sack of Mantua in 1630. This book further proposes that we conceptualise the built environment as a performative space, a space formed by the gendered relationships and actors of its time. The Palazzo Te was constituted by the gendered behaviors of sixteenth-century courtiers, but it was not simply a passive receptor of gender performance. Through its multivalent form and ceremonial function, Maria F. Maurer argues that the palace was an active participant in the construction and perception of femininity and masculinity in the early modern court.
Today few would think of astronomy and astrology as fields related to theology. Fewer still would know that physically absorbing planetary rays was once considered to have medical and psychological effects. But this was the understanding of light radiation held by certain natural philosophers of early modern Europe, and that, argues Mary Quinlan-McGrath, was why educated people of the Renaissance commissioned artworks centered on astrological themes and practices.
Influences is the first book to reveal how important Renaissance artworks were designed to be not only beautiful but also—perhaps even primarily—functional. From the fresco cycles at Caprarola, to the Vatican’s Sala dei Pontefici, to the Villa Farnesina, these great works were commissioned to selectively capture and then transmit celestial radiation, influencing the bodies and minds of their audiences. Quinlan-McGrath examines the sophisticated logic behind these theories and practices and, along the way, sheds light on early creation theory; the relationship between astrology and natural theology; and the protochemistry, physics, and mathematics of rays.
An original and intellectually stimulating study, Influences adds a new dimension to the understanding of aesthetics among Renaissance patrons and a new meaning to the seductive powers of art.
An interdisciplinary study of hair through the art, philosophy, and science of fifteenth-century Florence.
In this innovative cultural history, hair is the portal through which Emanuele Lugli accesses the cultural production of Lorenzo il Magnifico’s Florence. Lugli reflects on the ways writers, doctors, and artists expressed religious prejudices, health beliefs, and gender and class subjugation through alluring works of art, in medical and political writings, and in poetry. He considers what may have compelled Sandro Botticelli, the young Leonardo da Vinci, and dozens of their contemporaries to obsess over braids, knots, and hairdos by examining their engagement with scientific, philosophical, and theological practices.
By studying hundreds of fifteenth-century documents that engage with hair, Lugli foregrounds hair’s association to death and gathers insights about human life at a time when Renaissance thinkers redefined what it meant to be human and to be alive. Lugli uncovers overlooked perceptions of hair when it came to be identified as a potential vector for liberating culture, and he corrects a centuries-old prejudice that sees hair as a trivial subject, relegated to passing fashion or the decorative. He shows hair, instead, to be at the heart of Florentine culture, whose inherent violence Lugli reveals by prompting questions about the entanglement of politics and desire.
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.
Originally published in 1983, Leo Steinberg's classic work has changed the viewing habits of a generation. After centuries of repression and censorship, the sexual component in thousands of revered icons of Christ is restored to visibility. Steinberg's evidence resides in the imagery of the overtly sexed Christ, in Infancy and again after death. Steinberg argues that the artists regarded the deliberate exposure of Christ's genitalia as an affirmation of kinship with the human condition. Christ's lifelong virginity, understood as potency under check, and the first offer of blood in the circumcision, both required acknowledgment of the genital organ. More than exercises in realism, these unabashed images underscore the crucial theological import of the Incarnation.
This revised and greatly expanded edition not only adduces new visual evidence, but deepens the theological argument and engages the controversy aroused by the book's first publication.
Christ's Crucifixion is one of the most recognized images in Western culture, and it has come to stand as a universal symbol of both suffering and salvation. But often overlooked is the fact that ultimately the Crucifixion is a scene of capital punishment. Mitchell Merback reconstructs the religious, legal, and historical context of the Crucifixion and of other images of public torture. The result is a fascinating account of a time when criminal justice and religion were entirely interrelated and punishment was a visual spectacle devoured by a popular audience.
Merback compares the images of Christ's Crucifixion with those of the two thieves who met their fate beside Jesus. In paintings by well-known Northern European masters and provincial painters alike, Merback finds the two thieves subjected to incredible cruelty, cruelty that artists could not depict in their scenes of Christ's Crucifixion because of theological requirements. Through these representations Merback explores the ways audiences in early modern Europe understood images of physical suffering and execution. The frequently shocking works also provide a perspective from which Merback examines the live spectacle of public torture and execution and how audiences were encouraged by the Church and the State to react to the experience. Throughout, Merback traces the intricate and extraordinary connections among religious art, devotional practice, bodily pain, punishment, and judicial spectatorship.
Keenly aware of the difficulties involved in discussing images of atrocious violence but determined to make them historically comprehensible, Merback has written an informed and provocative study that reveals the rituals of medieval criminal justice and the visual experiences they engendered.