The Life of Vittoria Colonna
The scion of an immensely powerful family, Vittoria Colonna (1492–1547) was a celebrated beauty, and the first woman in Italy to publish a volume of poetry – devotional sonnets written, as she put it, ‘with Christ’s nails’. Drawing on extensive archival research, this biography charts her early marriage and long widowhood, her friendships with Michelangelo, the Emperor Charles V, and two popes, her passionate religious beliefs and her key role in the Italian Renaissance.
Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry
Although an accomplished draftsman and painter, Coecke was famed amongst his contemporaries for his complex tapestry designs, which were acquired by rulers including Henry VIII and the Medici. Focusing on 20 tapestries and produced to accompany an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this well-illustrated volume explores the development of his style, and the scale, innovation and mastery of colour that epitomize his contribution to Renaissance art in Flanders.
Renaissance Art in Venice
From Tradition to Individualism
Tom Nichols describes how the traditional Venetian preference for anonymity and collaboration was challenged by Renaissance ideas, and how new values placed on innovation and individual expression gave painters, sculptors and architects a licence for artistic invention. In discussions of work by artists including Bellini, Carpaccio, Titian and Tintoretto, Nichols looks at how they transformed the older conventions of Venetian art and developed a new, personalized approach to technique and iconography.
Italian Renaissance Courts
Art, Pleasure and Power
In an authoritative study, illustrated with over 150 colour reproductions, Alison Cole goes beyond the famous centres of Renaissance culture – Florence, Rome and Venice – to explore the splendid and distinctive uses of art and the commissioning of artists at five great secular courts: Naples under Alfonso of Aragon; Urbino under Frederico de Montefeltro; the small principality of Ferrara, ruled by the Este family; the Gonzaga family’s Mantua; and Milan and Pavia under Ludovico Sforza.
Art of the Northern Renaissance
Courts, Commerce and Devotion
Stephanie Porras’s well-illustrated study examines how art in the Low Countries, France, England and Germany responded to rapid political, economic, social and religious changes and the rise of the urban merchant class in the Renaissance period. The work of artists including Van Eyck, Dürer, Holbein and Bosch is discussed in chapters on themes arranged chronologically, from works of art as courtly and devotional gifts in c.1380–1420, to paintings as commodities in the art market of c.1540–60.
Art of Renaissance Rome
Artists and Patrons in the Eternal City
Intended as an introduction to the art of Renaissance Rome, this narrative history is structured chronologically, from around 1300 to 1600, and describes the monuments, artists and patrons that were regarded by their contemporaries as the most important. Michelangelo and Raphael are among the dominant figures in this story, and works such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescos and Raphael’s School of Athens in the Vatican Palace remain some of the most celebrated in Renaissance art.
Joseph de Levis and Company
Renaissance Bronze-founders in Verona
Charles Avery is a leading authority on Renaissance art, and an admirer of the 16th- and 17th-century bronze works of Joseph de Levis and his family. This illustrated survey of their lives and works includes church-bells, some of which remain in remote country churches, mortars, inkstands, perfume-burners, door-knockers and firedogs. Each artefact is accompanied by a detailed explanation of its significance and inscriptions, while the family story gives an insight into the Jewish Diaspora of the period.
Translating Nature Into Art
Holbein, The Reformation, and Renaissance Rhetoric
Jeanne Nuechterlein’s illustrated study focuses on Hans Holbein the Younger’s portraits, examining the artist’s ‘capacity to capture detail with such accuracy, and to turn everyday sights into such sublime representation’. Nuechterlein discusses Holbein’s approach to portraiture and religious subjects, particularly his stark depiction of Christ in Dead Christ (1521–22), in the context of contemporary debates about the nature of the world and how to communicate meaning.
Giovanni Bellini's Dudley Madonna
Painted by the Venetian Giovanni Bellini around 1508, the Dudley Madonna is named after its 19th-century English owner. Still in private hands, it is seldom exhibited, making this study a rare glimpse at a key work in the artist’s development. With more than 50 reproductions of work by Bellini and his contemporaries, it explores his response to younger painters such as Titian, and records the painting’s provenance and conservation history.
The New Art of the Fifteenth Century
Faith and Art in Florence and the Netherlands
In her study of ‘the two regions that gave birth to the art of the early Renaissance’, Professor Blum argues that the Netherlands and Florence shared many artistic aims and both achieved a new, realistic depiction of the material world – but in response to social developments rather than classical revival. Through in-depth discussions of works by Claus Sluter, Donatello, Jan van Eyck, Masaccio and Rogier van der Weyden, Blum shows how their innovations were used in the promotion of traditional Christian content.
Renaissance Masterpieces of Art
Julia Biggs’s illustrated, introductory account of the origins and development of Renaissance art accompanies 80 reproductions of paintings, altarpieces and frescos, arranged chronologically from late 13th- and 14th-century works by Duccio and Giotto to Veronese’s Feast in the House of Levi (1573), and including masterpieces by Piero della Francesca, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael.
Leonardo da Vinci Masterworks
Art in the Age of the Medici
Rosalind Ormiston presents a very accessible and lavishly illustrated study of Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), first setting his work within the context of Renaissance Florence, the Medici family and the artists who flourished under Medici patronage. The book goes on to trace Leonardo’s career in Milan, Rome and France, looking in detail at paintings including The Virgin of the Rocks, The Last Supper and Mona Lisa, and at the technological and architectural projects in his notebooks.
Making Renaissance Art
Beginning around the year 1400, this first volume in the series Renaissance Art Reconsidered is concerned with the theory and practice of making art during the Renaissance in Italy and other parts of Europe. In seven well-illustrated chapters, the contributors examine drawing and workshop practices, perspective in painting, sculpture, the making of altarpieces, prints, architecture, and Renaissance writings on art. Published in association with the Open University.
The Achievement of Fame
Drawing on new research and material, including long-awaited editions of Michelangelo’s correspondence, Hirst’s biography sheds fresh light on the development of the artist’s work in painting, sculpture and architecture and on his relations with family, friends and patrons. Starting with his apprenticeship in the workshop of Ghirlandaio in Florence, the study covers Michelangelo’s first excursion to Rome, the creation of the Pietà, David and the Sistine ceiling, and ends with Michelangelo’s definitive move to Rome in 1534.
Leonardo da Vinci Drawings
Masterpieces of Art
A painter, inventor, architect, military engineer and musician, Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) was also a prolific draughtsman and, as Susan Grange argues, ‘it is through his drawings that we can find the most direct access to his genius’. Her illustrated essay introducing the scope and depth of Leonardo’s drawings accompanies 85 full-page reproductions of his studies for paintings, inventions, maps, anatomical drawings and observations of the natural world. From the Masterpieces of Art series.
Annibale Carracci's Venus, Adonis & Cupid
This book accompanied an exhibition at the Museo Nacional del Prado which aimed to present the newly cleaned and restored masterpiece by the Bolognese painter Annibale Carracci (1560–1609) and to set the painting in its artistic context. Two further, richly illustrated essays describe the conservation of the work and analyse the way in which Carracci’s painting – his ‘image of beauty’ – is constructed.
Painting Under Pressure
Fame, Reputation and Demand in Renaissance Florence
Analysing the lives and work of four artists in 15th-century Italy – Alessandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Pietro Perugino and Filippino Lippi – Michelle O’Malley explores the impact of economics on Renaissance art. She looks at how the growing demand for art exerted pressure on these sought-after painters who all produced high volumes of work; how they maintained quality; and how judgements made under economic pressures can be traced in specific paintings.
1483–1520 Masters of Italian Art
After training in his father’s studio and with Perugino in Urbino, Raphaello Santi (1483–1520), known as Raphael, became spectacularly successful, commissioned by Popes and great European art patrons, and appointed as chief architect of St Peter’s in Rome. With reproductions of over 140 studies, portraits, paintings and frescos, this study traces Raphael’s career, examining some of the most celebrated works of the Italian Renaissance. Masters of Italian Art series.
Medieval & Renaissance Interiors
In Illuminated Manuscripts
Illuminated manuscripts are an invaluable resource for understanding medieval and early modern life in castles, palaces and ordinary households, both urban and rural. Reproducing 140 little-known illuminations, mostly from the British Library’s collections, this book shows how these miniatures reflect medieval domestic interiors and how they provide information on topics ranging from the security of dwelling places to creature comforts such as heating and lighting, hygiene, beds and bedrooms, and the display of wealth and treasured possessions.
Renaissance Woodcuts from the Collections of Georg Baselitz and The Albertina, Vienna
In the 16th century, German artists discovered that by printing from one or more colour blocks in addition to the line block, they could create a dramatic interplay of light and shade – chiaroscuro. Published to accompany an exhibition at London’s Royal Academy, this volume explains the development of the technique, demonstrates the effects it made possible, and presents 130 woodcuts from Italy, Germany and the Netherlands, including some by major artists such as Cranach, Beccafumi and Goltzius.
Make a Joyful Noise
Renaissance Art and Music at Florence Cathedral
Luca della Robbia’s fine Cantoria – an organ loft and singers’ gallery – was installed in Florence Cathedral in 1438, opposite a similar structure by Donatello. The essays in this beautifully illustrated volume present analysis of details from the Cantoria’s carved reliefs depicting musicians, as well as research into the organs and choirbooks that were once used in the gallery. A postscript describes how this Renaissance masterpiece has been displayed in its new context at the Museo dell’Opera.
The Golden Age of Renaissance Bronzes
The Mantuan court sculptor Pier Jacopo Alari Bonacolsi, known as Antico (c.1455–1528), exemplifies the Renaissance passion for the revival of antiquity. He studied, restored and re-created antique art with unparalleled skill, but also developed new technology and, with his gilded and silvered statuettes, pioneered the genre of bronzes made in multiples. Published to accompany an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, this volume presents the first English-language monograph on Antico, and over 150 colour photographs of his sculptures.
Blessed and Beautiful
Picturing the Saints
Many of the great painters of the Renaissance, from Giotto to Michelangelo, depicted the lives and martyrdoms of the saints. But what are we to make of Titian's voluptuous Mary Magdalene or Caravaggio's flagrantly homoerotic John the Baptist with a Ram? Sumptuously illustrated with 136 colour plates, this richly informed, beautifully written and thought-provoking book unlocks the cryptic imagery of these works to demonstrate how the artists treated their subjects as fallible human figures rather than icons of perfection.
Sacred and Profane Love
Titian's enigmatic masterpiece Sacred and Profane Love (1514) shows two young women, one in a sumptuous white gown, the other naked, standing on either side of a pool in which Cupid stirs the water. Zuffi's study reveals the painting, with its wealth of symbolism, as the wedding gift of a Venetian official to his bride.
From the 13th to the 18th Century
This magnificent, large-format volume traces the progress of the fresco from visual stories linked to popular religious belief in the mid-13th century to the increasingly lavish mythological and courtly scenes of the 17th and 18th centuries. More than 550 pages of colour reproductions present some of the world's most treasured works of art, among them Leonardo's Last Supper and many details of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling. With introductory text in English, German, French and Dutch.
Each book in this attractive series comprises a short essay on an artist's life and work, including a portrait or self-portrait, and about 80 reproductions of their works, arranged chronologically. The books are presented in an unusual square format with covers and jackets both printed with one of the artist's best-known paintings.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Bruegel was one of the first artists to paint ordinary people and his works are a rich source of information on social history. This attractive book comprises a short essay introducing the artist's life and work and 79 reproductions of his work, arranged chronologically. The book is presented in an unusual square format with covers and jackets both printed with one of the artist's best-known paintings.
The Wedding at Cana
The wedding at Cana in Galilee was the occasion of Jesus' first miracle, turning the water into wine. In Veronese's vision, the village wedding is transformed into a sumptuous feast, held amid magnificent buildings. Not least among the strange details explored by Carminati are the identities of the guests and musicians.
In this volume, Philippe and Françoise Roberts-Jones discuss the little we know about the life of Pieter Bruegel (c.1525/30–69) and probe beneath the surface of his work to explore the complex symbolism which gives subtlety and a uniquely disturbing power to Bruegel's tragic and ambiguous vision of the world. The book concludes with a timeline, lists of works and a bibliography. (Previously in Postscript as Pieter Bruegel).
From the 13th to 18th Century
This survey of fresco painting begins with the transition from Byantine to Gothic style and has fine examples of the works by Giotto that had a profound influence across Italy. It presents reproductions and details of frescos by artists such as Aretino, Martini and the Lorenzetti brothers before following the development of fresco painting through the Renaissance masters and up to Tiepolo in the 18th century. Text in English, German, Dutch and French.
Medieval and Renaissance Stained Glass
in the Victoria and Albert Museum
The V&A's collection of medieval and Renaissance stained and painted glass is the largest and most comprehensive in the world. This selection of the Museum's panels spans the period 1140 to 1540 and shows the technical and artistic advances between the Romanesque and Renaissance eras, while also illuminating the beliefs and images, sacred and secular, of the medieval world. The collection is represented here by 110 plates, including full page details of important pieces, with following commentaries.