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In this volume, Emily A. Fenichel offers an in-depth investigation of the religious motivations behind Michelangelo's sculpture and graphic works in his late period. Taking the criticism of the Last Judgment as its point of departure, she argues that much of Michelangelo's late oeuvre was engaged in solving the religious and artistic problems presented by the Counter-Reformation. Buffeted by critiques of the Last Judgment, which claimed that he valued art over religion, Michelangelo searched for new religious iconographies and techniques both publicly and privately. Fenichel here suggests a new and different understanding of the artist in his late career. In contrast to the received view of Michelangelo as solitary, intractable, and temperamental, she brings a more nuanced characterization of the artist. The late Michelangelo, Fenichel demonstrates, was a man interested in collaboration, penance, meditation, and experimentation, which enabled his transformation into a new type of religious artist for a new era.
In Courtly Mediators, Leah R. Clark investigates the exchange of a range of materials and objects, including metalware, ceramic drug jars, Chinese porcelain, and aromatics, across the early modern Italian, Mamluk, and Ottoman courts. She provides a new narrative that places Aragonese Naples at the center of an international courtly culture, where cosmopolitanism and the transcultural flourished, and in which artists, ambassadors, and luxury goods actively participated. By articulating how and why transcultural objects were exchanged, displayed, copied, and framed, she provides a new methodological framework that transforms our understanding of the Italian Renaissance court. Clark's volume provides a multi-sensorial, innovative reading of Italian Renaissance art. It demonstrates that the early modern culture of collecting was more than a humanistic enterprise associated with the European roots of the Renaissance. Rather, it was sustained by interactions with global material cultures from the Islamic world and beyond.
This volume offers the first comprehensive study of painting in Renaissance Perugia from the late fifteenth to the mid- sixteenth centuries. Showcasing works by Perugino, Raphael, and Pintoricchio, as well as less familiar artists who worked in Perugia from ca. 1480–1540, Sheri Shaneyfelt traces the influence and impact of Perugino's workshop in central Italy over more than a half a century. She demonstrates why Perugia, which has been overlooked in modern scholarship, was such a vital center for the production of early modern Italian art. Shaneyfelt's study also shifts the focus away from the analysis of individual artistic creativity by highlighting the importance and significance of collaboration and workshop production in Renaissance Italy. Interweaving historical and archival evidence with analyses of numerous paintings and drawings, her book, richly illustrated with 115 color illustrations, offers many new insights into the vibrant artistic culture of early modern Perugia.
In this book, Diana Bullen Presciutti explores how images of miracles performed by mendicant saints-reviving dead children, redeeming the unjustly convicted, mending broken marriages, quelling factional violence, exorcising the demonically possessed-actively shaped Renaissance Italians' perceptions of pressing social problems related to gender, sexuality, and honor. She argues that depictions of these miracles by artists-both famous (Donatello, Titian) and anonymous-played a critical role in defining and conceptualizing threats to family honor and social stability. Drawing from art history, history, religious studies, gender studies, and sociology, Presciutti's interdisciplinary study reveals how miracle scenes-whether painted, sculpted, or printed-operated as active agents of 'lived religion' and social negotiation in the spaces of the Renaissance Italian city.
Scholarship often treats the post-Roman art produced in central and north-western Europe as representative of the pagan identities of the new 'Germanic' rulers of the early medieval world. In this book, Matthias Friedrich offers a critical reevaluation of the ethnic and religious categories of art that still inform our understanding of early medieval art and archaeology. He scrutinises early medieval visual culture by combining archaeological approaches with art historical methods based on contemporary theory. Friedrich examines the transformation of Roman imperial images, together with the contemporary, highly ornamented material culture that is epitomized by 'animal art.' Through a rigorous analysis of a range of objects, he demonstrates how these pathways produced an aesthetic that promoted variety (varietas), a cross-cultural concept that bridged the various ethnic and religious identities of post-Roman Europe and the Mediterranean worlds.
This book is the first comprehensive study of images of rape in Italian painting at the dawn of the Renaissance. Drawing on a wide range of primary sources, Péter Bokody examines depictions of sexual violence in religion, law, medicine, literature, politics, and history writing produced in kingdoms (Sicily and Naples) and city-republics (Florence, Siena, Lucca, Bologna and Padua). Whilst misogynistic endorsement characterized many of these visual discourses, some urban communities condemned rape in their propaganda against tyranny. Such representations of rape often link gender and aggression to war, abduction, sodomy, prostitution, pregnancy, and suicide. Bokody also traces how the new naturalism in painting, introduced by Giotto, increased verisimilitude, but also fostered imagery that coupled eroticism and violation. Exploring images and texts that have long been overlooked, Bokody's study provides new insights at the intersection of gender, policy, and visual culture, with evident relevance to our contemporary condition.
In this book, Henrike Lange takes the reader on a tour through one of the most beloved and celebrated monuments in the world – Giotto's Arena Chapel. Paying close attention to previously overlooked details, Lange offers an entirely new reading of the stunning frescoes in their spatial configuration. The author also asks fundamental questions that define the chapel's place in Western art history. Why did Giotto choose an ancient Roman architectural frame for his vision of Salvation? What is the role of painted reliefs in the representation of personal integrity, passion, and the human struggle between pride and humility familiar from Dante's Divine Comedy? How can a new interpretation regarding the influence of ancient reliefs and architecture inform the famous “Assisi controversy” and cast new light on the debate around Giotto's authorship of the Saint Francis cycle? Illustrated with almost 200 color plates, this volume invites scholars and students to rediscover a key monument of art and architecture history and to see it with new eyes.
A strange thing happened to Roman sarcophagi in the third century: their Greek mythic imagery vanished. Since the beginning of their production a century earlier, these beautifully carved coffins had featured bold mythological scenes. How do we make sense of this imagery's own death on later sarcophagi, when mythological narratives were truncated, gods and heroes were excised, and genres featuring no mythic content whatsoever came to the fore? What is the significance of such a profound tectonic shift in the Roman funerary imagination for our understanding of Roman history and culture, for the development of its arts, for the passage from the High to the Late Empire and the coming of Christianity, but above all, for the individual Roman women and men who chose this imagery, and who took it with them to the grave? In this book, Mont Allen offers the clues that aid in resolving this mystery.
The remains of ancient Mediterranean art and architecture that have survived over the centuries present the modern viewer with images of white, the color of the stone often used for sculpture. Antiquarian debates and recent scholarship, however, have challenged this aspect of ancient sculpture. There is now a consensus that sculpture produced in the ancient Mediterranean world, as well as art objects in other media, were, in fact, polychromatic. Color has consequently become one of the most important issues in the study of classical art. Jennifer Stager's landmark book makes a vital contribution to this discussion. Analyzing the dyes, pigments, stones, earth, and metals found in ancient art works, along with the language that writers in antiquity used to describe color, she examines the traces of color in a variety of media. Stager also discusses the significance of a reception history that has emphasized whiteness, revealing how ancient artistic practice and ancient philosophies of color significantly influenced one another.
In this book, Irina Chernetsky examines how humanists, patrons, and artists promoted Florence as the reincarnation of the great cities of pagan and Christian antiquity – Athens, Rome, and Jerusalem. The architectural image of an ideal Florence was discussed in chronicles and histories, poetry and prose, and treatises on art and religious sermons. It was also portrayed in paintings, sculpture, and sketches, as well as encoded in buildings erected during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Over time, the concept of an ideal Florence became inseparable from the real city, in both its social and architectural structures. Chernetsky demonstrates how the Renaissance notion of genealogy was applied to Florence, which was considered to be part of a family of illustrious cities of both the past and present. She also explores the concept of the ideal city in its intellectual, political, and aesthetic contexts, while offering new insights into the experience of urban space.
The frescoes of Peruzzi, Raphael and Sodoma still dazzle visitors to the Villa Farnesina, but they survive in a stripped-down environment bereft of its landscape, sealed so it cannot breathe. Turner takes you outside that box, restoring these canonical images to their original context, when each element joined in a productive conversation. He is the first to reconstruct the architect-painter Peruzzi's original, well-proportioned, well-appointed building and to re-visualize his lost façade decoration‒erotic scenes and mythological figures who make it come alive and soar upward. More comprehensively than any previous scholar, he reintegrates painting, sculpture, architecture, garden design, topographical prints and drawings, archaeological discoveries and literature from the brilliant circle around the patron Agostino Chigi, the powerful banker who 'loved all virtuosi' and commissioned his villa-palazzo from the best talents in multiple arts. It can now be understood as a Palace of Venus, celebrating aesthetic, social and erotic pleasure.
This volume is the first to consider the golden century of Gothic ivory sculpture (1230-1330) in its material, theological, and artistic contexts. Providing a range of new sources and interpretations, Sarah Guérin charts the progressive development and deepening of material resonances expressed in these small-scale carvings. Guérin traces the journey of ivory tusks, from the intercontinental trade routes that delivered ivory tusks to northern Europe, to the workbenches of specialist artisans in medieval Paris, and, ultimately, the altars and private chapels in which these objects were venerated. She also studies the rich social lives and uses of a diverse range of art works fashioned from ivory, including standalone statuettes, diptychs, tabernacles, and altarpieces. Offering new insights into the resonances that ivory sculpture held for their makers and viewers, Guérin's study contributes to our understanding of the history of materials, craft, and later medieval devotional practices.
In this volume Anthi Andronikou explores the social, cultural, religious and trade encounters between Italy and Cyprus during the late Middle Ages, from ca. 1200 -1400, and situates them within several Mediterranean contexts. Revealing the complex artistic exchange between the two regions for the first time, she probes the rich but neglected cultural interaction through comparison of the intriguing thirteenth-century wall paintings in rock-cut churches of Apulia and Basilicata, the puzzling panels of the Madonna della Madia and the Madonna di Andria, and painted chapels in Cyprus, Lebanon, and Syria. Andronikou also investigates fourteenth-century cross-currents that have not been adequately studied, notably the cult of Saint Aquinas in Cyprus, Crusader propaganda in Santa Maria Novella in Florence, and a unique series of icons crafted by Venetian painters working in Cyprus. Offering new insights into Italian and Byzantine visual cultures, her book contributes to a broader understanding of cultural production and worldviews of the medieval Mediterranean.
In this volume, Karin Krause examines conceptions of divine inspiration and authenticity in the religious literature and visual arts of Byzantium. During antiquity and the medieval era, “inspiration” encompassed a range of ideas regarding the divine contribution to the creation of holy texts, icons, and other material objects by human beings. Krause traces the origins of the notion of divine inspiration in the Jewish and polytheistic cultures of the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern worlds and their reception in Byzantine religious culture. Exploring how conceptions of authenticity are employed in Eastern Orthodox Christianity to claim religious authority, she analyzes texts in a range of genres, as well as images in different media, including manuscript illumination, icons, and mosaics. Her interdisciplinary study demonstrates the pivotal role that claims to the divine inspiration of religious literature and art played in the construction of Byzantine cultural identity.
Before the late sixteenth century, the churches of Florence were internally divided by monumental screens that separated the laity in the nave from the clergy in the choir precinct. Enabling both separation and mediation, these screens were impressive artistic structures that controlled social interactions, facilitated liturgical performances, and variably framed or obscured religious ritual and imagery. In the 1560s and 70s, screens were routinely destroyed in a period of religious reforms, irreversibly transforming the function, meaning, and spatial dynamics of the church interior. In this volume, Joanne Allen explores the widespread presence of screens and their role in Florentine social and religious life prior to the Counter-Reformation. She presents unpublished documentation and new reconstructions of screens and the choir precincts which they delimited. Elucidating issues such as gender, patronage, and class, her study makes these vanished structures comprehensible and deepens our understanding of the impact of religious reform on church architecture.
Can we really trust the things our bodies tell us about the world? This work reveals how deeply intertwined cultural practices of art and science questioned the authority of the human body in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Focusing on Henry Fuseli, Anne-Louis Girodet and Philippe de Loutherbourg, it argues that romantic artworks participated in a widespread crisis concerning the body as a source of reliable scientific knowledge. Rarely discussed sources and new archival material illuminate how artists drew upon contemporary sciences and inverted them, undermining their founding empiricist principles. The result is an alternative history of romantic visual culture that is deeply embroiled in controversies around electricity, mesmerism, physiognomy and other popular sciences. This volume reorients conventional accounts of romanticism and some of its most important artworks, while also putting forward a new model for the kinds of questions that we can ask about them.
Integrating the written sources with Rome's surviving remains and, most importantly, with the results of the past half-century's worth of medieval archaeology in the city, The Making of Medieval Rome is the first in-depth profile of Rome's transformation over a millennium to appear in any language in over forty years. Though the main focus rests on Rome's urban trajectory in topographical, architectural, and archaeological terms, Hendrik folds aspects of ecclesiastical, political, social, military, economic, and intellectual history into the narrative in order to illustrate how and why the cityscape evolved as it did during the thousand years between the end of the Roman Empire and the start of the Renaissance. A wide-ranging synthesis of decades' worth of specialized research and remarkable archaeological discoveries, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in how and why the ancient imperial capital transformed into the spiritual heart of Western Christendom.
Up to its pillage by the Crusaders in 1204, Constantinople teemed with magnificent statues of emperors, pagan gods, and mythical beasts. Yet the significance of this wealth of public sculpture has hardly been acknowledged beyond late antiquity. In this book, Paroma Chatterjee offers a new perspective on the topic, arguing that pagan statues were an integral part of Byzantine visual culture. Examining the evidence in patriographies, chronicles, novels, and epigrams, she demonstrates that the statues were admired for three specific qualities - longevity, mimesis, and prophecy; attributes that rendered them outside of imperial control and endowed them with an enduring charisma sometimes rivaling that of holy icons. Chatterjee's interpretations refine our conceptions of imperial imagery, the Hippodrome, the Macedonian Renaissance, a corpus of secular objects, and Orthodox icons. Her book offers novel insights into Iconoclasm and proposes a more truncated trajectory of the holy icon in medieval Orthodoxy than has been previously acknowledged.
Both lauded and criticized for his pictorial eclecticism, the Florentine artist Jacopo Carrucci, known as Pontormo, created some of the most visually striking religious images of the Renaissance. These paintings, which challenged prevailing illusionistic conventions, mark a unique contribution into the complex relationship between artistic innovation and Christian traditions in the first half of the sixteenth century. Pontormo's sacred works are generally interpreted as objects that reflect either pure aesthetic experimentation, or personal and cultural anxiety. Jessica Maratsos, however, argues that Pontormo employed stylistic change deliberately for novel devotional purposes. As a painter, he was interested in the various modes of expression and communication - direct address, tactile evocation, affective incitement - as deployed in a wide spectrum of devotional culture, from sacri monti, to Michelangelo's marble sculptures, to evangelical lectures delivered at the Accademia Fiorentina. Maratsos shows how Pontormo translated these modes in ways that prompt a critical rethinking of Renaissance devotional art.
Scholars have traditionally viewed the Italian Renaissance artist as a gifted, but poorly educated craftsman whose complex and demanding works were created with the assistance of a more educated advisor. These assumptions are, in part, based on research that has focused primarily on the artist's social rank and workshop training. In this volume, Angela Dressen explores the range of educational opportunities that were available to the Italian Renaissance artist. Considering artistic formation within the history of education, Dressen focuses on the training of highly skilled, average artists, revealing a general level of learning that was much more substantial than has been assumed. She emphasizes the role of mediators who had a particular interest in augmenting artists' knowledge, and highlights how artists used Latin and vernacular texts to gain additional knowledge that they avidly sought. Dressen's volume brings new insights into a topic at the intersection of early modern intellectual, educational, and art history.