History of Italian Renaissance Art

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  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2003-01-01
  • Publisher: PEARSON
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For sophomore/senior survey courses of Italian Renaissance painting, sculpture, and architecture. Long hailed as one of the most comprehensive and richly detailed chronologies of painting, sculpture, and architecture in Italy from c. 1200 AD to c. 1594 AD, this text focuses on the works of art, their creators, and the circumstances affecting their creation. This revision is designed to provide students with a more streamlined approach to understanding Italian Renaissance art without losing the enthusiasm and appreciation that Hartt demonstrated for this area and which earlier editions of this book conveyed so successfully to generations of students. The text is organized first of all chronologically, with individual chapters dedicated to developments in different areas or cities, such as Florence, Tuscany, Rome, Venice, and North Italy. There is a strong emphasis on understanding the works of individual artists as examples of their specific approach and style.

Table of Contents

Italy and Italian Art
The Late Middle Ages
Duecento Art in Tuscany and Rome
Florentine Art of the Early Trecento
Sienese Art of the Early Trecento
Later Gothic Art in Tuscany and Northern Italy
The Quattrocento
The Beginnings of Renaissance Architecture
Gothic and Renaissance in Tuscan Sculpture
Gothic and Renaissance in Florentine Painting
The Heritage of Masaccio and the Second Renaissance Style
The Second Renaissance Style in Architecture and Sculpture
Absolute and Perfect Painting: The Second Renaissance Style
Crisis and Crosscurrents
Science, Poetry, and Prose
The Renaissance in Central Italy
Gothic and Renaissance in Venice and Northern Italy
The Cinquecento
The High Renaissance in Florence
The High Renaissance in Rome
High Renaissance and Mannerism
High and Late Renaissance in Venice and on the Mainland
Michelangelo and the Maniera
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


When Frederick Hartt'sHistory o f Italian Renaissance Artwas first published, more than thirty years ago, it was an epoch-making achievement. This large volume with its dozens of color plates presented for the reader the story of Italian Renaissance art as it was loved, appreciated, and understood by one of the great scholars of the period. Before his death in 1991, Frederick Hartt was able to revise the book for two later editions. In 1994 a fourth edition offered minor revisions to Hartt's text and illustrations in the light of new discoveries and the restoration of the Sistine Chapel and other works. Now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, this new edition has been undertaken to update and enhance Hartt's original vision. I think he would have been especially pleased with our ability to offer color illustrations throughout the book, uniting the images with the text in a manner not possible before. As I set about updating Hartt's vision, my intent was to maintain the integrity of the story that he had first told so enthusiastically many years ago. The organization of the text as he planned it has been retained, and many of the works illustrated are the same. The new works added here were chosen to expand and enhance Hartt's original vision. The history of Italian Renaissance art is a vast and complex subject that could be told in a number of ways. Frederick Harrt's view was a traditional one that had its roots in the first history of Renaissance art, written by Giorgio Vasari in the sixteenth century. Like Vasari, Hartt emphasized the art that was created in Florence, Rome, Siena, and Venice. While art historians have discovered much that is interesting and important in the art created in Naples, Milan, Ferrara, and other centers during the Renaissance, to include this material in extensive detail would have detracted from Hartt's thesis that Renaissance art evolved in Florence and had its most fulfilling later development in Rome, Siena, and Venice. His belief that each of these cities evolved a unique style was the basis for his organization; as such, chapters were devoted to the developments in each center. Such an approach remains appropriate, for the story of each city's art has an internal integrity that is based on its own independent political and social structure and development. Hartt's model, Vasari'sLives of the Artists,was based on an interest in understanding each artist as a creative individual. While such a biographical and focused approach is still rewarding, it means that each artist is isolated and discussed independently. This organization provides readers with a strong sense of the personality and artistic development of each individual, while at the same time requiring that they re-create the original, overlapping chronology of events and works. While choosing to maintain Harrt's traditional framework, I have at the same time introduced a number of changes. Illustrations have been deleted to make way for other works that enrich our understanding of the diversity of the period. While Hartt emphasized religious art, I have added a number of secular works. Also new is a series of portraits of significant patrons and personalities of the period. Extracts from Renaissance texts have been added to enhance the historical context. The emphasis throughout, however, remains as Hartt envisioned it--on the work of art and on the individual creator rather than on the broader social and historical context within which these works were created. One of Harrt's goals was to help the reader see the works of art as he saw them through the use of evocative and poetic language. As an example of his descriptive powers, note how quickly he captured the effect of Parmigianino'sVision of St. Jerome(see fig. 18.54): "In the darkness that veils any possibility of establishing spatial relationships, rays of light flash from the Madonna's head and shoulders li

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