Renaissance Art Books
One of the most accomplished human beings who ever lived, Leonardo remains the quintessential Renaissance genius. Creator of the world's most famous painting, this scientist, artist, philosopher, inventor, builder, and mechanic epitomized the great flowering of human consciousness that marks his era. And yet, so wide-ranging and prolific were his interests that he brought hardly any major undertaking to a final end. In his thousands of notes and sketches, Leonardo would not only demonstrate his graphic genius but also anticipate some of the great discoveries and inventions that would follow him, from key points in anatomy - such as the principles behind blood circulation - through to plans for armoured military vehicles, planes, helicopters and submarines. Leonardo also advanced numerous artistic techniques, achieving a complex psychology in such paintings as The Last Supper and the enigmatic La Gioconda, or Mona Lisa, which continue to mesmerize visitors from around the world to this day.
- RRP £10.00
At a time when artists were still widely preoccupied with religious or mythological subject matter, the great Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525-1569) defied the trend. Earning the nickname "Peasant Bruegel", he turned his attention instead to the humble and the everyday, immersing himself in rural or small-town communities and painting the everyday existence and customs of peasant life. In their evocation of the agriculture, festivals, meals, dances and games that made up peasant life of this period, Brugel's paintings are a unique Witness to a now vanished folk culture. More than socio-historical evidence, they also display a brilliantly sophisticated artistic design and a great mastery in the use of landscape. Many of Bruegel's works show the influence of the Dutch master painter Hieronymus Bosch, and, like Bosch, Bruegel also developed an intricate language of Visual allegory and idiom. This comprehensive introduction features the complete paintings of Bruegel, including the Prado's The Wine of Saint Martin's Day, identified as a Bruegel original in 2010.
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Leonardo da Vinci was the original Renaissance Man, an artist, mathematician, inventor and writer amongst his many talents. His skilfull observations of the mechanics of the body informed both his work, and the generations that followed. But his drawings are elegant too, with the gentle features of his female subjects in particular graced with unrivalled care and eloquence. Da Vinci's illustrations lie at the heart of our heritage and this new book offers a breadth and scale that will satisfy both the casual and informed reader.
- RRP £12.99
One key to this work is the unprecedented discovery of a true small ermine hidden beneath the visible animal that we see today. We also discover that the first intention of the Master was to paint a classic portrait - without an animal. Probably at the instigation of the Duke of Milan, Leonardo may have altered its composition and later added an ermine then, unsatisfied, transformed it again. Is it not strange then that in 1493 the first poem that describes this portrait does not mention the ermine, as this is an important element of the painting. Thanks to a revolutionary new technique, Pascal Cotte is able to analyse, layer by layer, all the superpositions of the brushstrokes. It is thus possible to reconstruct the whole story; from plank of wood, through all superimposed layers to the final appearance. Everything is analysed rigorously and methodically. The book also reveals important details about the construction of the painting, the wanderings of the painter, his hesitations, his errors and changes. All these findings were not previously visible using the traditional equipment of laboratories of museums.The author uses a new scientific method of analysis of pictorial works he invented and named L. A.M. for Layer Amplification Method.
- RRP £39.95
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'Never was a painter more nobly joyous, never did an artist take a greater delight in life, seeing it all as a kind of breezy festival and feeling it through the medium of perpetual success...He was the happiest of painters.' Henry James on Veronese, 1909 Collected here for the first time, these fascinating early biographies (one of which has never been translated before) describe and celebrate the astonishingly fertile art of Paolo Veronese. Most of what we know about Veronese comes from these three essays. 'I have known this Paolino and I have seen his beautiful works. He deserves to have a great volume written in praise of him, for his pictures prove that he is second to no other painter', wrote Veronese's contemporary Annibale Carracci in the margins to his copy of Vasari's writings, continuing 'and this fool passes over him in four lines. And just because he was not Florentine.' It was indeed a measure of his fame that Vasari, whose 'Life of Veronese' is reprinted here, should have overcome his pro-Tuscan prejudices to write about his great Venetian contemporary; and he was followed in this by another Florentine, the theorist Raffaele Borghini. But the most striking record of the impact of Veronese's art on his countrymen is the extensive biography by his fellow Venetian, Carlo Ridolfi. Entirely original in the seriousness and passion with which he approached his subject, Ridolfi permanently changed the course of writing about art. This is the first translation of his work into English. Translated and introduced by Xavier F. Salomon, curator of 'Veronese: Renaissance Magnificence' at the National Gallery, London. 50 pages of colour illustrations cover the span of Veronese's breathtaking career.
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The exhibition is divided into different parts, the first (Section I: The Legacy of the Fathers) exploring the rediscovery of ancient art in the 13th and 14th centuries by the likes of Nicola Pisano, Arnolfo and their successors. It then looks into the assimilation of Gothic style of French origin, including Brunelleschi's renowned sculpture, which is the starting point for the Early Renaissance. The exhibition follows development and influences from monumental sculptures by the likes of Donatello, Ghiberti, Nanni di Banco and Michelozzo, painting by artists such as Masaccio, Paolo Uccello, Andrea del Castagno and Filippo Lippi, and the impact on the political and spiritual mood of the city. Other elements include the development of perspective in bas-relief work, a taste for 'new beauty' and new commissions in places of worship, and the transition to the private patronage of the powerful Medici family. This beautiful exhibition catalogue encompasses the exhibition through over 200 images.
- RRP £40.00
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An all-new, jewel-like, reader-friendly format gives new life to this relaunch of an international best-seller.Leonardo da Vinci?artist, inventor, and prototypical Renaissance man?is a perennial source of fascination because of his astonishing intellect and boundless curiosity about the natural and man-made world. During his life he created numerous works of art and kept voluminous notebooks that detailed his artistic and intellectual pursuits.The collection of writings and art in this magnificent book are drawn from his notebooks. The book organizes his wide range of interests into subjects such as human figures, light and shade, perspective and visual perception, anatomy, botany and landscape, geography, the physical sciences and astronomy, architecture, sculpture, and inventions. Nearly every piece of writing throughout the book is keyed to the piece of artwork it describes.The writing and art is selected by art historian H. Anna Suh, who provides fascinating commentary and insight into the material, making Leonardo's Notebooks an exquisite single-volume compendium celebrating his enduring genius.
- RRP £14.99
Il divino Meet the Renaissance master Before reaching the tender age of 30, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) had already sculpted Pieta and David, two of the most famous sculptures in the entire history of art. As a sculptor, painter, draftsman, and architect, the achievements of this Italian master are unique-no artist before or after him has ever produced such a vast, multifaceted, and wide-ranging oeuvre. This fresh TASCHEN edition traces Michelangelo's ascent to the cultural elite of the Renaissance. Ten richly illustrated chapters cover the artist's paintings, sculptures, buildings, and drawings, including a close analysis of the artist's tour de force frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. Full-page reproductions and enlarged details allow readers to appreciate the finest details in the artist's repertoire, while the book's biographical essay considers Michelangelo's more personal traits and circumstances, such as his solitary nature, his thirst for money and commissions, his immense wealth, and his skill as a property investor. About the series: Bibliotheca Universalis-- Compact cultural companions celebrating the eclectic TASCHEN universe at an unbeatable, democratic price!Since we started our work as cultural archaeologists in 1980, the name TASCHEN has become synonymous with accessible, open-minded publishing. Bibliotheca Universalis brings together nearly 100 of our all-time favorite titles in a neat new format so you can curate your own affordable library of art, anthropology, and aphrodisia.Bookworm's delight -- never bore, always excite!
- RRP £15.00
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Albrecht Durer established his reputation as an artistic genius early in his career. By his mid-twenties, his engravings were being reproduced throughout Europe. This monograph explores the German master's entire life and oeuvre by focusing on the most important of his works. It follows Durer as he travelled throughout Europe, completing commissions for noblemen, kings, emperors, and popes - all the while satisfying his own thirst for knowledge and struggling with the changes brought about by the Reformation. Overflowing with impeccably reproduced images, this book offers full-page spreads of masterpieces as well as highlights of smaller details - allowing the viewer to appreciate every aspect of the artist's technique and output. Chronologically arranged, the book covers important biographical and historic events that reflect the latest scholarship. Additional information includes a list of works, timeline, and suggestions for further reading.
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Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) was the greatest artist of the Northern European Renaissance. Durer's virtuoso woodcuts and engravings ensured his fame throughout the Continent during his own lifetime. Yet he also produced an extraordinary output in other media - including painting, watercolour and drawing - which encompasses riveting portraits and self-portraits, grand altarpieces and meticulous studies of animals and nature. In this major new monograph, Jeffrey Chipps Smith examines the myths that have contributed to Durer's legend, considering his life and career within the framework of a tumultuous epoch in European history. Taking account of the extensive scholarship on the artist, Smith provides fresh insights into many of his most notable works, uncovering the creative process behind them and their wealth of meanings and ideas. Central to Smith's focus is the historical and cultural ferment of pre- and post-Reformation Europe, as he traces Durer's formative years in the Imperial free city of Nuremberg and his subsequent travels across Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. The result is a vivid picture of the professional activity of a prolific and psychologically complex figure. With its detailed commentary and original research, this is both an authoritive and an approachable monograph - indispensable for the student or scholar, while certain to appeal to anyone interested in this brilliant artist.
- RRP £17.95
The Florentine painter Botticelli personifies the Golden Age of the early Renaissance. Best known for The Birth of Venus and Primavera, Botticelli painted with an expressive poeticism that eschewed formal realism. He used line and colour to gorgeous effect, creating some of the most beloved and familiar images of all time. Overflowing with impeccably reproduced images, this book offers full-page spreads of masterpieces as well as highlights of smaller details-allowing the viewer to appreciate every aspect of the artist's technique and oeuvre. Chronologically arranged, the book covers important biographical and historic events that reflect the latest scholarship. Additional information includes a list of works, timeline and suggestions for further reading.
- RRP £8.99
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Phaidon's classic illustrated monograph on Raphael, updated with an elegantly crafted design for today's burgeoning art aficionados. Reviving a much beloved group of artist monographs from the Phaidon archive, the new Phaidon Classics bring to life the fine craftsmanship and design of Phaidon books of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Updated with a contemporary "classic" design, full color images and new introductions by leading specialists on the work of each artist, these elegantly crafted volumes revive the fine bookmaking of the first half of the twentieth century, making Phaidon Classics instant collectors' items. A magnificent study of Raphael (1438-1520), one of the greatest painters of the Italian Renaissance, whose brief career produced such masterpieces as The School of Athens and The Three Graces. The large-format images bring to life Raphael's radiant colors and brushwork in the religious paintings of the Madonna and saints, mythological paintings, and portraits ranging from Pope Julius II to Baldassare Castiglione.
- RRP £95.00
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The extraordinary creative energy of Renaissance Italy lies at the root of modern Western culture. In her elegant new introduction, Virginia Cox offers a fresh vision of this iconic moment in European cultural history, when - between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries - Italy led the world in painting, building, science and literature. Her book explores key artistic, literary and intellectual developments, but also histories of food and fashion, map-making, exploration and anatomy. Alongside towering figures such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Petrarch, Machiavelli and Isabella d'Este, Cox reveals a cast of lesser-known protagonists including printers, travel writers, actresses, courtesans, explorers, inventors and even celebrity chefs. At the same time, Italy's rich regional diversity is emphasised; in addition to the great artistic capitals of Florence, Rome and Venice, smaller but cutting-edge centres such as Ferrara, Mantua, Bologna, Urbino and Siena are given their due. As the author demonstrates, women played a far more prominent role in this exhilarating resurgence than was recognized until very recently - both as patrons of art and literature and as creative artists themselves. 'Renaissance woman', she boldly argues, is as important a legacy as 'Renaissance man'.
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Every painted work that is on display in the Uffizi Gallery, The Pitti Palace, the Accademia, and the Duomo is included in the book, plus many or most of the works from 28 of the city's other magnificent museums and churches. The research and text are by Ross King (best-selling author), Anja Grebe (author or The Louvre and The Vatican), Cristina Acidini (former Superintendent of the public museums of Florence) and Msgr. Timothy Verdon (Director of the artworks for the Archdiocese of Florence).
- RRP £55.00
The Mona Lisa is one of mankind's great mysteries. With over 9.7 million admirers per year, it is the most legendary painting of all time. Thanks to an extraordinary scientific imagery technique (L.A.M.), this book takes us on a journey into the heart of the paint-layers of the world's most famous picture and reveals secrets that have remained hidden for 500 years. Mona Lisa is not actually Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo, but a portrait that masks others. Leonardo da Vinci did not paint one, but four portraits, superimposed on top of one another. More than 150 discoveries help us rediscover the painting's genesis, with Cotte reconstituting the true portrait of Lisa Gherardini - whose face, hairstyle and costume were radically different from those we now see in the Louvre. The book shatters the myth and alters our vision of the work. It is a giant leap forward in art knowledge and art history. Pascal Cotte, who digitized The Mona Lisa at the Louvre with his multispectral camera in October 2004, now presents the fruit of ten years' research.
- RRP £29.95
Divine forms: The heavenly grace and human grandeur of a supreme Renaissance master In art history, we tend to be on first name terms only with the most revered of masters. The Renaissance painter and architectRaphael Santi(1483 1520) is one such star. The man we call simply Raphael has for centuries been hailed as a supreme Renaissance artist. For some, he even outstrips his equally famous, equally first-named, contemporaries, Leonardo and Michelangelo.From 1500 to 1508, Raphael worked throughout central Italy, particularly in Florence where he secured his reputation as a painter of portraits and beautifully rendered Madonnas, archetypical icons within the Catholic faith. In 1508 he was summoned to Rome by Pope Julius II and later embarked on an ambitious mural scheme for theStanza della Segnaturain the Vatican. Within this room, Raphael sThe School of Athensis considereda paradigm of the High Renaissance, merging Classical philosophy with perfected perspectival space, animated figures, and a composition of majestic balance.This essential introduction explores how in just two decades of work, Raphael painted his way to legendary greatness. With highlights from his prolific output, it presents the mastery of figures and forms that secured his place not only in the trinity of Renaissance luminaries but also among the most esteemed artists of all time. About the series: Each book in TASCHEN s Basic Art series features: a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his or her cultural and historical importance a concise biography approximately 100 illustrations with explanatory captions "
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Celebrates one of the greatest and most beloved painters of the Early Renaissance with luxurious, large-format images Sandro Botticelli, one of the greatest painters of the Italian High Renaissance, enjoyed the patronage of the greatest Florentine families. He spent most of his career in the humanist circle of the Medici, for whom he painted such masterpieces as Primavera and Venus and Mars, works that combine a decorative use of line with Classical elements in harmonious and supple compositions. This sumptuously produced volume features an updated, full-colour selection of the artist's works made for the original 1937 edition by Ludwig Goldscheider, co-founder of Phaidon Press. The original essay by Lionello Venturi is accompanied by a new introduction from Renaissance specialist Alessandro Cecchi, putting Botticelli and his school into a contemporary context. Elegant design, fine papers and tipped-on image plates make this a true collector's edition.
- RRP £95.00
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In his lifetime Hieronymus Bosch was already famous for his fantastic painterly creations. Today his name has become synonymous with eerie and infernal images. Seeing Bosch's enigmatic paintings, the viewer is faced with riddles that result in numerous interpretations. Some have tried to explain the supposedly inexplicable symbolism by exploring the alchemical context or by suggesting that Bosch embraced secret pagan cults. With the utmost seriousness, it was debated whether he had belonged to the order of the Brethren and Sisters of the Free Spirit or the Adamites, a group that had been persecuted as heretical. Clues were sought in order to prove that he belonged to the Cathar faith and indulged in occult practices, free love or mysterious drugs and witches' salves. Some tried to understand his visual worlds through esoteric explanations, while others tried to decode them with the methods of abnormal psychology and psychoanalysis. For a painter of his time, Bosch's work and life is exceptionally well documented. Around 100 historical records from Bosch's lifetime are still extant, shedding light on his works, their commissions and his social position. In this book Nils Buttner traces the career of a painter who worked for the highest aristocratic and courtly circles, and explains Bosch's paintings against the background of contemporary culture and social reality. This fresh and insightful work on Bosch appears in the 500th anniversary of his death.
- RRP £15.95
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On the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther s 95 Theses, this opulent book presents a colorful introduction to Renaissance art and history. aturing more than a hundred outstanding paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and treasures of the Age of the Reformation, this publication comprises masterpieces by Albrecht Du rer, Lucas Cranach the Elder and Lucas Cranach the Younger, Hans Holbein the Elder and Hans Holbein the Younger, Matthias Gru newald, and Tilman Riemenschneider, among others. By placing these works in their historical context, this beautifully illustrated book uses art as a prism through which to consider the religious, social and political upheavals of the time. The volume includes insightful texts that discuss pivotal subjects such as traditional imagery and devotion, Reformation and polemics, court life and culture, humanism and reality, as well as portraiture and representation. Biographies of the artists, an extensive bibliography and a glossary of central terms concerning the German Reformation make this a comprehensive study of a fascinating period in European art history."
- RRP £39.99
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Albrecht Durer's prints and drawings have inspired hundreds of artists, both during his life and after his death. Yet his talent as a painter and colorist, and his enthusiasm for the scientific world have not been widely appreciated. Durer's influence was both international and intergenerational-indeed Picasso claimed to have been inspired by the 16th-century artist. Reproduced in stunning detail and including illustrations of Durer's most famous prints and drawings, a catalog raisonne of his paintings, and biographical research, this book presents a Durer for the 21st century. Producing more self-portraits than any other artist of his day; mass marketing his best-selling prints; even inventing his own monogram logo; Albrecht Du rer was commercially astute long before today's generation of self-promoting and financially-savvy artists. There are 55 extant Durer paintings, of which 17 are in dispute. Using scientific research, this book puts all arguments to bed resulting in the definitive catalog raisonne of the paintings. Drawing on in-depth research, this book reveals the truth behind Durer and his art.
- RRP £35.00
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Delving into the intersections between artistic images and philosophical knowledge in Europe from the late sixteenth to the early eighteenth centuries, The Art of Philosophy shows that the making and study of visual art functioned as important methods of philosophical thinking and instruction. From frontispieces of books to monumental prints created by philosophers in collaboration with renowned artists, Susanna Berger examines visual representations of philosophy and overturns prevailing assumptions about the limited function of the visual in European intellectual history. Rather than merely illustrating already existing philosophical concepts, visual images generated new knowledge for both Aristotelian thinkers and anti-Aristotelians, such as Descartes and Hobbes. Printmaking and drawing played a decisive role in discoveries that led to a move away from the authority of Aristotle in the seventeenth century. Berger interprets visual art from printed books, student lecture notebooks, alba amicorum (friendship albums), broadsides, and paintings, and examines the work of such artists as Pietro Testa, Leonard Gaultier, Abraham Bosse, Durer, and Rembrandt. In particular, she focuses on the rise and decline of the "plural image," a genre that was popular among early modern philosophers. Plural images brought multiple images together on the same page, often in order to visualize systems of logic, metaphysics, natural philosophy, or moral philosophy. Featuring previously unpublished prints and drawings from the early modern period and lavish gatefolds, The Art of Philosophy reveals the essential connections between visual commentary and philosophical thought.
Today Michelangelo's painting and sculpture is seen most often in museums, while his archi-tectural designs have been left incomplete or modified by others so that some are barely recognizable. But his art was made to be viewed in churches, homes and political settings, by people who brought their own needs and expectations to his work. Paintings and sculptures were rarely seen in isolation; instead they were seen as part of rituals and ceremonies. Viewers of Michelangelo's time would experience the work under specific lighting conditions and from particular positions. They would move through spaces and past sculpture, and they might make comparisons to other objects nearby. In this engaging book, Bernadine Barnes brings together new research to show how Michelangelo's art was seen in its own time. The original setting is reconstructed for works that have been moved, modified or left incomplete. Michelangelo's consideration of his audience changed throughout his career: sometimes he produced work for conventional religious settings, and at other times he was given unprecedented freedom by open-minded patrons.This book brings the viewer back into the development of Michelangelo's work, and gives emphasis to the differences between viewers in specific settings. Michelangelo lived in a time when the development of prints and published art criticism changed the nature of the viewing public in ways that foreshadow our own media culture. This book encourages today's viewers to take a fresh look at Michelangelo's work.
- RRP £15.95
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Published to accompany the V&A's major spring exhibition, Botticelli Reimagined, 5 March to 3 July 2016 The Florentine painter Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) is one of the greatest artists of all time. Renowned for the iconic Birth of Venus and Primavera, his work has become part of our collective visual memory, influencing product development, fashion design and artists as diverse as Andy Warhol, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Rene Magritte and Jeff Koons. But Botticelli's fame today was by no means a foregone conclusion. Quickly forgotten after his death, he was only rediscovered as an artist in the nineteenth century - and much of what we know of his work has been pieced together from fragmentary evidence; only three of his works are signed or documented. Since then, 'Botticelli' has been interpreted in many different ways, and has led to many questions. How does a painter acquire international fame? What made Botticelli a pop icon? Why are his works considered timeless? What is it that makes him so 'European' that his Venus appears on the 10 cent coin?What we can say - safely - is that Botticelli, more than any other Old Master, inspired and continues to inspire modern and contemporary art.
- RRP £40.00
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Few paintings inspire the kind of intense study and speculation as Garden of Earthly Delights, the world famous triptych by Netherlandish master Hieronymus Bosch. The painting has been interpreted as a heretical masterpiece, an opulent illustration of the Creation and a premonition of the end of the world. In this book, renowned art historian Hans Belting offers a radical reinterpretation of the work, which he sees not as apocalyptic, but utopian, portraying how the world would exist had the Fall not happened. Taking readers through each panel, Belting discusses various schools of thought and explores Bosch's life and times. This fascinating study is an important contribution to the literature and theory surrounding one of the world's most enigmatic artists.
- RRP £9.99
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