The Renaissance Artist at Work: From Pisano to Titian

The Renaissance Artist at Work: From Pisano to Titian

The Renaissance Artist at Work: From Pisano to Titian

The Renaissance Artist at Work: From Pisano to Titian

Excerpt

Renaissance art was made in a culture vastly different from our own, so different in fact that most of our ideas about art would have been unintelligible to those living during the period. Yet over the years I have discovered that students of art, and a great many of the books they read, tend to treat the works of Renaissance artists as though they were produced for twentieth-century eyes. This is of course quite permissible--the appreciation and enjoyment of art are not bound by rigid rules. But it seems to me that a fuller, more basic comprehension of Renaissance paintings and sculptures may be gained by trying to put them in their context.

I have attempted to do so by devoting sections of this book to the environment of Renaissance art, to artistic education, to the function, location, and patronage of art, to the physical structure and construction of the works, and to some of the types of art made during the period. I hope that the following chapters will provide a foundation for further study of the history of Renaissance art, but I will be well pleased if this book helps the reader only to regard that art as a product of its own time.

The term "Renaissance" is a flexible one and each author uses it in a different way. Here I shall discuss works (mainly from central Italy, because I know them best) made in the three centuries between 1250 and 1550. Mine is certainly a long Renaissance, but it is also one that allows a wide time span, something desirable in an introductory book of this nature.

Because this is a text for nonspecialists, I have addressed it both to the student of art and to the interested general reader. Detailed investigation into many of the topics covered may be initiated by consulting the books and articles cited in the notes.

As usual, I owe thanks to friends. Heidi Gealt was always a steady source of encouragement and advice. Barry Gealt patiently taught me . . .

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