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Renaissance

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted July 11, 2009

    Renaissance Period portrayed in a detailed, lavishly illustrated, account

    This book is worth many repeated visits. First, the photos and captions take you through many creators and their works. The meaning of the images is described and clarified. From that point on, each new visit will reveal more meaning of a period so given to creativity.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 6, 2009

    Renaissance art reflecting historical and social changes

    Masters widens understanding of the Renaissance by weaving together the variety and evolution of artistic styles found in painting, architecture, sculpture, and other arts; the range of subject areas from sacred carrying over from the Middle Ages to secular and scientific reflecting the rising humanism; and the intermixture of cultural influences, not only those of classical antiquity, but Byzantine and Middle Eastern from increased trade and other contacts. Considering echoes of the Renaissance in art by Manet, Ingres, and other 19th-century artists, Masters also broadens understanding of it through following ages.<BR/><BR/> The author accomplishes this broadened perspective on the Renaissance not as might be expected by an academic study or similar art history study, but by a gallery of notable, relevant Renaissance art works on nearly every page that is coffee-table book in size and appearance. One takes in the expanded perspective mostly by visual means rather than scholarly. The difference between this work and a typical, familiar art book displaying the highest achievements of Renaissance art is the organization, not the sum of the content. By its organization, this work goes beyond celebration and appreciation of Renaissance art to a grasp of the relationship between the art and varied areas of Renaissance culture.<BR/><BR/>Religious themes, domestic life, foreign lands linked by advances in transportation, warfare, the growth of cities, the natural world including animals presaging the science of following eras, largely idealized or romanticized images of classical times, changes in fashion, and a new humanism seen in anatomical drawings and realistic portrayals are the cultural areas Masters ranges over. The information and perspective is found mostly in short essay-like annotations for the categorized art works, mostly paintings. The annotation with Bellini's portrait of The Doge Leonardo Loredan (ca. 1500) relates, "The head of the Venetian Republic was the doge, who was elected for life on the death of his predecessor...he could exert influence as chairman of the decision-making bodies, the Senate..."; thus relating a succinct picture of the more democratic forms of government which were superseding monarchy. In Lucas van Leyden's painting The Last Judgment (ca. 1500), the "beautiful nude figures of the resurrected...recede into the far distance..."; thus bringing together the Renaissance celebration of the human form with fundamentals of Christianity. Such learned, succinct passages tied in with adjacent lavishly reproduced art works on glossy paper make the book a special treat for art lovers and art historians.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2010

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