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Florence and the Renaissance: The Quattrocento

Florence and the Renaissance: The Quattrocento

by Alain J. Lemaitre, Erich Lessing

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The remarkable artistic developments of 15th-century Florence have created one of the richest legacies in Western art, and the creators-Botticelli, Fra Angelico, Leonardo da Vinci-remain among the artists best known and most loved by the public. One of the first five titles in a new series purporting to combine high-quality illustrations, an accessible, critical background and an affordable price, this example hits the goal splendidly. LeMatre creates a thoroughly readable history that intelligently highlights the essential elements of intellectual, technological, political and artistic movements of the time, fleshing out his narrative with informed criticism, intriguing details of the artists' lives and comments by their contemporaries. In clear, vibrant prose and detailed analyses of a few major works from each artist, LeMatre, a professor at the University of Haute-Alsace, will inspire readers to further research. Although not every book in this series has had a photographer commissioned to produce all its illustrations, Lessing's photographs here give a choice view of these works often supplemented by welcome details. (Sept.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
In addition to editing, spelling, and factual errors, Lematre's survey of 15th-century Florentine art is hobbled by inept organization and perversely weighted in its treatment of individual masters. Masaccio, for example, is treated before masters who influenced him, and Fra Angelico receives more consideration than more significant artists like Donatello and Brunelleschi. In any case, the treatment of all the artists is summary and derivative. Furthermore, some of the works that are considered are not illustrated and some works illustrated are not discussed. Controversial points of attribution and chronology are passed without acknowledgment, and the medium ascribed to at least a few paintings is incorrect. The volume's bibliography is also haphazard and antiquated. Although Lessing's photographic potpourri is attractive, it provides little rationale for the acquisition of this opus.-Robert Cahn, Fashion Inst. of Technology, New York

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Terrail, Pierre Editions
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