Origins, Imitation, Conventions: Representation in the Visual Arts

Overview

This collection contains studies written by art historian James Ackerman over the past decade. Whereas Ackerman's earlier work assumed a development of the arts as they responded to social, economic, political, and cultural change, his recent work reflects the poststructural critique of the presumption of progress that characterized Renaissance and modernist history and criticism. In this book he explores the tension between the authority of the past—which may act not only as a restraint but as a challenge and ...

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Overview

This collection contains studies written by art historian James Ackerman over the past decade. Whereas Ackerman's earlier work assumed a development of the arts as they responded to social, economic, political, and cultural change, his recent work reflects the poststructural critique of the presumption of progress that characterized Renaissance and modernist history and criticism. In this book he explores the tension between the authority of the past—which may act not only as a restraint but as a challenge and stimulus—and the potentially liberating gift of invention. He examines the ways in which artists and writers on art have related to ancestors and to established modes of representation, as well as to contemporary experiences.The "origins" studied here include the earliest art history and criticism; the beginnings of architectural drawing in theMiddle Ages and Renaissance; Leonardo Da Vinci's sketches for churches, the first in the Renaissance to propose supporting domes on sculpted walls and piers; and the first architectural photographs.

"Imitation" refers to artistic achievements that in part depended on the imitation of forms established in practices outside the fine arts, such as ancient Roman rhetoric and print media.

"Conventions," like language, facilitate communication between the artist and viewer, but are both more universal (understood across cultures) and more fixed (resisting variation that might diminish their clarity). The three categories are closely linked throughout the book, as most acts of representation partake to some degree of all three.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262011860
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 3/15/2002
  • Pages: 342
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

James S. Ackerman, Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Fine Arts Emeritus at HarvardUniversity, is the author of books on Michelangelo's architecture, Palladio, and the villa. He is the winner of the Balzan Prize 2001 in the category of history of architecture, which includes town planning and landscape design presented by the International Balzan Foundation.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 On the Origins of Art History and Criticism 1
2 The Origins of Architectural Drawing in the Middle Ages and Renaissance 27
3 Leonardo da Vinci's Church Designs 67
4 On the Origins of Architectural Photography 95
5 Imitation 125
6 Art and Science in the Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci 143
7 The Aesthetics of Architecture in the Renaissance 175
8 The Influence of Antiquity on Italian Renaissance Villas 185
9 Daniele Barbaro and Vitruvius 217
10 Palladio: Classical in What Sense? 235
11 Thomas Jefferson and Italy 263
12 The Conventions and Rhetoric of Architectural Drawing 293
Index 319
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