Painting and Illumination in Early Renaissance Florence, 1300-1450

Painting and Illumination in Early Renaissance Florence, 1300-1450

by Laurence B. Kanter, Metropolitan Museum of Art Staff

View All Available Formats & Editions

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This radiant survey of manuscript illumination, drawings, small panels, embroidery and paintings on glass presents an unconventional picture of the momentous emergence of a Renaissance style in Florence. Dominican monk Fra Angelico held illumination to be fully equal to any other art form in its expressive potential and aesthetic demands. For confirmation of that view, one need only look at Bartolomeo di Fruosino's cataclysmic rendition on parchment of Dante's descent into The Inferno; Lorenzo Monaco's stark, iconic narrative panel Lamentation Over the Dead Christ; or Fra Angelico's own meticulously rendered religious miniatures, windows onto a spiritual universe. Featuring erudite essays enhanced by 296 plates (120 in color), this catalogue of an exhibition at Manhattan's Metropolitan Museum of Art documents a flourishing visual culture developed by artists equally adept at frescoes or small-scale works. (Apr.)
Library Journal
The part played by manuscript illumination and other more ephemeral "minor arts" in the earliest phase of the Florentine Renaissance have until now been made inadequately available and were thus insufficiently appreciated by the wider art-avid public. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has in part remedied this lacuna with an excellent exhibition and this catalog of smaller works dating from c.1300 to c.1450. While the volume's introduction is graced with an apposite overview of the Florentine illuminated manuscript tradition, it is ill served by a discussion of the manuscripts' function (more appropriate to a brief appendix) and by a too terse and too arcane consideration of Fra Angelico's chronology and patronage. It is the lavishly and beautifully illustrated catalog of the content of the exhibit that most particularly recommends the work. The carefully wrought discussion of the individual artistic personalities and the meticulous descriptions and analyses of the objects are models of their kind. For Renaissance and book-arts collections.-Robert Cahn, Fashion Inst. of Technology, New York
Published in conjunction with an exhibit of the same name mounted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, November 1994 to February 1995. Four extended essays explore several aspects of illuminated books by five generations of artists in Florence. The catalogue section includes 55 entries on 110 works of art, accompanied by 296 illustrations, about half in color; each entry includes a descriptive commentary, a provenance, and references. Because many illuminated books were cut apart and disseminated into different collections, a goal of the exhibition was to reconstruct disassembled books, in some cases for the first time. 10x12" Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Product Details

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Publication date:

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >