Painting in Renaissance Florence, 1500-1550

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Large-format (11-1/2x9-34) study of Renaissance painting in Florence during the first half of the 16th century. The author is Chief Curator and Deputy Director at the National ... Gallery of Canada. He has also published with Yale University Press a study of Rosso Fiorentino. Interior mint (book never opened); exterior save for small separation of the colored cover from the backing paper at the bottom right front corner (we have another copy on which the same thing happened in the same place), 199 illustrations, many if not most in color. Read more Show Less

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This outstanding book overturns longstanding assumptions about the way art evolved in Renaissance Florence. David Franklin challenges the reliability and usefulness of the terms 'High Renaissance' and 'Mannerism', which have been used commonly to describe and define the extraordinary paintings of the Florentine Renaissance. Franklin offers instead a new perspective on the progress and development of art in Florence, structuring his discussion around the lives and works of twelve influential Italian painters of the era.

The book provides a detailed account of the critical period from about 1500, when Leonardo returned to Florence, to the publication in 1550 of Vasari's first edition of the Lives of the Artists. With penetrating analyses of careers, influences and specific paintings. Franklin isolates two main strands in Renaissance Florentine painting. He brings to light the passionate rivalry between a deeply localized attitude towards art exemplified by Michelangelo and Leonardo and climaxing in the work of Pontormo, and a style influenced by the Roman art of Raphael which Vasari tried with some success to import into Florence. For the former group, life drawing and expressive human form were at the heart of their enterprise, while for the latter, it was superficial narrative arranged for decorative effect. Franklin's unprecedented examination of Vasari's work as a painter in relation to his vastly better-known writings fully illuminates these dual strands in Florentine art and offers us a clearer understanding of sixteenth-century painting in Florence than ever before.

The volume focuses on twelve painters: Perugino, Leonardo da Vinci, Piero di Cosimo, Michelangelo, Fra Bartolomeo, Ridolfo Ghirlandaio. Andrea del Sarto, Franciabigio, Rosso Fiorentino, Jacopo da Pontormo, Francesco Salviati and Giorgio Vasari.

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Editorial Reviews

Franklin offers a handsome book that argues persuasively for a break with the traditional compartmentalization of Florentine painting.
Toronto Globe & Mail
[A] gorgeously illustrated survey of Renaissance Florentine art.
Library Journal
Franklin presents the many crosscurrents of painting active in Florence from 1500 to 1550, discussing 12 important artists (e.g., Perugino, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Fra Bartolomeo, and Andrea del Sarto) in separate chapters. He argues against definitions of "high renaissance" and "mannerism" that the artists he examines wouldn't recognize in favor of a more fluid understanding and analysis of the information and observations we currently have. While emphasizing two different strains one more traditional, as in Perugino, and the other more revolutionary, as in Leonardo and Michelangelo he analyzes their creative response to patrons and fashions and their growing frustration with getting paintings completed. In a final chapter, the author assesses Vasari as an artist as well as an art historian, giving a sympathetic as well as a critical overview of his achievements. This dense, difficult, but well-organized account of Florentine painting will appeal especially to scholars and art history students; Elizabeth Pilliod's recent Pontormo, Bronzino, Allori (LJ 11/15/01) deals more intimately with the politics of the period. Recommended for university, special, and museum art book collections. Ellen Bates, New York Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300083996
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 10.08 (w) x 11.80 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vi
Introduction 1
1 Perugino and the Eclipse of Quattrocento Mannerism 5
2 Leonardo da Vinci and the Origins of a New Style 19
3 Piero di Cosimo: A Renaissance 'eccentric'? 41
4 Michelangelo the Florentine Painter 63
5 Fra Bartolomeo, the School of San Marco and the Dominican Manner 81
6 Ridolfo Ghirlandaio and the Retrospective Tradition in Painting 103
7 Andrea del Sarto: The Artist 'without errors' 127
8 The Critical Misfortunes of Franciabigio 153
9 Rosso Fiorentino and the Rejection of Florence 173
10 Jacopo da Pontormo: The Last Painter of the Florentine Renaissance 191
11 Francesco Salviati: Rome in Florence 213
12 The Life of Giorgio Vasari 229
Bibliographical Note and Abbreviations 250
Notes 252
List of Illustrations 261
Photograph Credits 266
Index 267
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