Pisanello: Painter to the Renaissance Court

Overview

"Pisanello (c.1394-1455) was the most celebrated artist of the early Italian Renaissance. A painter in fresco and on panel, a prolific and innovative draughtsman prized especially for minutely observed studies of animals and birds, he also became the first modern specialist of the portrait medal. Inspired equally by Arthurian romance, Gothic manuscript illuminations, classical antiquity and contemporary court fashions, his work provides a vivid record of the interests and ideals of his patrons, notably the Gonzaga, Este and Visconti rulers of
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Overview

"Pisanello (c.1394-1455) was the most celebrated artist of the early Italian Renaissance. A painter in fresco and on panel, a prolific and innovative draughtsman prized especially for minutely observed studies of animals and birds, he also became the first modern specialist of the portrait medal. Inspired equally by Arthurian romance, Gothic manuscript illuminations, classical antiquity and contemporary court fashions, his work provides a vivid record of the interests and ideals of his patrons, notably the Gonzaga, Este and Visconti rulers of northern Italian city states. To a modern viewer, Pisanello reveals an enchanted world, at once elegant, imaginative and intensely naturalistic." Yet with the loss of most of his paintings, and the dispersion in specialised museum collections of his drawings and medals, the artist's fame has been eclipsed. This is the first comprehensive book in English for almost a century to present a full survey of his life and work. Taking as their starting point an analysis in depth of his two exquisite panel pictures in the National Gallery, London - The Vision of Saint Eustace and The Virgin and Child with Saint Anthony Abbot and Saint George - the authors give a detailed account of Pisanello's imagery, his techniques and working methods, of his probable teachers and influences, his collaborators and followers. But the book is not confined to artistic matters alone. By firmly situating Pisanello within the fascinating political and intellectual life of the fifteenth-century Italian courts, it also illuminates a defining moment in European culture: when chivalric values were reconciled with humanist learning, Christian piety with Ciceronian eloquence, the arts of war with the art of living worthily - and a contemporary visual artist, Pisanello himself, first received the plaudits of poets and scholars.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
While most considerations of early Renaissance art focus on the significance of the Florentine contribution, Pisanello's (c. 1394-1455) contemporary fame and extraordinary achievement makes clear to us the inadequacy and narrowness of that perspective. Although intended to complement an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, London, this scholarly but nonetheless accessible volume is, in fact, the best and most comprehensive study of the artist that exists in English. Handsomely produced and splendidly illustrated, it grapples insightfully with the full range of the master's activity as painter, draughtsman, and metallurgist. His works are tellingly evoked and iconographically unraveled, and their interconnections and sources are subtly exposed. Of particular import, the authors (both curators, Syson at the British Museum and Gordon at the National Gallery) offer the context for Pisanello's art within the realm of the courtly culture and chivalric values of his aristocratic employers while at the same time charting the humanistic and thus classicizing impulses manifested in works done for those same patrons. Pisanello's significant impact on painters, draughtsmen, illuminators, and metallurgists is also more than ably surveyed. A requisite addition to collections of Renaissance art and culture. Robert Cahn, Fashion Inst. of Technology, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300091083
  • Publisher: National Gallery London
  • Publication date: 12/11/2001
  • Series: National Gallery London Publications
  • Pages: 276
  • Product dimensions: 9.96 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 1.07 (d)

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