Renaissance

Renaissance

by Andrew Graham-Dixon
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The Renaissance was one of the great periods of creative and intellectual achievement. This "age of genius," from its origins in the thirteenth century to its zenith in sixteenth-century Rome, produced some of the most fascinating and dynamic artists of all time—Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, and Leonardo da Vinci.
In his adventurous new book,

Overview

The Renaissance was one of the great periods of creative and intellectual achievement. This "age of genius," from its origins in the thirteenth century to its zenith in sixteenth-century Rome, produced some of the most fascinating and dynamic artists of all time—Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, and Leonardo da Vinci.
In his adventurous new book, lavishly illustrated with 125 color illustrations, acclaimed art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon takes a fresh look at this most exciting period in art history, challenging many of the myths and misconceptions surrounding the Renaissance.

The Italian scholars who first dreamed of a Renaissance wished to revive the spirit of classical antiquity after the darkness—as they saw it—of the medieval and Byzantine periods. Graham-Dixon argues, however, that the Renaissance represented a culmination rather than a complete rejection of those earlier influences. Starting in the Middle Ages with the impact of the Franciscan movement on painting in Italy, Graham-Dixon's reappraisal of the Renaissance takes us through the key moments of its development, focusing on the major artists and architects of the time: the Early Renaissance in Florence—Giotto, Masaccio, Donatello, and Brunelleschi; the Northern Renaissance—Dürer, Cranach, and Brueghel; VeBérénice—Titian, Palladio, and Tintoretto; and the High Renaissance in Rome—Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Raphael.

Renaissance also outlines the historical context of this time of great social as well as artistic change. It reveals the social climate in which these artists worked: the power struggles between the Renaissance rulers of the Italian city-states, the French invasions of Italy, the invention of printing, and the Protestant Reformation. Along with his vivid, highly original, and often extremely entertaining descriptions of the works themselves, Graham-Dixon not only reassesses but also brings to life one of the most glorious periods in history.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Companion to a BBC television series, this effort is a gracefully written and up-to-date, if not particularly innovative, lay reader's introduction to Renaissance art and the cultural milieu that spawned it. While spanning the breadth of avant-garde European art between c.1300 and c.1600, Graham-Dixon, formerly chief art critic for the London Independent, necessarily and appropriately focuses on the seminal Italian achievement. Thus, the bulk of the text is given over to canonic figures ranging from Giotto to Michelangelo. The concise intelligence of Graham-Dixon's characterizations of both artists and art are neatly matched by the vivid articulation of the classical and medieval influences that helped give shape to the epoch. In addition, the author discusses religion, humanistic thought, the changing social status of the artist, and the larger historic ebb and flow without which coherent discourse about the era's art is not possible. Despite a certain contentious attraction toward intellectual straw men and insufficient illustration, this vivacious advanced primer will, it is hoped, attain the wide readership it manifestly merits.--Robert Cahn, Fashion Inst. of Technology, New York Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
School Library Journal
YA-Because the author is an art historian, his central focus is on art and architecture, but he also considers the politics, morality, and philosophy that engendered their development. Smaller than most textbooks and laced with beautiful full-color and black-and-white reproductions, the book will appear much less daunting to students than most other art-history tomes. The author's sense of humor and enthusiasm for his subject are palpable throughout. The organization is loosely chronological, but each chapter explores a different argument, such as whether the Renaissance can be clearly distinguished from the Middle Ages or its relationship to the Reformation. While the narrative is lively and provocative, it presupposes a general knowledge of and interest in the period. Graham-Dixon has drawn extensively from primary sources from the world of politics, religion, literature, and art. While this makes for fascinating reading, it may create frustration for students who are seeking information about a particular artist or work. Section headings within chapters and the index alleviate the problem somewhat. In any case, the extra effort is well rewarded since the author includes intriguing stories of the artists' lives and works along with his own ideas about an artist's or city's contribution to the period. A treasure for budding Renaissance scholars.-Cathy Horowitz, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520223752
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
02/01/2000
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
7.25(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

Gene Brucker
Renaissance reflects the intensely personal and passionate involvement of the author in his subject. In his analysis and his judgments, Graham-Dixon is original, daring, occasionally iconoclastic, and never dull or pedantic. The result is a book both more spirited and more accessible than Kenneth Clark's Civilization.
— (Gene Brucker, author of Florence: The Golden Age, 1138-1737)

Meet the Author

Andrew Graham-Dixon is writer and presenter of the BBC television series Renaissance. He was chief art critic at the Independent between 1986 and 1998. His other books include the best-selling History of British Art , and Paper Museum (1996), a collection of his writings from the Independent. He lives in London.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >