Renaissance Art Reconsidered: An Anthology of Primary Sources / Edition 1

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Renaissance Art Reconsidered showcases the aesthetic principles and the workaday practices guiding daily life through these years of extraordinary human achievement.

  • A major new anthology, bringing to life the places, works, media, and issues that define Renaissance art
  • Ideal for use on Renaissance studies courses and for reference by students of art history
  • Moves beyond the borders of Italy to consider European, Mediterranean, and post Byzantine art, widening the traditional focus of Renaissance art
  • Includes letters, treatises, contracts, inventories, and other public documents, many of which are translated into English for the first time in this volume
  • Showcases the aesthetic principles and the workaday practices guiding daily life through these years of extraordinary human achievement, providing crucial insight into the art and the context in which it was produced.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'The text is well written and informative without being overly technical or employing excessive terminology.? (Association of Art Historians2009)

Renaissance Art Reconsidered is rich in detail and broad in scope, but its most important accomplishment is its conveyance of individual attitudes on the great value placed on all forms of art. It provides a view of what was expected both throughout the creative process and in the end result. This anthology gives us insight into the needs and problems of the creative process of the artists, patrons, and viewers of the Renaissance.? (Sixteenth Century Journal, Winter 2008)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405146418
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 472
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.05 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol M. Richardson is Lecturer in the History of Art Department at The Open University. She is the author of Reclaiming Rome: Cardinals in the Early Renaissance (1400–1480) (2007).

Kim W. Woods is Lecturer in the History of Art Department at The Open University. She is the author of Imported Images (2007).

Michael W. Franklin is Course Administrator at The Open University.

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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors.



Part I: Making Renaissance Art.

Drawing and Workshop Practice.

Cennino Cennini on Drawing.

Alberti on Drawing Figures.

Francesco Squarcione Details the Drawing Regime for his Pupils.

Gerard Horenbout takes on two Apprentices.

A Master’s Duty of Care for his Apprentices.

Leonardo da Vinci on Drawing.

Dürer gives Drawings as Gifts and Uses them to pay day-to-day Expenses.

Dürer Lists the Qualities Required to be a Painter.

Joachim Camerarius Praises Dürer’s Drawings.

Linear Perspective.

Cennino Cennini’s Method for Depicting Buildings in a Painting.

Alberti and the Earliest Written Description of Single-point Perspective.

Lorenzo Ghiberti Lists the Sources for Perspective.

Filarete’s Method for Making Drawings of Buildings.

Piero Della Francesca’s Perspective for Painters.

Manetti’s Descriptions of Brunelleschi’s Experiments.

Leonardo da Vinci on single-point and Aerial Perspective.


Posthumous Inventory of Tournai Sculptor Colart le Cat.

Michelozzo and Donatello are Contracted to make the Prato Pulpit.

Report on Donatello’s Progress on the Prato Pulpit.

The Brussels Painters’ Guild Claims Exclusive Rights to Market Painted Works of Art.

Extracts from De Statua by Leon Battista Alberti.

1470 regulations of the Antwerp Guild of St Luke.

Utrecht Sculptor Adriaen van Wesel makes a Carved Altarpiece for the Confraternity of Our Ladys’ Hertogenbosch.


Filarete’s System of Architecture.

Brunelleschi’s Practice of Architecture.

Panel Painting.

Cennino Cennini’s Instructions on How to Paint Drapery in a Fresco Painting.

Cennino Cennini’s Instructions on How to Acquire the Skills to Paint on Panel.

Cennino Cennini’s Instructions on How to Prepare and Size a Panel.

Cennino Cennini’s Instructions on How to Paint a Panel.

Contract for Sassetta’s Madonna della Neve Altarpiece.

A Fee is fixed for Madonna della Neve Altarpiece.

Second Valuation of Sassetta’s Madonna della Neve Altarpiece.

Final Valuation of Sassetta’s Madonna della Neve Altarpiece.

Contract for Enguerrand Quarton’s Coronation of the Virgin Altarpiece.

Prints and Printmaking.

An ordinance from the Stadsarchief, Leuven, Concerning Printmaker Jan van den Berghe.

The Hard Business of Printing.

A Printer tries to Protect his Creative Rights.

Dürer’s Letter to Jakob Heller.

A Letter from block-cutter Jost de Negker to Maximilian I.

The Purchase of the Contents of an Antwerp Printer’s Workshop.

Erasmus’s Eulogy on Dürer.

Robert Peril’s Agreement Regarding the Manufacture of Printed Playing Cards in Antwerp.

Vasari's life of Marcantonio Raimondi.

Treatises, Histories, Artists and Education.

Lorenzo Ghiberti on the Education Required for Making Sculpture.

Two Florentine Views of Art History: (1) Antonio Manetti.

Two Florentine Views of Art History: (2) Leonardo da Vinci.

Books known or Owned by Leonardo da Vinci.

Courtiers Discuss the Merits of Painting and Sculpture.

Part II: Locating Renaissance Art.

Florence and Rome.

Domenico Veneziano looks for Work in Florence.

The Contract for Wall Paintings at the Sistine Chapel.

The Valuation of the first four Narratives at the Sistine Chapel.

Botticelli Pursues Outstanding Payments for his work in the Sistine Chapel.

Filippino Lippi works for Cardinal Carafa in Rome at Lorenzo de’ Medici’s. Suggestion.

Filippino Lippi Explains to Filippo Strozzi why he has gone to Rome.

A dialogue between Florence and Rome against Savonarola.

The Duke of Milan’s Agent Reports on Florentine Artists.

Michelangelo’s Letter to Lorenzo de’ Pierfrancesco de’ Medici from Rome.

A Cultural Tourist Describes Some of the Sites in Rome.

Netherlandish Networks.

Pedro Tafur’s Impressions of the Netherlands in the 1430s.

Lluís Dalmau is Contracted to make an Altarpiece for the Councillors’ Chapel in Barcelona.

Ciriaco d’Ancona’s Comments on a Deposition Triptych by Rogier van der Weyden.

Bartlommeo Facio’s Description of the Work of Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden.

Marcantonio Michiel Records Netherlandish Paintings in the Homes of Collectors in Venice and Padua in the Early Sixteenth Century.

Pietro Summonte Describes to Marcantonio Michiel Works by Van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden in Naples.


Statutes of the Tapestry-Makers’ Guild in Brussels.

The Signoria of Florence Recommends a Weaver from Bruges.

A Dispute Between the Painters’ Guild and the Tapestry-Makers’ Guild.


Ghiberti’s Admiration for Early Sienese Art.

The Commission for the Reconstructed Altar and Altarpiece for the Cappella dei Signori.

Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini and International Politics.

Pius II’s Canonization of Saint Catherine of Siena.

Pius II’s Description of his Cathedral in Pienza and its Interior.

The Post-Byzantine Renaissance.

The Will of the Painter Angelos Akotantos.

Ioannes Akotantos Sells the Drawings of his Brother, Angelos Akotantos.

Contract to Teach the Art of Painting in the Workshop of Loannes Akotantos.

Contract to Teach the Art of Painting in the Workshop of Andreas Pavias.

Andreas Pavias Intervenes to Secure the Return of an Icon Painted by Angelos Akotantos.

The Commission from the Venetian Ruler of Nauplio, for a Pala A’altare.

On the Making of Anthibola (Imprinted Cartoons).

How to Plaster a Wall.


Extract From the Mariegola (rule-book) of the Mercers Company in Venice.

Gentile Bellini Undertakes the Decoration of the Grand Council Chamber.

Gentile Bellini is sent on a Mission to Constantinople.

Giovanni Bellini is Contracted to Decorate the Grand Council Chamber.

Giovanni Bellini is Exempted from Duties in the Painters’ Guild.

Alvise Vivarini’s Petition to Work on the Decoration of the Grand Council Chamber.

Extract from Marin Sanudo’s Praise of the City of Venice.

Extract from The Memoirs of Philippe de Commynes.

Extract from Pietro Casola’s Account of a Pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

The Bellini Brothers are Contracted to Work at the Scuola Grande di San Marco.

Gentile Bellini agrees to Continue Work at the Scuola Grande di San Marco.

Giovanni Bellini is Contracted to Complete his Brother’s Work.

Dürer’s Correspondence on Venice, and on Venetian Art and Artists.

From Francesco Sansovino’s Dialogue on All the Notable Things which are in Venice.

Architectural Treatises.

Vitruvius’ Ideas on Architecture.

Alberti Improves on Vitruvius.

Part III: Viewing Renaissance Art.

Art, Class and Wealth.

Treasures in the Ducal Chapel of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy.

The Camera Grande of Doctor Bartolo di Tura.

Luxury goods in the Rooms of Lorenzo the Magnificent.

Views on Art in Florence.

The Florentine Merchant, Giovanni Rucellai, Discusses his Spending.

A Coppersmith Describes the Festivities in Florence for St John the Baptist.

Fra Girolamo Savonarola warns Florentines against the Dangers of the New type of Painting.

The Cloth Merchants’ Guild Commission a New Sculpture for the Florentine Baptistery.

A Meeting About Where to Place Michelangelo’s David.

Illuminated Manuscripts.

The Manuscripts in the Library of the Duke of Urbino.

The Contract between Attavante and a Florentine Merchant for an Illuminated. Manuscript.

The Chequered History of the Sforza Hours.

The Preface to Sala’s Poetry Book.

Art and Monarchy in France.

The Tomb of Louis XI.

Bourdichon: ‘Painter to the King’.

Jean Robertet’s Poem About the Worst Painter in the World.

Henri Baude’s ‘Moral Sayings for Making Tapestries’.

Jean Lemaire de Belges.

Jean Perréal de Paris: Painter and Poet.

Michel Colombe’s Contract for a Tomb Project at Brou.

The Travel Journal of Antonio de Beatis.

The Market in Icons.

John of Damascus on Images.

The Will of Andreas Cornaros.

Three Cretan Painters are Commissioned to Make 700 Icons of the Virgin.

Contract for Employment of a Painter in the Workshop of Another.

Contract for Employment of a Painter in the Workshop of Another.

Commission for 10 Triptychs.

Vasari’s Views on the ‘Greek’ Style.

Art and Death.

Leonardo Bruni Condemns the Tomb of the Poet Bartolommeo Aragazzi.

John Lydgate’s Version of ‘The Dance of Death’ for the Cloister of St Paul’s. Cathedral, London.

The Foundation Statutes of the Chantry at Ewelme.

The Will of John Baret of Bury St Edmunds.

The Choice of Artist for the Monument to Cardinal Niccolò Forteguerri in Pistoia.

Cardinal Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini Prepares for his Death.

The Wills of the ‘Catholic Monarchs’, Isabella and Ferdinand.

The Reform of Images.

Andreas Karlstadt, On the Removal of Images.

Extract from Hieromymus Emser’s response to Karlstadt.

Ulrich Zwingli’s Criticisms of Religious Images.

Zurich Council Orders the Removal of Images from Churches.

Luther States his Own Position on Religious Images.

Sir Thomas More Defends the Use of Images.

William Tyndale Responds to Sir Thomas More.


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