A Discerning Eye is an anthology of some of the finest and most lasting essays by a great critic-historian of Early Italian painting, Richard Offner. Its contents span the Florentine fourteenth century and thus compose a kind of portrait album of some of its most notable painters between the Gothic and Renaissance eras, from the Magdalen Master in the thirteenth century to Masaccio in the early fifteenth. Each essay contains insights that are as incisive, fresh, and evocative today as when they were first written. The essays are illustrated using Offner's original photographs supplemented by new or additional photographs when dictated by the material or when the reader might be better helped to see the relationship between Offner's analytical prose and a given image.
Andrew Ladis Franklin Professor of Art History at the University of Georgia. He has been Dorothy K. Hohenberg Professor of Excellence, University of Memphis, and Visiting Professor at the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Villa I Tatti.