Looking at the Renaissance: Essays Toward a Contextual Appreciation
By: Charles R. Mack (author)Paperback
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List of Illustrations; Introduction; Methodological approaches--problems in determining the nature of the Renaissances--unity central to Renaissance--medieval elements and Renaissance innovations--Bernward's Doors contrasted with Masaccio's Expulsion of Adam and Eve--spiritual continuum--questions posed. Chapter 1. When and Where; Periodization dispute and argument in favor of a Renaissance--time frame and personalities--Renaissance as Italian contribution--rediscovery of antiquity--chauvinistic stimulus--preeminence of Florence over Rome and Siena--testimony of Alberti, Salutati, Bruni, and Ghirlandaio. Chapter 2. Virtual Reality; Columbus's voyages as reflection of Renaissance unity--breakup of antiquity and medieval fragmentation--impact of Crusades--contrast between Leonardo's Last Supper and Pisa Cross 15--impact of St. Francis--trecento mysticism and participatory faith--altarpieces and narrative composition--double-entry bookkeeping symbolic of change--Giotto's Crucifixion and that of Masaccio compared--Berlinghieri's St. Francis Altarpiece--Roger Bacon--Misericordia view of Florence and that of 1490 as example of spatial evolution--proto-Renaissance seen in Nicola Pisano and Capuan sculptures--Ghiberti's Baptistery Doors and Masaccio's Tribute Money--Bruni's harmonic state--polyptych compartments and compositional unity--Toscanelli and Brunelleschi's golden section at the Innocenti; atmosphere and rendition of space. Chapter 3. Means to the End; Medieval transitions--nature of humanism--the antique revival and Greek emigres--variety and uniformity--philosophic and theological fusions--bibliophiles and antiquarians--the modo antico--Brunelleschian harmony and Albertian classicism--Pius II and his views on the Renaissance--signs of self-awareness and cultural synthesis--worldly justification--architectural demonstrations--harmony and geometry--microcosm and macrocosm--artist as creative model--Albertian congruity--Leonardo's Vitruvian Man--Pico and Shakespeare--the earthly module, poetry and painting. Chapter 4. Manifest Miracle; The artist as interpreter of divine law--Alberti and the role of creativity--medieval attitudes and Renaissance rediscovery--Etruscan tombs--antiquarianism and papal directives--Pius II and the new order--Salutati and Brunelleschian rediscoveries--Donatello and dichotomy--recognition of the past and Botticelli's re-creations--Niccolo Niccoli and Nicholas V--mathematics and geometry--perspective and space--Piero della Francesca and Columbus. Chapter 5. Space Transcended; Spatial release and illusionary creations--religious reality and Bridget of Sweden--cloisters and visions--Leonardo's Last Supper revisited--family names and tax declarations--the time factor-modal polyphony and Luca della Robbia--Copernicus and Gutenberg--vista viewing and gridden ordering--Uccello and Leonardo: views from space--Verrocchio and gestural unity--Altdorfer and the Renaissance expanse. Chapter 6. Epilogue; Transalpine variations and points of intersection--Foquet as precursor--Durer as the link--Erasmus and Gutenberg--Hamlet's doubt and mannerist deviation--Veronese and form versus content--Michelangelo's David/Apollo--Giambologna as unifier and destroyer. Notes; Selected Bibliography; Index; Plates
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