Following the collapse of Medici rule in fifteenth-century Florence, the centre of Renaissance activity moved first to Rome and finally to Venice. In the Rome of Julius II and Leo X which Michelangelo remodelled and beautified, in the Venice of Titian and Tintoretto and Palladio, the Renaissance reached the height of its splendour, not only in the visual arts but also in the theatre, history, biography, epic poetry and music.
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(234mm x 153mm x 24mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
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US Kirkus Review »
Again as in its companion volume, The Florentine Renaissance (1967), the author provides a variegated smattering of information and anecdote concerning artistic, social, theological, scientific movements in 16th century Italy and indulges in some pointed moral derivations. Covering the period from 1500-1616 in Rome and-Venice, a-period, which he considers to be critical as a challenge to "Christian humanism," Mr. Cronin devotes considerable attention to the careers of Pope Julius II and Leo X as fulcra of artistic and literary efforts, and as patrons of Michelangelo, Raphael, poets and historians. However it is the advent of Lutheranism which shook the delicate balance between the pagan and Christian cultures and that caused the tragic and "unnecessary" results of the rigors of thought and doctrine evolved from the Council of Trent (1545-1563). Mr. Cronin suggests that the repressive drives against heretics initiated, at the Council was due in part to a natural reaction to similar methods used by the founders of Protestantism. (Certainly, a controversial view.) His statement that Italy's scientific achievements were not "great enough" to meet the theological artillery of Lutheranism seems a bit ambiguous. Also without a more strenuous theological groundwork it is difficult to accept his bland assumption that in "The Prince" Machiavelli "opted for paganism." However, Mr. Cronin writes with ease and enthusiasm and there are lots of illustrations. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Vincent Cronin
Vincent Cronin was educated at Ampleforth College, Harvard University, and Trinity College, Oxford, from which he graduated with honours in 1947. In addition to being a recipient of a W.H. Heinemann Award (1955) and a Rockefeller Foundation Award (1958), Cronin is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His works have been widely translated into European languages. He died in January 2011, aged 86.