Description - Words for Pictures by Michael Baxandall
The Italian Renaissance was a creative period for art criticism as well as for art itself. The early efforts to give verbal accounts of visual representations and their quality throw light not only on art during the Renaissance but also on art criticism at any time. This collection of papers by the art historian and critic Michael Baxandall represents his thinking over the past forty years on the relation between language and art. He offers seven thought-provoking pieces, three of which are new and written specifically for this book. While Baxandall focuses on works of the fifteenth century, his essays transcend the period and show with fresh insight how words match the experience of looking at paintings and sculptures.
The author begins by assembling basic Renaissance equipment for art criticism - twenty-five terms, twenty-four types of proposition, and a systematic theoretical framework in which they can move. He proceeds to explore the thinking of the theorist Leon Battista Alberti, a dialogue on art by Ferrarese humanist Angelo Decembrio, the migration of Italian art criticism to northern Europe, and the most celebrated Renaissance description of a work of visual art, Jacopo Sadoleto's 'Laocoon'. Baxandall concludes with a major new essay on Piero della Francesca's 'Resurrection of Christ' in which he probes the visual experience of a painting that criticism seeks to verbalize.
Michael Baxandall is Emeritus Professor of the History of Art, University of California, Berkeley, and Emeritus Professor of the History of the Classical Tradition, Warburg Institute, University of London. He is the author of 'Giotto and the Orators', 'Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy', 'Patterns of Intention', 'The Limewood Sculptors of Renaissance Germany', 'Shadows and Enlightenment' and, with Svetlana Alpers, 'Tiepolo and the Pictorial Intelligence'.
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Format: Paperback / softback
(234mm x 156mm x 11mm)
Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
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