New edition of a study of art in Renaissance Italy that sets the art in its context and explores why it was created and who commissioned the palaces and cathedrals, paintings, and sculptures. Aiming to make the familiar seem more intriguing and the unfamiliar more comprensible, Paoletti (art history, Wesleyan U.) and Radke (Renaissance specialist, Syracuse U.) span more than three centuries and cover all regions of Italy, discussing the political and social structures that affected artistic styles. Boxed sections provide glimpses of the daily life of the period as well as quotes directly from the painters and writers themselves. Contains 601 illustrations (201 of which are in color) as well as a time chart. Oversize: 9.5x11.5".
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This fine work by Paoletti and Radke (art history, Wesleyan Univ. and Syracuse Univ., respectively) is wide in scope, covering the years from 1300 to the late 1500s, and purposely opens discussion to include many major Italian cities, in response to Vasari's bias solely for Florence. Whereas other books are organized by time (Frederick Hartt's History of Italian Renaissance Art, Abrams, 1994. 4th ed.), by artists (Sydney J. Freedberg's Painting in Italy, Yale Univ., 1992. o.p.), or by patronage (Alison Cole's Virtue and Magnificence, Abrams, 1995), this book's essence is the relationships among artist, art, location, and public. Other recent books have used this focus, but Paoletti and Radke manage a more adroit presentation. Primary source material is interspersed throughout the text to set concepts in their historic framework. Appendixes, including city maps, ruling genealogies, and artist's biographies, are constructive. Highly suitable as an introductory text, this is an excellent choice for public libraries.-Nadine Dalton Speidel, Cuyahoga Cty. P.L., Parma, Ohio