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Art and Love in Renaissance Italy (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Art and Love in Renaissance Italy (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Author: N/A
ISBN 13: 9780300124118
ISBN 10: 300124112
Edition: First Edition
Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Publication Date: 2008-11-25
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 392
List Price: $65.00

With contributions by Sarah Cartwright, Jessie McNab, J. Kenneth Moore, Eve Straussman-Pflanzer, Wendy Thompson, and Jeremy Warren


Many famous Italian Renaissance artworks were made to celebrate love and marriage. They were the pinnacles of a tradition---dating from the early Renaissance---of commemorating betrothal, marriage, and the birth of a child by commissioning extraordinary objects or exchanging them as gifts. This important volume is the first to examine the entire range of works to which Renaissance rituals of love and marriage gave rise and makes a major contribution to our understanding of Renaissance art in its broader cultural context. Some 140 works of art, dating from about 1400 to 1600, are discussed by a distinguished group of scholars and are reproduced in full color.


Marriage and childbirth gifts are the point of departure. These range from maiolica, glassware, and jewelry to birth trays, musical instruments, and nuptial portraits. Bonds of love of another sort were represented in erotic drawings and prints. From these precedents, an increasingly inventive approach to subjects of love and marriage culminated in paintings by some of the greatest artists of the Renaissance, including Giulio Romano, Lorenzo Lotto, and Titian.


Nadine Dalton Speidel - Library Journal

A delightfully bawdy romp as well as a thorough exploration of the iconography, this exhibition catalog proffers passion, romance, and solid study as it considers matrimony in Renaissance Italy. Before the Council of Trent systematized marriage vows in 1563, any number of traditions could be considered a betrothal. The catalog's illustrations (75 black-and-white and 300 color) feature a wide variety of art and artifacts, such as combs, girdles, rings, glassware, majolica, spindle whorls, coffers, needlework cases, birthing trays, and commemorative plates, facilitating discussion of the societal, economic, and emotional ramifications of marriage in Renaissance Italy. Some items put a public face on the couple and resulting family; others give a glimpse into the private repercussions of joining together as one. Some of the pieces represent more famous marriages, such as the Sforzas and Medicis, done by the likes of Titian and other big names. The themes are complex and varied owing to disparate contemporary thought on the subject of love, and Bayer (curator, European paintings, Metropolitan Museum of Art) illustrates them nicely on a continuum from personal to mythic. Highly recommended for libraries specializing in art and art history.