The sculptors of the Italian Renaissance transformed their Classical and regional heritage. From about 1260 to 1600, these masters introduced revolutionary innovations in freestanding figures and portraits, while on reliefs convincing perspective was rendered for the first time, predating its use in painting. The Renaissance notion of the artist as genius is vividly embodied in contemporary sculptors, from Nicola Pisano through Brunelleschi and Donatello to Michelangelo and Giambologna. Roberta Olson surveys the extraordinary artistic achievements of the period, which were to affect for ever after the practice of Western art.
Art historian Olson provides a well-defined overview of significant works of sculpture created from 1260 to 1600. She arranges her chapters chronologically, from the earliest architecturally related fountains, tombs, and pulpits through the freestanding sculpture of Donatello to Michelangelo and the Mannerists. Along the way, she treats the reader to a survey of the best-known artists: Ghiberti, the della Robbias, Verrocchio, Pallauiolo, and Giambalogna, all discussed in their established and regional context. The 171 illustrations, 20 in color, are of good quality. Part of the paperback World of Art series, this fills a need for a basic, inexpensive introduction. Recommended.-- Ellen Bates, New York