Wealth and the Demand for Art in Italy represents a departure from previous studies, both in its focus on demand and in its emphasis on the history of the material culture of the West. By demonstrating that the roots of modern consumer society can be found in Renaissance Italy, Richard Goldthwaite offers a significant contribution to the growing body of literature on the history of modern consumerism—a movement which he regards as a positive force for the formation of new attitudes about things that is a defining characteristic of modern culture.
Does a market economy encourage or discourage music, literature, and the visual arts? Do economic forces of supply and demand help or harm the pursuit of creativity? This book seeks to redress the current intellectual and popular balance and to encourage a more favorable attitude toward the commercialization of culture that we associate with modernity. Economist Tyler Cowen argues that the capitalist market economy is a vital but underappreciated institutional framework for supporting a plurality of co-existing artistic visions, providing a steady stream of new and satisfying creations, supporting both high and low culture, helping consumers and artists refine their tastes, and paying homage to the past by capturing, reproducing, and disseminating it. Contemporary culture, Cowen argues, is flourishing in its various manifestations, including the visual arts, literature, music, architecture, and the cinema. Successful high culture usually comes out of a healthy and prosperous popular culture. Shakespeare and Mozart were highly popular in their own time. Beethoven's later, less accessible music was made possible in part by his early popularity. Today, consumer demand ensures that archival blues recordings, a wide array of past and current symphonies, and this week's Top 40 hit sit side by side in the music megastore. High and low culture indeed complement each other. Cowen's philosophy of cultural optimism stands in opposition to the many varieties of cultural pessimism found among conservatives, neo-conservatives, the Frankfurt School, and some versions of the political correctness and multiculturalist movements, as well as historical figures, including Rousseau and Plato. He shows that even when contemporary culture is thriving, it appears degenerate, as evidenced by the widespread acceptance of pessimism. He ends by considering the reasons why cultural pessimism has such a powerful hold on intellectuals and opinion-makers.
Richard A. Goldthwaite, a leading economic historian of the Italian Renaissance, has spent his career studying the Florentine economy. In this magisterial work, Goldthwaite brings together a lifetime of research and insight on the subject, clarifying and explaining the complex workings of Florence's commercial, banking, and artisan sectors. Florence was one of the most industrialized cities in medieval Europe, thanks to its thriving textile industries. The importation of raw materials and the exportation of finished cloth necessitated the creation of commercial and banking practices that extended far beyond Florence's boundaries. Part I situates Florence within this wider international context and describes the commercial and banking networks through which the city's merchant-bankers operated. Part II focuses on the urban economy of Florence itself, including various industries, merchants, artisans, and investors. It also evaluates the role of government in the economy, the relationship of the urban economy to the region, and the distribution of wealth throughout the society. While political, social, and cultural histories of Florence abound, none focuses solely on the economic history of the city. The Economy of Renaissance Florence offers both a systematic description of the city's major economic activities and a comprehensive overview of its economic development from the late Middle Ages through the Renaissance to 1600. -- Brian Maxson
Most historians rely principally on written sources. Yet there are other traces of the past available to historians: the material things that people have chosen, made, and used. This book examines how material culture can enhance historians' understanding of the past, both worldwide and across time. The successful use of material culture in history depends on treating material things of many kinds not as illustrations, but as primary evidence. Each kind of material thing-and there are many-requires the application of interpretive skills appropriate to it. These skills overlap with those acquired by scholars in disciplines that may abut history but are often relatively unfamiliar to historians, including anthropology, archaeology, and art history. Creative historians can adapt and apply the same skills they honed while studying more traditional text-based documents even as they borrow methods from these fields. They can think through familiar historical problems in new ways. They can also deploy material culture to discover the pasts of constituencies who have left few or no traces in written records. The authors of this volume contribute case studies arranged thematically in six sections that respectively address the relationship of history and material culture to cognition, technology, the symbolic, social distinction, and memory. They range across time and space, from Paleolithic to Punk.
A reconsideration of the problem of time in the Renaissance, examining the complex and layered temporalities of Renaissance images and artifacts. In this widely anticipated book, two leading contemporary art historians offer a subtle and profound reconsideration of the problem of time in the Renaissance. Alexander Nagel and Christopher Wood examine the meanings, uses, and effects of chronologies, models of temporality, and notions of originality and repetition in Renaissance images and artifacts. Anachronic Renaissance reveals a web of paths traveled by works and artists--a landscape obscured by art history's disciplinary compulsion to anchor its data securely in time. The buildings, paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and medals discussed were shaped by concerns about authenticity, about reference to prestigious origins and precedents, and about the implications of transposition from one medium to another. Byzantine icons taken to be Early Christian antiquities, the acheiropoieton (or "image made without hands"), the activities of spoliation and citation, differing approaches to art restoration, legends about movable buildings, and forgeries and pastiches: all of these emerge as basic conceptual structures of Renaissance art. Although a work of art does bear witness to the moment of its fabrication, Nagel and Wood argue that it is equally important to understand its temporal instability: how it points away from that moment, backward to a remote ancestral origin, to a prior artifact or image, even to an origin outside of time, in divinity. This book is not the story about the Renaissance, nor is it just a story. It imagines the infrastructure of many possible stories.
The history of coffee is much more than the tale of one nonessential good--it is a lens through which to consider various strands of world history, from food and foodways to religion and economics and sociocultural history. A Rich and Tantalizing Brew traces the history of the coffee bean, beginning with its cultivation and brewing as a private pleasure in the highlands of Ethiopia and Yemen before its emergence as a common comfort, first in the Muslim world, then across the Mediterranean to Italy, other parts of Europe, and beyond to India and the Americas. At each of these stops the brew gathered ardent aficionados and vocal critics, all the while reshaping the social landscape. Taking its conversational tone from the chats often held over a steaming cup, A Rich and Tantalizing Brew offers a critical and entertaining look at how this bitter beverage, with a little help from the tastes that traveled with it--chocolate, tea, and sugar--has connected people to each other both within and outside of their typical circles, inspiring a new context for sharing news, conducting business affairs, and even plotting revolution.
This volume examines the relationship between preaching and art, addressing with particular detail the use of works of art in preaching and the importance of the pulpit itself. A challenging issue in the field of sermon studies is the relationship between preaching and art, in particular the manner in which preachers used works of art in their preaching and described specific pictures in their sermons; and the pulpit itself. The thesis of the book is that pulpits should be viewed in the context of the world of preaching in Renaissance Florence and in connection with sacred oratory. Indeed, like preached sermons, pulpits used rhetorical strategies to deliver religious messages. The author adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the topic by combining art history, historical analysis, and sermon studies; and she examines the pulpit's patronage, location, and function as well as its chronological development. This book combines a general survey of pulpits in Tuscany, with close analysis of five specific pulpits. Designed and executed by important artists located in Florence and Prato, these five pulpits are the most exquisite and impressive monuments of their type, and each has a complex and rich iconographic programme. The author reveals that the period between the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries constitutes a distinct phase in the development of pulpits, different from the earlier tradition, and from pulpits constructed after the Council of Trent and during the Catholic Reformation.
For upper-level undergraduate courses in Italian Renaissance Art. "Art mattered in the Renaissance... People expected painting, sculpture, architecture, and other forms of visual art to have a meaningful effect on their lives," write the authors of this important new look at Italian Renaissance art. A glance at the pages of Art in Renaissance Italy shows at once its freshness and breadth of approach, which includes thorough explanation into how and why works of art, buildings, prints, and other forms of visual production came to be. The authors also discuss how men and women of the Renaissance regarded art and artists, why works of Renaissance art look the way they do, and what this means to us. Unlike other books on the subject, this one covers not only Florence and Rome, but also Venice and the Veneto, Assisi, Siena, Milan, Pavia, Padua, Mantua, Verona, Ferrara, Urbino, and Naples each governed in a distinctly different manner, every one with individual, political, and social structures that inevitably affected artistic styles. Spanning more than three centuries, the narrative brings to life the rich tapestry of Italian Renaissance society and the art that is its enduring legacy. Throughout, special features, including textual sources from the period and descriptions of social rituals, evoke and document the people and places of this dynamic age.
Focusing on select examples of Italian art spanning roughly four hundred years, Italian Renaissance Art: A Sourcebook explores contextual, explanatory information that is rarely part of general surveys of the period. Artists' chronologies are at the core of this text providing overviews of artists' careers with timelines of their activities and commentary on significant works. The book also uniquely incorporates numerous drawings, diagrams, and line arts as a means of allowing the reader to develop a fuller idea of the art of the period, Supporting the artists' chronologies are chapters devoted to historical notes and a glossary of terms, and concluding chapters offer in–depth information on select examples of Renaissance patrons and cities.
Between the `Black Death' in the mid-fourteenth century and the French invasions at the end of the fifteenth, artists such as Masaccio, Donatello, Fra Angelico, and Leonardo, working in the kingdoms, princedoms, and republics of the Italian peninsula, created some of the most influential andexciting works in a variety of artistic fields.Yet the traditional story of the Renaissance has been dramatically revised in the light of new scholarship, and new issues have greatly enriched our understanding of the period. Emphasis has been placed on recreating the experience of contemporary Italians - the patrons who commissioned the works,the members of the public who viewed them, and the artists who produced them.In this book Evelyn Welch presents a fresh picture of the Italian Renaissance. Giving equal weight to the Italian regions outside Florence, she discusses a wide range of works, from paintings to coins, and from sculptures to tapestries, examines the issues of materials, workshop practises, andartist-patron relationships, and explores the ways in which visual imagery related to contemporary sexual, social and political behaviour.
This anthology presents classic and recent scholarship on Italian art from 1600-1750, highlighting the key debates with which art historians continue to grapple. Explores themes including: style or the visuality of art; artistic practices and production; artistic communication as projected and experienced; and artists’ interactions with the ancient world and with the new sciences Examines the work of key painters, architects and sculptors from this period, including Caravaggio, Bernini, Guarini and Poussin Published in the expanding Blackwell Anthologies in Art History series
Architectural Magnificence in Sistine Rome -- A Rome Away From Rome in the Romagna -- Maintaining Authority: The Architectural Projects of Caterina Sforza -- Residential Projects of ""Comfort, Elegance, and Price""--Useful Fortresses -- 3 SPLENDOR IN THE PRINCELY COURT -- Princely Presentation and the Virtue of Splendore -- Splendor on Display: The Trappings of Ceremony -- Staging the Domestic Realm -- Silver Goods and Table Service -- Fine Textiles -- The Palace Chapel and Religious Paraphernalia -- Personal Adornment -- Accoutrements of the Hunt -- Strategies of Collecting
The Renaissance home was an outward symbol of a family's status, wealth, and learning, so much care went into its arrangement and furnishing, as well as the art of household management. Through contemporary paintings and drawings, this fully illustrated book vividly conveys the reality of life in Florence and Venice during the era. Taking readers on a room-by-room tour through the Italian Renaissance house, from the sala (reception room) to the bedchamber, author Elizabeth Currie focuses on each one's furnishings, appearance, and use, offering a rare insight into the life of the Renaissance family. "Inside the Renaissance House" is ideal for interior design enthusiasts and historians of the everyday.
Author: Research Fellow Italian Department Royal Holloway Letizia Panizza
An impressive collection of 29 essays by British, American and Italian scholars on important historical, artistic, cultural, social, legal, literary and theatrical aspects of women's contributions to the Italian Renaissance, in its broadest sense. Many contributions are the result of first-hand archival research and are illustrated with numerous unpublished or little-known reproductions or original material. The subjects include: women and the court ( Dilwyn Knox, Evelyn S Welch, Francine Daenens and Diego Zancani ); women and the church ( Gabriella Zarri, Victoria Primhak, Kate Lowe, Francesca Medioli and Ruth Chavasse ); legal constraints and ethical precepts ( Marina Graziosi, Christine Meek, Brian Richardson, Jane Bridgeman and Daniela De Bellis ); female models of comportment ( Marta Ajmarm Paola Tinagli and Sara F Matthews Grieco ); women and the stage ( Richard Andrews, Maggie Guensbergberg, Rosemary E Bancroft-Marcus ); women and letters ( Diana Robin, Virginia Cox, Pamela J Benson, Judy Rawson, Conor Fahy, Giovanni Aquilecchia, Adriana Chemello, Giovanna Rabitti and Nadia Cannata Salamone ).
Through the presentation of nine different arts and humanities topics, such as architecture and design, literature, religion, and visual arts, this volume describes Renaissance Europe, from 1300 to 1600.