Words for Pictures: Seven Papers on Renaissance Art and Criticism

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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 the art of the period but also on art criticism at any time. This collection of papers by art historian and critic Michael Baxandall represents his thinking over a 40-year period on the relation between language and art. He offers seven thought-provoking pieces, three of which are new and written specifically for this book. Focusing on works of the 15th century, Baxandall shows how words match the experience of looking at paintings and sculptures. proceeds to explore various humanist critical writings of the 15th and early-16th centuries. He concludes with an essay on Piero della Francesca's Resurrection of Christ in which he probes the visual experience of a painting that criticism seeks to verbalise.
 

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Contents

Values Arguments System
1
Albertis Cast of Mind
27
Angelo Decembrios De politia litteraria Part LXVIII
39
Rudolph Agricola on Art and on Patrons
69
English Disegno
83
Jacopo Sadoletos Laocoon
98
Piero della Francescas The Resurrection of Christ
117
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About the author (2003)

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.

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