Traces the history of art in America, from the early works of Native Americans to the present day, and includes critical commentaries, anecdotes, profiles, and hundreds of illustrations
From the revelations of classical statuary pulled from the Roman soil as the popes began rebuilding the city in the fifteenth century, to the myth of serenity that Venice constructed to conceal its physical and political fragility, to bloody yet cultured Florence under the Medici, Ingrid Rowland traces the worldly, unworldly, and otherworldly strivings of artists, writers, popes, and politicians during that great "outburst of mental energy" we know as the Renaissance.
Here are Botticelli, whose illustrations for the "Divine Comedy" reveal him to be one of Dante's most careful readers; the multifaceted genius of Leonardo; the astonishing mastery of Titian and the erratic brilliance of artists like Correggio, Caravaggio, and Artemisia Gentileschi; the enigmatic erotic novel "Hypnerotomachia Poliphil"i; the Western fascination with the mysteries of Egypt; and the glittering spiritual ferment of late Byzantium, which as it collapsed passed on so many ideas to Renaissance Italy.
But beyond its artistic accomplishments, Rowland writes, "Renaissance life at its most distinctive was the intangible, unworldly life of the mind." In her pages astronomers and astrologists, poets and philosophers, pornographers and prostitutes jostle for attention with painters and sculptors. Among them the inquisitive Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher stands out as a polymath who ranged over nearly every field of knowledge. Even though his commingling of scientific observation and hermetic symbolism is now obsolete, he remains for Rowland "a builder of connections who insisted on seeing harmony in the midst of disorder"--and thus one of the most exemplary Renaissance figures of all.
In 1508, despite strong advice to the contrary, the powerful Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the newly restored Sistine Chapel. With little experience as a painter (though famed for his sculpture "David"), Michelangelo was reluctant to begin the massive project.
"Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling" recounts the four extraordinary years Michelangelo spent laboring over the vast ceiling while the power politics and personal rivalries that abounded in Rome swirled around him. Battling against ill health, financial difficulties, domestic problems, the pope's impatience, and a bitter rivalry with the brilliant young painter Raphael, Michelangelo created scenes so beautiful that they are considered one of the greatest masterpieces of all time. A panorama of illustrious figures converged around the creation of this great work-from the great Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus to the young Martin Luther-and Ross King skillfully weaves them through his compelling historical narrative, offering uncommon insight into the intersection of art and history.
Experiences of Art: Reflections on Masterpieces is a critique of art history that takes historical inquiry beyond the level of recited facts to new insights drawn from a thematic approach to selected periods in the history of art. The book examines the origins of human creativity in prehistoric art and recounts the stories of discovery by prehistorians, who had a passion for the origins of art. The chapter seeks to recapture the same mystery and fascination with humankind's beginnings that characterized their lives and writings about prehistoric art. Classical antiquity is another major epoch of exploration in the book and is devoted to an investigation of the word "classical" both as it was defined in antiquity and what its heritage means to people today. Classicism acquired a very problematic status in the middle of the 20th-century through the rise of fascism in German and Italy but is still very much part of the legacy of the Western cultures reaching back to antiquity. The chapter seeks to inquire into what remains of the classical tradition today, if anything at all. An earlier generation of scholars eagerly examined a corpus of Renaissance art theory, offering some of it in translation, but unlike the previous work, this book actually applies the concepts of a major debate in art theory revolving around color and design to actual famous masterpieces. The chapter recites famous quotations from Renaissance art theorists around students' insights into works of art. The fourth chapter provides a thorough investigation of a paradoxical situation running throughout the "Age of Reason" of the 18th century, showing that beginning from the time of Louis XIV to the Romantic period, there were actually conflicting tendencies between rationalism and anti-rationalism. The chapter investigates art through the fabric of history, philosophy, and literature. The final chapter on modern art begins with van Gogh, the first artist who pursued art as a means of self-fulfillment and self-expression and thereafter unravels the history of modernism's dialectic between artists' creative selves and their relationship to the world around them. The chapter resumes the theme of the crisis of the Enlightenment from the previous chapter, leaving the reader with an impression of how a crisis of subjectivity has manifested itself in art since the beginnings of modernity to contemporary day times.
The most visual and comprehensive encyclopedia for children that charts the evolution of the world's greatest cultural achievements in painting, sculpture, photography, music, and dance, supporting the arts in STEAM education.
Kids can trace the development of painting, from prehistoric cave drawings to the Mona Lisa to contemporary art; discover the evolution of sculpture, from the Great Sphinx at Giza to modern day abstract forms; find out about photography, from the early "camera obscura" to digital imagery; read the story of music, from classical and jazz to rock and roll; and put on their dancing shoes for some ballroom, ballet, modern dance, and more. Stunning images bring each subject to life, and clear text and annotations provide comprehensive, age-appropriate coverage.
Full of amazing facts, clear explanations, and awe-inspiring photography, The Arts: A Visual Encyclopedia is the essential introduction to the cultural world for children.
Series Overview: DK's Visual Encyclopedias are the first substantial series of encyclopedias aimed at young children, designed to excite and entertain, while offering a comprehensive overview of core subjects. From science and the human body to animals, the ocean, space, and more, each book combines fun facts, amazing pictures, and crystal-clear explanations to take kids into the wonders of our world.
The Silk Road, which linked imperial Rome and distant China, was once the greatest thoroughfare on earth. Along it traveled precious cargoes of silk, gold and ivory, as well as revolutionary new ideas. Its oasis towns blossomed into thriving centers of Buddhist art and learning. In time it began to decline. The traffic slowed, the merchants left and finally its towns vanished beneath the desert sands to be forgotten for a thousand years; however, legends grew up of lost cities filled with treasures and guarded by demons. In the early years of the last century foreign explorers began to investigate these legends, and very soon an international race began for the art treasures of the Silk Road. Huge wall paintings, sculptures and priceless manuscripts were carried away, literally by the ton, and are today scattered through the museums of a dozen countries. Peter Hopkirk tells the story of the intrepid men who, at great personal risk, led these long-range archaeological raids, incurring the undying wrath of the Chinese.
1856. Eighteen-year-old chemistry student William Perkin's experiment has gone horribly wrong. But the deep brown sludge his botched project has produced has an unexpected power: the power to dye everything it touches a brilliant purple. Perkin has discovered mauve, the world's first synthetic dye, bridging a gap between pure chemistry and industry which will change the world forever. From the fetching ribbons tying back the hair of every fashionable head in London to the laboratories in which scientists developed modern vaccines against cancer and malaria, Simon Garfield tells the story of how the colour purple became a sensation.
As riveting as a World War II thriller, The Forger's Spell is the true story of three men and an extraordinary deception: the revered artist Johannes Vermeer; the small-time Dutch painter who dared to impersonate him years later; and the con man's mark, Hermann Goering, the fanatical art collector and one of Nazi Germany's most reviled leaders.
Skulls have always captured the human imagination. Now, The Mammoth Book of Skulls collects the most engaging and exciting images of the skull from pop culture around the world.
This collection brings together a visual feast of the popular doom-laden image from graphic novels, manga, graphic design, movies, art, costume, make-up, vintage advertising, and popular culture, along with the just plain weird. With stunning photography throughout, this book provides a wide range of unique and engaging interpretations of the iconic image.