Anthony Blunt's introduction to art theory in the Italian Renaissance is now almost seventy-five years old. With a book like this it makes little sense to ask if it has "stood the test of time"; it is a personal interpretation, and there is little that subsequent scholarship could have refuted or corrected. It stands as a classic text of its sort, and, in evidence of the fact that it is still very much with us, I recently noticed that it is given as one of the eight "Main References" in the Wikipedia article on Raphael. That does not mean that we have to agree with all its interpretations and evaluations, but we do have to respect them as the opinions of one of the most accomplished and eminent art historians of his generation who, until the kindly and compassionate Margaret Thatcher publicly exposed him as a former Soviet spy (which had been quietly known for years to both Government and Palace) occupied the highest echelons of academic and administrative distinction. His book begins with the "generation of 1420," by which he means primarily Brunelleschi, Donatello, and Masaccio, the coterie of Florentine geniuses supplanting the vestiges of Gothic and creating a new art commensurate with a new reliance on human reason and observation of the surrounding natural world, and with the treatises of Leon Battista Alberti, the main theoretician of this new artistic spirit. Alberti wrote about painting and city planning and just about everything in between, and Blunt has done an admirable job of summarizing his thinking in the initial chapter and indicating why his writings were so fundamental to this new spirit that we now identify as the early Renaissance. The second chapter discusses the main principles of Leonardo's artistic theories of expression and decorum and carefully distinguishes his ideas and goals from those of Alberti. When it comes to talking about Michelangelo, Blunt--like everyone else--is on much less solid ground because of the need to extract theory from poetry, but he does isolate much of the artist's views of what constitutes beauty and traces his trajectory from the relative humanism of his early years to the mystical Neoplatonism of his old age. By the time we get to Vasari, about a hundred years after we have started, Blunt's disappointment at the path the Renaissance is taking has become palpable: "With Humanists of the Quattrocento, painting had reached the position of being a learned art; with Vasari it was acquiring good manners" (98). There follows a very good chapter on the Council of Trent and its impact (almost entirely negative) and one on the Later Mannerists, among whom, succinctly, "reason has given way to faith" (145), art has returned to its medieval behests, and painting has become once again the handmaiden of religion. This is all perfectly true, and in the end result, despite being quite opinionated and contentious, Blunt's book is a work of solid scholarship. Not many people of his generation combined such an intimate knowledge of the primary critical texts, his degree of artistic sensitivity, and his insistence on the need to see the art always in its historical and social context (which is, finally, the hallmark of his scholarly style and very much in evidence in his more broadly historical books). One can disagree with much of it, but one cannot deny that it is one of the canonical discussions of Renaissance artistic theory and remains one of the best introductions to it, as well as an excellent introduction to the rest of Blunt's work.