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Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy: A Primer in the Social History of Pictorial Style (Oxford Paperbacks) Paperback – 19 May 1988


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Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy: A Primer in the Social History of Pictorial Style (Oxford Paperbacks) + The Lives of the Artists (Oxford World's Classics) + Art in Renaissance Italy 1350-1500 (Oxford History of Art)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; 2 edition (19 May 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019282144X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192821447
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1.1 x 13.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

`Of interest not only to Art Historians, but to anyone concerned with the material culture of the Renaissance.' Dr Jonathan Sawday, University of Southampton

About the Author

Michael Baxandell is Professor of the History of the Classical Tradition, Warburg Institute, University of London.

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I. A FIFTEENTH-CENTURY painting is the deposit of a social relationship. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By RubyRed on 14 Jun. 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a fabulous book! Small, compact & portable but with a wealth of information. Gives a comprehensive guide as to what to look for in the paintings and the background to them. Subjects covered include patronage, value of a master's skill, convention of biblical characters, body positions, importance of dance movement, public v private display and much more. The English is excellent and the style fluid and dynamic - you just have to read on. I know I will use this book for many years to come.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 July 2004
Format: Paperback
As well as being a splendid introduction to the paintings and the philosophy behind them, this book is particularly good on the relationship between the artists and their rich patrons, and between the artists and their materials. It's full of intriguing details. Why, for example, pure blue is so rare as well as so rich -- at this period, all the lapis lazuli that European painters could use was mined from one mine (somewhere in Afghanistan) and imported solely through Venice... So it's no surprise to see patrons putting clauses in their contracts with their artists: "use the best blue at 4 ducats the ounce; don't try palming me off with any 2-ducat rubbish!"
If this is the sort of thing that makes you go "yippee!" and grin, as the past comes alive for you, then this is definitely the book for you.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 3 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback
This is one of those books you can read (after believing you have a good grip on the subject) to discover how much you have missed! Excellent for those starting to study Italian fifteenth century art and very readable.
Almost uniquely among fine art books this one fits in a jacket pocket as it is a standard sized paperback. I disagree with the other reviewer who complained that it was lacking in illustrations (it isn't) but its small size does make the provision of sensible illustrations impossible and if you have other books on the period (or can use the Internet or a public library) you should have no trouble finding illustrations of any of the works mentioned.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By daisyrock on 25 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I very much like this book. Although obviously an academic text, it's written in an easy-to-read style that's not overwhelming. I've studied this period of art history at some length, but the information provided in this brief work provides a fresh perspective, and I've seen some of my favourite paintings in a fresh light. I especially like the chapter on the 'language' of body posture - the idea that every posture had a specific meaning which viewers of that period would have immediately understood. It's made me go back and look at lots of works from the period and 'translate' their gestures! Great fun for lovers of art history! Recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Juanita on 21 July 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A brilliant pocketsize book giving interesting insight into the formation of contracts between 'clients' and artist in 15th c Italy. The end pictorial portrayals most frequently depended on 'what the customer wants and what he wants to pay' for - requisite materials including panels, lapis lazuli, gold, silver and other resources including, of course, the painter's labour!

To think these beautiful works of art can be the mere result of commercial transactions i.e. client's strictures and money available, not to mention religious or social 'pressures' applying at the time. One wonders what would an artist have produced if given free rein to express himself with his own subject, own chosen materials and the necessary time/money?

A great introduction to art history for a prospective student, but also for any body with a general interest in painting or art in general. Shame the majority of the illustrations are not in colour - but buy anyway!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Caterina VINE VOICE on 24 Nov. 2003
Format: Paperback
This tiny book is immensely helpful and interesting. It focuses on the ways in which critics in the fifteenth century judged paintings, and provides tools which can be used in analysing paintings from pretty much any period. So many art books are pretentious or difficult: this one is really informative and enlightening. It is educational in the best sense of the word.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By mrs fm gorman on 13 April 2002
Format: Paperback
Anyone interested in early renaissance art must read this book it is immensely readable,brief but illuminating.It contains lots of source material well translated.Its only drawback is its lack of big colour plates, but everything in the book is so 'choice' that they may be superfluous.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Artsreadings on 22 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Time may fly and the author may have long passed away, this book is still a relevant reading for everybody interested in Italian Renaissance art.

The miracle of this publication is that it reaches to both ends of the spectrum of potential audience.

It is very accessible, with general considerations which places the topic in a wider context and situates the arguments and what was at stake in 15th-century Italy.

At the same time, it is also full of interesting information to refresh the mind of a more advanced reader.

Since it is very concise, it is also very easy to handle and assimilate.
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