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Renaissance Art (Brief Insights) Hardcover – 4 May 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 4 May 2010
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling (4 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402775407
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402775406
  • Product Dimensions: 18.3 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,567,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Johnson has succeeded in packing a great deal of intelligent discussion into a very limited space. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book for anyone, from teenagers onwards, requiring an introduction to current views on Renaissance Art --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Geraldine A. Johnson is University Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Oxford, and a fellow of Christ Church, Oxford. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University. Her publications range from studies of Italian Renaissance art to considerations of contemporary American sculpture, and from women patrons in Early Modern Europe to the history of photography. Her work has appeared in important journals such as The Burlington Magazine, The Art Bulletin, Art History, and Renaissance Quarterly. In 1997, Cambridge University Press published a prize-winning essay collection she co-edited titled Picturing Women in Renaissance and Baroque Italy. The same press also published another volume she edited in 1998 titled Sculpture and Photography: Envisioning theThird Dimension. At present, she is completing a book on the tactile and visual reception of sculpture in Early Modern Italy. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 May 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Does exactly what it says on the tin. This is a very short introduction to key themes, ideas and works of Renaissance Art. You might think that this doesn't need a comment, given the title of the book, but this OUP series, although always fascinating, is not always geared to the rank amateur and is very much subject to the interests and focus of the particular author. Consequently some books in the series are actually quite specialised and do require prior knowledge of the subject to get the benefit of them. This is not one of them. You do not need to know anything at all about Renaissance art before picking up this book.

It also starts with an invaluable chapter on what the Renaissance actually was and who it applied to, which given the nebulous nature of historical terms is always useful.

The chapters are clearly laid out and well explained. The art works depicted are the ones the author actually talks about, which is not as common as you might think, so definitely worth mentioning. The only short-coming is that the format of the book does not allow for particularly great pictures as they are small, due to the fact that the books are pocket sized, and in black and white, which makes the books more affordable. This is however, the publisher's issue and not the author's, which is why it still gets five stars in my book.

The art works are always discussed in the context of their contemporary use as well as modern understandings and the author does an excellent job of making the reader appreciate the gap between now and then and what it means to those of us interested in understanding the art thoroughly. Highly recommended, one of the best of the OUP series.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As promised, a brief overview of a complex subject, giving plenty of detail for a swift exploration of the topic. I used this book and its companion 'The Renaissance: A Very Short Introduction' by Jerry Brotton as waymarkers to research without relying on Wiki or Google, but without having to wade through tomes I had no time to read properly.

It is clearly written without condescension or assumption of prior knowledge and has prompted me to read more deeply on the subject.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ideal if you want a brief overview of the renaissance, either for personal interest or as a precis before studying the subject in depth.
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Format: Hardcover
I was happily working my way through OUP's A Very Short Introduction series when I discovered the A Brief Insight series. They have the same texts, but the print is larger, they are hardcover, and they have many more illustrations, many in colour. So unless you want a very small book that you can slip into a pocket, the Brief Insight versions are better.

For this particular entry in the series, you absolutely must get the Brief Insight version, because the illustrations are essential to the book and they are vastly superior in this version. In the VSI version, there are fewer illustrations and they are in black and white, which detracts greatly from the experience.

As for the text itself, it is first rate. The author demonstrates how our appreciation of various works is enhanced by an understanding of their cultural context. She examines the works in terms of their function -- who commissioned them and why, and she provides the historical (both political and social) background necessary to illuminate their meaning.

There is what seemed to me to be one false note. Johnson refers to The Venus of Urbino as 'soft-core porn'. Somewhere along the line (back in the 70s, I think) we lost the distinction between erotica and soft porn. The Venus, and much other art of the Renaissance, is wonderfully erotic. If now we cannot celebrate that eroticism but instead must regard it as pornographic, we have surely lost our way. But such, I suppose, is the political correctness of our day.

On the other hand, a great strength of the book is the attention given to the role of women in Renaissance art, as patrons, connoisseurs, models and occasional practitioners.

The author uses some technical terminology that may be unfamiliar to many readers, so be aware that there is a Glossary at the end.

Very highly recommended.
[PeterReeve]
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was the perfect tool for my studies in Fine Art at University. Written in simple to understand terms, it offers the reader a condensed version of events surrounding Renaissance Art. Handy small size too, for carrying around.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Small compact book, gives concise information about how renaissance art produced and what to look for, ideal for carrying round.
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