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In the Company of the Courtesan
Sarah Dunant
1400063817
February 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Renaissance Italy enchants in Dunant's delicious second historical (after The Birth of Venus), as a wily dwarf Bucino Teodoldo recounts fantastic escapades with his mistress, celebrated courtesan Fiammetta Bianchini. Escaping the 1527 sacking of Rome with just the clothes on their backs (and a few swallowed jewels in their bellies), Fiammetta and Bucino seek refuge in Venice. Starved, stinking, her beauty destroyed, Fiammetta despairs—but through cunning, will, Bucino's indefatigable loyalty and the magic of a mysterious blind healer called La Draga, she eventually recovers. Aided by a former adversary, who now needs her as much as she needs him, Fiammetta finds a wealthy patron to establish her in her familiar glory. Through Bucino's sharp-eyed, sharp-tongued narration, Dunant crafts a...


Black Africans in Renaissance Europe
T. F. Earle (Editor), K. J. P. Lowe (Editor)
0521815827
May 26, 2005
Hardcover
·
 
Review
'At each turn of the page, Black Africans in Renaissance Europe unravels some of the intrigues and hidden nuggets captured in the literature and artwork of the Renaissance period about black Africans. With the inclusion of a wealth of drawings, paintings, Latin, Italian and Portuguese texts of poetry, letters and inscriptions, it is impossible to do the book justice in a mere review.' Runnymede's Quarterly Bulletin
'... we must be grateful for the important dimension Black Africans in Renaissance Europe contributes to a larger subject: the embrace of human slavery which, though certainly not unique, has nevertheless sullied the history of the West.' Times Literary Supplement

Book Description
Leading experts from the disciplines of history, literature, art history and anthropology...


The Reformation: A History
Diarmaid MacCulloch
014303538X
April 2005
Paperback
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Book Review
Diarmaid MacCulloch wrote what is widely considered to be the authoritative account of the Reformation—a critical juncture in the history of Christianity. "It is impossible to understand modern Europe without understanding these sixteenth-century upheavals in Latin Christianity," he writes. "They represented the greatest fault line to appear in Christian culture since the Latin and Greek halves of the Roman Empire went their separate ways a thousand years before; they produced a house divided." The resulting split between the Catholics and Protestants still divides Christians throughout the Western world. It affects interpretations of the Bible, beliefs about baptisms, and event how much authority is given to religious leaders. The division even fuels an ongoing war. What makes MacCulloch's account rise above previous...


The Western Tradition: From the Renaissance to the Present
Eugen Weber
0669394432
June 1995
Paperback
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Fire in the City: Savonarola and the Struggle for the Soul of Renaissance Florence
Lauro Martines
0195177487
March 2006
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Heretic. Madman. Religious fanatic. Political reactionary. All these terms have been used to describe the Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola (1452–1498), who challenged both the authority of the pope and the power of the Florentine throne. Martines's fast-paced study weaves a first-rate social history of Renaissance Florence with a deeply affecting and more complex portrait of Savonarola. The friar's fiery preaching against greed and for social justice garnered him many followers. Savonarola condemned the excesses of a church that tried to fill its coffers by mistreating the poor and an authoritarian monarchy complicit with this church. Once the ruling Medicis fell from power, he led a movement to create a Great Council, comprising middle-class citizens, which led the city for almost...


Michelangelo & the Pope's Ceiling
Ross King
0142003697
Nov 2003
Paperback
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Book Review
Almost 500 years after Michelangelo Buonarroti frescoed the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, the site still attracts throngs of visitors and is considered one of the artistic masterpieces of the world. Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling unveils the story behind the art's making, a story rife with all the drama of a modern-day soap opera.

The temperament of the day was dictated by the politics of the papal court, a corrupt and powerful office steeped in controversy; Pope Julius II even had a nickname, "Il Papa Terrible," to prove it. Along with his violent outbursts and warmongering, Pope Julius II took upon himself to restore the Sistine Chapel and pretty much intimidated Michelangelo into painting the ceiling even though the artist considered himself primarily a sculptor and was particularly unfamiliar with...



A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind & the Renaissance - Portrait of an Age
William Manchester
0316545562
June 1993
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
It speaks to the failure of medieval Europe, writes popular historian William Manchester, that "in the year 1500, after a thousand years of neglect, the roads built by the Romans were still the best on the continent." European powers were so absorbed in destroying each other and in suppressing peasant revolts and religious reform that they never quite got around to realizing the possibilities of contemporary innovations in public health, civil engineering, and other peaceful pursuits. Instead, they waged war in faraway lands, created and lost fortunes, and squandered millions of lives. For all the wastefulness of medieval societies, however, Manchester notes, the era created the foundation for the extraordinary creative explosion of the Renaissance. Drawing on a cast of characters numbering in the hundreds,...


Bells and Mortars : Catalogue of Italian Bronzes in the Victoria and Albert Museum (Victoria and Albert Museum Catalogues)
Peta Motture
0810965828
May 1, 2001
Hardcover
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Book Description
The collection of Italian bronzes at the Victoria and Albert Museum is extraordinary for its size, variety, and scope. The first book in English devoted to the subject, this fully illustrated volume provides a complete catalogue of a key part of this collection—75 small bells, mortars, and related utensils mainly from the Renaissance period. Bells & Mortars contains details of inscriptions and makers’ marks and substantial technical information, including data based on X-ray examination and metal analysis. Essays set the bronzes into their broader historical, religious, and pharmaceutical contexts, making this catalogue invaluable to scholars and collectors as well as those with an interest in pharmaceutical history.

About the Author
PETA MOTTURE is deputy curator...


Leonardo Da Vinci
Frank Zollner
3822817341
Feb 2003
Hardcover
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Book Review
Lying open, this unutterably wonderful book is almost the size of the Mona Lisa and about as hefty as a slab of The Last Supper's monastery wall. All 34 paintings are here (including what we know of the lost ones), many with huge and immensely illuminating details, plus 663 drawings. The reproductions are stunning, on paper sturdy enough to serve as wings on some of the flying machines depicted on pages 644 to 671. The precision of the images amazes: the delicate petals fingered by the larger-than-life-size baby Jesus in Madonna of the Carnation; the wailing, dismembered victims of Leonardo's scary scythed chariots; Mary's transparent drapery in the Annunciation; the bands of sunlight streaking each swirling curl of Ginevra de Benci; Mona Lisa's gossamer veil and intricately embroidered gown; even, unless my eyes deceive me,...


Renaissance: A Short History
Paul Johnson
0812966198
August 2002
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
This slim volume is among the first in a new series, the Modern Library Chronicles, described by the publisher as "authoritative, lively, and accessible." Noted historian Johnson's (A History of the American People, etc.) book satisfies on the latter two countsAit provides a serviceable introduction for the general readerAhowever, on the first count it falls short. Johnson offers an unimaginative and superficial history, with insidious signs of haste, like the claim that Charles V created El Escorial. Few will be surprised that the Renaissance was "primarily a human event" or excited by the pedestrian approach: dates of birth and death abound. Although he avoids blind admiration (the Mona Lisa "shows the defects of [Leonardo's] slovenly method of working"), Johnson is resolutely canonical: Chaucer is one of...


The Devil's Doctor : Paracelsus and the World of Renaissance Magic and Science
Philip Ball
0374229791
April 18, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. If one really wants to understand the contradictions and "intellectual ferment" of the 16th century, says Ball, one should look not at Luther or Copernicus, but at the much-maligned Paracelsus. Born in Switzerland in 1493, Philip Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, aka Paracelsus, is a figure often more imagined than known. Famous as a doctor of alchemic medicine, he has been compared with Faust and developed a reputation as a miracle worker and charlatan that only grew after his death in 1543. Ball, author of the prize-winning Critical Mass, mixes scant biographical detail with a wide-ranging evocation of the Renaissance worldview to create a fascinating portrait of the man, his age and his historical reputation. Forays into ancient, medieval and Islamic medicine, academic rivalries, the...


Shopping in the Renaissance: Consumer Cultures in Italy 1400-1600
Evelyn Welch
0300107528
September 2005
Hardcover
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Book Description
Shopping was as important in the Renaissance as it is today. This fascinating and original book breaks new ground in the area of Renaissance material culture, focusing on the marketplace and such related topics as middle-class to courtly consumption, the provision of foodstuffs, and the acquisition of antiquities and holy relics. The book investigates how men and women of different social classes went to the streets, squares, and shops to buy goods they needed and wanted on a daily—or a once-in-a-lifetime—basis, during the Renaissance period.
Evelyn Welch draws on wide-ranging sources to expose the fears, anxieties, and social possibilities of the Renaissance marketplace and to show the impact of these attitudes on developing urban spaces. She considers transient forms of sales such as fairs, auctions,...


Leonardo Da Vinci
Lucia Aquino
0847826775
May 2005
Paperback
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Book Description
This pioneering art series combines stunning high-quality color reproductions with expert commentary on the most popular artists of all time at an extremely accessible price. Giotto, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Vermeer are names well known to any student of art history, museumgoer, or culturally engaged individual. Rizzoli is pleased to launch its Classics of Art series with monographs on these six world-renowned painters, whose signature styles and sheer genius continue to inspire both scholars and lay people to this day.
Often regarded as the founder of traditional European painting, Giotto revolutionized the way artists interpreted the human condition at the turn of the fourteenth century. Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo each brought Renaissance notions of humanism to...


The Art and Mythology of The Da Vinci Code
David Morris
0974474738
November 19, 2004
Hardcover
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Book Description
The idea for this companion book to Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code was conceived by readers who, like most other readers, mentally visualize the people, scenery, architecture, and objects described in the text they are perusing. It offers photographs of all the major buildings, landmarks, art, and mythology referenced in Brown's best-selling novel. Whether reading the novel because it is a great mystery or because the reader is intrigued by the theological hypotheses, this volume will enrich the experience, allowing readers to visit the art and mythological characters and perhaps expand their knowledge of them.


Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture
Ross King
0142000159
November 2001
Paperback
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Book Review
Filippo Brunelleschi's design for the dome of the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence remains one of the most towering achievements of Renaissance architecture. Completed in 1436, the dome remains a remarkable feat of design and engineering. Its span of more than 140 feet exceeds St Paul's in London and St Peter's in Rome, and even outdoes the Capitol in Washington, D.C., making it the largest dome ever constructed using bricks and mortar. The story of its creation and its brilliant but "hot-tempered" creator is told in Ross King's delightful Brunelleschi's Dome.

Both dome and architect offer King plenty of rich material. The story of the dome goes back to 1296, when work began on the cathedral, but it was only in 1420, when Brunelleschi won a competition over his bitter rival Lorenzo Ghiberti to design the...



Math and the Mona Lisa
Bulent Atalay
1588341712
Apr 2004
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
In this readable, if less than compelling, disquisition on the close relationship of art and science, physics professor Atalay uses as his touchstone Leonardo da Vinci, of whom he says in his prologue: "Had [da Vinci] been able to publish the scientific ruminations found in his manuscripts in his own time, our present level of sophistication in science and technology might have been reached one or two centuries earlier." This assertion sets the buoyant tone for the rest of the book. The author marvels at the symmetries to be found in art and the natural world, discussing the Fibonacci series (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8...) and the golden ratio related to it designated by the Greek letter phi (1.618...) with illustrated examples ranging from da Vinci's three portraits of women to the Great Pyramid and the Parthenon. He...


The Art of Florence (2 Volume Set)
Glenn M. Andres, et al
0896601110
July 1999
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Florence is the city of Michelangelo, Leonardo, Dante, Masaccio, Botticelli, Giotto, Cellini and Machiavelli. This mammoth, two-volume survey lets one trace the shifting styles of Florentine painting, sculpture and architecture amid crosscurrents of political turmoil, Renaissance thought, princely patronage, commerce, wars, plague. It would be hard to match this opulent set for comprehensive detail or wealth of illustration. Among the 1553 plates (nearly half in color) are photographs, sketches, plans and hundreds of full-page reproductions. The text is designed to appeal to lay readers as well as to specialists. It brings Renaissance giants down to human proportions as it follows the rise of Florence from mercantile center to militant republic and to its late 16th-century decline foreshadowed by mannerism in the...


April Blood
Lauro Martines
019517609X
Jan 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
One April Sunday in 1478, assassins-with the support of a member of the Pazzi, one of Florence's leading families-killed a member of the ruling family of Florence, Giuliano de Medici, and wounded his brother, Lorenzo. In the hands of Martines, a professor emeritus of European history at UCLA, the rebellion and Lorenzo's ensuing crackdown becomes a prism through which to view Renaissance Florence. He details the many people involved, from bankers to the king of Naples and even Pope Sixtus. Long seen as a "Renaissance man," Lorenzo was a poet and a patron of the arts. But Martines turns the story on its head. He sees the plot as a reaction to the corruption in Medici rule and the crackdown-which included hangings and prohibitions against marrying female members of the Pazzi family-as overly harsh: "[I]t required...


Crispin: The Cross of Lead

0786816589
June 2004
Paperback
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Book Review
Genre-jumping author Avi clocks in here with his 50th book, Crispin: The Cross of Lead, an action-packed historical narrative that follows the frantic flight of a 13-year-old peasant boy across 14th-century England.

After being declared a "wolf's head" by his manor's corrupt steward for a crime he didn't commit (meaning that anyone can kill him like a common animal--and collect a reward), this timid boy has to flee a tiny village that's the only world he's ever known. But before our protagonist escapes, Avi makes sure that we're thoroughly briefed on the injustices of feudalism--the countless taxes cottars must pay, the constant violence, the inability of a flawed church to protect its parishioners, etc. Avi then folds in the book's central mystery just as the boy is leaving: "Asta's son," as he's always been ...



Rome (Artistic Centers of the Italian Renaissance)
Marcia B. Hall (Editor)
0521624452
April 18, 2005
Hardcover
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Review
"A solid, well-illustrated handbook in the modern, contextual mode, placing the arts in a temporal environment. The essays are clear, logically organized, and generally accessible [.] If forthcoming series volumes are produced to the same standard, together they will form a substantial and current scholarly survey of the Renaissance in Italy." Library Journal

Book Description
In the period under study here, Rome lived up to its epithet 'The Eternal City'. This is a comprehensive history of the art of Rome in the Renaissance studies; the architecture, sculpture, painting, and decorative arts together in their social, religious, and historical context. Organized around the patronage of the popes, it tells the story of three centuries, in which the eternal city rose from the ashes of...


The Mirror of the Gods
Malcolm Bull
0195219236
Feb 2005
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
In writing about the process by which Renaissance artists came to terms with what had become a completely alien system of thought and representation, Bull (Seeing Things Hidden) brilliantly shows classical antiquity's material nearness (its remnants were scattered about an explosively growing set of Italian city-states) and its psychological distance—a distance that artists set out to close, transforming their own culture in the process. The result is a terrific god-by-god account of the Renaissance's reimagining of mythology, undertaken in successive chapters; Hercules, Jupiter, Venus, Bacchus, Diana and Apollo are bookended by chapters on "Sources," "Objects" and "The Mirror." Bull's anecdotes are compelling and his prose light and clear, but his text is primarily a scholarly one, copiously footnoted and...


Leonardo's Notebooks
Leonardo da Vinci
1579124577
October 2005
Hardcover
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Book Description
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) possessed arguably the greatest mind the world has ever known. Artist, draftsman, inventor, and philosopher, his contributions to modern society are profound and wide-reaching. Throughout his life, Leonardo kept dozens of notebooks, elegant studies on topics ranging from architecture to botany to philosophy—indeed nearly anything of which the human imagination could conceive.

Leonardo’s Notebooks collects a variety of the most fascinating of these studies and compiles them into one monumental volume that demystifies his insights and clearly illustrates his ideas, experiments, and observations with hundreds of his original sketches, line drawings, and paintings. Topics include Anatomy and the Movement of the Human Figure; Botany and Landscape; Engineering and Military...


The Architecture of Western Gardens : A Design History from the Renaissance to the Present Day
Monique Mosser (Editor), Georges Teyssot (Editor)
0262132648
August 1, 1991
Hardcover
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From Library Journal
Could it be that the expulsion from the Garden of Eden left humankind eternally searching to re-create the lost place? In these 70 essays the learned authors seek to identify and explain this quest from the Renaissance to the present: to define and explore the relationship of nature and society, culture and creativity, labor and diversion within the framework of garden design and use. Chronologically ordered, the detailed sections offer a historical perspective followed by specific examples of gardens as a reflection of society, either as images of its tastes or visions of its aspirations. The illustrations, including many archival drawings, provide access to the precision of garden planning as well as a glimpse of actual gardens. There are short bibliographies after each essay, but no overall reference guide; the...


History's Timeline
Jean Cooke
0760703868
January 1996
Textbook Hardcover
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Book Description
Is a world history for all the family, containing 260 colorful illustrations


Hypnerotomachia Poliphili
Francesco Colonna
0500511047
May 2003
Hardcover
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From Library Journal
Published in 1499, this standard of the Renaissance is here translated for the first time into English. The text apparently is difficult, and earlier efforts to produce an English-language text were abandoned. Essentially a romance, this tells the story of protagonist Poliphilo's quest for the love of Polia. More for hard-core academic collections, especially at this price. Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

The New York Times Book Review, D.J.R. Bruckner, 26 December 1999
During December of 1499 in Venice, Aldus Manutius finished printing Hypnerotomachia Poliphili: The Strife of Love in a Dream, a brilliantly designed folio filled with elaborate engraved plates that may have bankrupted...

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