A beautifully illustrated introduction to painted altarpieces, Devotion by Design: Italian Altarpieces before 1500 shows how these works were once part of decorative, integrated schemes, highlighting reconstructions and showing regional variations.
This book focuses on Italian altarpieces from the second half of the thirteenth century to the very end of the fifteenth century. Although their display on the main floor of the National Gallery surveys their stylistic development, they are often viewed as gallery paintings, while many examples of fine quality and importance are rarely seen, residing in the lower galleries.
It examines the original functions and locations of altarpieces, as well as their formal and typological development, and draws on the wealth of scholarship undertaken in this field over the past thirty years.
Devotion by Design: Italian Altarpieces before 1500 was a free National Gallery exhibition during summer 2011.
14 December 2011
15 July 2011