This outstanding Renaissance art book overturns longstanding assumptions about the way art evolved in Renaissance Florence. David Franklin challenges the reliability and usefulness of the terms “High Renaissance” and “Mannerism,” which have been used commonly to describe and define the extraordinary paintings of the Florentine Renaissance. Franklin offers instead a new perspective on the progress and development of art in Florence, structuring his discussion around the lives and works of twelve influential Italian painters of the era.
This Italian art history book provides a detailed account of the critical period from about 1500, when Leonardo returned to Florence, to the publication in 1550 of Vasari’s first edition of the Lives of the Artists.
With penetrating analyses of careers, influences, and specific paintings, Franklin isolates two main strands in Renaissance Florentine painting. He brings to light the passionate rivalry between a deeply localized attitude toward art exemplified by Michelangelo and Leonardo and climaxing in the work of Pontormo, and a style influenced by the Roman art of Raphael that Vasari tried with some success to import into Florence.
For the former group, life drawing and expressive human form were at the heart of their enterprise, while for the latter it was superficial narrative arranged for decorative effect.
Franklin’s unprecedented examination of Vasari’s work as a painter in relation to his vastly better-known writings fully illuminates these dual strands in Florentine art and offers us a clearer understanding of sixteenth century painting in Florence than ever before.
The volume focuses on twelve painters: Perugino, Leonardo da Vinci, Piero di Cosimo, Michelangelo, Fra Bartolomeo, Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, Andrea del Sarto, Franciabigio, Rosso Fiorentino, Jacopo da Pontormo, Francesco Salviati, and Giorgio Vasari.
This Italian art book is one of many art books available from the National Gallery, which include art history books, art exhibition catalogues and gift books.