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Vineland (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)
Thomas Pynchon
Tristes Tropiques
John Weightman, Doreen Weightman, Patrick Wilcken, Claude Lévi-Strauss
Richard III
William Shakespeare
The Dwarf
Alexandra Dick, Pär Lagerkvist
The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen
Wilfred Owen, Cecil Day-Lewis
Richard Wolin
Giotto to Dürer: Early Renaissance Painting in the National Gallery
Jill Dunkerton, Susan Foister, Dillian Gordon, Nicholas Penny
Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics
Hubert L. Dreyfus, Paul Rabinow
Gravity's Rainbow
Thomas Pynchon
A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel
Steven Weisenburger
Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy: A Primer in the Social History of Pictorial Style (Oxford Paperbacks) - Michael Baxandall Despite the fact that this is an utterly brilliant and original -- and, indeed, an important -- book, I can understand why some have given it 4, or even a mere 3-stars.... there is something intangible... or unattainable... in Baxandall's analysis... as if he were trying to weave a tapestry...out of cotton candy... it dissolves at the touch... or perhaps it is that the evidence, as I suggested in my update, does not *fully* or conclusively complete or 'clinch' the questions asked...

Yet those questions themselves are so startlingly original and apt, and so precisely formulated... that this book reallly should be read by anyone who is interested, not just in Renaissance art, but in cultural history as such -- in the formation of Western man, in fact...

It is misleading, as I've said, to argue that Baxandall's is an attempt at the 'social history' of art, as is often done. That is not at all what he is up to. Rather, he is trying to put in focus the mentalité of the Quattrocentro by showing how patterns of vision, and habits of vision, were formed... and expressed... and he does this, in large part, by showing how a purely formalist analysis (and that should be stressed) can be developed by comparing the categories by which the Renaissance itself conceived its art to the categories used in Renaissance literary (i.e., verbal) analysis -- much of which goes back to the time of Quintillian.

So, the concluding section (for example) shows how the apparently vague and (at first sight) completely subjective terms which Cristoforo Landino and Leon Battista Alberti applied in their analyses of painters such as Masaccio and Fra Angelico - terms like 'puro', 'facilita', 'gratioso', 'ornato', 'colorire' (tone) and 'disegno' (line), 'prompto', 'vezzoso' (blithe), and even 'devoto' -- along with more precise and familiar terms, such as the 'imitatore della nature', 'rilievo', 'prospectivo', 'varieta', 'compositione', 'scorci' (foreshortening) -- ALL have precise and formalizable meanings that can be paralleled (and accounted for) by the formal categories used in 15th cen. sermons and rhetoric.

At any rate - this very short and suggestive book is, imo, a *must* (though not always an easy) read.