The history of Western art—from the mosaics of the Byzantine Empire, to the Renaissance courts of Florence, to the revolutionary forms of early 20th-century modernism—is a story of economics as much as aesthetics. The interplay between patron and artist, commerce and culture, is the engine that, for centuries, has driven paradigmatic change in the artistic world. In Marks of Opulence, historian Colin Platt takes us on an ambitious sweep through a thousand years of artistic endeavor, revealing the fascinating economic and social context of the West’s most cherished works of art. An illuminating study, rich in fascinating detail and skillful analysis.
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Colin Platt is Professor of Art History at Southampton University. He is the author of many books including King Death : A History of the Plague, The Architecture of Medieval Britain, which was awarded the Wolfson Prize for History, and the classic The Medieval Town. He lives in Devon.
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