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During the Renaissance, the Italian city of Urbino rivaled Florence and Siena as a center of art, culture, and commerce. Chances are you've never heard of it—but you should have. Raphael was born there. Piero della Francesca painted his famous The Flagellation there. And the city's exquisite Ducal Palace, its twin towers piercing the sky, remains a striking monument to grace and power. Yet despite all its past glory and present charm, Urbino is practically unknown to tourists today.
With Urbino: The Story of a Renaissance City, art historian June Osborne brings to life not only the great city and its art but also its turbulent history and the intrigue surrounding its ruling family. First settled by the ancient Umbrians, Urbino reached its zenith during the fifteenth century under the rule of Duke Federico da Montefeltro and his son Guidobaldo. Federico may have been a usurper and a fierce, opportunistic warlord, but his lust for power was more than matched by his passion for great art. Indeed it was under his direct guidance that the magnificent Ducal Palace was built—its perfectly proportioned courtyard a wonder of early Renaissance architecture.
Today the Ducal Palace hosts the National Gallery of the Marches, one of the most important art galleries in Italy, featuring works by no lesser lights than Raphael, Uccello, Piero della Francesca, and Titian. Exploring such sites as the fourteenth-century Oratorio di San Giovanni Battista and the Gothic Church of San Domenico, Osborne captures not only the startling beauty of Urbino and the Apennine foothills but also the tumultuous legacy of Frederico and his son (and their many wives and courtiers).
With over a hundred lavish color photographs, many by renowned landscape photographer Joe Cornish, Urbino is the best—and the only—guide to this gem of the Italian Marches.
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Perched in the foothills of the Apennines, the twin towers of its Ducal Palace piercing the sky, Urbino is a striking monument to another era. The city came to prominence under Duke Federico da Montefeltro, a man who embodied the virtues of the active and contemplative life that were characteristic of the Renaissance. His city, however, guards its secrets well. A superficial visit may disclose some of its beauty and antiquity, but not its significance. It is the purpose of this book to showcase Urbino's beauty and to explain its historical and cultural importance.
June Osborne traces the history of the city back to its Roman origins and goes on to paint a colorful panorama of Renaissance Italy, detailing the rivalries, alliances, and treacheries between dukes, princes, emperors, and popes that were fought out during this most fruitful period of scholarship and creative output. She explains how Urbino emerged from political turmoil to become the wealthiest and most illustrious court in Europe, a magnet for artists and writers such as Piero della Francesca, Paolo Uccello, and Torquato Tasso, and the acknowledged centre of Renaissance ideals as expounded in Baldassare Castiglione's The Book of the Courier.
With Newly commissioned photographs by Joe Cornish and a Foreword by Sir John Mortimer, this is the first book solely on Urbino to be published in English, making it essential reading for anyone with an interest in Italian history or art.
June Osborne teaches art history in Oxford University's Department of Continuing Education and is a former research assistant of Ernst Gombrich. She is the author ofStained Glass in England, John Piper and Stained Glass, and Hampton Court Palaces.
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Book Description University of Chicago Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0226637638 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW99.0106451
Book Description University of Chicago Press, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110226637638
Book Description University of Chicago Press, 2003. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0226637638