Painting in the Age of Giotto: A Historical Re-Evaluation

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9780271015996: Painting in the Age of Giotto: A Historical Re-Evaluation
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"Painting in the Age of Giotto" is a revisionist account of central Italian painting in the period 1260 to 1370. The study discusses Giorgio Vasari's account of the "first age" of the Renaissance in his "Lives" and the character of the historiographical tradition that arose from that account. In opening the tradition to closer scrutiny, Hayden Maginnis explains the origins of many modern views regarding the period and the persistence of critical strategies and conventions that do not correspond to the historical realities. Those realities are discussed in a return to the evidence of surviving works of art and in an exploration of stylistic trends that define regional currents in central Italian art. In an examination of the "new art" of the 14th century, Maginnis discovers not only that naturalism as an artistic ambition was remarkably short-lived but also that its chief exponents were the painters of Siena, rather than the painters of Florence. His detailed analysis of Giotto's work demonstrates that his art belonged to quite another trend. By the fourth decade of the Trecento, the character of central Italian painting was growing ever more diverse. Painters quite consciously began to explore artistic alternatives to naturalism, thereby introducing "notable disturbances in the classification of Tuscan Trecento painting" and providing a foundation for developments toward the mid-century. Through a re-examination of the historical and art-historical evidence related to painting immediately after the plague of 1348, Maginnis demonstrates that the central thesis of Millard Meiss's "Painting in Florence and Siena after the Black Death", until now the standard interpretation of this period, is untenable, and offers a new interpretation of painting at mid-century.

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About the Author:

Hayden B. J. Maginnis is Professor of Art History at McMaster University.

Review:

A great work, Maginnis's book will be an enduring monument of scholarship. It is uncommonly ambitious, synthetic, and revisionary: one of the few truly significant contributions to the understanding of Italian Renaissance art in our generation. --Paul Barolsky, University of Virginia

This is the most significant treatment of the art of the period since Millard Meiss's groundbreaking Painting in Florence and Siena after the Black Death. Not only is it a methodologically timely and critically perceptive meditation on the reception of Trecento Tuscan painting, but it is majestic in its sweep and bold in its ideas. --Andrew Ladis, University of Georgia

The most deeply pondered account of Trecento painting to have been published for many years. --Burlington Magazine

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Hayden B. J. Maginnis
Published by Pennsylvania State Univ Pr (Txt) (1997)
ISBN 10: 0271015993 ISBN 13: 9780271015996
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Maginnis, Hayden B. J.
Published by Pennsylvania State Univ Pr (Tx (1997)
ISBN 10: 0271015993 ISBN 13: 9780271015996
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