From Heaven to Arcadia: The Sacred and the Profane in the Renaissance

Voorkant
New York Review of Books, 2005 - 294 pagina's
From the revelations of classical statuary pulled from the Roman soil as the popes began rebuilding the city in the fifteenth century, to the myth of serenity that Venice constructed to conceal its physical and political fragility, to bloody yet cultured Florence under the Medici, Ingrid Rowland traces the worldly, unworldly, and otherworldly strivings of artists, writers, popes, and politicians during that great "outburst of mental energy" we know as the Renaissance.

Here are Botticelli, whose illustrations for the Divine Comedy reveal him to be one of Dante's most careful readers; the multifaceted genius of Leonardo; the astonishing mastery of Titian and the erratic brilliance of artists like Correggio, Caravaggio, and Artemisia Gentileschi; the enigmatic erotic novel Hypnerotomachia Poliphili; the Western fascination with the mysteries of Egypt; and the glittering spiritual ferment of late Byzantium, which as it collapsed passed on so many ideas to Renaissance Italy.

But beyond its artistic accomplishments, Rowland writes, "Renaissance life at its most distinctive was the intangible, unworldly life of the mind." In her pages astronomers and astrologists, poets and philosophers, pornographers and prostitutes jostle for attention with painters and sculptors. Among them the inquisitive Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher stands out as a polymath who ranged over nearly every field of knowledge. Even though his commingling of scientific observation and hermetic symbolism is now obsolete, he remains for Rowland "a builder of connections who insisted on seeing harmony in the midst of disorder"—and thus one of the most exemplary Renaissance figures of all.

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This is a collection of book reviews written by Rowland and almost all published in the New York Review of Books over the last 20 years. Most of the books reviewed are catalogs of shows of Renaissance ... Volledige review lezen

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Over de auteur (2005)

Ingrid D. Rowland is a professor, based in Rome, at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. A frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, she is the author of The Culture of the High Renaissance: Ancients and Moderns in Sixteenth-Century Rome and The Scarith of Scornello: A Tale of Renaissance Forgery. She has also published a translation of Vitruvius' Ten Books of Architecture and a history of Villa Taverna, the US ambassador's residence in Rome.

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