Art in Renaissance Venice

Tom Nichols

in Renaissance and Reformation

ISBN: 9780195399301
Published online August 2011 | | DOI:
Art in Renaissance Venice

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)
  • Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy


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This bibliography concentrates primarily on Venetian art and artists of the 15th and 16th centuries. In this period the achievements of the city’s painters, sculptors, and architects reached unparalleled heights. Though the tradition came back to life in the 18th century, most would agree that the “golden age” of Venetian art occurred in the two Renaissance centuries. The particular visual power of Venetian art in this period was immediately recognized, though it was often seen by outsiders as too naturalistic, sensual, or color based, or as insufficiently concerned with elevating intellectual ideas or forms. Many of the items listed in this bibliography bear witness to a remarkable revival of critical, scholarly, and public interest in the tradition over the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Though this upsurge initially began under the impact of Romantic, and then modernist, values, it has since taken on a new kind of historical objectivity under the impact of the foundation and development of art history as an academic discipline. Since the mid-19th century, study of the art of Renaissance Venice has been founded on close and systematic scholarly study, and to this extent it has represented a concerted attempt to understand the tradition on its own terms or in relation to its original artistic, social, and religious meanings and functions. This broad move toward historical contextualism has offered many new insights into the original material practices, processes, and discourses by and through which Venetian artworks were made and understood in their time. It has delivered a new understanding of just how far such works mirror the unique social, cultural, and physical environment of Venice itself, and of how far they represent an integral expression of the city’s emergent sense of itself.

Article.  11716 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy

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