Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy: A Primer in the Social History of Pictorial Style
By Michael Baxandall
Why this book?
This is a classic study that for me—and countless others— changed the way we look at Renaissance art, the artists who made it, the patrons who commissioned it, the people who used it, and the Renaissance authors who wrote about it. Everybody knows that Masaccio, Uccello, Angelico, Botticelli, and Leonardo da Vinci were great painters. But only after reading this short and compelling essay by one of the twentieth-century most insightful art historians you understand how these great artists mirrored in their works daily life experiences and activities of Renaissance society, such as preaching, dancing, and gauging barrels.
After your read this book, if you’d like to dig deeper into how Renaissance art related to contemporary sexual, social, and political behavior the right book for you is Art in Renaissance Italy: 1350-1500 by Evelyn Welch.
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