Cover image for The art of Florence
The art of Florence
Andres, Glenn M.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York ; London : Artabras, 1999.
Physical Description:
2 volumes (1348 pages) : illustrations (some color) ; 33 cm
General Note:
In slip case.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6921.F7 A38 1994 V. 1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
N6921.F7 A38 1994 V. 2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

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Since the radiant years of the Renaissance, the city of Florence has come for many to represent the greatest triumph of the Western cultural tradition. This is the city where humanism was born, where Plato was discussed passionately in the narrow streets, and where men and women first found themselves to be the measure of all things. For more than three centuries Florence nurtured a creative community of astounding, even revolutionary genius. Here, starting in the late 1200s, Giotto painted the grave and powerful frescoes that drew Florence and the world toward a radical new vision of realism, and here, ushering in the dazzling era of the High Renaissance, Michelangelo began his incomparable career as architect, sculptor, and painter. During the intervening years, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Ghiberti, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Raphael, Leonardo, and hundreds of the most splendidly talented artists in history lived and worked in this small city on the Arno and collaborated in the creation of the great urban museum we know as Florence.
Matching an elegant and sophisticated text by three leading art historians with hundreds of glorious color photographs, The Art of Florence immerses us in a city and a time of unparalleled cultural ferment. This important and uncommonly beautiful publication analyzes the history of Florentine art in terms of the distinctly Florentine and Tuscan influences that shaped it--an approach never before employed in a study of this breadth and complexity. The fascinating and lucid text by Glenn Andres, John Hunisak, and Richard Turner gracefully links Florentine architecture, sculpture, and painting to the rich social fabric and the dramatic political life of the city. Woven into this compelling history is the most luxurious and comprehensive visual documentation available of Florence's unrivaled treasures. More than 700 color images and another 854 duotones and architectural drawings have been reproduced with a meticulous care worthy of the Renaissance craft tradition. Joining visual beauty with intellectual rigor in a fashion that truly invokes the spirit of this great city, The Art of Florence presents as rich a vision of human creativity as we can find anywhere outside Florence itself.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Florence is the city of Michelangelo, Leonardo, Dante, Masaccio, Botticelli, Giotto, Cellini and Machiavelli. This mammoth, two-volume survey lets one trace the shifting styles of Florentine painting, sculpture and architecture amid crosscurrents of political turmoil, Renaissance thought, princely patronage, commerce, wars, plague. It would be hard to match this opulent set for comprehensive detail or wealth of illustration. Among the 1553 plates (nearly half in color) are photographs, sketches, plans and hundreds of full-page reproductions. The text is designed to appeal to lay readers as well as to specialists. It brings Renaissance giants down to human proportions as it follows the rise of Florence from mercantile center to militant republic and to its late 16th-century decline foreshadowed by mannerism in the arts. The authors are art professors--Andres and Hunisak at Middlebury College, Turner at NYU; photographer Okamura's credits include The Vatican Frescoes of Michelangelo. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This expensive and elaborate set, replete with a wealth of excellent photographs, presents the art of Renaissance Florence in two beautiful, oversized volumes. Along with this visual feast comes a substantial and well-written chronological account of Florentine architecture, sculpture, and painting from 1200 to 1600. Basic historical and political background is incorporated into the text, making it informative and accessible to students and others with no prior knowledge of Italian Renaissance art or history. Although not a full history of Italian Renaissance art because of its limitation to one city, and lacking full scholarly apparatus (publication histories, dimensions of some works, etc.), this work will delight students, travelers, and general readers as well as specialists.-- Kathryn W. Finkelstein, M.Ln., Cincinnati (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This survey of the history and art of Florence is a sumptuous and monumental achievement. The two large, elegantly bound, and weighty volumes contain no fewer than 700 full-sized color plates along with some 150 black-and-white figures; they cover architecture, sculpture, and painting produced during the turbulent years of the city's greatest artistic flowering, the 11th through the 16th centuries. The declared goal of the trio of authors is to place the art of Florence within the historical and social context of the city; in many respects they have succeeded admirably, suggesting possible cultural influences on artistic developments while remaining sensitive to the pitfalls inherent in posting simple causal explanations for changes in style. Although much of the text, which is geared to the informed general reader, maintains high standards of accuracy and scholarship, there are also wide variations in quality. The strongest historical writing and the most incisive visual and technical analysis occur in the sections on architecture. The pages on sculpture are adequate, but those on painting are disappointingly weak. Further, the range is a bit limited by its coverage of only those works physically located within Florence. Nevertheless, these tomes are highly recommended for any libraries blessed with unlimited budgets. -J. I. Miller, California State University, Long Beach