Cover image for The culture of High Renaissance : ancients and moderns in sixteenth-century Rome
The culture of High Renaissance : ancients and moderns in sixteenth-century Rome
Rowland, Ingrid D. (Ingrid Drake)
Publication Information:
Cambridge, U.K. ; New York, NY, USA : Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
xiv, 384 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DG797.8 .R68 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Between 1480 and 1520, a concentration of talented artists, including Melozzo da Forlì, Bramante, Pinturicchio, Raphael, and Michelangelo, arrived in Rome and produced some of the most enduring works of art ever created. This period, now called the High Renaissance, is generally considered to be one of the high points of Western civilisation. How did it come about, and what were the forces that converged to spark such an explosion of creative activity? In this study, Ingrid Rowland examines the culture, society, and intellectual norms that generated the High Renaissance. This interdisciplinary 2001 study assesses the intellectual paradigm shift that occurred at the turn of the fifteenth century. It also finds and explains the connections between ideas, people, and the art works they created by looking at economics, art, contemporary understanding of classical antiquity, and social conventions.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Rowland's study is a history of the scholarship and art of the humanists, bankers, orators, and curial officials who flourished in Rome from the 1470s through 1521. She sees culture as erudition in one area of learning or taste that influences other endeavors and is especially perceptive in demonstrating the links between ancient classical antiquarian interests and Renaissance art. The book is a graceful and humane tour of the personalities and achievements of High Renaissance Rome by means of essays on individual humanists, artists, and controversies. Agostino Chigi, a wealthy banker and man of learning, and Angelo Colocci, a curialist who looked to write a study of ancient numbers, weights, and measures, are central figures. But most of the famous artists, builders, and stylish Ciceronian writers make appearances. A wealth of manuscript, printed, and visual evidence, with very few slips of fact, supports the arguments, and Rowland always gives the original Latin or Italian for translated passages. At the same time, specific dating and explanations are sometimes lacking, which will make the book difficult to cite. Overall, Rowland continues the exploration into High Renaissance Roman culture and society begun by the late John D'Amico and by Charles Stinger, and does it well. Upper-division undergraduates and above. P. Grendler emeritus, University of Toronto

Table of Contents

1 Initiation
2 Alexandria on the Tiber (1492-1503)
3 The curial marketplace
4 The cultural marketplace
5 Tabulation
6 Sweating towards Parnassus (1503-1513)
7 Imitation (1513-1521)
8 Epilogue: Reformation (1517-1525)