Cover image for Painting in Renaissance Florence, 1500-1550
Painting in Renaissance Florence, 1500-1550
Franklin, David, 1961-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New Haven : Yale University Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
vi, 273 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 30 cm
Format :


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Material Type
Home Location
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ND621.F7 F725 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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"This book overturns longstanding assumptions about the way art evolved in Renaissance Florence. David Franklin challenges the reliability and usefulness of the terms 'High Renaissance' and 'Mannerism', which have been used commonly to describe and define the extraordinary paintings of the Florentine Renaissance. Franklin offers instead a new perspective on the progress and development of art in Florence, structuring his discussion around the lives and works of twelve influential Italian painters of the era." "The book provides a detailed account of the critical period from about 1500 when Leonardo returned to Florence, to the publication in 1550 of Vasari's first edition of the Lives of the Artists. With penetrating analyses of careers, influences and specific paintings, Franklin isolates two main strands in Renaissance Florentine painting. He brings to light the passionate rivalry between a deeply localized attitude towards art exemplified by Michelangelo and Leonardo and climaxing in the work of Pontormo, and a style influenced by the Roman art of Raphael which Vasari tried with some success to import into Florence. For the former group, life drawing and expressive human form were at the heart of their enterprise, while for the latter, it was superficial narrative arranged for decorative effect. Franklin's unprecedented examination of Vasari's work as a painter in relation to his vastly better-known writings fully illuminates these dual strands in Florentine art and offers us a clearer understanding of sixteenth-century painting in Florence than ever before." "The volume focuses on twelve painters: Perugino, Leonardo de Vinci, Piero di Cosimo, Michelangelo, Fra Bartolomeo, Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, Andrea del Sarto, Franciabigio, Rosso Fiorentino, Jacopo da Pontormo, Francesco Salviati and Giorgio Vasari."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Author Notes

David Franklin is Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the National Gallery of Canada

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Franklin presents the many crosscurrents of painting active in Florence from 1500 to 1550, discussing 12 important artists (e.g., Perugino, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Fra Bartolomeo, and Andrea del Sarto) in separate chapters. He argues against definitions of "high renaissance" and "mannerism" that the artists he examines wouldn't recognize in favor of a more fluid understanding and analysis of the information and observations we currently have. While emphasizing two different strains one more traditional, as in Perugino, and the other more revolutionary, as in Leonardo and Michelangelo he analyzes their creative response to patrons and fashions and their growing frustration with getting paintings completed. In a final chapter, the author assesses Vasari as an artist as well as an art historian, giving a sympathetic as well as a critical overview of his achievements. This dense, difficult, but well-organized account of Florentine painting will appeal especially to scholars and art history students; Elizabeth Pilliod's recent Pontormo, Bronzino, Allori (LJ 11/15/01) deals more intimately with the politics of the period. Recommended for university, special, and museum art book collections. Ellen Bates, New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Franklin (National Gallery of Canada) offers a handsome book that argues persuasively for a break with the traditional compartmentalization of Florentine painting. The concept of "maniera" gets tossed into the wastebasket, and "High Renaissance" and "Mannerism" are treated as a single block. The study begins with Perugino, ends with Vasari, and along the way pays close attention to seriously neglected artists such as Franciabigio and Ridolfo Ghirlandaio. Vasari looms large in the background as someone who must be heeded as well as countered, and it is appropriate that the book reaches its climax with a reevaluation of Vasari as a painter. But it is Pontormo who is the hero of the book, the last great exponent of a truly Florentine Renaissance mode. Refreshing--as well as essential to the argument--is the careful analysis of style. The excellent collection of illustrations, including many color details, is strong on rarely reproduced works. Scholars and students are both well served by this stimulating revisionist approach. All levels. D. Pincus National Gallery of Art

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. vi
Introductionp. 1
1 Perugino and the Eclipse of Quattrocento Mannerismp. 5
2 Leonardo da Vinci and the Origins of a New Stylep. 19
3 Piero di Cosimo: A Renaissance 'eccentric'?p. 41
4 Michelangelo the Florentine Painterp. 63
5 Fra Bartolomeo, the School of San Marco and the Dominican Mannerp. 81
6 Ridolfo Ghirlandaio and the Retrospective Tradition in Paintingp. 103
7 Andrea del Sarto: The Artist 'without errors'p. 127
8 The Critical Misfortunes of Franciabigiop. 153
9 Rosso Fiorentino and the Rejection of Florencep. 173
10 Jacopo da Pontormo: The Last Painter of the Florentine Renaissancep. 191
11 Francesco Salviati: Rome in Florencep. 213
12 The Life of Giorgio Vasarip. 229
Bibliographical Note and Abbreviationsp. 250
Notesp. 252
List of Illustrationsp. 261
Photograph Creditsp. 266
Indexp. 267