In the arts of painting, sculpture and architecture the Tuscans have always been among the best, and Florence was the city in Italy most worthy to be the birthplace of such a citizen to crown her perfections.
Thus in 1474 the true and noble wife of Ludovico di Lionardo Buonarotti Simone, said to be of the ancient and noble family of the Counts of Canossa, gave birth to a son in the Casentino, under a lucky star. The son was born on Sunday, 6 March, at eight in the evening, and was called Michelangelo, as being of a divine nature, for Mercury and Venus were in the house of Jove at his birth, showing that his works of art would be stupendous.
As requested, here’s a short list of art history books that I found extremely helpful during my undergraduate degree. Most of them are just introductory but good reads nonetheless. If you need book recommendations on specific artists, art movements or genres, don’t hesitate to send me a message.
Here we go!
1. A World History of Art by Hugh Honour & John Fleming. This book is HUGE and it’s available to purchase online in various editions - any of them is okay for an introductory reading.
2. The Story of Art by E.H. Gombrich. Although this book contains next to none female artists, it’s still a good introduction to the art world.
3. Concepts of Modern Art edited by Nikos Stangos. Good read, covers a lot of areas. Also, I found it for £0.01 on Amazon, so not that bad.
4. Learning to Look at Paintings by Mary Acton. Self-explanatory really.
5. The Lives of the Artists by Giorgio Vasari. Vasari is perhaps the first to have carried out some sort of primordial art historical research. Although he includes lots of anecdotal stories about artists, these should be read lightly and not be taken all that seriously. However, he does provide us with some invaluable information!
6. Looking at the Overlooked (Four Essays on Still Life Painting) by Norman Bryson. Nothing is what it looks like. Basically.
7. Art Since 1900 - Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism by Hal Foster and Rosalind Krauss. Another huge book. It’s also very heavy. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
8. Classical Art: From Greece to Rome by Mary Beard and John Henderson. For statues and things like that.
9. Ways of Seeing by John Berger. This book you guys, if you intent to buy a book, get this one.
10. The Social History of Art, Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4 by Arnold Hauser. An overview of art history by perhaps the most well-know Marxist art historian.
I am sure more will come to mind as time passes so I will make sure to update this brief list accordingly. Feel free to also add more suggestions if you have any good art history books in mind. Remember that the above are more or less introductory readings than anything else. I hope these recommendations are somewhat helpful to you!
art history meme • [1/7] sculptures and other media: giorgio vasari - giudizio universale (last judgment)
In 1568 Giorgio Vasari was called to fresco the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, which Brunelleschi would have preferred decorated with mosaics, instead. Vasari worked on it from 11th June 1572 until his death. Afterwards, Federico Zuccari finished it, helped by others.
Here, the Last Judgment is not interpreted anymore as a moment of doubt and anguish, like it had been for Michelangelo. The story told on the fresco is a combination of tales from the Old Testament, the New Testament, St John’s The Apocalypse but also from Dante’s Commedia.