Carlo Crivelli (Hardback)Ronald William Lightbown (author)
Hardback Published: 06/08/2004
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Carlo Crivelli (c. 1430 - 1495) is a painter whose individuality of style and mastery of powerful line have fascinated many, but whose life and art have remained enigmatic. This absorbing book, produced after much research in Venice and the Marches, the region of central Italy that Crivelli dominated artistically from 1468 until his death in 1495, examines his paintings in depth, tracing the fundamental influences of the Vivarini, of Squarcione and Mantegna, and later of Flemish art. It also identifies them as projections of a society that enclosed them in a strangely dramatic world, with its motley pattern of fiercely republican communes and feudal lordships, of refined humanism and simple popular devotion. The Marches were a stronghold of the Franciscans and of their extreme heretical wing the Fraticelli, and the book sets Crivelli's art within a religious world in which a profound faith was nourished by sainted friars and by visions and miracles. Ronald Lightbown, the eminent historian of Italian Renaissance art, has written a book that is the first to expose systematically the reasons that led to the choice by patrons of the saints figured in Crivelli's altarpieces; some of their devotional programmes acquire an unexpected human urgency when set in relation to their place and time. It also examines the initiations of new cults, and the devising of an iconography for them and the authenticity of portraiture are among the problems it illuminates. The symbolism that Crivelli used with his exquisite skill in his still-life pictures is studied and explained, and its independence of clerical dictation demonstrated. By interweaving stylistic and iconographical analysis with historical and cultural background, a world is revealed in which the divine beauty of heaven, as reflected in Crivelli's exquisite art, responds to the spiritual anxieties and pleas of a whole society, in both its ecclesiastical and secular membership, speaking to all, from simple rustics to learned theologians and humanist courts.
Publisher: Yale University Press
Weight: 3344 g
Dimensions: 297 x 255 x 39 mm
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