Style is one of the oldest and most powerful analytic tools available to art writers. Through style, they have made attributions and dated paintings, classified works of art into artistic periods or schools, and verbally captured the visual essence of paintings. Despite the importance of style as an artistic, literary, and historiographic practice, the study of it as a concept has been intermittent, perhaps, as Philip Sohm argues, because style has resisted neat definition since the very origins of art history as a discipline. In this study, Sohm examines discussions of style from Vasari to Baldinucci, showing how the linguistic dimension of visual perception, the means through which painters styles have been described, and how concepts of language have shaped ideas of style. His analysis of the language that painters and their literate public used to characterize painters and paintings will enrich our understanding about the concept of style.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of pages: 344
Weight: 880 g
Dimensions: 259 x 183 x 25 mm
"Shines a brilliant new light upon the concept and descriptive terminology of artistic style.... Sohm's own writing style, exquisite, incisive, and frequently witty, makes this complex topic accessible, enjoyable, and thought provoking." CAA Reviews
"Sohm's engaging new book provides important insights, not only about art in the early modern period, but also on broader questions." Renaissance Quarterly
"Sohm writes (dare one say it?) with such style, and with such clarity, that his book is likely to be found accessible and engaging by scholars well beyond this restricted field. It is important reading for all who wish to understand the development of the theory and criticism of style, and its often frustratingly subjective nature." Sharon Gregory, RACAR