Images of Humanist Ideals in Italian Renaissance Art

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Study about the ideals of humanism as they are manifest in the visual arts. Using, in particular, the notion of dignity as set forth by the well-known humanist Giannozzo Manetti in his book On the Dignity of Man, the author has subjected a number of art works to iconographical analysis. He examines works by Masaccio, Brunelleschi, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael, among others. The volume offers new iconographical interpretations of ‘old’ images as well as new insights into the interrelationships between artist and humanist. The text suggest that the artist assumed much of the intellectual responsibility of humanism by developing the means of effectively translating its ideals into visually legible terms.


"Unpretentious and at times charmingly quixotic, this selective treatment of highlights from an old-fashioned view of the Renaissance hits the high points: Masaccio, Leonardo, Michelangelo. Carman has comprehensible and interesting things to say, and covers the traditional bibliography respectably. On the other hand, so traditional is the view of the Renaissance presented here, without even a hint of defensiveness, that it seems like a manuscript taken out of mothballs for the new millennium, to remind us of what Renaissance studies were like in the days of Kristeller and Wittkower. Many things can be learned from these loosely tied essays, but a bold treatment of the topic indicated by the title it is not. The black-and-white photographs are serviceable. Recommended for lower-division undergraduates." - CHOICE

“Each of the chapters develops a new interpretation of important Renaissance works that will be very useful to scholars in the field. One of the most interesting aspects of the manuscript is the existence of similarities in philosophical approach which the author has discovered and described in works which are usually treated as disparate.” – Martha Dunkelman, Director, Art History program, Canisius College

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
1. Masaccio’s Tribute Money: An Early Representation of Human Dignity
2. The Arch of Dignity
3. Leonardo’s Viruvian Man: A Renaissance Microcosm
4. Will Adam Fly?
5. The Poetry of Painting
6. The Mind Triumphant

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