Looking at the Renaissance

Essays toward a Contextual Appreciation

Subjects: Art, Architecture, Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Paperback : 9780472068906, 216 pages, 78 B&W photographs and 2 line drawings, 6 x 9, March 2005
Hardcover : 9780472098903, 216 pages, 78 B&W photographs and 2 line drawings, 6 x 9, March 2005
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A well-illustrated and fast paced volume that examines the evolving context of Renaissance art while offering fresh insight into the meaning of the Renaissance

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Copyright © 2005, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.


"Not only is this a well-written book, it is an unusually valuable contribution to the field of Renaissance Studies."
---Norman Land, University of Missouri

Utilizing a variety of examples from the artistic production of medieval and Renaissance Europe, Looking at the Renaissance presents a holistic interpretation of the origins and characteristics of the threshold period to our modern age. Charles R. Mack illustrates the Middle Ages as a time of fragmentation in which the world was comprehended in piecemeal fashion. However, he states that the Renaissance advanced a unified idea made possible by the resurrection of a melioristic vision of man's role within a Divine Plan. Looking at the Renaissance argues in favor of the now-disputed notion of "historical periods" while continuing to uphold the importance of the antique revival in shaping the cultural character of the age.

Mack offers a new contextual approach to appreciating not only the art but also the cultural entirety of the Renaissance period. By suggesting certain key ingredients common to all Renaissance creations and activities, Mack facilitates a better understanding of the revolutionary character of the era. As a compact, yet broadly considered treatment of the era, Looking at the Renaissance would be an extraordinary addition to the library of both scholars and students studying classics, art, culture, literature, and history.

Charles R. Mack is Professor of Art History at the University of South Carolina.