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The Renaissance - In a Nutshell

The Renaissance - In a Nutshell

CD-Audio In a Nutshell

By (author) Peter Whitfield, Read by Peter Whitfield

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  • Publisher: NAXOS AUDIOBOOKS
  • Format: CD-Audio
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 124mm x 10mm | 113g
  • Publication date: 4 August 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Hong Kong
  • ISBN 10: 9626349794
  • ISBN 13: 9789626349793
  • Edition: Abridged
  • Edition statement: abridged edition
  • Sales rank: 209,909

Product description

The fifth in the new "Naxos Audiobooks" series "In a Nutshell, The Renaissance" is a short and accessible introduction to the era that gave us Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Palestrina. The Renaissance swept across Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries, heralding intellectual revolutions in science, art, philosophy and politics, and marking a decisive shift towards modern thinking. The authoritative Peter Whitfield brings together all the different threads of this transformative period in a lucid and fascinating introduction.

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Review quote

Tactfully but firmly, without making you feel like a complete wally, Whitfield takes everything you ever thought you knew about the incredible flowering of the arts in Europe between, roughly, 1400 and 1550 and gently tweaks it so that you realise you were probably barking up the wrong fresco. For a start, when I glibly referred just now to the "incredible flowering of the arts", what I should have said was arts and literature, because it was writers such as Boccaccio, Petrarch and Machiavelli who really started the ball rolling. They and their fellow scholars embraced humanism, represented by literature, moral philosophy and history rather than theology and law, putting Man not God at the centre of things. Botticelli, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Copernicus et al feature too, of course, but Whitfield puts it all into welcome perspective. - Sue Arnold, The Guardian The nutshell's kernel is that momentous developments followed from placing man, not God, at the the centre of the Renaissance world view. These 78 minutes are packed full of detail, from the artists' exploration of space and perspective to maps reflecting the changing image of the world. Inspiring. - Rachel Redford, The Observer The information comes so fast that this audiobook may require a second listen. The author looks at the Italian Renaissance (1400-1550), mainly via the rebirth that occurred in painting. He discusses the refinements the artists of the period made in perspective, color, and realism, showing the explosion of talent not realized since. He considers the growth of sculpture and music at the same time and gives appropriate weight to the spread of knowledge by the printing press, invented and popularized around the 1450s. The author/narrator laudably pronounces the Italian and French the names of the dozens of artists mentioned. Whitfield's native British English is understandable to American listeners, but the examples he cites of artistic techniques remain obtuse without exemplary images. - J.A.H., AudioFile 2010 This is my third 'nutshell' and I applaud all efforts to give listeners a pithy update on what educated people should know but may have largely forgotten since college days. One of my favorites in this vein, reviewed some time ago, was The Intellectual Devotional by David S. Kidder and Noah D. Oppenheimer. This 'nutshell' is excellent as well. Peter Whitfield gives an excellent overview of one of the most defining movements in Western history. Delving into art, music, religion, science, philosophy, and politics the listener is swept along on a high wave of the human spirit from its inception in Italy as it moved throughout all Europe. No era in human evolution was as hopeful as in this spring of early humanism. With precise and spirited narration, Whitfield captures the unfolding in graceful and informative prose. - Nancy Chaplin, SoundCommentary.com