Renaissance Theories of Vision

Renaissance Theories of Vision

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How are processes of vision, perception, and sensation conceived in the Renaissance? How are those conceptions made manifest in the arts? The essays in this volume address these and similar questions to establish important theoretical and philosophical bases for artistic production in the Renaissance and beyond. The essays also attend to the views of historically significant writers from the ancient classical period to the eighteenth century, including Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, St Augustine, Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen), Ibn Sahl, Marsilio Ficino, Nicholas of Cusa, Leon Battista Alberti, Gian Paolo Lomazzo, Gregorio Comanini, John Davies, Rene Descartes, Samuel van Hoogstraten, and George Berkeley. Contributors carefully scrutinize and illustrate the effect of changing and evolving ideas of intellectual and physical vision on artistic practice in Florence, Rome, Venice, England, Austria, and the Netherlands. The artists whose work and practices are discussed include Fra Angelico, Donatello, Leonardo da Vinci, Filippino Lippi, Giovanni Bellini, Raphael, Parmigianino, Titian, Bronzino, Johannes Gumpp and Rembrandt van Rijn. Taken together, the essays provide the reader with a fresh perspective on the intellectual confluence between art, science, philosophy, and literature across Renaissance Europe.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 258 pages
  • 171 x 248 x 25.4mm | 812g
  • Ashgate Publishing Limited
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • New ed.
  • 1409400247
  • 9781409400240
  • 1,716,358

Table of contents

Contents: Introduction, John S. Hendrix and Charles H. Carman; Classical optics and the perspectivae traditions leading to the Renaissance, Nader El-Bizri; Meanings of perspective in the Renaissance: tensions and resolution, Charles H. Carman; Criminal vision in early modern Florence: Fra Angelico's altarpiece for 'Il Tempio' and the Magdalenian gaze, Allie Terry; Donatello's Chellini Madonna, light, and vision, Amy R. Bloch; Perception as a function of desire in the Renaissance, John S. Hendrix; Leonardo da Vinci's theory of vision and creativity: the Uffizi Annunciation, Liana De Girolami Cheney; At the boundaries of sight: the Italian Renaissance cloud putto, Christian Kleinbub; Gesture and perspective in Raphael's School of Athens, Nicholas Temple; Seeing and the transfer of spirits in early modern art theory, Thijs Weststeijn; 'All in him selfe as in a glass he sees': mirrors and vision in the Renaissance, Faye Tudor; 'Nearest the tangible Earth': Rembrandt, Samuel van Hoogstraten, George Berkeley and the optics of touch, Alice Crawford Berghof; Bibliography; Index.
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Review quote

'This is a rich and innovative collection. The sum of its parts confidently asserts that there is an underlying correspondence between philosophical and theological concepts, their transformation into images by visual mechanisms and the linguistic mechanisms which read and interpret the images in Renaissance culture. Such correspondence is certainly mirrored in the exciting interdisciplinary writing of this collection.' Journal of European Studies 'This volume is a testament to the interdisciplinary nature of art history, particularly in the author's consistent problematization of the standard separation of the empirical from the spiritual and their ability to present and answer complicated questions about Renaissance theories of vision.' Sixteenth Century Studies
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About Dr. Allison Levy

John Shannon Hendrix is a Professor of Architectural History at the University of Lincoln, UK, and a Lecturer at the Rhode Island School of Design and at Roger Williams University, USA.

Charles Carman is an Associate Professor of Art History at the University at Buffalo, USA.
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