Book review: A New History of Italian Renaissance Art

By Stephen Campbell and Michael Cole
Published by Thames and Hudson

If you are looking for a book about Italian Renaissance art you will have a tough time choosing from the countless tomes that have been published on the subject. If you are looking for a book with gorgeous illustrations and an approach that will appeal to both students and non-specialist readers, you don’t have to look any further.

With the Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci gracing its cover, this newly published hardback is one not to miss.

The history of Italian Renaissance art – from the traditions of the Fourteenth century to the trends of the Seventeenth century – is explored chronologically in conveniently divided chapters. From painting and sculpture to architecture and decorative arts, Professors Stephen Campbell and Michael Cole place the artists and their works in a well-explained geographical and historical context.

The book also includes all those tools that you’d expect from a first-class reference book: glossary of terms, a comprehensive bibliography, a list of recommended reading and a very useful index, which I have already used to create a personalised Renaissance tour on paper of all my favourite Italian cities.

A New History of Italian Renaissance Art doesn’t simply aim to be an indispensable resource when it comes to this particular artistic era. It makes you feel a part of it!


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