Synopses & Reviews
The Wilton Diptych
is a comprehensive account of one of Englandandrsquo;s greatest surviving medieval treasures, now in the collection of The National Gallery, London. The painting depicts King Richard II (1367andndash;1400) being presented to the Virgin Mary and Christ by John the Baptist and two English Kings, revered as saints. The brilliant color and lavish use of gold give it the appearance of a luxury object, yet its primary function was religious, as an altarpiece for the kingandrsquo;s private devotions.
The author analyzes the iconography, historical context, style, materials, and techniques used to create this precious work, and discusses the likely identity of the artist and the possible evidence that this picture was known to and referenced by William Shakespeare in his play Richard II. Further study of the intricate detail, varied techniques, and decorative effects shows connections to French metalwork and manuscript illumination, while newly commissioned photography reveals exquisite details unseen by the naked eye.and#160;
This beautiful book provides a survey of European painting in northern and southern Europe between 1260 and 1510. It is based largely on the collection of early Renaissance paintings in the National Gallery in London, one of the finest and most comprehensive collections in the world.
In an extensive introduction the authors explain the background of religious belief and devotional practice for which many of the paintings were created and the secular requirements and ambitions that influenced them. They discuss the social context in which art was created and then displayed in the street, the palace, or the church, and they consider the role of the patron and the dealer. They describe the artist's workshop, consider the role of apprentices and assistants, discuss the influence of guilds and courts, and explore the reasons why new subjects and techniques were introduced and earlier traditions survived. They then supply the first full modern account of the materials and techniques of the early Renaissance artist, drawing on recent research to explain the preparation of panels, the application of gold leaf, and the use of tempera and oil paint.
The book also features a detailed examination of some seventy of the finest and best known paintings in the Gallery, including masterpieces by Duccio, Van Eyck, Mantegna, Piero della Francesca, Bouts, Bellini, Memling, Raphael, and Leonardo. The book is a stimulating and authoritative guide to the paintings in the Gallery--for those who can observe them in person and for those who must view them through the printed page.
Publication of this book coincides with the reopening of the Sainsbury Wing designed by Robert Venturi, in which the Early Renaissance Collection will be newly exhibited.
The authors take a look at a variety of types of painting by artists such as Holbein, Raphael, Titian and Bronzino providing insight into the meanings of individual pictures and their purpose as they explore the materials, procedures, practices and the social position of the artist of the 1500s.
This comprehensive account of one of Englandandrsquo;s greatest medieval treasures draws on recent research into this beautiful, enigmatic 14th-century painting and includes newly commissioned photography. and#160;
Includes bibliographical references (p. 391-402) and index.
About the Author
Dillian Gordon is former curator of Italian paintings before 1460, Ashok Roy is director of collections, and Martin Wyld is former director of conservation, all at the National Gallery, London. Caroline M. Barron is professor emeritus at Royal Holloway, University of London.