Synopses & Reviews
This book relates developments in the visual arts and printing to humanist theories of literary and bodily imitation, bringing together 15th- and 16th-century frescoes, statues, coins, letters, dialogues, epic poems, personal emblems, and printed collections of portraits. Its interdisciplinary analyses show that Renaissance theories of emulating classical heroes generated a deep skepticism about self-presentation, ultimately contributing to a new awareness of representation as representation.
Hollow Men shows that the Renaissance questioning of "interiority" derived from a visual ideal, the monument that was the basis of teachings about imitation. In fact, the dedecline of exemplary pedagogy and the emergence of modern masculine subjectivity were well under way in the mid-15th century, and that these changes were hastened by the rapid development of the printed image.
"This is an extremely interesting and original study of how suspiciously--indeed, critically--Renaissance artists and writers approached the classical concept of the exemplar--an admired figure summed up in some sort of writing, and especially image, as worthy of belief and imitation for later generations."-Ann Rosalind Jones, Smith College
"Susan Gaylard has produced a powerfully suggestive study of the relation between writing and the desire for a kind of secular personal permanence that was the closest thing to immortality in the estimation of Italians during the century and a half before 1600."-Walter Stephens, The John Hopkins University
"Gaylard undertakes a richly detailed, fascinating inquiry into the ways in which early modern theories of imitation (rhetorical and corporeal) intersect with practices of representation used by contemporaries to convey verbal and visual images of exemplary individuals, especially notable figures from the classical past, to quattrocento and cinquecento audiences." -Choice
" In Gaylard's persuasive reading, the faltering transmission of ancient virtues find increasing compensation in the pre formative posture, that monumental pose in which timeless values and pellucid examples rematerialize as self-conscious representation." -Modern Language Quarterly
"This smart and engaging book argues that from the mid-fifteenth century onward, Italian courtiers, authors, and artists understood exemplarily as the negotiation between the hidden inside of a person and the words, actions, or images that reveal that person to the world." -Renaissance Quarterly
About the Author
is Assistant Professor of Italian at the University of Washington.