Synopses & Reviews
Leonardo da Vinci (1452and#150;1519) is renowned as a painter, designer, draftsman, architect, engineer, scientist, and theorist. His work as a sculptor is not commonly acknowledged, and many have argued that Leonardo believed that sculpture was an inferior art form (and#147;of lesser genius than paintingand#8221;). Challenging and overturning these assumptions, Leonardo da Vinci and the Art of Sculpture looks at the sculptural projects that the artist undertook, as well as the late Renaissance sculptures that were indebted to him.
Leonardo consistently drew inspiration from ancient sculpture, admired the work of such contemporary sculptural innovators as Donatello, and even trained under Andrea del Verrocchio, the preeminent bronze sculptor of late 15th-century Florence. Furthermore, Leonardo spent many years of his life working on two larger-than-life-sized horse sculpturesand#151;Sforza and Trivulzioand#151;monuments to Francesco Sforza, the Duke of Milan, and to Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, his sucessor. Although neither was completed, the authors argue that these equestrian monuments show how Leonardo was intensely engaged with the design dilemmas of representing a horse rearing on its hind legs. Another highlight of the book is a group of new images of the John the Baptist Preaching to a Levite and a Pharisee, a recently restored large-scale work in the Florentine Baptistery that clearly demonstrates Leonardoand#8217;s collaboration with Giovanni Rustici.
This volume takes an insightful look at some of the masterpieces of the Florence Cathedral, reconnecting brilliant works of art and architecture with the musical program they originally supported.
Florence Cathedral, familiarly called Il Duomo, is an architectural masterpiece and home to celebrated works of art. The interrelationship between the brilliant art and architecture and the Cathedraland#8217;s musical program is explored in depth in this beautiful book. Perhaps the most beloved example is Luca della Robbiaand#8217;s sculptural program for the organ loft, comprising ten sculptural relief panels that depict children singing, dancing, and making music. Lucaand#8217;s charming sculptures are examined alongside luxurious illuminated manuscripts commissioned for musical performances. Essays by distinguished scholars provide new insights into the original function and meaning of Lucaand#8217;s sculptures; organs and organists during the 15th century; the roles played by women and girlsand#151;as well as men and boysand#151;in making music throughout Renaissance Florence; and the Cathedraland#8217;s illuminated choir books.and#160;
In 1452, Florentine sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti unveiled a masterpiece that had been a quarter-century in the making: ten bronze panels depicting intricate scenes from the Old Testament. The monumental gilded bronze doors (each more than 15 feet tall) were designed for the Baptistery in the Piazza del Duomo in Florence. Centuries of admirers have considered and#147;The Gates of Paradiseand#8221; one of the great masterworks of Western art.
This extensively illustrated book displays the full glory and elaborate details of many of the newly restored bronze panels, theand#160;extraordinary work of the conservators and restorers who cleaned the priceless doors. In a series of fascinating chapters, expert contributors capture Ghibertiand#8217;s world, his remarkable talent at representing human emotion in rich illusionistic settings, the relationships between Renaissance patrons and artists, and the collaborations and rivalries among artists. Other chapters explore the challenging craft of bronze sculpture, Ghibertiand#8217;s casting and finishing techniques, and the painstaking process involved in documenting and restoring the treasured doors. A chronology of Ghibertiand#8217;s life completes this lavishly produced volume.and#160;and#160;and#160;
About the Author
Gary M. Radke
is Deanand#8217;s Professor of the Humanities and professor of art history, Syracuse University. Gabriele Giacomelli
is director of the Florence Cathedral concert series. Patrick Macey
is professor of musicology, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester. Marica S. Tacconi
is professor of musicology and assistant director for research and graduate studies, Penn State School of Music. Timothy Verdon
is director of the Museo delland#8217;Opera del Duomo, Florence.