Edited by Christine Sciacca
Florence and the Renaissance have become virtually synonymous, bringing to mind names like Dante, Giotto, Petrarch, Boccaccio, and many others whose creativity thrived during a time of unprecedented prosperity, urban expansion, and intellectual innovation. With more than 200 illustrations, Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance reveals the full complexity and enduring beauty of the art of this period, including panel paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and stained glass panels. The book considers not only the work of Giotto and other influential artists, including Bernardo Daddi, Taddeo Gaddi, and Pacino di Bonaguida, but also that of the larger community of illuminators and panel painters who collectively contributed to Florence’s artistic legacy. It places particular emphasis on those artists who worked in both panel painting and manuscript illumination and presents new conservation research and scientific analyses that shed light on artists’ techniques and workshop practices of the times. Reunited here for the first time are twenty-six leaves of the most important illuminated manuscript commission of the period: the Laudario of Sant’ Agnese. The splendor of this book of hymns exemplifies the spiritual and artistic aspirations of early Renaissance Florence.
A major exhibition on this subject was on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum November 13, 2012, through February 10, 2013, and at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 16, 2013, through June 16, 2013. Contributors to this volume include Roy S. Berns, Eve Borsook, Bryan Keene, Francesca Pasut, Catherine Schmidt Patterson, Alan Phenix, Laura Rivers, Victor M. Schmidt, Alexandra Suda, Yvonne Szafran, Karen Trentelman, and Nancy Turner.
Christine Sciacca is assistant curator in the Department of Manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum and the author of Building the Medieval World (Getty Publications, 2010).
“The show, together with its first-rate catalogue, is among the most important in an American museum this year.”
—Los Angeles Times
“Terrific, richly illustrated, and readable.”
“Beautiful and scholarly.”
“A large and very well-illustrated volume that provides a comprehensive view of Pacino di Bonaguida, one of the leading painters and illuminators in fourteenth-century Florence, and of some of his contemporaries active at the time of Giotto.”
“[This volume] will become an essential resource, not only for beautiful plates but for scholarly commentary.”
“Gorgeous color reproductions. . . . Valuable to scholars and inviting to a broad readership.”
“Art history scholars will appreciate this luscious tome due to the relative dearth of coverage of this particular subject, which was prevalent in the first fifty years of the fourteenth century. Beautiful illustrations will also appeal to students in the arts and humanities, or your average armchair painting and illumination enthusiast.”
—Art Libraries Society of North America
“This catalogue is not only an outstanding companion to a striking exhibition, but also a valuable source for scholars of late-Medieval and early-Renaissance art. The essays and catalogue entries shed light on a period that is too often overwhelmed by the presence of Giotto or overshadowed by the achievements of fifteenth-century giants such as Brunelleschi and Donatello. Furthermore, it serves as an entrée into the study of illuminated manuscripts and lesser-known artists from a pivotal moment in Florentine art.”