Luke Syson and Dora Thornton
You are what you own. So believed many of the elite men and women of Renaissance Italy. The notion that a person's belongings transmit something about their personal history, status, and character was renewed in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Objects of Virtue explores the multiple meanings and values of the objects with which families like the Medici, Este, and Gonzaga surrounded themselves.
This lavishly illustrated volume examines the complicated relationships between the so-called fine arts—painting and sculpture—and artifacts of other kinds for which artistry might be as important as utility―furniture, jewelry, and vessels made of gold, silver, and bronze, precious and semi-precious stone, glass, and ceramic. The works examined were designed and made by artists as famous as Andrea Mantegna, Raphael, and Michelangelo, as well as by lesser-known specialists—goldsmiths, gem-engravers, glassmakers, and maiolica painters.
Luke Syson is curator of metals at the British Museum. He is coeditor of The Image of the Individual: Portraits in the Renaissance and the coauthor of Pisanello. Dora Thornton is curator of Renaissance collections in the Department of Medieval and Modern Europe in the British Museum and the author of The Scholar in His Study: Ownership and Experience in Renaissance Italy.
"An intimate and wholly satisfying account of the structure of Renaissance life by way of art objects and those who treasured them."
"A fascinating and original book, handsome to look at and full of unfamiliar material."
—New York Review of Books
8 1/2 x 10 5/8 inches
136 color and 79 b/w illustrations
Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum