Introduction by Maurizio Ghelardi
Translation by David Britt and Caroline Beamish
Jacob Burckhardt (1818–1897) was one of the first great historians of culture and art. In his manuscript on the genres of Italian Renaissance painting—still unpublished in the original German and published here in English for the first time—Burckhardt assayed a transformative approach to the study of art history: rather than undertaking a biographical or chronological reading of artistic development, Burckhardt chose to read the source materials and extant works of the Italian Renaissance synchronically, by genre. Probably written between 1885 and 1893, this manuscript takes up twelve different categories of paintings, ranging from the allegorical to the historical, from the biblical to the mythological, from the glorification of saints to the denunciation of sinners. Maurizio Ghelardi's introduction analyzes Burckhardt's innovative treatment of his subject, establishing the importance of this text not only within Burckhardt's oeuvre but also within the continuum of art historical research.
Maurizio Ghelardi is a professor of European culture and history at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. David Britt has translated many art historical texts, including Julien-David Le Roy's The Ruins of the Most Beautiful Monuments of Greece. Caroline Beamish's most recently published translation is an exhibition catalog on René Magritte.
"A thoughtful, provocative work... highly recommended."
7 x 10 inches
31 b/w illustrations
Imprint: Getty Research Institute
Series: Texts & Documents