Paul BarolskyCommonwealth Professor, Italian Renaissance Art and Literature Why Mona Lisa Smiles and Other Tales by Vasari
Art history as we know it would not exist without Vasari, and Barolsky shows us that something of the same claim should be made for literary history. He demonstrates the ways in which a literary approach to Vasari's book deepens our understanding of its historical, art-historical, and imaginative character. Why Mona Lisa Smiles discusses Vasari's shrewd, witty, intimate awareness of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio and relates the Lives to the works of Castiglione, Aretino, Cellini, and Rabelais. Barolsky reveals the unexpected fantasy of Vasari, who imagined and then invented artists and works of art, totally fabricating the lives of artists about whom he knew little or nothing. Barolsky traces the myth of Pygmalion through the Lives, demonstrating that Vasari was himself a Pygmalion in words and showing how he wittily played on the names of artists, revealing these poetical fantasies as part of the very iconography of Renaissance art. By approaching the Lives as a combination of genres — biography, history, novella, autobiography, novel, and literary banquet — Barolsky connects Vasari's highly fictionalized history to the modern historical novel. The fictional character of Vasari's book should not be ignored or dismissed by art historians, Barolsky insists, since it is itself a historical document — the record of how a painter and writer of extraordinary sensibility beheld works of art at a particular moment in history. Barolsky's unique approach to the Lives makes this study a valuable contribution to the history of the reception of art.
Paul BarolskyCommonwealth Professor, Italian Renaissance Art and Literature Giotto's Father and the Family of Vasari's Lives
In Giotto's Father Barolsky shows that Vasari's Lives is a major source for the social history of Italian Renaissance art. This book completes the author's Vasari trilogy, begun with Michelangelo's Nose and Why Mona Lisa Smiles. Giotto's Father is the first book to examine the extensive and deep theme of family in Vasari's Lives and to explain its importance in the study of the image of the family in the sixteenth century. The world of the artist's workshop was closely tied to the artist's family life. Artists were often trained by their fathers, and they sometimes married into the families of other artists. It is thus reasonable for Vasari to have viewed the community of artists as an extended family or brotherhood presided over by major patriarchal figures, for example, Giotto, Ghiberti, and Raphael. Building on the view of Vasari's work as a highly wrought, complex work of fiction, Barolsky shows how the Lives is not just a series of biographies of artists but a sustained, detailed, and highly fictionalized account of artists' families. In very nearly every biography, Vasari makes up stories of paternal blessing, of filial piety or prodigality, of noble and ignoble wives, of greedy, cruel, or violent relatives — tales that tell us a great deal about Vasari's own family in particular and about Renaissance family relations in general. Barolsky's explanation of just how deeply ideas about family inform Vasari's Lives provides a new and more complex understanding of one of the most important sources for the comprehension of the Renaissance artist. Vasari's family stories are often so fanciful that historians and art historians frequently ignore them because they seem unreliable. Barolsky compares these family tales to those told by Cellini, Michelangelo, and Bandinelli and shows that, although fictional, Vasari's stories ring true to the sentiments expressed by his contemporaries in their own fictionalized family histories. Fictions provide valuable clues to the realities that they metaphorically describe. As an extended historical fiction, Vasari's book tells us a great deal about the emotions, aspirations, and ideals of Renaissance life.
Paul BarolskyCommonwealth Professor, Italian Renaissance Art and Literature Michelangelo's Nose: A Myth and Its Maker
"What gives such sparkle to Barolsky's account is its constant movement to very diverse themes, which all are connected, still, with his central concern, Michelangelo's self-image and his art. So, when he discusses Hegel and Pater on art as self-expression, Montaigne's visit to Italy and his view of Socrates, Michelangelo's gift giving, and the relation of Michelangelo and Machiavelli to Pope Julius II — all these seemingly various themes take us back . . . to the Renaissance notion of the creation of an artistic persona and Barolsky's account of why that culture placed great value on this achievement."
— Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism
An exploration of the ways in which Michelangelo created himself
"Barolsky's book has given us a compelling view of Michelangelo as a kind of proto-Romantic 'Ubermensch' participating in the often terrifying epic of his own creation."
Paul BarolskyCommonwealth Professor, Italian Renaissance Art and Literature A Brief History of the Artist from God to Picasso
In A Brief History of the Artist from God to Picasso, Paul Barolsky explores the ways in which fiction shapes history and history informs fiction. It is a playful book about artistic obsession, about art history as both tragedy and farce, and about the heroic and the mock-heroic. The book demonstrates that the modern idea of the artist has deep roots in the image of the epic poet, from Homer to Ovid to Dante. Barolsky's major claim is that the history of the artist is inseparable from historical fiction about the artist and that fiction is essential to the reality of the artist's imagination.
Paul BarolskyCommonwealth Professor, Italian Renaissance Art and Literature Michelangelo and the Finger of God
Focusing on Michelangelo's art and biography, Michelangelo and the Finger of God investigates the artist's persona in relation to Ovid's "Metamorphoses" and the Bible. Insisting that the distinction between the real Michelangelo, who is more than the sum of the facts, and the Michelangelo of myth is a false distinction — indeed, a distortion — Barolsky shows how the biography of the artist was shape by the very works he carved and painted. (Excerpt from book jacket).
Sarah BetzerAssociate Professor, Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century European Art Ingres and the Studio: Women, Painting, History Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres has long been recognized as one of the great painters of the modern era and among the greatest portraitists of all time. Over a century and a half of scholarly writing on the artist has grappled with Ingres's singular identity, his relationship to past and future masters, and the idiosyncrasies of his art. Ingres and the Studio: Women, Painting, History makes a unique contribution to this literature by focusing on the importance of Ingres's training of students and the crucial role played by portraits-and their subjects-for Ingres's studio and its developing aesthetic project. Rather than understanding the portrait as merely a screen onto which the artist's desires were projected, the book insists on the importance of accounting for the active role of portrait sitters themselves. Through careful analysis of familiar and long-overlooked works, Ingres and the Studio traces a series of encounters between painters and portrait subjects in which women sitters-such as the artist Julie Mottez, art critic, salonnière, and historian Marie d'Agoult, and tragic actress Rachel-emerge as vital interlocutors in a shared aesthetic project.
Bruce BoucherAffiliated Faculty and Director, The Fralin Museum of Art The Image of the Black in Western Art, Volume III:
From the "Age of Discovery" to the Age of Abolition,
Part 3: The Eighteenth Century
Edited by David Bindman & Henry Louis Gates, Jr
In the 1960s, art patron Dominique de Menil founded an image archive showing the ways that people of African descent have been represented in Western art. Highlights from her collection appeared in three large-format volumes that quickly became collector's items. A half-century later, Harvard University Press and the Du Bois Institute are proud to publish a complete set of ten sumptuous books, including new editions of the original volumes and two additional ones.
The Eighteenth Century features a particularly rich collection of images of Africans representing slavery's apogee and the beginnings of abolition. Old visual tropes of a master with adoring black slave gave way to depictions of Africans as victims and individuals, while at the same time the intellectual foundations of scientific racism were established.
Shelia CraneAssociate Professor, Modern Architecture and Urbanism Mediterranean Crossroads: Marseille and Modern Architecture
In the first decades of the twentieth century, Marseille was a booming Mediterranean port. Positioned at the very edge of France, the city functioned as a critical fulcrum between the metropolitan center and its overseas empire. A notoriously dangerous and cosmopolitan city, Marseille became the focus of the extraordinary energies of some of the most remarkable architects and theorists of urban modernity.
Drawing together a cast of both world-renowned and less familiar architects, photographers, and cultural theorists, including Le Corbusier, Sigfried Giedion, Walter Benjamin, and László Moholy-Nagy, Mediterranean Crossroads examines how mythic ideas about Marseille helped to shape its urban landscape. Tracing successive planning proposals in tandem with shifting representations of the city in photographs, film, guidebooks, and postcards, Sheila Crane reconstructs the history and politics of architecture in Marseille from the 1920s through the years of rebuilding after World War II.
By exploring how architects and planners negotiated highly localized pressures, evolving imperial visions, and transnational aspirations at the borders of Europe and the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean Crossroads brings to life a lost chapter in the history of modern architecture.
Anastasia Dakouri-HildLecturer, Greek and Near Eastern Art and Archaeology Autochthon: Papers Presented to O.T.P.K. Dickinson on the occasion of his retirement Edit by A. Dakour-Hild & S. Sherratt
This tribute volume to Oliver Dickinson marks the occasion of his retirement from his post at the University of Durham. It is a tribute by only a few (unavoidably) of his friends, colleagues and former students, marking the formal cessation of Oliver's teaching responsibilities. Oliver's ongoing participation in major projects (e.g. Lefkandi, Argolid) makes it clear that his contributions to Aegean Bronze Age studies will not end with his retirement. This Festschrift was assembled merely as a token of its contributors' appreciation of his achievements hitherto, and in anticipation of many more still to come. The title of the volume, Autochthon, highlights the central notion in his classic synthesis, namely that "[...] the history of Mycenaean development can be understood as that of progressive assimilation of the mainland societies to the earlier Aegean civilisations, artistically and politically". Indeed, one of Oliver's main contributions in Aegean prehistory has been to depict the emergence of Mycenaean 'civilisation' as a multI-linear and dynamic process, associated with Cretan influence yet not entirely dependent on it; it was also informed, he has suggested, by indigenous Helladic cultures and heralded by the emergence of MH 'shadowy aristocracies' in various regions of the mainland.
Anastasia Dakouri-HildLecturer, Greek and Near Eastern Art and Archaeology Beyond Illustration: 2D and 3D Digital Technologies as Tools for Discovery in Archaeology Edited by Bernard Frischer and Anastasia Dakouri-Hild
This book is timely. As the contributions in it illustrate, 2D and 3D modeling of cultural heritage is no longer used just to illustrate the location and appearance (past or present) of archaeological sites, but also as a tool to discover and recover data from archaeological remains. There are better ways of predicting where this data might be found under the surface. When applied to the legacy excavation data of a cultural heritage site—or when used to record the progress of a new excavation, 3D modeling has the potential to mitigate the irreversible and destructive nature of archaeological excavation, an unfortunate, ironic, and unavoidable central fact of archaeology as traditionally practiced. With the widespread adoption of 3D technologies to record and reconstruct archaeological sites, the archaeologist can virtually preserve the site through 3D data capture as we dig it up. And, once the 3D data gathered in the field has been modeled, it is possible to retrace decisions and test the validity of conclusions with more precision and confidence. Contents: From digital illustration to digital heuristics (Bernard Frischer); Envisioning explanation: the art in science (David C. Gooding); Virtual archaeology: communication in 3D and ecological thinking (Maurizio Forte); Reasoning in 3D: a critical appraisal of the role of 3D modelling and virtual reconstructions in archaeology (Sorin Hermon); Exploring behavioural terra incognita with archaeological agent-based models (Luke S. Premo); Cost surface DEM modeling of Viking Age seafaring in the Baltic Sea (George Indruszewski and C. Michael Barton); Visualizing DEMs: the significance of modern landscape modifications in the distribution of archaeological finds (Renate Gerlach, Irmela Herzog and Julia von Koblinski); The potential of ancient maps for quantifying slope processes – Comparison of historical and modern elevation models (Jutta Lechterbeck); LIDAR-based surface height measurements: applications in archaeology (Arjan G. de Boer, Walter N. H. Laan, Wouter Waldus and Wilko K. van Zijverden); Voxel-based 3D GIS: modelling and analysis of archaeological stratigraphy (Undine Lieberwirth); A software system to work with 3D models in cultural heritage research (Can Ozmen and Selim Balcisoy); A digital model of the Inca Sanctuary of the Sun (Chris Johanson and Bernard Frischer); Applications of 3D technology as a research tool in archaeological ceramic analysis (Avshalom Karasik); Virtual archaeology and computer-aided reconstruction of the Severan Marble Plan (David R. Koller).
Dean DassProfessor, Printmaking Studies for a project that cannot be realized, 1986-2011 Essay by Rebecca Schoenthal
Interview by Lyn Bolen Warren
Published on the occasion of the exhibitions: Dean Dass: Studies for a project that cannot be realized, 1986–2011, organized by 2nd Street Gallery (Charlottesville, Virginia, 4 November – 23 December 201) and Dean Dass: Heaven and earth: New paintings and drawings at Les Yeux du Monde Gallery (Charlottesville, Virginia, 18 November – 31 December 2011).
John J. DobbinsProfessor, Roman Art and Archaeology The World of Pompeii Edited by
John J. Dobbins
Professor of Classical Art & Archaeology, University of Virginia
Associate Professor of Classics, University of DePauw
his all embracing survey of Pompeii provides the most comprehensive survey of the region available. With contributions by well-known experts in the field, this book studies not only Pompeii, but also—for the first time—the buried surrounding cities of Campania. The World of Pompeii includes the latest understanding of the region, based on the up-to-date findings of recent archaeological work.
Accompanied by a CD with the most detailed map of Pompeii so far, this book is instrumental in studying the city in the ancient world and is an excellent source book for students of this fascinating and tragic geographic region.
Daniel EhnbomAssociate Professor, South Asian Art "Masters of the Dispersed Bhagavata Purana",
in Masters of Indian Painting: 1100-1900
Beach, Milo; Fischer, Eberhard, Goswamy, B.N., editors; Britschgi, Jorrit, project director
This massive, two volume publication presents the greatest artists of India. Leading scholars around the globe have contributed to this comprehensive study which accompanies a large exhibition at the Museum Rietberg, Zürich (1 May - 21 August 2011) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (26 September 2011 - 8 January 2012). The two volumes with more than 840 pages and over 600 color illustrations are a substantial reference book for the study of Indian Painting.
Accompanying an exhibition that promises to be the most comprehensive survey of Indian painting that the West has ever seen, this beautiful twovolume catalogue spans 800 years of Indian painting, and some 240 masterpieces by more than 40 artists. These great Indian masters are unquestionably the equals of Durer, Michelangelo or Vermeer. The artworks shown in the Museum Rietberg in Zurich, and later at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, come from such outstanding collections as the Royal Collection of Windsor Castle, the Golestan Palace in Tehran or the Institute for Oriental Manuscripts in St Petersburg.
Kevin EversonAssociate Professor, Film Broad Daylight and Other Times: Selected Works by Kevin Jerome Everson
Kevin Jerome Everson's prolific body of work is grounded in formalism and combines scripted and documentary elements. The subject matter is the gestures or tasks caused by certain conditions in the lives of African-Americans and people of African descent, often working class. The conditions are usually physical, social and economic circumstances, or weather. His films suggest the relentlessness of everyday life--along with its beauty--and present oblique metaphors for art making. This 3-DVD box set includes the feature Cinnamon, 23 short-form works, and a booklet with the following:
- • Undefeated--Notes on KJE's films -- Emmanuel Burdeau
- • A Work Aesthetic: The Films of Kevin Jermoe Everson -- Monica McTighe
- • Who Killed Evidence? -- Katrin Mundt
- • 'To Do Better': Notes on the Work of Kevin Jerome Everson -- Michael B. Gillespie
Produced by Video Data Bank in association with Picture Palace Pictures and Trich Arts.
This box set is dedicated to DeCarrio Antwan Couley, 1984-2010.
Francesca FioraniAssociate Professor and Chair, Renaissance Art, Science and Visual Cultures Leonardo da Vinci and Optics Edited by Francesca Fiorani and Alessandro Nova
This volume originated at a conference on Leonardo da Vinci's optical theory held at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, 26-28 May 2010, and the initial roster of papers was soon expanded to include additional essays on recent restorations and technical analysis of Leonardo's paintings. As a result, fourteen authors consider the role of optics in Leonardo's thought and art from the point of view of ancient rhetoric, ophthalmology, philosophy, painting practice and modern technical analysis.
Art historians, conservators, restorers, philosophers and historians of science return to revered aspects of Leonardo's optics. Some reexamine his use of earlier sources, others his practice of optics, and other still his painting techniques, terminology, theory and legacy.
The authors mix disciplines and clarify matters of chronology and interpretation but their main aim is to interrogate the intersection between optical theory and painting practice - literally how Leonardo translated one into the other.
By gathering such a diverse array of essays and methodological approaches this volume wishes to facilitate future systematic consideration of how Leonardo translated his optical theory into painting and drawing techniques and, vice versa, how his painting practice inspired his optical investigations.
Francesca FioraniAssociate Professor and Chair, Renaissance Art, Science and Visual Cultures The Marvel of Maps
Among the most beautiful and compelling works of Renaissance art, painted maps adorned the halls and galleries of princely palaces. This book is the first to discuss in detail the three-dimensional display of these painted map cycles and their full meaning in Renaissance culture.
Art historian Francesca Fiorani focuses on two of the most significant and marvelous surviving Italian map murals--the Guardaroba Nuova of the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, commissioned by Duke Cosimo de' Medici, and the Gallery of Maps in the Vatican, commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII. Both cycles were not only pioneering cartographic enterprises but also powerful political and religious images. Presenting an original interpretation of the interaction between art, science, politics, and religion in Renaissance culture, the book also offers fresh insights into the Medici and papal courts.
Douglas FordhamAssociate Professor, British Art, Visual Culture of Empire, Eighteenth Century Art Art and the British Empire Edited by Timothy Barringer, Geoff Quilley & Douglas Fordham
This pioneering study argues that the concept of 'empire' belongs at the centre, rather than in the margins, of British art history. Recent scholarship in history, anthropology, literature and post-colonial studies has superseded traditional definitions of empire as a monolithic political and economic project. Emerging across the humanities is the idea of empire as a complex and contested process, mediated materially and imaginatively by multifarious forms of culture.
The twenty essays in Art and the British Empire offer compelling methodological solutions to this ambiguity, while engaging in subtle visual analysis of a previously neglected body of work. Authors from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the USA and the UK examine a wide range of visual production, including book illustration, portraiture, monumental sculpture, genre and history painting, visual satire, marine and landscape painting, photography and film. Together these essays propose a major shift in the historiography of British art and a blueprint for further research.
Maurie McInnisProfessor, American Art and Material Culture Slave Waiting for Sale
Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade
In 1853, Eyre Crowe, a young British artist, visited a slave auction in Richmond, Virginia. Harrowed by what he witnessed, he captured the scene in sketches that he would later develop into a series of illustrations and paintings, including the culminating painting, Slaves Waiting for Sale, Richmond, Virginia.
This innovative book uses Crowe's paintings to explore the texture of the slave trade in Richmond, Charleston, and New Orleans, the evolving iconography of abolitionist art, and the role of visual culture in the transatlantic world of abolitionism. Tracing Crowe's trajectory from Richmond across the American South and back to London—where his paintings were exhibited just a few weeks after the start of the Civil War—Maurie D. McInnis illuminates not only how his abolitionist art was inspired and made, but also how it influenced the international public's grasp of slavery in America. With almost 140 illustrations, Slaves Waiting for Sale brings a fresh perspective to the American slave trade and abolitionism as we enter the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.
Maurie McInnisProfessor, American Art and Material Culture The Politics and Taste of Antebellum Charleston
At the close of the American Revolution, Charleston, South Carolina, was the wealthiest city in the new nation, with the highest per-capita wealth among whites and the largest number of enslaved residents. Maurie D. McInnis explores the social, political, and material culture of the city to learn how--and at what human cost--Charleston came to be regarded as one of the most refined cities in antebellum America.
While other cities embraced a culture of democracy and egalitarianism, wealthy Charlestonians cherished English notions of aristocracy and refinement, defending slavery as a social good and encouraging the growth of southern nationalism. Members of the city's merchant-planter class held tight to the belief that the clothes they wore, the manners they adopted, and the ways they designed house lots and laid out city streets helped secure their place in social hierarchies of class and race. This pursuit of refinement, McInnis demonstrates, was bound up with their determined efforts to control the city's African American majority. She then examines slave dress, mobility, work spaces, and leisure activities to understand how Charleston slaves negotiated their lives among the whites they served.
The textures of lives lived in houses, yards, streets, and public spaces come into dramatic focus in this lavishly illustrated portrait of antebellum Charleston. McInnis's innovative history of the city combines the aspirations of its would-be nobility, the labors of the African slaves who built and tended the town, and the ambitions of its architects, painters, writers, and civic promoters.
Maurie McInnisProfessor, American Art and Material Culture
Louis P. NelsonAssociate Professor, American and Caribbean Architecture Shaping the Body Politic
Art and Political Formation in Early America Edited by Maurie D. McInnis and Louis P. Nelson
Thomas Jefferson Foundation Distinguished Lecture Series
Traditional narratives imply that art in early America was severely limited in scope. By contrast, these essays collectively argue that visual arts played a critical role in shaping an early American understanding of the body politic. American artists in the late colonial and early national periods enlisted the arts to explore and exploit their visions of the relationship of the American colonies to the mother country and, later, to give material shape to the ideals of modern republican nationhood. Taking a uniquely broad view of both politics and art, Shaping the Body Politic ranges in topic from national politics to the politics of national identity, and from presidential portraits to the architectures of the ordinary.
The book covers subject matter from the 1760s to the 1820s, ranging from Patience Wright's embodiment of late colonial political tension to Thomas Jefferson's designs for the entry hall at Monticello as a museum. Paul Staiti, Maurie McInnis, and Roger Stein offer new readings of canonical presidential images and spaces: Jean-Antoine Houdon's George Washington, Gilbert Stuart's the Lansdowne portrait of Washington, and Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. In essays that engage print and painting, portraiture and landscape, Wendy Bellion, David Steinberg, and John Crowley explore the formation of national identity. The volume's concluding essays, by Susan Rather and Bernard Herman, examine the politics of the everyday. The accompanying eighty-five illustrations and color plates demonstrate the broad range of politically resonant visual material in early America.
Contributors: Wendy Bellion, University of Delaware * John E. Crowley, Dalhousie University * Bernard L. Herman, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill * Maurie D. McInnis, University of Virginia * Louis P. Nelson, University of Virginia * Susan Rather, University of Texas, Austin * Paul Staiti, Mount Holyoke College * Roger B. Stein, emeritus, University of Virginia * David Steinberg, Independent Scholar
Louis P. NelsonAssociate Professor, American and Caribbean Architecture American Sancutary: Understanding Sacred Spaces Edited by Louis P. Nelson
This volume examines a diverse set of spaces and buildings seen through the lens of popular practice and belief to shed light on the complexities of sacred space in America. Contributors explore how dedication sermons document shifting understandings of the meetinghouse in early 19th-century Connecticut; the changes in evangelical church architecture during the same century and what that tells us about evangelical religious life; the impact of contemporary issues on Catholic church architecture; the impact of globalization on the construction of traditional sacred spaces; the urban practice of Jewish space; nature worship and Central Park in New York; the mezuzah and domestic sacred space; and, finally, the spiritual aspects of African American yard art.
Claire RaymondFrancesca Woodman and the Kantian Sublime
In her feminist inquiry into aesthetics and the sublime, Claire Raymond reinterprets the work of the American photographer Francesca Woodman (1958–1981). Placing Woodman in a lineage of women artists beginning with nineteenth-century photographers Julia Margaret Cameron and Clementina, Viscountess Hawarden, Raymond compels a reconsideration of Woodman's achievement in light of the gender dynamics of the sublime.
Raymond argues that Woodman's photographs of decrepit architecture allegorically depict the dissolution of the frame, a dissolution Derrida links to theories of the sublime in Kant's Critique of Judgement. Woodman's self-portraits, Raymond contends, test the parameters of the gaze, a reading that departs from the many analyses of Woodman's work that emphasize her dramatic biography. Woodman is here revealed as a conceptually sophisticated artist whose deployment of allegory and allusion engages a broader debate about Enlightenment aesthetics, and the sublime.
Tyler Jo SmithAssociate Professor, Greek Art and Archaeology Collectanea Antiqua: Essays in Memory of Sonia Chadwick Hawkes Edited by Martin Henig and Tyler Jo Smith
A collection of scholarly essays by multiple authors on Anglo-Saxon archeology. Illustrated with B&W maps, photos, and diagrams to help the reader visualize and contextualize the topics being addressed. The book is dedicated to the renowned Anglo-Saxon archaeologist Sonia Chadwick Hawkes (1933-1999).
Tyler Jo SmithAssociate Professor, Greek Art and Archaeology A Companion to Greek Art Edited by Tyler Jo Smith and Dimitris Plantzos
This well-illustrated two-volume set offers a comprehensive, authoritative account of the development of Greek art through the 1st millennium BC. While there is no shortage of introductory handbooks on Greek art, the current publication takes a fresh look at the many facets of the subject, from the basic forms, materials, and types, to colonization, iconography, and finally the reception of Greek art in post-classical periods.
A Companion to Greek Art is a collaborative effort joining scholars of various nationalities and specializations. The chapter authors are foremost experts in their field, and, being drawn from the ranks of university lecturers and professors, museum curators and field archaeologists, they offer unique perspectives to the collection. As a result, this is an unbiased and inclusive representation of the state of the discipline and the current ways it is being examined by scholars all over the world.
A Companion to Greek Art presents a nuanced portrait of the development of Greek art, through a narrative that is factually oriented and technically detailed, as well as thematic, contextual, and historiographical.
Tyler Jo SmithAssociate Professor, Greek Art and Archaeology Komast Dancers in Archaic Greek Art
Komast figures (literally `revellers') on black-figure vases have long been associated with the worship of Dionysos and the origins of Greek drama. In this fully illustrated study, Tyler Jo Smith takes a fresh look at the evidence for komasts, both on vases and in other artistic media produced throughout Archaic Greece. She concludes that the meaning of the dancing figures differs between different regions, such as Corinth, Athens, and Laconia. Komasts are instrumental to the spread of the human figure in early Archaic Greek art and a vital link in the story of both visual and festival culture in Greece during the sixth century BC.
J. David SummersWm. R Kenan Jr. Professor, Art Theory and Italian Renaissance Art The Judgement of Sense: Renaissance Naturalism and the Rise of Aesthetics
With the rise of naturalism in the art of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance there developed an extensive and diverse literature about art which helped to explain, justify and shape its new aims. In this book, David Summers provides an investigation of the philosophical and psychological notions invoked in this new theory and criticism. From a thorough examination of the sources, he shows how the medieval language of mental discourse derived from an understanding of classical thought.
J. David SummersWm. R Kenan Jr. Professor, Art Theory and Italian Renaissance Art Real Spaces: World History and the Rise of Western Modernism
David Summers sets forth that current formalist, contextual and post-structural approaches fail to provide an adequate account of all art, particularly art produced outside the Western tradition. He argues that there are profound problems right at the heart of Western thinking about art, and his new framework is an attempt to resolve these problems. At the core of the argument is a proposal to replace the notion of the 'visual arts' with that of the 'spatial arts', comprising two fundamental categories: 'real space' and 'virtual space'. Real space is the space we share with other people and things: the fundamental arts of real space are sculpture (the art of personal space) and architecture (the art of social space). Virtual space - which always entails a format in real space (thus making real space the primary category) - is space represented in two dimensions, as in paintings, drawings and prints. Adopting a wide definition of art that in principle embraces anything that is made, and underpinning his arguments with detailed examination of artefacts and architecture from all over the world, Summers develops his thesis in a series of chapters that broadly trace the progress of human skill in many different traditions: from the simple facture of the first tools to the sophisticated universal three-dimensional grid of modern technology, which he describes as 'metaoptical' space. In a sequence of far-reaching and revealing discussions of facture, places, centres, three-dimensional and planar images, virtuality and perspective, and the centreless metaoptical world of Western modernism, Summers creates a conceptual framework that always relates art to human use, and enables us to treat all traditions on an equal footing within universal categories. At the same time, this infrastructure can help to understand the dynamics of opposition and conflict both within and between cultures. Formalism and other theories of art are not rejected. Rather, in this wider context they can be identified and evaluated within the Western tradition whence they originated, without some naive universal validity being ascribed to them. Within this broad plan there is incredible wealth of detail and energy of description. The author's constant engagement with actual works of art is always lively and convincing; his analysis of the concrete metaphors that lie behind our critical vocabulary is revealing and thought-provoking; and his clear-headed and courageous engagement with important issues is most impressive. Some of the author's language and terminology may, for the novice, prove an alluring challenge at first. However, Summers writes with exceptional clarity: new terms are carefully defined and explained in such a way, that the reader will not only understand them but also appreciate why such terminology is essential to a work of such profound philosophy. What is striking is that the author is always using language in order to think about the real world, and not in order to retreat into a closed world of academic scholasticism. He insists that all art is made to fit human uses, and can never be separated from the primary spatial conditions of those uses. With its universal scope and its sympathetic understanding of the innumerable forms that art can adopt, this is a book that will stimulate people to think in entirely new and fruitful ways about the human purposes of art, and also to think more deeply and critically about the intricate relations between art, political order and technology.
J. David SummersWm. R Kenan Jr. Professor, Art Theory and Italian Renaissance Art Vision, Reflection, & Desire in Western Painting
Spanning more than 2,500 years in the history of art, Vision, Reflection, and Desire in Western Painting demonstrates how the rise and diffusion of the science of optics in ancient Greece and the Mediterranean world correlated to pictorial illusion in the development of Western painting from Hellenistic Greece to the present. Using examples from the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, David Summers argues that scene-painting (architectural backdrops) and shadow-painting (in which forms are modeled or shown as if in relation to a source of light) not only evolved in close association with geometric optics toward the end of the fifth century B.C.E., but also contributed substantially to the foundations of the new science.
The spread of understanding of how light is transmitted, reflected, and refracted is evident in the works of artists such as Brunelleschi, van Eyck, Alberti, and Leonardo. The interplay between optics and painting that influenced the course of Western art, Summers says, persisted as a framework for the realism of Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Goya and continues today in modern photography and film.
Elizabeth Hutton TurnerUniversity Professor, Modern Art Georgia O'Keefe Essay contributor, Elizabeth Hutton Turner
Although Georgia O'Keeffe (1887–1986) has long been regarded as a central figure in 20th-century art, the abstract works she created throughout her career have remained critically and popularly overlooked in favor of her representational subjects. Beginning with charcoal drawings made in 1915, which were among the most radical creations produced in the United States at that time, O'Keeffe sought to transcribe pure emotion in her work. While her output of abstract work declined after 1930, she returned to abstraction in the 1950s with a new vocabulary that provided a precedent for a younger generation of abstractionists. By devoting itself to this largely unexplored area of her work, Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstraction is an overdue acknowledgment of her place as one of America's first abstractionists.
In addition to rethinking O'Keeffe's role in the development of a uniquely American abstract style, this book chronicles the shifts and changes in subject matter and style over the span of her long career. It adds significant new insight into her life, reproducing excerpts of previously sealed letters written by O'Keeffe to photographer and gallerist Alfred Stieglitz, whom she married in 1924. These previously unpublished letters, along with other primary documents referenced by the authors, offer an intimate glimpse into her creative method and intentions as an artist.
Dorothy WongAssociate Professor, East Asian Art Hōryūji Reconsidered Essay contributor, Elizabeth Hutton Turner
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993, the Hōryūji temple complex includes some of the oldest and largest surviving wooden buildings in the world. The original Hōryūji temple was built between 601 and 607 by Prince Regent Shōtoku (573?–622), one of Japan's best-known cultural heroes. The construction of the temple marked the introduction of Buddhism and Buddhist art and architecture to Japan from China, by way of the Korean peninsula, as promoted by Prince Shōtoku. After a fire in 670 that destroyed the site, the temple was rebuilt and enlarged. Hōryūji became one of Japan's leading centers of Buddhist scholarship as well as a focus for the cult of its founder, Prince Shōtoku. This volume of essays originate from the “The Dawn of East Asian International Buddhist Art and Architecture: Hōryūji (Temple of the Exalted Law) in Its Contexts” symposium held at the University of Virginia in October 2005. Covering the disciplines of archaeology, architecture, architectural history, art history, and religion, these essays aim to shed new light on the Hōryūji complex by (1) examining new archaeological materials, (2) incorporating computer analysis of the structural system of the pagoda, and (3) including cross-cultural, interdisciplinary perspectives that reflect current research in various
Dorothy WongAssociate Professor, East Asian Art Chinese Steles: Pre-Buddhist and Buddhist Use of a Symbolic Form
Buddhist steles represent an important subset of early Chinese Buddhist art that flourished during the Northern and Southern Dynasties period (386-581). Adapted from the traditional Chinese stone tablet (bei) used for carving Buddhist images, symbols, and allegorical stories, this hybrid form epitomizes the close interactions and synthesis of indigenous Chinese and Indian Buddhist traditions on many levels: religious, social, cultural, and artistic. The phenomenon of Buddhist steles lasted only about a century (from the late fifth through the sixth century), yet this brief period yielded many works of superb artistic quality. These steles also offer important insights into the role Buddhism played in the history and culture of early medieval China and the process of adaptation and transformation by which the foreign religion was assimilated into Chinese society and became part of its civilization.
More than two hundred Chinese Buddhist steles are known to have survived. Their brilliant imagery has long captivated scholars, yet until now the Buddhist stele as a unique art form has received little scholarly attention. Dorothy Wong rectifies that insufficiency by providing in this well-illustrated volume the first comprehensive investigation of this group of Buddhist monuments. She traces the ancient roots of the Chinese stele tradition and investigates the process by which Chinese steles were adapted for Buddhist use. She arranges the known corpus of Buddhist steles into broad chronological and regional groupings and analyzes not only their form and content but also the nexus of complex issues surrounding this art form--from cultural symbolism to the interrelations between religious doctrine and artistic expression, economic production, patronage, and the synthesis of native and foreign art styles. In her analysis of Buddhism's dialogue with native traditions, Wong demonstrates how the Chinese artistic idiom planted the seeds for major achievements in figural and landscape arts in the ensuing Sui and Tang periods.
Considering the use of the upright stone by artists in many civilizations, this study of traditional Chinese bei and their Buddhist adaptations contemplates subjects that transcend the steles' own time and place, thus entering the larger discussion of the nature of symbolic forms.
William WylieProfessor and Associate Chair, Photography Carrara
The legendary Cava di Gioia quarry in Carrara, Italy, was the source of the luminous white marble used by Michelangelo, Bernini, Henry Moore, and other renowned sculptors. Carrara, a volume of stunning photographs by William Wylie, reveals that the beauty of the quarry itself can be as alluring as the sculptures carved from its stone.
Wylie is the first photographer to document Cava di Gioia since Ilario Besi, early in the twentieth century. For six years, Wylie photographed the changing landscape of the quarry, and his images capture the intense physical scale of the site, the dramatic setting, and the character of the stonecutters, or cavatori, who have worked the quarry for generations. Wylie's astonishing photographs present a remarkable panorama carved by more than twenty centuries of excavation. As well, his images of the stonecutters are sensitive portraits of men shaped by their occupation, toughened and enlivened by their work.
The photographs of Carrara bring to life the hitherto unseen beauty of a land better known for its resources than its distinctive beauty.
William WylieProfessor and Associate Chair, Photography Route 36
This series of fifty-four photographs follows Route 36 across the Kansas prairie, capturing the region's strong light and registering detailed textures within its vast spaces. Cottonwood trees, twisted by wind, break up the expanses, conveying a sense of scale and vertical life. The images move between the dry, rolling landscape and stark, vertical structures. Buildings often present blank faces, abandoned without names or signage, former uses unspecified. They sometimes appear as depthless surfaces against the deep expanse of prairie. Moving through the collection, we come to recognize this tension--between obsolescence and natural beauty--as characteristic of the region and its moment in history. In his foreword to the book, Merrill Gilfillan comments, "It seems continually necessary to reassert that landscape study and its reflective arts are anything but passive disciplines, that civilization in a sustaining, daily sense emerges most surely from good relations with one's surroundings...Bill Wylie's recent 36 crossings-with-camera remint all of this: the region's great capacity for inflection, double take, and surprise. The humble aplomb of things-in-waiting: a preposterous barn, crooked old trees half crazy with neglect. And the benignity of a deftly cast eye."