Review by Choice Review
An exhibition of Italian manuscript illumination from the 13th to the 16th century occasioned this beautifully illustrated volume, filled with color. Most of the works are from the Lehman Collection of the Metropolitan Museum, whose assistant curator is the author. There are no essays. Most of the historiated initials, marginal decorations, and full-page miniatures have, unfortunately, been cut from the books to which they once belonged. The great majority are in a florid late Gothic style. Some are associated, at least tentatively, with major artists, e.g., Duccio, Lorenzo Monaco, Stefano da Verona, Francesco di Giorgio; others show off anonymous artists to advantage. Advanced undergraduates will find interesting comparative material, iconographic as well as stylistic. The entries are arranged chronologically, thereby providing a convenient survey of Italian Renaissance art in a less-familiar aspect, one which emphasizes the worthily retardataire. A glossary and an appendix of related material, including modern copies, are provided. Since a good number of the illuminations come from music books, the book may be useful to music historians as well. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals. P. Emison University of New Hampshire
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
This scholarly catalogue assembles nearly 150 leaves, cuttings and illuminated manuscript fragments from the collection of Robert Lehman, one of the 20th century's leading collectors of medieval and Renaissance Italian manuscripts. There's little in the way of introduction or overview; the focus, instead, is on the sumptuous color plates from major illumination schools in southern Italy, Umbria, Tuscany, and Lombardy, among others, along with detailed scholarly opinions and context. The 15th century Martyrdom of Saint Agatha in an Initial D by Sano di Pietro, for instance, features a group of colorfully robed men gathered around a bare-chested Saint Agatha; one of the men grips her bleeding breast with an iron tong. The accompanying text describes the fragment's history-the volume of its origin, the dispersal of its pages, and its eventual reconstruction in the last 10 years. With their bright renditions of gore and glory, bordered in elaborate, gilded frameworks, these antique images continue to transfix the viewer as both art and history. This lovingly crafted volume ensures they will continue to enchant for many years to come. 169 illustrations (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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