The Early Renaissance and Vernacular Culture

The Early Renaissance and Vernacular Culture

CHARLES DEMPSEY
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt24hj10
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  • Book Info
    The Early Renaissance and Vernacular Culture
    Book Description:

    Why do the paintings and poetry of the Italian Renaissance—a celebration of classical antiquity—also depict the Florentine countryside populated with figures dressed in contemporary silk robes and fleur-de-lys crowns? Dempsey argues that a fusion of classical form with contemporary content was the defining characteristic of the period.

    eISBN: 978-0-674-06273-3
    Subjects: History, Art & Art History, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    This is the third book I have devoted to the broad theme of the importance of vernacular culture to the understanding of Renaissance art. The first, titled The Portrayal of Love: Botticelli’s Primavera and Humanist Culture at the Time of Lorenzo the Magnificent, was framed as a particular study of Botticelli’s Primavera, which without doubt was conceived on the basis of a profound knowledge of classical culture that was unquestionably mediated by the great humanist scholar and poet Angelo Poliziano. In it, I suggested (and I am still convinced) that the classical materia motivating Botticelli’s imagery has essentially been established,...

  6. ONE Courtly Lyric I SIMONE MARTINI, FRENCH COURTLY LYRIC, AND THE VERNACULAR
    (pp. 9-66)

    Thanks in large part to the proliferation of art history studies posited on the models of social and economic historical research into what has come to be called the Early Modern Period, the very concept of Renaissance art has fallen into an oddly unresolved limbo. In particular, an idea of Renaissance art defined in its essence as the recovery and revival of classical form and usage seriously requires rethinking. To be sure, Vasari had referred to a rebirth (rinascita) of art commencing with Giotto, but it is clear that by this he did not intend to characterize a rebirth of...

  7. TWO Courtly Lyric II SANDRO BOTTICELLI AND POLIZIANO: HUMANIST LEARNING AND THE VERNACULAR
    (pp. 67-116)

    It will, I hope, be apparent that the scholars to whom I have referred have responded to valid perceptions in making their arguments: Ulrike Ilg’s emphasis (with a pedigree going back to Thode and Boccaccio) on the new naturalism of Trecento art and its celebration of the natural world; Beat Brenk’s insistence (also with a distinguished pedigree) on the centrality of the new narrative techniques in the painting of the period; Jean Campbell’s stress on the parallel interpretive strategies employed in painting and the courtly poetry of the stil novo; and Hans Belting’s deservedly influential distinction between the era of...

  8. THREE Civic Ritual I CARDINAL ORSINI’S PAINTINGS AND BACCIO BALDINI’S ENGRAVINGS OF THE SIBYLS: HUMANIST LEARNING AND VERNACULAR DRAMA
    (pp. 117-206)

    The sacra rappresentazione as a new dramatic genre appeared quite suddenly in Florence in the mid-1440s, only a few decades after the simpler liturgical spectacles devoted to the Annunciation, Ascension, and Pentecost were first established, respectively, in the conventual churches of San Felice in Piazza, Santa Maria del Carmine, and Santo Spirito. These spectacles had little dramatic content as such. They consisted principally of tableaux accompanied by recitations of the biblical texts either in Latin or vernacular translation. The staunchly Medicean poet Feo Belcari, whose Abraham and Isaac was first performed in 1449, may fairly be claimed to be a...

  9. FOUR Civic Ritual II RECONSTRUCTING THE VERNACULAR OCTAVES WITH THE PROPHECIES OF THE TWELVE SIBYLS
    (pp. 207-268)

    Baccio Baldini’s fine-manner engravings of the twenty-four prophets and Francesco Rosselli’s broad-manner copies after them each include the name of an Old Testament prophet together with an octave rendering his prophecy. With few exceptions, however, they do not contain Latin epigrams. The engravings of the twelve sibyls, on the other hand, all display a Latin epigramma (to use Poggio Bracciolini’s terminology) for each individual sibyl, as well as her nomen and either a translation or close paraphrase of her prophecy as set out in the vernacular rhythms of ottava rima. These epigrammata directly derive from a manuscript description of Cardinal...

  10. APPENDIX Cardinal Orsini’s Twelve Sibyls and Their Prophecies in Vernacular Octaves Reconstructed
    (pp. 269-316)
  11. Notes
    (pp. 317-364)
  12. Index
    (pp. 365-384)