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Practice and Theory in the Italian Renaissance Workshop
Verrocchio and the Epistemology of Making Art


  • Date Published: July 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107172852

£ 94.99

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About the Authors
  • Verrocchio was arguably the most important sculptor between Donatello and Michelangelo but he has seldom been treated as such in art historical literature because his achievements were quickly superseded by the artists who followed him. He was the master of Leonardo da Vinci, but he is remembered as the sulky teacher that his star pupil did not need. In this book, Christina Neilson argues that Verrocchio was one of the most experimental artists in fifteenth-century Florence, itself one of the most innovative centers of artistic production in Europe. Considering the different media in which the artist worked in dialogue with one another (sculpture, painting, and drawing), she offers an analysis of Verrocchio's unusual methods of manufacture. Neilson shows that, for Verrocchio, making was a form of knowledge and that techniques of making can be read as systems of knowledge. By studying Verrocchio's technical processes, she demonstrates how an artist's theoretical commitments can be uncovered, even in the absence of a written treatise.

    • Introduces Verrocchio in a new way and places Verrocchio in the broader context of artistic experimentation of fifteenth-century Florence
    • Considers the different media Verrocchio worked on in dialogue with each other
    • Presents artistic practice as an expression of ideas (economic, religious, poetic, etc.) with ramifications beyond this specific artist
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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107172852
    • length: 362 pages
    • dimensions: 261 x 185 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.96kg
    • contains: 146 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Verrocchio's ingenuity
    2. Verrocchio's Medici Tomb: art as treatise
    3. Bridging dimensions: Verrocchio's Christ and Saint Thomas as absent presence
    4. The sculptured imagination
    5. Material meditations in Verrocchio's Bargello Crucifix
    A note on archival sources

  • Author

    Christina Neilson, Oberlin College, Ohio
    Christina Neilson is Associate Professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art History at Oberlin College, Ohio. A recipient of grants from the National Endowment of the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Villa I Tatti, the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, among others, she curated and wrote the catalogue for the exhibition 'Parmigianino's Antea: A Beautiful Artifice' at The Frick Collection, New York.

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