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Venus and the Arts of Love in Renaissance Florence


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  • Date Published: March 2021
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108842914

£ 79.99

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About the Authors
  • In this volume, Rebekah Compton offers the first survey of Venus in the art, culture, and governance of Florence from 1300 to 1600. Organized chronologically, each of the six chapters investigates one of the goddess's alluring attributes – her golden splendor, rosy-hued complexion, enchanting fashions, green gardens, erotic anatomy, and gifts from the sea. By examining these attributes in the context of the visual arts, Compton uncovers an array of materials and techniques employed by artists, patrons, rulers, and lovers to manifest Venusian virtues. Her book explores technical art history in the context of love's protean iconography, showing how different discourses and disciplines can interact in the creation and reception of art. Venus and the Arts of Love in Renaissance Florence offers new insights on sight, seduction, and desire, as well as concepts of gender, sexuality, and viewership from both male and female perspectives in the early modern era.

    • Provides examples of inter-disciplinary art history in action
    • Introduces readers to technical art history, discussing pigments, binders, supports, drawings, conservation, and restoration reports in an accessible and informative manner
    • Offers perspectives of early modern theories of gender and sexuality
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    • Finalist, 2022 PROSE Award for Art History and Criticism

    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a compelling method for a broad and inclusive approach to analyzing art as the discipline moves forward in a rapidly evolving academic world.' A. V. Coonin, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2021
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108842914
    • length: 292 pages
    • dimensions: 260 x 183 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.78kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Golden Splendor: Visions of Venus
    2. Cultivating Complexions: Cleaning and Coloring the Flesh
    3. Sartorial Seduction: Silk, Embroidery, and Venusian Magic
    4. Green Gardens: Venus' Verdant Virtues
    5. Erotic Anatomy: Fantasy, Sex, and Disease
    6. Maritime Treasures: Venus' Gifts from the Sea
    Conclusion: Attendant Pleasures.

  • Author

    Rebekah Compton, College of Charleston, South Carolina
    Rebekah Compton is Associate Professor of Renaissance and Baroque Art History at the College of Charleston, South Carolina. She is a recipient of a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Columbia University and a fellow of I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies.


    • Finalist, 2022 PROSE Award for Art History and Criticism

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