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Dominion of the Eye: Urbanism, Art and Power in Early Modern Florence radically revises our ideas about the origins of rationally planned public space in the European city. Through a spatial and historical analysis of the major squares of Florence, all built in the Trecento, together with primary civic monuments, Marvin Trachtenberg shows that, contrary to current belief, Florentine planners engaged in a theoretically sophisticated mode of practice. In these squares, geometrically structured perspectival views of the principal monuments were established long before Alberti and other Renaissance theorists may have promoted such planning. Trachtenberg demonstrates that this urbanistic scenography, deeply informed by medieval optical science, was closely allied with perspectival developments in architecture, painting, and sculpture, forming a unified visual culture that was highly attentive to the eye of the spectator. An analysis of the critical role of the piazza in the Florentine sociopolitical field reveals how the art of the piazza was part of state practice as a work of art. Including more than 50 new drawings and 200 illustrations, Dominion of the Eye challenges many of the cardinal truisms in the art history of the Renaissance, offering a new model for understanding the art of Italy in the early modern era.Read more
- Radically original and comprehensive analysis of urbanistic practice in the pre-Renaissance period
- Deeply contextual study of the intersection of art and politics of a period and a city central to European history and culture
- More than 50 new analytic drawings illustrating the planning of Florentine squares, and almost 200 photographs, mostly unpublished
- Winner of the Hitchcock Book Prize, awarded by the Society of Architecture Historians
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- Date Published: June 2008
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521728256
- length: 380 pages
- dimensions: 279 x 215 x 20 mm
- weight: 1.24kg
- contains: 253 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. History and Theory:
1. Florence brought to historical account
2. Toward the Trecento Florentine piazza: problematics
Part II. From Theory to Practice:
3. The Piazza del Duomo
4. The Piazza della Signoria
Part III. Framing Urbanistic Discourse: Space, Subject and Vision in Trecento Theory and the Arts:
5. Spatial theory
6. The spatial order of Florentine streets, monumental architecture, and the new towns
7. Trecento pictorial perspective reconsidered
8. Perspective in Trecento sculpture and architectural detail
9. The Trecento fusion of the arts
10. The architecture of painting and the multimedia tableau
11. The role of optical and surveying theory
Part IV. On The Politics of Urbanistic Order:
12. The political logic of demolition
13. Spatial form and political authority
14. The symbolic power of scopic order
15. Florentine Trecento urbanism as institutional and ideological praxis II
16. The Florentine urbanistic 'style' as bourgeois instrumentalism
17. Resistance and Renaissance: an afterword.
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