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Michelangelo was acutely conscious of living in an age of religious crisis and artistic change, and for him the two issues were related. Michelangelo and the Reform of Art explores Michelangelo's awareness of artistic tradition as a means of understanding his relation, as a devoutly Christian artist, to the profound religious uncertainty of the sixteenth century. Concentrating on Michelangelo's lifelong preoccupation with the image of the dead Christ, Alexander Nagel studies the artist's associations with reform-minded circles in early sixteenth-century Italy, and reveals his sustained concern over the fate of religious art in his own day. Within the context of reform, Michelangelo's art reflects an artistic and religious culture where self-conscious archaism mingles with aggressive innovation, and ambivalence regarding the role of images yields radical aesthetic experimentation. A reassessment of Michelangelo's work, this revisionist study sheds new light on High Renaissance and Mannerist art as a whole.Read more
- Studies a major artist
- Involves distinguished Renaissance art
- Studies cultural debates that have contemporary relevance
Reviews & endorsements
'… engages in a subtle tracing of reformist concerns in Michelangelo's work… Much scope for thought is opened up, and this, surely, is the sign of a good book.' The Art BookSee more reviews
'This is not only one of the most important books written on Michelangelo in recent years but it is probably also the most challenging … essential reading.' Apollo
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- Date Published: September 2000
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521662925
- length: 320 pages
- dimensions: 264 x 184 x 21 mm
- weight: 0.98kg
- contains: 105 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction: Michelangelo's work as an art historian
Part I. History Painting and Cult Images in the Altarpiece:
1. Transport and Transitus
2. Man of sorrows and entombment
3. Humanism and the altar image
4. The altarpiece in the age of history painting
Part II. Presentation and Withdrawal: Michelangelo's Late Pietás
5. Passionate withdrawal
6. Art work and cult image
7. Sculpture as relic.
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