The Art of Paper From the Holy Land to the Americas Caroline Fowler

Publication date:
26 Nov 2019
Yale University Press
184 pages: 229 x 178mm
113 color illus.

In the late medieval and Renaissance period, the new material paper transformed society—not only through its role in the invention of print but also in the way it influenced artistic production. The Art of Paper tells the history of this medium in the context of the artist’s workshop from the 13th century, when it was first imported to Europe from Asia and Africa, to the 16th century, when European paper was exported to the colonies of New Spain. Caroline Fowler approaches the topic culturally rather than technically, deftly exploring the way paper shaped concepts of authorship, preservation, and the transmission of ideas during this period. She fluently describes the impact of paper on the practice of specific artists, including Simone Martini, Andrea Mantegna, and Albrecht Dürer. Ultimately, Fowler demonstrates, the qualities of paper itself informed the works it was used to make, as well as artists’ thinking more broadly, across the early modern world.

Caroline Fowler is associate director of research and academic programs at the Clark Art Institute.

“A strong and important contribution to the field that will redirect attention to a largely unexamined aspect of art history.”—Eileen Reeves, Princeton University

“Fowler brings a broad cultural approach to the history of paper, and her discussion leads us to see these works in new ways.”—Jean Cadogan, Trinity College