"Painting in Renaissance Venice" by Peter Humfrey

Painting in Renaissance Venice Peter Humfrey

Publication date:
31 Jan 1997
Yale University Press
328 pages: 216 x 152mm
115 b-w + 80 color illus.


The Renaissance was a golden age in the long history of Venetian painting, and the art that came from Venice during that era includes some of the most visually exciting works in the whole of Western art. This attractive book—a comprehensive account of painting in Venice from Bellini to Titian to Tintoretto—is an accessible introduction to the art of this period.

Peter Humfrey surveys the development of a distinctly Venetian artistic tradition from the middle years of the fifteenth century to the end of the sixteenth century. He discusses the work of Jacopo and Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto as well as the paintings of those less well known—such as the three Vivarini, Cima, Carpaccio, Palma Vecchio, Lotto, and Jacopo Bassano. Humfrey analyzes these painters' works in terms of their pictorial style, technique, subject matter, patronage, and function. He also sets the art against the background of the political, social, and religious conditions of Renaissance Venice, as outlined in his Introduction. The book includes an appendix that provides brief biographies of thirty-six of the most important painters active in Renaissance Venice.

Peter Humfrey is a reader in the School of Art History, University of St. Andrews.

"The best single-volume survey on the subject."?The Bookseller

"Beautifully designed and elegantly written. . . . This book is a welcome enterprise which, together with the excellent bibliography, serves as an indispensable tool for getting acquainted with the subject and beyond that. . . . Humfrey's comprehensive survey deserves to be read by a wide audience."?Luba Freedman, Renaissance Quarterly

"A comprehensive account, very well illustrated, of the art that was made in Venice, by Venetians, in the years 1440-1590."?Oxford Times

"This excellent artistic chronicle, interesting and balanced, is enhanced by biographies of the artists, a good bibliography and 195 illustrations."?Byron Ireland, Day by Day

"Not only are the artist's stylistic personalities vividly worked, their artistic exchanges clarified, and the larger evolution of the tradition unmechanistically structured but we are also brought to a heightened awareness of the formal structure and evocative nature of individual paintings. . . . Humfrey convincingly sets these works into a nexus of political, social, and religious concerns. The result is easily the best single-volume survey of the golden age of Venetian painting now available."?Library Journal

"A joy to read. . . . The best art-historical book written for the general reader that I have read for many years."?Crispin Robinson, The Art Book

"Intended as an introduction for the non-specialist, the book is exceptionally well executed. Literally handy?yet with fine paper and printing?it also has background notes, potted biographies, and a good bibliography."?Country Life

"Well-produced [and] with good colour plates, [this book] provides an up-to-date and informative compendium of information?.There is a nice balance between social background and the discussion of the works themselves."?John Steer, Antique International

"Peter Humfrey has fashioned a compact, readable, and well-illustrated teaching primer on Venetian Renaissance painting. Against the background of his own extensive contributions to Venetian Renaissance studies dating form 1977, he brings his obvious enthusiasm for teaching and for connoisseurship to the publication of what he modestly calls 'a brief introduction to painting in Renaissance Venice (1440-1590). . . aimed primarily at the non-specialist.' As such, it is as useful for the undergraduate as for the engaged tourist and museum visitor. . . . A clear trail for those wishing to follow."?Gyde Vanier Shepherd, Speculum?A Journal of Medieval Studies

"I suspect that this book was really written as a teaching text for courses of Renaissance painting, to which it has some meritorious claims: a reliable and balanced account of the subject with an up-to-date bibliography and the provision of many color illustrations."?Andrew Hopkins, Sixteenth Century Journal