BOOK: Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance. Painting and Illumination 1300-1350, edited by CHRISTINE SCIACCA, Los Angeles 2013 (The J. Paul Getty Museum), $ 65.00.
Florence and the Renaissance have become virtually synonymous, bringing to mind names like Dante, Giotto, Petrarch, Boccaccio, and many others whose creativity thrived during a time of unprecedented prosperity, urban expansion, and intellectual innovation. With more than 200 illustrations, Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance reveals the full complexity and enduring beauty of the art of this period, including panel paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and stained glass panels.
The book, edited by Christine Sciacca (assistant curator in the Department of Manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum), considers not only the work of Giotto and other influential artists, including Bernardo Daddi, Taddeo Gaddi, and Pacino di Bonaguida, but also that of the larger community of illuminators and panel painters who collectively contributed to Florence’s artistic legacy. It places particular emphasis on those artists who worked in both panel painting and manuscript illumination and presents new conservation research and scientific analyses that shed light on artists’ techniques and workshop practices of the times.
Reunited here for the first time are 26 leaves of the Laudario of Sant’Agnese, the most important illuminated manuscript commission of the period. The splendor of this book of hymns exemplifies the spiritual and artistic aspirations of early Renaissance Florence.
* Timothy Potts and Matthew Teitelbaum, Foreward (pp. IX-X)
- Lenders to the Exhibition (p. XI)
- Contributors (pp. XII-XIII)
* Christine Sciacca and Alexandra S. Suda, Acknowledgments (pp. XIV-XVIII)
- Notes to the Reader (p. XIX)
* Bryan C. Keene, Introduction (pp. 1-7).
Part One: Painting and Illumination in Early Trecento Florence
* Eve Borsook, Painting for “the Most Noble City in the World” (pp. 11-23)
Catalogue Numbers 1-18 (pp. 24-75).
Part Two: Devotional Art
* Victoria M. Schmidt, Religious Panel Paintings: Types, Functions and Spatial Contexts (pp. 79-91)
* Bryan B. Keene, Preparing the Soul for Heaven through Text and Song: Liturgical Manuscripts (pp. 93-100)
Catalogue Numbers 19-31 (pp. 100-139).
Part Three: Painting and Narrative
* Alexandra S. Suda, Tales of a City: Narrative in Early Renaissance Florence (pp. 143-153)
* Francesca Pasut, Florentine Illuminations for Dante’s Divine Comedy: A Critical Assessment (pp. 155-169)
Catalogue Numbers 32-44 (pp. 170-215).
Part Four: The Laudario of Sant’Agnese
* Christine Sciacca, Reconstructing the Laudario of Saint’Agnese (pp. 219-235)
Catalogue Numbers 45.1-45.26 (pp. 237-281).
Part Five: Technical Studies: The Early Renaissance Workshop
* Christine Sciacca, Pacino di Bonaguida and His Workshop (pp. 285-303)
Catalogue Numbers 46-55 (pp. 304-333).
* Yvonne Szafran and Nancy Turner, Techniques of Pacino di Bonaguida Illuminator and Panel Painter (pp. 335-355)
* Laura Rivers, Tooled and Punched Decoration of Gilding (pp. 356-359)
* Catherine Schmidt Patterson, Alan Phenix and Karen Trentelman, Scientific Investigation of Painting Practices and Materials in the Work of Pacino di Bonaguida (pp. 361-371)
* Roy S. Berns, Image Simulation of the Blue Background in Pacino di Bonaguida’s Chiarito Tabernacle Using Color and Imaging Sciences (pp. 372-375)
Catalogue Numbers 56-62 (pp. 377-393).
- References (pp. 394-415)
- Index of Names and Titles (pp. 416-418)
- Index of Works of Art (pp. 419-424)
- Illustration Credits (pp. 425-426).
A major exhibition on this subject has been on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum from November 13, 2012, through February 10, 2013, and at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 16, 2013, through June 16, 2013.