Style in the Art Theory of Early Modern Italy

Style in the Art Theory of Early Modern Italy

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Philip Sohm
Cambridge University Press, 12/13/2001
EAN 9780521780698, ISBN10: 0521780691

Hardcover, 344 pages, 25.9 x 18.3 x 2.5 cm
Language: English

Style is one of the oldest and most powerful analytic tools available to art writers. Through style, they have made attributions and dated paintings, classified works of art into artistic periods or schools, and verbally captured the visual essence of paintings. Despite the importance of style as an artistic, literary, and historiographic practice, the study of it as a concept has been intermittent, perhaps, as Philip Sohm argues, because style has resisted neat definition since the very origins of art history as a discipline. In this study, Sohm examines discussions of style from Vasari to Baldinucci, showing how the linguistic dimension of visual perception, the means through which painters styles have been described, and how concepts of language have shaped ideas of style. His analysis of the language that painters and their literate public used to characterize painters and paintings will enrich our understanding about the concept of style.

Part I. Language and Style
1. Fighting with style
2. The language of style
Part II. Definitions of Style
3. Defining definition
4. Giorgio Vasari
aestheticizing and historicizing style
5. Nicolas Poussin and the rhetoric of style
6. Marco Boschini
the techniques and artifice of style
7. Filippo Baldinucci
cataloguing style and language
8. A conclusion on indeterminate styles.