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Tapestry in the Renaissance: Art and Magnificence

Thomas P. Campbell

Published by Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006
ISBN 10: 030012063X / ISBN 13: 9780300120639
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Title: Tapestry in the Renaissance: Art and ...

Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Publication Date: 2006

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition: Very Good


Paperback, light stains on bottom of book, warp on book, otherwise in very good condition30.5x25.5cm, 594pp. Bookseller Inventory # a24847

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Synopsis: Tapestries––the art form of kings––were a principal tool used by powerful Renaissance rulers to convey their wealth and might. From 1460 to 1560, courts and churches lavished vast sums on costly weavings in silk and gold thread from designs by leading artists. In this lavishly illustrated book, the first major survey of tapestry production of this period, contributors analyze some of these beautiful tapestries, examine the stylistic and technical development of tapestry production in the Low Countries, France, and Italy during the Renaissance, and discuss the contribution that the medium made to art, liturgy, and propaganda of the day.

Review: Often slighted by art historians, tapestries were actually the most widely commissioned figurative art form in Europe in the 1500s. In Tapestry in the Renaissance: Art and Magnificence, Thomas P. Campbell and other scholarly contributors survey the elaborate woven hangings produced primarily by Flemish workshops for the palaces and cathedrals of Italy and Northern Europe. The authors discuss the designers' careers, patrons' motives, symbolic meanings of the imagery, and stylistic features unique to the labor-intensive medium. Initially, the need to lessen skilled weavers' workloads led designers to arrange elaborately costumed figures in manageable rows. Raphael's cartoons (full-size drawings) for the monumental "Acts of the Apostles" tapestries, commissioned by Pope Leo X, moved the art form into a new era. Flemish designers incorporated Raphael's spatially persuasive treatment of the figure into sophisticated narratives full of anecdotal detail. The 250 color photographs, specially commissioned for this catalog for an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum in spring 2002, vividly illuminate the technical brilliance of these works. --Cathy Curtis

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