Customer Reviews


2 Reviews
5 star:    (0)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Giotto Adrift, September 10, 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Cambridge Companion to Giotto (Cambridge Companions to the History of Art) (Paperback)
This is my second Cambridge Companion book in Art History. The first, which covered Masaccio, was excellent. This one falls short. It is densely written, tends to drift, and offers only a few real glimpses into Giotto's life and work beyond what one can find in a basic art history book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Editors too concerned with Post-Modernism, January 2, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Cambridge Companion to Giotto (Cambridge Companions to the History of Art) (Paperback)
Update: I noticed this review is getting negative votes. My intention was to be helpful to potential purchasers of this book.

The point I was trying to make is that Giotto is the artist who introduces ORDER to the burgeoning Renaissance, but in the editors' essay we are told about how complex everything is, and it makes for truly unbearable reading. To the 14th and 15th century Italians the Renaissance was a rebirth framed around the grace and order of Greek art and high Latin texts from Rome. Giotto is important because of two things, he was copying nature instead of reproducing religious symbols like the Byzantine painters, and he was using one-point linear perspective. When combined these two methods made his pictures leap into three-dimensional life. These two innovations paved the way for the many names you associate with amazing and innovative Catholic art like Raphael, Michelangelo, and DaVinci.

'Rereading' is a code word used by academics who want to write about something, a text or a painting from the past, and dismantle the hierarchies within it, but hierarchies are at the heart of the Italian Renaissance. The editors make a slight variation on 're-reading' by instead insisting on multiple readings. They justify this by saying that Dante's poetry could be read on multiple levels in the 13th and early 14th centuries. They also compare their suggested multiple readings of Dante's poetry to the multiple viewpoints of post-modern sensibility. That is quite a jump, these two things, Dante and post-modern thought, are 100% not equivalent, and here's why, because Dante's Inferno is as a epic journey through a rigid moral hierarchy, and the multiple readings of a post-modern sensibility would aim at flattening those same hierarchical and moral distinctions. Dante is a religious moralist, post-moderns see morality as a form of oppression. Therefore, the editors' method is antithetical to the goals which are evident in every inch of planned color, space, and gracefulness in Giotto's painting.

Original Review: The editors, both in the introduction and in their essay contribution "Reading the Arena Chapel," make a point of explicating post-modern art historical methodology. To me it felt out of place. The reason I feel that way is that Giotto is one of the progenitors of the Italian Renaissance, his work is known for its introduction of empiricism through observational drawing and perspective, and his art is one of the major breaks with Byzantine painting - all things which have nothing to do with post-modernism and the methodologies generated regarding it like re-reading, multiple viewpoints, etc. In fact, in this case the editors' concerns felt inappropriate. They may think that their method is applicable to all art history, but in this book it was clearly something separate imposed on Giotto's work that did not help explain it, but rather just revealed the concerns of the editors independent of Giotto. There are two essays which I found useful while writing a research paper regarding Giotto: "Giotto and his Lay Patrons," by Kohl, and "The Legend of Giotto's Wit and the Arena Chapel," by Ladis. However, this book was not worth the money. Normally Cambridge Companions give an introduction to a topic or thinker that provides access to the scholarly dialogue as well factual and historical information. This book did that, but poorly. In addition, it is relatively expensive, and the reproductions are low quality black and white images on the same type of paper as the text, making them nearly useless.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

The Cambridge Companion to Giotto (Cambridge Companions to the History of Art)
$40.00 $38.00
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.