- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Pegasus Books; 1 edition (January 7, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1605984949
- ISBN-13: 978-1605984940
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.5 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #894,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Piero's Light: In Search of Piero della Francesca: A Renaissance Painter and the Revolution in Art, Science, and Religion 1st Edition
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"A story that will draw readers' attention, compelling them to continue. For those interested in art, history, philosophy, sociology, or science." -- Library Journal
"Witham uses Piero's life and work to illuminate the 'the philosophical tautness' of Quattrocento Italy, an age between the medieval and the modern in which religious and secular imagery as well as Platonist and Christian worldviews met at a crossroads."--Booklist
"[An] illuminating treatment . . . A thorough account of an actual 'Renaissance man'--in every way."-- Kirkus Reviews
"Witham, a writer of many books on religion, science and philosophy, is the latest in a long line of Anglophone writers to fall under Piero's spell. ... [He] has done an impressive amount of research into the period and mastered the secondary sources."--Wall Street Journal
"A welcome addition to the literature on this fascinating Renaissance artist and thinker." --Providence Journal
"Accessibly reviews the Quattrocento's intellectual, political, and religious climate, summarizing Christian Platonism, Alberti's On Painting, and describing Piero as an artist who synthesized these ideas in [his] paintings . . . the book's journalistic flavor may appeal to readers and distinguishes it from existing literature on the artist."--Publishers Weekly
"This study of Piero's impact reveals a mathematician and geometer who helped to bridge the way to Galileo."--Nature
"The author grapples with a sweeping retelling of the known story, not only in the context of Italian early Renaissance culture but also in terms of how that story was interpreted in nineteenth- and twentieth-century criticism. It is in this latter perspective that Witham's contribution is most illuminating, particularly the chapter entitled 'Piero and Modernity.'"--The New Criterion
"On scientific and religious matters, Witham is quite informative ... One useful task that Witham's book does perform is to track the eventual rise of Piero's reputation."--New York Review of Books
Past Praise for Larry Witham
“A convincing and highly readable study.” (Publishers Weekly )
“Bursting with history, rich characters, and anecdotes. A pleasurable, comprehensive read.” (Baltimore City Paper)
“Larry Witham enlivens every page.” (New York Sun)
“A popular intellectual history commendable for its engaging style.” (Library Journal)
From the Inside Flap
The story of one remarkable artist of the early Italian Renaissance--a painter at the crossroads of our modern revolutions in art, religion, science--who remains a figure of enduring fascination in the twenty-first century.
In the heart of Tuscany, Piero della Francesca became a painter and mathematician at the dawn of the Renaissance, revealing his innovative mind in some of the best known images from that period, and in his unusual writings on geometry. Yet as a personality, Piero remains a mystery. He leaves an enigmatic legacy that ranges from the merging of religion and mathematics to his use of perspective to make painting a "true science." In this engaging narrative, Larry Witham transports us to Piero's tumultuous age, a world of princes and popes, soldiers and schisms. Piero's Light also reveals how he was part of the philosophical revival of Platonism, an ancient worldview that would shape art, religion, and science's transition toward modernity. Just sixteen of Piero's paintings survive, but these images and his writings would fuel some of the greatest art historical debates of all time. Through Witham's wide research, Piero emerges as a figure who marks a turning point in Western culture. Our past understanding of faith, beauty, and knowledge has been radically altered by a secular age, and the story of Piero helps us understand how this has taken place. The search for Piero has continued among both intrepid scholars and art lovers of all kinds, and it is no wonder: few artists in history take us as deeply into the intellectual excitement of the Renaissance as Piero della Francesca.
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I did learn a few things, for which I am grateful. Most importantly, it led me to an interactive web site showing, in great detail, the entire sequence of frescos in Arezzo, which is a fabulous resource (Amazon doesn't seem to allow links), but a little searching will bring it up.