An eminent English expert dedicates this book to the non specialist reader to reveal an unknown side of Renaissance painting
Giving an exact definition of “still life” is not an easy task, although it’s not difficult to recognize it when we saw one. This issue has aroused a debate about the origins of still life and about the exact date of its birth as an autonomous genre, traditionally placed at the beginning of the Seventeenth century.
David Ekserdjian aims to demonstrate that in Italy, since the Fourteenth century, and during the Fifteenth and Sixteenth century, artists, while depicting larger compositions, felt the need of representing natural elements and inanimate objects in an autonomous way. The results were often so excellent as to consider them as sort still life ante litteram.
Through an accurate selection of one hundred paintings, the book offers the reader a journey through beautiful images arranged according to different themes: flowers, fruits and vegetables, food and table, objects, shelves and niches, vanitas. Each painting is reproduced entirely and is accompanied by a brief historic and artistic comment. Important details are enlarged and explained: a vase of flower, a laid table, a shelf with books, a precious suit of armour. Through the masterpieces of Gentile da Fabriano, Leonardo, Raffaello, Van Eyck, Holbein, this book shows the most refined and accurate products of history of art that announced the birth of still life