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Botticelli Past and Present

Edited by Ana Debenedetti and Caroline Elam

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ISBN: 9781787354647

Publication: January 08, 2019

What is this?

The recent exhibitions dedicated to Botticelli around the world show, more than ever, the significant and continued debate about the artist. Botticelli Past and Present engages with this debate. The book comprises four thematic parts, spanning four centuries of Botticelli’s artistic fame and reception from the fifteenth century. Each part comprises a number of essays and includes a short introduction which positions them within the wider scholarly literature on Botticelli. The parts are organised chronologically beginning with discussion of the artist and his working practice in his own time, moving onto the progressive rediscovery of his work from the late eighteenth to the turn of the twentieth century, through to his enduring impact on contemporary art and design. Expertly written by researchers and eminent art historians and richly illustrated throughout, the broad range of essays in this book make a valuable contribution to Botticelli studies.


Ana Debenedetti is an art historian specializing in Florentine art, artistic literature and workshop practice in the Renaissance. She is Curator of Paintings at the Victoria and Albert Museum, responsible for the collections of paintings, drawings, watercolours and miniatures. She has written and published on Renaissance art, philosophy and poetry and holds a PhD in History of Art focusing on the artistic and cultural milieu of Quattrocento Florence, the interaction between philosophy and artistic literature through the work of Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499). She co-curated the exhibition Constable: The Making of a Master (V&A, 2014-2015) and Botticelli reimagined (V&A, 2016), and was co-author of the accompanying catalogue. Current projects include a display and a catalogue of French Master drawings in the V&A, and a book on Botticelli (Reaktion books).

Caroline Elam is a Senior Research Fellow at the Warburg Institute, University of London. She specialises in architecture, art and patronage in the Italian Renaissance and in the reception of early Italian art in the late nineteenth and twentieth century. She has held academic positions at the University of Glasgow, King’s College, Cambridge and Westfield College, University of London.

Introduction
Ana Debenedetti, Victoria and Albert Museum

Part 1: Botticelli in his own time
Introduction
Michelle O’Malley, Warburg Institute
1. Sandro Botticelli and the birth of modern portraiture
Patrizia Zambrano, Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale
2. Botticelli’s Portrait of a Lady known as Smeralda Bandinelli: a technical study
Nicola Costaras, Victoria and Albert Museum and Clare Richardson, Courtauld Institute
3. Classicism and invention: Botticelli’s mythologies in our time and their time
Paul Holberton, independent scholar
4. Jacopo del Sellaio’s adaptation of the Primavera
 Jerzy Miziołek, Museum of the University of Warsaw

Part 2: The Botticelli effect
Introduction
Julius Bryant, Victoria and Albert Museum
5. Whigs and primitives: Dante and Botticelli in England from Jonathan Richardson to John Flaxman
Mark Evans, Victoria and Albert Museum
6. Befriending Botticelli: psychology and connoisseurship at the fin de siècle
Francesco Ventrella, University of Sussex
7. A woman’s touch, Michael Field, Botticelli and queer desire
Anna Gruetzner Robins, University of Reading

Part 3: Botticelli between art history and connoisseurship
Introduction
Caroline Elam, Warburg Institute
8. Crowe and Cavalcaselle on Botticelli: new results
Donata Levi, University of Udine
9. Why Botticelli? Aby Warburg’s search for a new approach to Quattrocento Italian art
Claudia Wedepohl, Warburg Institute
10. ‘A Japanese Critic on Botticelli’: fragmentation and universality in Yashiro’s 1925 monograph
Jonathan K. Nelson, Syracuse University, Florence 
11. Jacques Mesnil’s Botticelli
Michel Hochmann, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris (EPHE, PSL)

Part 4: Botticelli now Introduction

Stefan Weppelmann, Gemäldegalerie, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
12. Ninfa fluida (a post-scriptum)
Georges Didi-Huberman, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris
13. Into the abyss. On Salvador Dalì’s Dream of Venus
 Riccardo Venturi, Académie de France, Villa Medici, Rome
14. Giving an edge to the beautiful line: Botticelli referenced in the works of contemporary artists to address issues of gender and global politics
Gabriel Montua, Neue Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Format: Open Access HTML

103 colour illustrations Illustrations

103 colour illustrations

ISBN: 9781787354647

Publication: January 08, 2019

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