The fifth in the new Naxos Audiobooks series "In a Nutshell", The Renaissance is a short and accessible introduction to the era that gave us Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Palestrina.
The Renaissance swept across Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries, heralding intellectual revolutions in science, art, philosophy, and politics, and marking a decisive shift towards modern thinking. The authoritative Peter Whitfield brings together all the different threads of this transformative period in a lucid and fascinating introduction.
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The information comes so fast that this audiobook may require a second listen. The author looks at the Italian Renaissance (1400-1550), mainly via the rebirth that occurred in painting. He discusses the refinements the artists of the period made in perspective, color, and realism, showing the explosion of talent not realized since. He considers the growth of sculpture and music at the same time and gives appropriate weight to the spread of knowledge by the printing press, invented and popularized around the 1450s. The author/narrator laudably pronounces the Italian and French the names of the dozens of artists mentioned. Whitfield's British English is understandable to American listeners, but the examples he cites of artistic techniques remain obtuse without exemplary images.
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