A New Antiquity: Art and Humanity as Universal, 1400-1600 (Hardcover)

A New Antiquity: Art and Humanity as Universal, 1400-1600 By Alessandra Russo Cover Image
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We tend to think of sixteenth-century European artistic theory as separate from the artworks displayed in the non-European sections of museums. Alessandra Russo argues otherwise. Instead of considering the European experience of "New World" artifacts and materials through the lenses of "curiosity" and "exoticism," Russo asks a different question: What impact have these works had on the way we currently think about--and theorize--the arts?

Centering her study on a vast corpus of early modern textual and visual sources, Russo contends that the subtlety and inventiveness of the myriad of American, Asian, and African creations that were pillaged, exchanged, and often eventually destroyed in the context of Iberian colonization--including sculpture, painting, metalwork, mosaic, carving, architecture, and masonry--actually challenged and revolutionized sixteenth-century European definitions of what art is and what it means to be human. In this way, artifacts coming from outside Europe between 1400 and 1600 played a definitive role in what are considered distinctively European transformations: the redefinition of the frontier between the "mechanical" and the "liberal" arts and a new conception of the figure of the artist.

Original and convincing, A New Antiquity is a pathbreaking study that disrupts existing conceptions of Renaissance art and early modern humanity. It will be required reading for art historians specializing in the Renaissance, scholars of Iberian and Latin American cultures and global studies, and anyone interested in anthropology and aesthetics.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780271095691
ISBN-10: 0271095695
Publisher: Penn State University Press
Publication Date: February 27th, 2024
Pages: 288
Language: English