Piero di Cosimo

Visions Beautiful and Strange

Dennis Geronimus

View Inside Price: $85.00


January 31, 2007
366 pages, 9 3/4 x 11 1/4
120 b/w + 60 color illus.
ISBN: 9780300109115
Cloth

Inverting rules with obvious relish, Florentine artist Piero di Cosimo (1462–1522) is known today—as he was in his own time—for his highly personal visual language, one capable of generating images of the most mesmerizing oddity. In this book, Dennis Geronimus overcomes the scarcity of information about the artist’s life and works—only one of the nearly sixty known works by Piero is actually signed and dated—and pieces together from extensive archival research the most complete and accurate account of Piero’s life and career ever written.
Unfettered imagination was the sign under which Piero exercised his pictorial invention, and yet the complicated artist was also a product of his culture. The book fills gaps in the artist’s biography and provides intensive analysis of Piero’s protean imagery, discusses his various patrons and commissions, and lists his extant, lost, and uncertainly attributed works.

Dennis Geronimus is assistant professor of Italian Renaissance art, Department of Art History, New York University.

"Geronimus has done a tremendous amount of research to unearth the truth about this man of mystery. . . . Through an exploration of Cosimo's mythological works, religious works, and a beautiful portrait of Simonetta Vespucci, the cousin of Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci, we finally understand Cosimo's iconographic elements and their close relation to a dramatic time for the city of Florence. . . . This may become a seminal English-language book."—Library Journal

"Geronimus is able to shed new light on Piero's life."
 
"Well-written and beautifully illustrated." - Michael W. Kwakkelstein, Renaissance Quaterly

"Consistently insightful. . . . There are excellent illustrations and exemplary scholarly appendixes with extensive documentation, notes, and bibliography. It surpasses previous studies in English to become the standard reference on the artist. . . . Highly recommended. Upper division undergraduates through faculty."—Choice

 "Dr. Geronimus's book is a very welcome and scholarly addition to the literature."—Thomas Tuohy, Art Newspaper

"Coming to terms with a long history of distortions and appropriations of Piero di Cosimo's work . . . Dennis Geronimus's [book] aims to push the apparent oddity of the painter's artistic production back into a Renaissance frame of appreciation, without ever questioning the truly disciplined fantasia that governs the paintings themselves. . . . [The book includes] the high quality illustrations that Yale University Press deserves praise for, and is written in elegant prose that never loses its clarity. . . . The most complete book on the artist to date."—Joost Keizer,  Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte

"This book will surely transform Piero studies and will serve as a catalyst for the reconsideration of many artists and works of art produced in Florence around 1500. Geronimus's insights into Florentine intellectual culture and the ongoing rediscovery, reinterpretation, and reuse of classical artifacts, forms, and themes that inform Piero's work . . . will be both a challenge and an example for other scholars in the field. Yale's characteristic high production standards, including many excellent color plates, will ensure the utility of this volume for many years to come."—Jean Cadogan, Sixteenth Century Journal

"Geronimus's sensitive and carefully paced narrative, accompanied by the most sumptuous illustrations, certainly goes a long way towards placing Piero firmly at the forefront of artistic developments, in the latter part of his career in the early decades of the sixteenth century in Florence."—Gabriele Neher, The Art Book

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