Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures

Jan Gossart's Renaissance: The Complete Works

Edited by Maryan W. Ainsworth; Maryan W. Ainsworth, Stijn Alsteens, and Nadine M. Orenstein; With contributions by Lorne Campbell, Ethan Matt Kavaler, Peter Klein, and Stephanie Schrader

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Jan Gossart (ca. 1478–1532) was among the first Netherlandish artists to travel to Rome to make drawings after antique monuments and sculpture and then, upon his return, to introduce biblical and mythological subjects with erotic nude figures into the mainstream of Northern painting. Often credited with successfully assimilating Italian Renaissance style into the art of 16th-century northern Europe, Gossart is the pivotal old master who redirected the course of early Netherlandish art from the legacy of its founder, Jan van Eyck, toward a new style that would eventually lead to the great age of Peter Paul Rubens.

Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures offers a much-needed comprehensive reappraisal of the artist’s accomplishment—the first in 45 years. It is not only an exhibition catalogue but also a study of the artist’s complete oeuvre as a painter, draftsman, and printmaker. The majority of the paintings in this volume have for the first time undergone rigorous technical examination. As a result, many problems relating to attributions, dating, versions, and copies have been clarified, and a fuller understanding has been obtained of the artist’s working procedures. The text draws on these unprecedented technical investigations as well as on recent original scholarship concerning many issues not adequately examined in the past, such as Gossart’s early career as a proponent of Antwerp Mannerism and the patronage of Philip of Burgundy (including a closer look at the erotic nature of court art).

Maryan W. Ainsworth is curator in the Department of European Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art(10/05/10-01/17/11)

National Gallery, London(02/23/11-05/30/11)

"…indispensable..." —Jackie Wullschlager, The Financial Times

"In this much needed, comprehensive reappraisal of the artist's entire oeuvre, Ainsworth and other prestigious contributors incorporate the results of unprecedented technical investigations as well as recent findings from original scholarship. . . . This exceptional publication by expert contributors will be of interest primarily to graduate students, museum professionals, scholars, and art lovers."—Cheryl Ann Lajos, Library Journal

"A significant scholarly achievement in its own right, the exhibition’s catalogue contains many excellent essays as well as a meticulously researched catalogue raisonné."—Jonathan Lopez, Apollo

"This splendid catalogue introduces [Gossart] as draughtsman and print maker, discusses (bravely) his collaborations, and places him in the context of his time. Brilliant."—Brian Sewell, Evening Standard

“This magnificently produced and richly illustrated catalogue will serve as the indispensable and solid foundation for understanding anything about Jan Gossart.”—Larry Silver, Cassone

“This is a landmark book of the highest scholarship, which will stand as the authoritative source on the artist for years to come. It has set the bar very high indeed for future scholarship, which one can only hope this sterling contribution will motivate.” —CAA Reviews

". . . extensive and beautifully illustrated . . . Essential."—A.L. Palmer, Choice

Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2011 in the Fine Arts category

Winner of the 2012 Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award, as given by the College Art Association

ISBN: 9780300166576
Publication Date: November 9, 2010
Publishing Partner: Published in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art
496 pages, 9 1/2 x 12
337 color + 116 b/w illus.

Sales Restrictions: World excluding France and Benelux