Still Life Before Still Life


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David Ekserdjian

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A beautiful book that argues artists were fascinated by still life painting considerably earlier than previously thought 

This eloquent and generously illustrated book asserts that artists were fascinated by and extremely skilled at still life significantly earlier than previously thought. Instead of the genre beginning in the early 17th century, noted scholar David Ekserdjian explores its origins in classical antiquity and the gradual re-emergence of still life in Renaissance painting. The author presents a visual anthology of finely executed flowers, fruit, food, household objects, and furnishings seen in the background of paintings. Paintings are reproduced in full and paired with detailed close-ups of still-life elements within the work.

Ekserdjian further examines both the artistic and symbolic significance of a chosen detail, as well as information about each artist’s career. Featured works include radiant paintings from Renaissance greats such as Da Vinci, Dürer, Holbein, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Van Eyck, as well as the work of less-celebrated masters Barthélemy d’Eyck and Ortolano.

David Ekserdjian is professor of history of art and film, University of Leicester.

“With its stunning illustrations, the book is visually thought provoking and useful for those interested in the origins of still-life painting.”—C.A. Hanson, Choice

"Reading the essay and savoring the images in this substantial, handsomely produced volume coaxes re?ection. . . . Inviting 'careful looking at pictures, both in quest of comparable details and more generally' (32), David Ekserdjian’s book sets a generous table."—Alfred Acres, Renaissance Quarterly
ISBN: 9780300190175
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
256 pages, 8 3/4 x 10 5/8
212 color illus.
The Italian Renaissance Altarpiece

Between Icon and Narrative

David Ekserdjian

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Tom Henry and David Ekserdjian; With contributions by Thoma

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