Concise, critical reviews of books, exhibitions, and projects in all areas and periods of art history and visual studies

Reviews in caa.reviews are published continuously by CAA and Taylor & Francis, with the most recently published reviews listed below. Browse reviews based on geographic region, period or cultural sphere, or specialty (from 1998 to the present) using Review Categories in the sidebar, or by entering terms in the search bar above.

Recently Published Reviews

Adrian W.B. Randolph
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001. 352 pp.; 20 color ills.; 75 b/w ills. Cloth $60.00 (0300092121)
Adrian Randolph’s Engaging Symbols: Gender, Politics, and Public Art in Fifteenth-Century Florence possesses a most provocative and, indeed, engaging jacket: an image of the rear view of Donatello’s bronze David. The photograph is cropped, tantalizingly, so that the beholder (the expression Randolph himself uses consistently throughout his book, in place of viewer) is prevented from feasting his or her eyes on what are perhaps the most sexually charged pair of male buttocks ever... Full Review
May 13, 2003
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Andrew Ladis and Shelley E. Zuraw, eds.
Exh. cat. Athens: Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, 2000. 254 pp.; many b/w ills. Cloth $35.00 (0915977400)
The catalyst for this volume was the exhibition Private Prayers: Medieval and Renaissance Objects for Personal Devotion, held from September 23 to November 19, 1995, at the Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia. Its editors, who also contributed to the volume, have brought together thirteen methodologically diverse essays that examine the relationship between images and lay and clerical devotion in Italy from the... Full Review
May 8, 2003
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Meyer Schapiro
George Braziller 253 pp.; 38 b/w ills. Paper (0807613576)
Meyer Schapiro
George Braziller 199 pp.; 85 b/w ills. Cloth $30.00 (0807614165)
Larry Silver
College Art Association
bq. O, what a world of profit and delight, Of power, of honour, of omnipotence Is promised to the studious artisan! bq. Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus (I: 1, 54–57) Almost a century has passed since Meyer Schapiro (1904–1996) was born; more than half a decade since his death. Yet even after a scholarly career that spanned most of the twentieth century, there is a sense of the unfinished about his legacy. For one thing, his publications are still emerging, including... Full Review
May 5, 2003
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Erik Inglis
College Art Association
By the end of his career, Meyer Schapiro’s work had earned him virtually unanimous acclaim; art historians as different in their fields and approaches as T. J. Clark and John Pope-Hennessy placed him at the summit of the discipline.[1] Now, six years after his death, his stature is unchanged. Thomas Crow has recently upheld Schapiro’s sixty-year old article on the sculptures of Souillac as a role model for theoretically engaged art historians whose concern with images leaves them frustrated... Full Review
May 5, 2003
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Joli Jensen
Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2002. 231 pp. Paper $24.95 (0742517411)
This cogently written book presents a forceful argument against an arts advocacy that is based on instrumentalist perspectives, and makes the case for supporting art on the basis of its fundamental role as a vehicle for the expression of creativity. Joli Jensen, professor of communication at the University of Tulsa, is ultimately interested in erasing the strict dichotomy between “high art” and “popular” or “mass culture” in favor of a more complex aesthetic and social point of view that... Full Review
April 28, 2003
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Richard Read
University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003. 260 pp.; 31 b/w ills. Cloth $55.00 (0271022965)
This biography of Adrian Stokes (1902–1972) introduces to American art historians a neglected but significant writer on Renaissance Italian painting, sculpture, and architecture. While the book does not neglect Stokes’s wide-ranging social, cultural, and sexual involvements (much of the latter in detail), it primarily concentrates on his development as an art historian, ending with his first two important studies, The Quatro Cento: A Different Conception of the Italian Renaissance... Full Review
April 24, 2003
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Diane Cole Ahl, ed.
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002. 312 pp.; 80 b/w ills. Cloth $80.00 (0521660459)
Since the sixteenth century, historians have credited Masaccio—along with Filippo Brunelleschi and Donatello—with changing the course of Western art. Indeed, Masaccio’s legacy is endlessly fascinating yet highly problematic. A medieval artist at the threshold of the Renaissance, he produced works both extraordinarily innovative and exceptionally traditional. The Cambridge Companion to Masaccio, with ten essays by eminent scholars and conservators, confronts this... Full Review
April 24, 2003
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Angela Delaforce
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002. 532 pp.; 24 color ills.; 153 b/w ills. Cloth $180.00 (0521571308)
Many readers of these reviews have passing knowledge of the salient facts of Portuguese cultural history during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. A list of such facts would include the rule of João V (1706–50), noteworthy for its duration and riches (thanks particularly to Brazilian gold), as well as the sustained (and ultimately successful) attempts by João to convince the Papacy to establish a patriarchate in Lisbon. Even better known are the king’s construction of the... Full Review
April 21, 2003
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Barbara Wisch and Diane Cole Ahl, eds.
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999. 314 pp.; 65 b/w ills. Cloth $90.00 (0521662885)
This is the third major volume of collected essays on Italian confraternities to emerge in the space of two years (the others are John Patrick Donnelly S. J. and Michael W. Maher, S. J., eds., Confraternities and Catholic Reform in Italy, France, and Spain, Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies 44 [Kirksville, MO: Truman State University Press, 1999]; and Nicholas Terpstra, ed., The Politics of Ritual Kinship: Confraternities and Social Order in Early Modern... Full Review
April 15, 2003
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Keith Christiansen and Judith W. Mann
Exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002. 496 pp.; 121 color ills.; 249 b/w ills. $60.00 (0300090773)
Exhibition schedule: Museo del Palazzo di Venezia, Rome, October 15, 2001–January 6, 2002; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, February 14–May 12, 2002; Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO, June 15–September 15, 2002
This book offers what one would expect of a catalogue produced by the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the exhibition Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi: Father and Daughter Painters in Baroque Italy—a thorough study of the subject at hand, essays written by well-seasoned scholars, a complete bibliography, and good-quality color reproductions. As an added bonus, an appendix with pertinent documentation and a chronological chart for Orazio and Artemisia... Full Review
April 15, 2003
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