Michael Cole on “Andrea Mantegna: Humanist Aesthetics, Faith, and the Force of Images” by Stephen J. Campbell

A contribution by:

Michael Cole
Columbia University

“This is a book of formidable learning, close observation and long reflection, by one of the great living authorities on late Quattrocento painting. It stands out from the rest of the Mantegna literature in the way it situates the artist within the intellectual world of Padua and Mantua, moving with ease between religious and secular contexts. For all of that, it is not only a book about the relationship between images and texts but also a cultural history, with real insight on the changing nature of the artist’s studio, on the fifteenth-century art market, on the history of artists’ signatures, on the evidentiary status of painting, and on Renaissance violence and humor, among other fundamental topics. No other recent study of the Mantegna offers such a rich account of its subject.”

Andrea Mantegna
Humanist Aesthetics, Faith, and the Force of Images
Stephen J. Campbell

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“This is a vital work for anyone interested in Mantegna, the art of the Italian courts, or the idea of the Renaissance artist. More widely, I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the historiography of art, and in understanding artistic agency.”

Caroline Campbell (Director of Collections & Research at the National Gallery) in: The Art Newspaper, May 2021