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Mantegna and Painting as Historical Narrative

In this extraordinary explication of one of the most enigmatic and influential works of the Renaissance, the Uffizi Circumcision of Christ, Jack M. Greenstein reassesses the nature and goals of high humanist narrative painting.

"Greenstein has raised the level of sophistication of the historical criticism of Renaissance painting by at least one whole notch; at the same time, he has written a book for everyone interested in problems of interpretation."—David Summers, University of Virginia

316 pages | 61 halftones, frontispiece | 6 x 9 | © 1992

Art: European Art

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Reading Renaissance Painting
1. The Significance of Historia in Antiquity and the Middle Ages
2. Alberti’s View of the Structure of Significance in Pictorial Narrative
3. Historia and Mantegna’s Sense of the Past
4. Representational Ambiguities in Mantegna’s Circumcision of Christ
Appendix: On Which Part of the Temple Is Shown
5. Reading and Representing the Biblical Text: Vagaries of the Literal Sense
6. Making Narrative Sense of Significance: Iconographies of the Circumcision before Mantegna
7. Representational Imperatives and the Subject of Mantegna’s Circumcision of Christ
8. Mantegna’s Circumcision of Christ as Historical Narrative
Notes
Index

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