The Spectacle of Clouds, 1439-1650: Italian Art and Theatre

The Spectacle of Clouds, 1439-1650: Italian Art and Theatre

The studies in which history of art and theatre are considered together are few, and none to date investigate the evolution of the representation of clouds from the early Renaissance to the Baroque period. This book reconsiders the origin of Italian Renaissance and Baroque cloud compositions while including the theatrical tradition as one of their most important sources. By examining visual sources such as paintings, frescos and stage designs, together with letters, guild-ledgers, descriptions of performances and relevant treatises, a new methodology to approach the development of this early modern visuality is offered. The result is an historical reconstruction where multiple factors are seen as facets of a single process which led to the development of Italy's visual culture. The book also offers new insights into Leonardo da Vinci's theatrical works, Raphael's Disputa, Vasari's Lives, and Pietro da Cortona's fresco paintings. The Spectacle of Clouds, 1439-1650 examines the different ways Heaven has been conceived, imagined and represented from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century, crossing over into the fields of history, religion and philosophy.
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