Art in Renaissance Venice

Nichols, T. (2011) Art in Renaissance Venice. In: Oxford Bibligraphies Online: Renaissance and Reformation. Oxford University Press. (doi:10.1093/OBO/9780195399301-0157)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


This bibliography concentrates primarily on Venetian art and artists of the 15th and 16th centuries. In this period the achievements of the city’s painters, sculptors, and architects reached unparalleled heights. Though the tradition came back to life in the 18th century, most would agree that the “golden age” of Venetian art occurred in the two Renaissance centuries. The particular visual power of Venetian art in this period was immediately recognized, though it was often seen by outsiders as too naturalistic, sensual, or color based, or as insufficiently concerned with elevating intellectual ideas or forms. Many of the items listed in this bibliography bear witness to a remarkable revival of critical, scholarly, and public interest in the tradition over the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Though this upsurge initially began under the impact of Romantic, and then modernist, values, it has since taken on a new kind of historical objectivity under the impact of the foundation and development of art history as an academic discipline. Since the mid-19th century, study of the art of Renaissance Venice has been founded on close and systematic scholarly study, and to this extent it has represented a concerted attempt to understand the tradition on its own terms or in relation to its original artistic, social, and religious meanings and functions. This broad move toward historical contextualism has offered many new insights into the original material practices, processes, and discourses by and through which Venetian artworks were made and understood in their time. It has delivered a new understanding of just how far such works mirror the unique social, cultural, and physical environment of Venice itself, and of how far they represent an integral expression of the city’s emergent sense of itself.

Item Type:Book Sections
Additional Information:Annotated on-line bibliography with 100 citations
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Nichols, Dr Tom
Authors: Nichols, T.
Subjects:N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
Journal Name:Oxford Bibliographies Online
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Published Online:01 January 2011

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record