This monumental work, “The Drawings of the Florentine Painters” by Bernard Berenson, was named in 2013 by Thames & Hudson one of the "books that shaped art history".
Berenson (1865-1959) was an influential American art historian of the late 19th and 20th centuries. He specialized in Italian Renaissance Art and was a major force in building the US market for paintings by the Old Masters. American collectors of the time regarded Berenson as the ultimate Renaissance art authority. If he judged a painting authentic, its value was greatly increased. Though Berenson published other works, Drawings of Florentine Painters is considered his masterpiece.
- Hardcover: 3 volumes, in slipcase, 1009 b/w illustrations
- Binding: Dark blue cloth stamped in gilt. In slipcase. No dust jackets issued
- Author: Bernard Berenson
- Publisher: University of Chicago Press; Collector’s Edition (October 19, 1970)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0226043576
- ISBN-13: 978-0226043579
- Dimensions: 11.3 x 9 x 4 inches (set)
- Weight: 10.5 pounds
Condition: Books are in very fine, barely used condition, with minor marks on the exposed spines. Slipcase is present, but worn with some toning and edge chips. The bindings are tight, corners straight, and contents are very clean without any marks, writing, or wear. The books are bound in a rich dark blue cloth with a gilt title and design on the cover and spine.
Some of the Florentine artists covered in the three volumes are: da Vinci, Michelangelo, Albertinelli, Angelico, Gozzoli, Uccello, Verrocchio, Filippo, Botticelli, Lippi, Garbo, Carli, di Cosimo, Bartolommeo, Falconi, Cungi, del Sarto, Pontormo, Rosso, Manfredi, Rosselli, and Artetino.
Originally published in 1938, and significantly revised and enlarged by the author, this second impression, published in 1970 (known as the Collector’s Edition) by University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, consists of three volumes.
Volume I, Text (xiv, 367 pp; 12 chapters, 15 appendices), consists of Berenson's description and analysis -- using his own critical method and assumptions -- of the work of the artists. His unique and controversial method grouped paintings according to how he considered the artist handled critical aspects, such as surface texture (labeled "tactile imagination" by Berenson) or the weight and volume of any painted figures.
Volume 2, Catalogue (xii, 388 pp.), is a catalogue presentation of works by the Italian painters.
Volume 3, Illustrations (400+pp., 1009 plate figures and index), includes illustrated plates of the artists' work, first published by John Murray, and in a limited edition by E. P. Dutton, in 1903.