Les primitifs italiens
An art historian and an exhibition curator - in particular the one dedicated to Botticelli at the palais du Luxembourg in 2003 -, Daniel Arasse, who passed away that same year, was above all a talented populizer. Thirty years after his first publication, his small volume introducing the Italian primitives is once again presented. We read the names of great interpreters of the painting of the Renaissance, from Rome, from Florence the «progressive» city and Sienna the «reactionary» one. But they are not alone. As we leaf through the book minor centers such as Camerino, in the Marches, are mentioned as well. The role of the sponsors, the symbolic of attitudes and characters, the power of color, the importance of the frescoes: the profile of the painters of the XIVth and XVth centuries is done by small touches of the paintbrush. And if by chance the demonstration were not sufficiently convincing, the last chapter– « What is a primitive artist?» - is just in time to synthesize it.
• Les primitifs italiens by Daniel Arasse, éditions Hazan, 2008, 20 €, ISBN : 978-2-7541-02728
Review published in the newsletter #86 - from 17 April 2008 to 23 April 2008