Devotion by Design (Hardcover)
Italian Altarpieces before 1500
National Gallery London, 9781857095258, 128pp.
Publication Date: August 23, 2011
Museum visitors today usually see pre-16th-century Italian painted altarpieces exhibited alone, as single paintings. Yet this beautiful catalogue shows that these works were once part of decorative, integrated schemes, and the original experience for viewers of the paintings was significantly different from our own.
Focusing on Italian altarpieces from the second half of the 13th century to the very end of the 15th, the book investigates the original functions and locations of altarpieces as well as the circumstances of their dislocations, dismantlings, and reconstructions. Regional variations are also analyzed, and the author examines altarpieces' formal and typological development, taking into account the wealth of related scholarship undertaken in the past thirty years.