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The Magnificence of the Italian Renaissance


Paul Barolsky


This essay surveys various works of Italian Renaissance art that can be associated with magnificence in all sorts of different ways, given their diversity. It presents works by an array of artists, ranging from Fra Angelico, Benozzo Gozzoli, Piero della Francesca, Botticelli, and Verrocchio to Leonardo, Michelangelo, Titian, Cellini, and Giulio Romano. Magnificence is abundantly apparent in sculpture, painting, and architecture, in works sacred and profane, in portraiture and political art, in public works and private commissions. One might well say that magnificence, in its various forms, is the condition to which so much Renaissance art aspired. I offer this brief overview as homage to the scholarly magnificence of Professor Diane Cole Ahl, who has done so very much to magnify our understanding of the magnificence of Italian Renaissance art.