In Your Face: Professional Improprieties and the Art of Being Conspicuous in Sixteenth-Century Italy
- Publish Date: 2009-11-24
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Douglas Biow
In Your Face concentrates on the Renaissance concern with self-fashioning by examining how a group of Renaissance artists and writers encoded their own improprieties in their works of art. In the elitist court society of sixteenth-century Italy, where moderation, limitation, and discretion were generally held to be essential virtues, these men consistently sought to stand out and to underplay their conspicuousness at once. The heroes (or anti-heroes) of this bookMichelangelo Buonarroti, Benvenuto Cellini, Pietro Aretino, and Anton Francesco Doniviolated norms of decorum by promoting themselves aggressively and by using writing or artworks to memorialize their assertiveness and intractable delight in parading themselves as transgressive and insubordinate on a grand scale. Focusing on these sorts of writers and visual artists, Biow constructs a version of the Italian Renaissance that is neither the elegant one of Castiglione's and Vasari's courtsso recently favored in scholarly accountsnor the dark, conspiratorial one of Niccol Machiavelli's and Francesco Guicciardini's princely states.