Guide to Italian art in the 1300s
Beth Harris, Smarthistory
Steve Zucker, Smarthistory
Copyright Year: 2020
Conditions of Use
For a summary of late Gothic art through the art of the 14th century, in Italy, this book offers a comprehensive review. However, there is no glossary which would be particularly helpful, but the terms are well-defined within the text. read more
For a summary of late Gothic art through the art of the 14th century, in Italy, this book offers a comprehensive review. However, there is no glossary which would be particularly helpful, but the terms are well-defined within the text.
The content is accurate, well researched, and written by a wide range of scholars respected in the field of art history. I found no errors while reviewing this text. However, the text would be enhanced by the addition of a guide to the general characteristics of Gothic Art.
I don't feel that this text would become obsolete in terms of the content. However, as a text specific to Italian art in the 1300s, I find it unusual in that it only covers art up to 1348. One obvious omission was any mention of Cennino Cennini. Though he is not significant as an artist his treatise, Il Libro dell'Arte, (late 1390s) was extremely influential to painters not only of his own time but also well into the Renaissance.
The text is well written and user-friendly; however, it is lacking some introductory information that would be helpful. As noted before, it would benefit from a guide to the common characteristics of Gothic Art, a glossary, and a list of video titles.
The essays, though written by different scholars, flow well and are interesting to read, and the terminology is consistent.
Each essay or conversation would be able to stand alone for any module or assigned reading. It would be very easy for any instructor to pick and choose areas of interest.
As mentioned earlier, I was surprised by the lack of glossary, and an introduction to the different and predominant characteristics, styles, and themes. The book flows well but I found some topics to be redundant and repetitive. I also felt that the conversation format is not the best mode of delivery. The conversations by Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker are better suited to the videos that they do so well.
The interface is ok. The importance of a glossary and of a list of videos cannot be stressed enough.
I found no grammatical errors in my reading of the text. The writing is succinct, fluid and well written.
Although the text is not offensive as far as I can see, there are many places where the inclusion of a variety of races could be added, including the relevance of West African cultures and their influence on Late Gothic Europe.
For educators and students particularly interested in an introduction to the art of the 1300s, in Italy, this text certainly does the job.
Table of Contents
- Part I. A Beginner's Guide
- Part II. Florence
- Part III. Siena
- Part IV. Pisa, Pistoia, Rome
About the Book
This book contains all of Smarthistory’s content for Italian art in the 1300s.
About the Contributors
Ruth received her PhD in the History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University. She specializes in the art of Europe, 1400-1700, with a particular focus on sculpture produced in the German-speaking lands. A committed educator, she has lectured widely at museums and institutions on both sides of the Atlantic and online, most recently as a Digital Fellow at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Brandeis University.
Beth is co-founder and executive director of Smarthistory. Previously, she was dean of art and history at Khan Academy and director of digital learning at The Museum of Modern Art, where she started MoMA Courses Online and co-produced educational videos, websites and apps. Before joining MoMA, Beth was Associate Professor of art history and director of distance learning at the Fashion Institute of Technology where she taught both online and in the classroom. She has co-authored, with Dr. Steven Zucker, numerous articles on the future of education and the future of museums, topics she regularly addresses at conferences around the world. She received her Master’s degree from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and her doctorate in Art History from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
Steven is co-founder and executive director of Smarthistory. Previously, Steven was dean of art and history at Khan Academy. He was also chair of history of art and design at Pratt Institute where he strengthened enrollment and lead the renewal of curriculum across the Institute. Before that, he was dean of the School of Graduate Studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY and chair of their art history department. He has taughtat The School of Visual Arts, Hunter College, and at The Museum of Modern Art. Dr. Zucker is a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has co-authored, with Dr. Beth Harris, numerous articles on the future of education and the future of museums, topics he regularly addresses at conferences around the world. Dr. Zucker received his Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.