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251 Short Notices Andrews, Lew, Story and Space in Renaissance Art. The Rebirth of Continuous Narrative, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1998; paper; pp. 188; 22 b/w illustrations; R R P $33.95; ISBN 0521646634. Theoretical questions relating to the compatibility of the rational organis of space made possible by the adoption of single-point perspective, and the depiction ofa number ofepisodes sometimes with the same actors, but necessarily occurring at different times, have frequently been enmeshed with arguments relating to the paragone concerning the relative merits of painting, and poetry and music. Professor Lew Andrews takes as his starting point for his examination of the role of continuous narrative in Quattrocento painting what he calls 'the standard view' which was most authoritatively stated in 1766 by Gotthold Lessing in Laocoon, his study on the limits of painting and poetry: 'It is an intrusion of the painter into the domain of the poet, which good taste can never sanction, when the painter combines in one and the same picture two points necessarily separate in time' (p. 20). Yet this was not evidently the position held in the Quattrocento. Even Leonardo, w h o abhorred the practice c o m m o n at the time of a succession of scenes each with its own perspectival system being placed one above the other, was not opposed to the representation of several chronologically discrete scenes in the same, spatially unified, pictorialfield.Thefrequently-heldassumption that continuous narrative reached its most popular use in the Trecento does not stand up to any sort of analysis on the basis of the paintings themselves. Many of the monumental fresco cycles of the Renaissance (perhaps most thoroughly in the 252 Short Notices Sistine wall paintings of the early 1480s) demonstrate its widespread and inventive use, and even the corpus of much smaller panel paintings contains ample examples of this supposedly reactionary device. Indeed, the developments in perspective during the course of the fifteenth century drove rather than inhibited the exploitation of continuous narrative. The greater sophistication in representing pictorial space enabled and encouraged a more complex narrative structure, bringing 'a special clarity to narrative imagery' (p. 100). Much of this book is concerned with the theories of beauty and visual perception contained in the cryptic and often enigmatic notes of Ghiberti, the elegant restatements of classical theory by Alberti, and the restless jottings of Leonardo. Through this examination of contemporary theory, and the analysis of painters' specific solutions to the problem of representing the temporal on a two dimensional surface, we come much closer to understanding the relationship between time and space in Renaissance painting than w e do through the anachronistic eyes of the Enlightenment. Dugald McLellan Department ofItalian University of Sydney Marius, Richard, Thomas More: A Biography, (1984) Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1999; paper; pp. 562; R R P US$18.05; ISBN 067485252. Although it was released in hardcover in 1984, Marius' Thomas More: A Biography had to wait until 1999 to be printed in paperback. This new edition coincided with the popularity of another book on More, Peter Ackroyd's Thomas More: A Life. The works have a lot in common, both relying heavily on primary material, both attempt to recast More's character in a new mould, and both are aimed at a populist audience. However, while Ackroyd has many pointless digressions, disregards evidence, and offers conjecture over analysis, Marius draws on decades of study of More to produce a very readable interpretation of his academic conclusions. The book is now dated, indeed some reviewers considered his ideas a little out of touch with modern scholarship in 1984. However, it offers a good introduction to More, and in particular his writings. There are four chapters dedicated to his Utopia alone, and an entire chapter focusing on just one aspect ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 251-252
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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