Transformations of Time and Temporality in Medieval and Renaissance Art

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Although studies of specific time concepts, expressed in Renaissance philosophy and literature, have not been lacking, few art-historians have endeavored to meet the challenge in the visual arts. This book presents a multifaceted picture of the dynamic concepts of time and temporality in medieval and Renaissance art, adopted in speculative, ecclesiastical, socio-political, propagandist, moralistic, and poetic contexts. It has been assumed that time was conceived in a different way by those living in the Renaissance as compared to their medieval predecessors. Changing perceptions of time, an increasingly secular approach, the sense of self-determination rooted in the practical use and control of time, and the perception of time as a threat to human existence and achievements are demonstrated through artistic media. Chapters dealing with time in classical and medieval philosophy and art are followed by studies that focus on innovative aspects of Renaissance iconography.

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Biographical Note

Simona Cohen, Professor of Art History at Tel-Aviv University, was Visiting Professor at Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, and taught at the International University in Venice. She has published extensively on Renaissance iconography, Venetian painting, animal symbolism, and representations of Time. Her book Animals as Disguised Symbols in Renaissance Art, was published by Brill (2008).

Table of contents

List of Illustrations ........ ix
Acknowledgments ........ xix
Color Plates
Introduction ........ 1

PART ONE: SOURCES AND PROTOTYPES OF THE RENAISSANCE ICONOGRAPHY OF TIME
1. Concepts of Time in Classical Philosophy ........ 5
2. Classical Personifications of Time ........ 13
3. Early Christian and Medieval Concepts of Time ........ 39
4. Time and Temporality in Medieval Art ........ 53
5. The Romanesque Zodiac: Its Symbolic Function on the Church Facade ........ 87

PART TWO: CHANGING CONCEPTS OF TIME IN THE RENAISSANCE
Introduction: Changing Concepts of Time in the Renaissance ........ 115
6. The Renaissance Personification of Time in Illustrations to Petrarch’s Trionfo del Tempo ........ 117
7. Time, Virtuousness and Wisdom in Giorgione’s Castelfranco Fresco ........ 173
8. Kairos/Occasio—Vicissitudes of Propitious Time from Antiquity to the Renaissance ........199
9. Veritas filia temporis: Time in Cinquecento Propaganda ........ 245

Epilogue ........ 305
Appendix I: Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts of Petrarch’s Trionfi Located in European and American Collections ........ 313
Appendix II: Illustrated Incunabula and Books Containing Petrarch’s Trionfi, 1478–1610 ........ 336
Select Bibliography ........ 339
Index ........ 353

Readership

Those interested in medieval and early modern intellectual history, classical and medieval sources of Renaissance speculation and iconography, and iconographic innovations in Renaissance art, particularly those related to time.

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