LOS ANGELES—The Renaissance burst forth in all its glory around 1500 and spread throughout Europe. This period of great creativity and productivity in the arts and sciences is illuminated in Renaissance People: Lives That Shaped the Modern Age (J. Paul Getty Museum, $39.95, hardcover) through the lives of more than ninety of its illustrious intellectuals, artists, literary figures, scientists, and rulers. Included are such major figures as Lorenzo and Catherine de’ Medici, Leonardo da Vinci, Charles V, Martin Luther, Christopher Columbus, Nicolaus Copernicus, and St. Teresa of Ávila, as well as lesser-known characters such as Antonio Rinaldeschi, “gambler and blasphemer”; Louise Labé, “the jousting poetess”; Dick Tarlton, “the queen’s comedian”; Veronica Franco, “courtesan and wordsmith”; and Catena, “rustler, robber, and bandit chief.”
Each section in this volume marks a chronological stage in Europe’s rebirth, tying the period’s intellectual currents to its political and social concerns and setting the context for the individual biographies. The abundant illustrations include many masterpieces from the period.
As the Renaissance spread across Europe, those who embraced its broadly humanist values made of it what they wanted, or what they could. For in truth, the Renaissance was a state of mind, and the range with which people experience this seminal age was remarkably vast. These compelling narratives remind us that history is not abstract and impersonal, but is constituted of—and indeed shaped by—the lives of countless individual men and women.
About the Authors: Robert C. Davis is professor of Italian Renaissance and Early Modern Mediterranean history at Ohio State University and author of Holy War and Human Bondage: Tales of Christian-Muslim Slavery in the Early-Modern Mediterranean (Praeger, 2009) and Venice, the Tourist Maze: A Cultural Critique of the World’s Most Touristed City (University of California Press, 2004). Beth Lindsmith is a teacher in the Department of English at Ohio State University and a freelance journalist.
Lives that Shaped the Modern Age
Robert C. Davis and Beth Lindsmith
J. Paul Getty Museum
336 pages, 7 ½ x 9 ¾ inches, hardcover
180 color and 20 b/w illustrations
ISBN 978-1-60606-078-0, $39.95
Publication Date: October 11, 2011
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Available at bookstores or through Getty Publications (800-223-3431). Distributed to the trade in the U.S. and Canada by the University of Chicago Press and in the U.K. and Europe by Orca Book Services.