Michael Baxandall has written a book which every one should read. The structure from a sheer writer's viewpoint is superb. He has described the culture of the fifteenth century Italy, interweaving sociology, religion, politics, geography, art and education, in a succinct and eminently readable style. This is not an exhaustive work of fifteenth century art, but is does provide the reader with an enticing entrance into art history and further study. For example his discussion about the artist-patron relationship is pure gold and leads one into a curiosity about current relationships in the art market. If you read only for the thrill of laying down a book and rejoicing in feeling elevated for having read something, this book is it.
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