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Renaissance

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  1. 15.8 hrs • 10/7/2014 • Unabridged

    A fascinating and counterintuitive portrait of the sordid, hidden world behind the dazzling artwork of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, and more Renowned as a period of cultural rebirth and artistic innovation, the Renaissance is cloaked in a unique aura of beauty and brilliance. Its very name conjures up awe-inspiring images of an age of lofty ideals in which life imitated the fantastic artworks for which it has become famous. But behind the vast explosion of new art and culture lurked a seamy, vicious world of power politics, perversity, and corruption that has more in common with the present day than anyone dares to admit. In this lively and meticulously researched portrait, Renaissance scholar Alexander Lee illuminates the dark and titillating contradictions that were hidden beneath the surface of the period’s best-known artworks. Rife with tales of scheming bankers, greedy politicians, sex-crazed priests, bloody rivalries, vicious intolerance, rampant disease, and lives of extravagance and excess, this gripping exploration of the underbelly of Renaissance Italy shows that, far from being the product of high-minded ideals, the sublime monuments of the Renaissance were created by flawed and tormented artists who lived in an ever-expanding world of inequality, dark sexuality, bigotry, and hatred. The Ugly Renaissance is a delightfully debauched journey through the surprising contradictions of Italy’s past and shows that were it not for the profusion of depravity and degradation, history’s greatest masterpieces might never have come into being.

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    The Ugly Renaissance

    15.8 hrs • 10/7/14 • Unabridged
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  2. 8.1 hrs • 10/7/2014 • Unabridged

    Bestselling author Leonard Shlain explores the life, art, and mind of Leonardo Da Vinci, seeking to explain his singularity by looking at his achievements in art, science, psychology, and military strategy, and then employing state-of-the-art left-right brain scientific research to explain his universal genius. Shlain shows that no other person in human history has excelled in so many different areas as Da Vinci and he peels back the layers to explore the how and the why. Shlain asserts that Leonardo’s genius came from a unique creative ability that allowed him to understand and excel in a wide range of fields. From here Shlain jumps off and discusses the history of and current research on human creativity that involves different modes of thinking and neuroscience. The author also boldly speculates on whether or not the qualities of Leonardo’s brain and his creativity presage the future evolution of the human species. Leonardo’s Brain uses Da Vinci as a starting point for an exploration of human creativity. With his lucid style, and his remarkable ability to discern connections in a wide range of fields, Shlain brings the reader into the world of history’s greatest mind.

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    Leonardo’s Brain

    8.1 hrs • 10/7/14 • Unabridged
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  3. 12.8 hrs • 10/29/2013 • Unabridged

    From the inimitable and bestselling author Thomas Cahill comes another popular history, focusing on the Renaissance and Reformation and how this innovative period changed the Western world. In volume six of his acclaimed Hinges of History series, Thomas Cahill guides us through the thrilling period of Renaissance and Reformation (late fourteenth to early seventeenth centuries), so full of innovation and cultural change that the Western world would not experience its like again until the twentieth century. Beginning with the continent-wide disaster of the Black Plague, Cahill traces the many innovations in European thought and experience that served both the new humanism of the Renaissance and the seemingly abrupt religious alterations of the increasingly radical Reformation. This is an age of the most sublime artistic and scientific adventure but also of newly powerful princes and armies and of newly found courage, as many thousands refuse to bow their heads to the religious pieties of the past. It is an era of newly discovered continents and previously unknown peoples. More than anything, it is a time of individuality in which a whole culture must achieve a new balance, if the West is to continue.

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  4. 10.4 hrs • 12/14/2010 • Unabridged

    Jan van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece is on any art historian’s list of the ten most important paintings ever made. Often referred to by the subject of its central panel, the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, it represents the fulcrum between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It is also the most frequently stolen artwork of all time. Since its completion in 1432, this twelve-panel oil painting has been looted in three different wars, burned, dismembered, forged, smuggled, illegally sold, censored, hidden, attacked by iconoclasts, hunted by the Nazis and Napoleon, used as a diplomatic tool, ransomed, rescued by Austrian double-agents, and stolen a total of thirteen times. In this fast-paced, real-life thriller, art historian Noah Charney unravels the stories of each of these thefts. In the process, he illuminates the whole fascinating history of art crime and the psychological, ideological, religious, political, and social motivations that have led many men to covet this one masterpiece above all others.

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    Stealing the Mystic Lamb

    10.4 hrs • 12/14/10 • Unabridged
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  5. 9.5 hrs • 7/1/2003 • Unabridged

    In this fascinating true story of artistic genius and personal triumph, the author brings to life Filippo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti, two talented, passionate artists, and the competitive drive that united and divided them. As this lush, imaginative history illuminates the drama surrounding the birth of a new artistic vision, it also explores the lives of other fascinating individuals, from Donatello and Masaccio to Cosimo de’ Medici and Leon Battista Alberti. The Feud That Sparked the Renaissance offers a glorious tour of fifteenth-century Florence, a bustling city on the verge of greatness, during a time of flourishing creativity.

    Available Formats: CD, MP3 CD

    The Feud That Sparked the Renaissance

    9.5 hrs • 7/1/03 • Unabridged
    CD
    Also: MP3 CD
  6. 18.3 hrs • 7/1/2000 • Unabridged

    Georgio Vasari’s original vision of the arts was to see the artist as divinely inspired. This historical work describes the lives of forty-five artists, including Giotto, Brunelleschi, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian, with striking immediacy conveyed through character sketches, anecdotes, and detailed recording of conversations. Despite some factual inaccuracies, Michelangelo praised Vasari for endowing artists with immortality. Vasari’s shrewd judgments and his precise pinpointing of the emotions aroused by individual works of art bear out his prediction that he would have a worldwide influence on the history of art. Volume One covers the following artists: Cimabue, Giotto, Uccello, Ghiberti, Masaccio, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Piero della Francesca, Fra Angelico, Alberti, Fra Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Verrocchio, Mantegna, Leonardo da Vinci, Giorgione, Correggio, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian, as well as additional notes on the artists.

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    Lives of the Artists, Vol. 1 by Giorgio Vasari

    Lives of the Artists, Vol. 1

    Translated by George Bull
    18.3 hrs • 7/1/00 • Unabridged
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    Also: CD, MP3 CD, Digital Rental
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