Art, Theory and Culture in Sixteenth-Century Italy was originally published in 1998, and offers a critical overview of the literature on the visual arts produced during the High and Late Renaissance. Analysing and interpreting texts by such writers as Vasari, Lomazzo, Zuccaro, and Tasso, Robert Williams demonstrates how these works offer insight into the experience of contemporary viewers, thus permitting a clearer view of the relationship between abstract thought and lived experience. Also examined is the argument that art is a privileged form of knowledge that subordinates all others. By focusing on a hitherto neglected, but important, body of literature, Williams shows how an understanding of it can transform our knowledge and appreciation of the Renaissance.
Review of the hardback: ' ... useful and adventurous ...' Art History Williams has written a thoughtful book meticulous in its reading of Vasari, Lomazzo, Zuccaro, Tasso, and Bocchi and in its original presentation of their writing as a rich and interrelated theoretical discourse. Deborah Cibelli, Sixteenth Century Journal This is a well-written, well-conceived, provocative study and will fascinate those interested in Renaissance thought... Renaissance and Reformation