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Bidding for favours

Nicholas Penny

19 December 1991
The Altarpiece in Renaissance Italy 
by Jacob Burckhardt, edited and translated by Peter Humfrey.
Phaidon, 249 pp., £75, October 1988, 0 7148 2477 1
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The Civilisation of the Renaissance in Italy 
by Jacob Burckhardt, translated by S.G. Middlemore.
Penguin, 389 pp., £7.99, December 1991, 9780140445343
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The Altarpiece in the Renaissance 
edited by Peter Humfrey and Martin Kemp.
Cambridge, 273 pp., £35, February 1991, 0 521 36061 7
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Painting in Renaissance Siena 
by Keith Christiansen, Laurence Kanter and Carl Stehlke.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 386 pp., $45, July 1989, 0 8109 1473 5
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... of the Renaissance in Italy (first published in 1860, now republished by Penguin in the admirable 1878 translation by S.G. Middlemore, without most of the original notes but with an introduction by Peter Burke). In this view the individualism of ‘Renaissance Man’ distinguished him from ‘Medieval Man’, who ‘was conscious of himself only as a member of a race, people, party, family or ...

Fit for a Saint

Nicholas Penny

6 April 1995
The Altarpiece in Renaissance Venice 
by Peter Humfrey.
Yale, 382 pp., £19.95, May 1995, 0 300 05358 4
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Italian Altarpieces 1250-1550: Function and Design 
edited by Eve Borsook and Fiorella Superbi Gioffredi.
Oxford, 296 pp., £45, September 1994, 0 19 817223 0
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... stone frame echo those which mark the entrance to the chapel itself. The lighting on the saints in the painting accords with the natural light which comes into the church from the entrance wall. Humfrey’s concern with the settings of altarpieces and with their cost and manner of construction means that he has much to say about frames. In the Appendix entry for Titian’s Assunta he emphasises ...

At the Royal Scottish Academy

Nicholas Penny: The Age of Titian

21 October 2004
... window overlooking the canal would be lit from the right, as is the case with the Bordone and the Schiavone.) In no earlier exhibition has the importance of this class of painting been made apparent. PeterHumfrey, one of the exhibition’s curators, has also discovered a portrait by Lorenzo Lotto (a rather sad picture from the artist’s tired last years in Venice, and not in very happy condition, but ...

The Stubbornness of Lorenzo Lotto

Colm Tóibín: Lorenzo Lotto

8 April 2010
... Bergamo about the progress of work for the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. And the will he drew up in Venice in 1546 contained autobiographical material. These documents suggest a personality which PeterHumfrey in his 1997 study of Lotto described as ‘introspective, hypersensitive, often prickly and quick to take offence; but also generous in his affections, tender in his humanity and possessing a ...

Field of Bones

Charles Nicholl: The last journey of Thomas Coryate, the English fakir and legstretcher

2 September 1999
... or writers or orators or clowns, but a little of each, and who achieved a brief popularity as ‘characters’ playing a kind of burlesque version of themselves. These are men like the braggadocio Peter Shakerly; the railer Charles Chester, who was the model for Carlo Buffone in Jonson’s Every Man Out of His Humour; Humfrey King, the poetic tobacconist; the barber-surgeons Tom Tooley and Richard ...

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