The Ugly Renaissance

Sex, Greed, Violence and Depravity in an Age of Beauty
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (15.85 hours)
Product Number: Z100061498
Released: Oct 07, 2014
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9780804191159
Narrator/s: Arthur Morey
Publisher: Books on Tape
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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. Includes a bonus PDF of art and images referenced in the audiobook

Author(s): Alexander Lee
Original Publish Date: Oct 07, 2014

All formats/editions

Author(s): Alexander Lee
Product Number EB00157019
Released: Oct 07, 2014
Business Term: 2 Year
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: #9780385536608

Professional reviews

"This social history of Renaissance Italy focuses on Florence and the gritty world from which so much fine art arose. It contains much of interest, though it can sometimes be sensationalistic or unconvincing. Arthur Morey conveys an intelligent affability throughout, focusing the listenerÕs attention on the text rather than his performance. His pronunciation of the frequent Italian is accurate, if not graceful. His skill in pacing and in matching voice to sense is impressive. At times, his pauses or emphases help clarify difficult sentences. Overall, his nuanced, clear reading is actually somewhat superior to the book being read, and makes the experience of it more pleasant than it might otherwise have been. W.M. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine"

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