Dosso Dossi: Court Painter in Renaissance Ferrara
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Along with his predecessor Giorgione, Dosso was one of the first painters to improvise on the canvas. Rather than following careful preparatory drawings, he composed and recomposed as he painted - a remarkably free process that is clearly revealed in new x-ray and infrared photographs. Dosso's virtuosic painting performance was thus itself a kind of magical invention. The play of his imagination is evident not only in the many pictures representing mythological or literary subjects but also in his religious paintings, which are lyrical and original, filled with spectacular visual effects and touches of humor.
When Ferrara's fortunes changed, at the end of the sixteenth century, most of Dosso's paintings were taken to Rome and ultimately dispersed. For this exhibition, almost all the surviving paintings have been brought together; in the catalogue entries each one receives a fresh and comprehensive scholarly discussion. The catalogue also contains essays that describe Dosso's artistic career and the highly charged world of the court at Ferrara and that probe the visual poetry and subtle wit of his work. The illuminating results of an extensive campaign of technical examination, undertaken in connection with the exhibition, are discussed and illustrated in additional essays and in observations that accompany the catalogue entries throughout. The book includes a full review of the scholarly literature, color reproductions of the paintings, many comparative illustrations, a chronology, and a complete bibliography. [This book was originally published in 1998 and has gone out of print. This edition is a print-on-demand version of the original book.]