From Caravaggio to Artemisia


Essays on Painting in Seventeenth-century Italy & France

24 x 17 cm
560 pp. 285 illus.
Publication: 2002
ISBN 1 899828 49 4
ISBN-13 978 1 899828 49 4

Book Description

A prominent scholar of Baroque painting, Richard Spear has explored a wide range of cultural, iconographic, connoisseurial, and conservation problems in his publications, many of which arose from two of his earliest research projects: organization of an international loan-exhibition, Caravaggio and His Followers, and his dissertation on the Bolognese painter, Domenichino, which resulted in a two-volume monograph with catalogue raisonné. His directorship of the Oberlin College museum strengthened his view that the work of art is the essential fact of inquiry, regardless of the approaches he has taken to interpreting the art of Domenichino, Guido Reni, Guercino, Artemisia Gentileschi, Georges de La Tour, and Poussin, among other 17th-century artists.

As Editor-in-Chief of the Art Bulletin (1985-88) he commissioned essays on “the state of research” in Western art history, whose varied methodologies and interdisciplinarity underpin his recent writings, notably The “Divine” Guido: Religion, Sex, Money and Art in the World of Guido Reni.

This volume brings together more than thirty of Richard Spear’s most important articles and selected chapters from his main books, organized in three sections, Caravaggio and Caravaggism, Italy and France, and Bolognese Painters. The author provides important addenda and retrospective critical reflections on each of the essays.


  • Caravaggio and Caravaggism: Caravaggio and His Followers
  • Caravaggisti at the Palazzo Pitti
  • ‘The International Caravaggesque Movement’ by Benedict Nicolson
  • Stocktaking in Caravaggio Studies
  • The Critical Fortune of a Realist Painter
  • Leonardo, Raphael, and Caravaggio
  • Artemisia Gentileschi: Ten Years of Fact and Fiction
  • Caravaggio’s ‘Death of the Virgin’ by Pamela Askew
  • Saints and Sinners
  • Italy and France: Baciccio’s Pendant Paintings of ‘Venus and Adonis’
  • Baciccio’s ‘Venus and Adonis’: A Postscript
  • Studies in Conservation and Connoisseurship: Problematic Paintings by Manfredi, Saraceni and Guercino
  • Johann Liss Reconsidered
  • Princeton: Italian Baroque Paintings
  • Notes on Naples in the Seicento
  • The Literary Sources of Poussin’s ‘Realm of Flora’
  • On the Relationship between Subject and Decorative Modes in Baroque Fresco Cycles
  • A New Book on La Tour
  • ‘The French Painters of the Seventeenth Century’ by Christopher Wright
  • Reni contre Dominiquin dans la littérature d’art française du XVIIe siècle
  • Bolognese Painters: Domenichino and the Farnese ‘Loggia del Giardino’
  • Preparatory Drawings by Domenichino
  • The Cappella della Strada Cupa: a Forgotten Domenichino Chapel
  • Bolognese Paintings in Florence
  • A Forgotten Landscape Painter: Giovanni Battista Viola
  • Domenichino’s Artistic Personality
  • Plagiary or Reinterpretation
  • Domenichino Addenda
  • Re-viewing the ‘Divine Guido’
  • Guercino’s ‘Prix-fixe’: Observations on Studio Practices and Art Marketing in Emilia
  • “Martyr”, “Mary Magdalene” and “Di sua mano” from ‘The “Divine” Guido: Religion, Sex, Money and Art in the World of Guido Reni’
  • Guido’s Grace
  • Additional Notes
  • Index

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