'The most important art historian of his generation' is how some scholars have described the late Michael Baxandall (1933-2007), Professor of the Classical Tradition at the Warburg Institute, University of London, and of the History of Art at the University of California, Berkeley. Baxandall's work had a transformative effect on the study of European Renaissance and eighteenth-century art, and contributed to a complex transition in the aims and methods of art history in general during the 1970s, '80s and '90s. While influential, he was also an especially subtle and independent thinker - occasionally a controversial one - and many of the implications of his work have yet to be fully understood and assimilated. This collection of 10 essays endeavors to assess the nature of Baxandall's achievement, and in particular to address the issue of the challenges it offers to the practice of art history today. This volume provides the most comprehensive assessment of Baxandall's work to date, while drawing upon the archive of Baxandall papers recently deposited at the Cambridge University Library and the Warburg Institute.
Peter Mack is Professor of English at the University of Warwick and a Fellow of the British Academy, UK. Robert Williams is Professor of the History of Art at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA.