When and where did the Renaissance begin, and what were the most notable features of thought, art and culture in the period of European History from 1400 to 1600? In responding to these questions this compelling book is unique in adopting a European view-point. It argues that while Italian and particularly Florentine achievements provided a great stimulus to cultural renewal in the early 1400's, the Renaissance may more profitably be considered as a European phenomenon, drawing upon energies that by 1400 had been gathering throughout Europe at large for at least two hundred years. Kirkpatrick's fascinating book provides a comprehensive (and sometimes controversial) survey of the thought, literature and art of the period (including the often neglected music). It insists that the Renaissance is best understood by a close attention to the many specific examples and artefacts that are analysed in this lavishly illustrated volume.
Robin Kirkpatrick is a fellow of Robinson College and Head of the Department of Italian, University of Cambridge.