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The Best Italian Art and Renaissance Books

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“What are the best Italian Art & Renaissance Books?” We looked at 254 different titles, aggregating and ranking the entries in an attempt to answer that very question!

Part 5 of our Italy week is Renaissance & Art!

The lists we made are:

Below you can find the top 25 books, all appearing on 2 or more lists, with images, summaries, and links. The remaining books, as well as the articles we used are at the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Italian Art & Renaissance Books



25 .) Brunelleschi’s Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King

Brunelleschi's Dome- How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King

Lists It Appears On:

  • The National Gallery
  • Goodreads

“On August 19, 1418, a competition concerning Florence’s magnificent new cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore–already under construction for more than a century–was announced: “”Whoever desires to make any model or design for the vaulting of the main Dome….shall do so before the end of the month of September.”” The proposed dome was regarded far and wide as all but impossible to build: not only would it be enormous, but its original and sacrosanct design shunned the flying buttresses that supported cathedrals all over Europe. The dome would literally need to be erected over thin air.

Of the many plans submitted, one stood out–a daring and unorthodox solution to vaulting what is still the largest dome (143 feet in diameter) in the world. It was offered not by a master mason or carpenter, but by a goldsmith and clockmaker named Filippo Brunelleschi, then forty-one, who would dedicate the next twenty-eight years to solving the puzzles of the dome’s construction. In the process, he did nothing less than reinvent the field of architecture.”

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24 .) Cosimo de’ Medici and the Florentine Renaissance by Dale Kent

Cosimo de' Medici and the Florentine Renaissance- The Patron`s Oeuvre by Dale Kent

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • The National Gallery

Cosimo de’ Medici (1389–1464), the fabulously wealthy banker who became the leading citizen of Florence in the fifteenth century, spent lavishly as the city’s most important patron of art and literature. This remarkable book is the first comprehensive examination of the whole body of works of art and architecture commissioned by Cosimo and his sons. By looking closely at this spectacular group of commissions, we gain an entirely new picture of their patron and of the patron’s point of view. Recurrent themes in the commissions—from Fra Angelico’s San Marco altarpiece to the Medici Palace—indicate the main interests to which Cosimo’s patronage gave visual expression. Dale Kent offers new insights and perspectives on the individual objects comprising the Medici oeuvre by setting them within the context of civic and popular culture in early Renaissance Florence, and of Cosimo’s life as the leader of the Medici lineage and the dominant force in the governing elite.

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23 .) Death in Florence: the Medici, Savonarola and the Battle for the Soul of the Renaissance City by Paul Strathern

Death in Florence- the Medici, Savonarola and the Battle for the Soul of the Renaissance City by Paul Strathern

Lists It Appears On:

  • The National Gallery
  • Goodreads

“By the end of the fifteenth century, Florence was well established as the home of the Renaissance. As generous patrons to the likes of Botticelli and Michelangelo, the ruling Medici embodied the progressive humanist spirit of the age, and in Lorenzo de’ Medici (Lorenzo the Magnificent) they possessed a diplomat capable of guarding the militarily weak city in a climate of constantly shifting allegiances between the major Italian powers.
However, in the form of Savonarola, an unprepossessing provincial monk, Lorenzo found his nemesis. Filled with Old Testament fury and prophecies of doom, Savonarola’s sermons reverberated among a disenfranchised population, who preferred medieval Biblical certainties to the philosophical interrogations and intoxicating surface glitter of the Renaissance. Savonarola’s aim was to establish a ‘City of God’ for his followers, a new kind of democratic state, the likes of which the world had never seen before. The battle between these two men would be a fight to the death, a series of sensational events―invasions, trials by fire, the ‘Bonfire of the Vanities’, terrible executions and mysterious deaths―featuring a cast of the most important and charismatic Renaissance figures.”

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22 .) Dictionary of the Italian Renaissance by John Hale

Dictionary of the Italian Renaissance John Hale

Lists It Appears On:

  • National Gallery
  • The National Gallery

Within the vast literature of the Renaissance, this is the one indispensable book: for the student who is looking for a guide to the complicated maze of Italian Renaissance political history; the scholar who needs a convenient, unified reference sources; the art lover who wants to discover the background to the masterpieces of painting and sculpture; the traveler in Italy who seeks to understand the great works of art and architecture within their context; and also the general reader who wants to learn more about this fascinating historical and cultural epoch.

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21 .) Duccio to Leonardo : Italian Painting 1250-1500 by Simona Di Nepi

Duccio to Leonardo- Renaissance Painting 1250-1500 by Simona Di Nepi

Lists It Appears On:

  • National Gallery
  • The National Gallery

This generously illustrated book presents highlights from the National Gallery’s display of Italian Renaissance painting, one of the richest collections of its kind in the world. Duccio to Leonardo focuses on Italian masterpieces made between 1250 and 1500, including highlights such as Duccio’s Annunciation, Botticelli’s Venus and Mars, and Leonardo’s Virgin and Child with Saint Anne and Saint John the Baptist. It begins with a short introduction on the formation of the collection, before discussing each of the chosen works.

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20 .) History of Italian Renaissance Art by Frederick Hartt

History of Italian Renaissance Art- Painting, Sculpture, Architecture by Frederick Hartt, David G. Wilkins

Lists It Appears On:

  • Tuscany Tours
  • Goodreads

A broad survey of art and architecture in Italy between c. 1250 and 1600, this book approaches the works from the point of view of the artist as individual creator and as an expression of the city within which the artist was working.

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19 .) Italian Art, 1250-1550: The Relation of Renaissance Art to Life and Society by Bruce Cole

Italian Art 1250-1550- The Relation Of Renaissance Art To Life And Society by Bruce Cole

Lists It Appears On:

  • Tuscany Tours
  • Questia

This survey of Italian Renaissance art, from a new and different perspective, shows how art was a vital part of society and how all types of art and artists reflected the needs and aspirations of the culture from which they arose. Most books on Renaissance art are based on a chronological study of the major artists and their works. In this book, Bruce Cole covers the major types of art from c. 1250 to c. 1550, discusses their origins and development, documents their use and function, and describes their form and how and why the artists shaped them that way. Art is thus firmly connected with the life and society of the Renaissance rather than viewed as a separate entity: painting and sculpture are seen in their proper context. After a wide-ranging introduction, there are chapters on Italian Renaissance art in relation to domestic life, worship, civic life, death and afterlife, and Renaissance images and ideals.

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18 .) Italian Renaissance Painting by James Beck

Italian Renaissance Painting by James Beck

Lists It Appears On:

  • National Gallery
  • The National Gallery

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17 .) Leonardo, Michelangelo, and the Art of the Figure by Michael W. Cole

Leonardo, Michelangelo, and the Art of the Figure by Michael W. Cole

Lists It Appears On:

  • National Gallery
  • The National Gallery

“In late 1504 and early 1505, Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) and Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564) were both at work on commissions they had received to paint murals in Florence’s City Hall. Leonardo was to depict a historic battle between Florence and Milan, Michelangelo one between Florence and Pisa. Though neither project was ever completed, the painters’ mythic encounter shaped art and its history in the decades and centuries that followed.

This concise, lucid, and thought-provoking book looks again at the one moment when Leonardo and Michelangelo worked side by side, seeking to identify the roots of their differing ideas of the figure in 15th-century pictorial practices and to understand what this contrast meant to the artists and writers who followed them. Through close investigation of these two artists, Michael W. Cole provides a new account of critical developments in Italian Renaissance painting.”

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16 .) Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant

Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • NPR

The year is 1570, and a new novice has just been forced into the Italian convent of Santa Caterina. Ripped by her family from the man she loves, sixteen-year-old Serafina is sharp and defiant. Her first night inside the walls is spent in an incandescent rage so violent that the dispensary mistress, Suora Zuana, is dispatched to the girl’s cell to sedate her. Thus begins a complex relationship of trust and betrayal. As Serafina rails against her incarceration, disorder and rebellion mount inside the convent, while beyond its walls, the dictates of the Counter-Reformation begin to impose a regime of oppression that threatens what little freedom the nuns have enjoyed. Acclaimed author Sarah Dunant brings the intricate Renaissance world compellingly to life in this rich, engrossing, multifaceted love story encompassing the passions of the flesh, the exultation of the spirit, and the deep, enduring power of friendship.

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15 .) The Art of the Renaissance by Peter Murray; Linda Murray

The Art of the Renaissance by Peter Murray, Linda Murray

Lists It Appears On:

  • Tuscany Tours
  • Questia

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14 .) The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione

The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • The National Gallery

“The courtly customs and manners of Italy to a great extent characterized the Renaissance, which elevated art and expression to new heights. Baldassare Castiglione published this book with the intention of chronicling the manners, customs and traditions which underpinned how courtiers, nobles, and their servants, behaved.

Although ostensibly a book of etiquette and good conduct, Castiglione’s treatise carries enormous historical value. He derived his observations directly from the many gatherings and receptions conducted by society’s elite. Conversations with the officials, diplomats and nobility of the era further enhanced the accuracy of this book, imbuing it with an authenticity seldom seen elsewhere. “

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13 .) The Craftsman’s Handbook by Cennino d’Andrea Cennini

The Craftsman's Handbook by Cennino d'Andrea Cennini

Lists It Appears On:

  • The Guardian
  • The National Gallery

“This is D. V. Thompson’s definitive English translation of Il Libro dell’Arte, an intriguing guide to methods of painting, written in fifteenth-century Florence. Embodying the secrets and techniques of the great masters, it served as an art student’s introduction to the ways of his craft.
Anyone who has ever looked at a medieval painting and marveled at the brilliance of color and quality of surface that have endured for 500 years should find this fascinating reading. It describes such lost arts as gilding stone, making mosaics of crushed eggshell, fashioning saints’ diadems, coloring parchment, making goat glue, and regulating your life in the interests of decorum — which meant shunning women, the greatest cause of unsteady hands in artists. You are told how to make green drapery, black for monks’ robes, trees and plants, oils, beards in fresco, and the proper proportions of a man’s body. (“”I will not tell you about the irrational animals because you will never discover any system of proportion in them.””) So practical are the details that readers might be tempted to experiment with the methods given here for their own amusement and curiosity.”

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12 .) The Italian Paintings Before 1400 by Dillian Gordon

The Italian Paintings Before 1400 by Dillian Gordon

Lists It Appears On:

  • National Gallery
  • The National Gallery

The National Gallery in London houses one of the most important collections of early Italian paintings outside Italy, including works by Cimabue, Duccio, Giotto and the di Cione brothers. This completely updated catalogue of the collection is the first published since 1989, and it now includes four exceptional acquisitions from the intervening years: the 13th-century diptych now attributed to the Master of the Borgo Crucifix, The Virgin and Child by Cimabue, The Virgin and Child by the Clarisse Master, and The Coronation of the Virgin by Bernardo Daddi.

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11 .) The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance by Paul Strathern

The Medici- Godfathers of the Renaissance by Paul Strathern

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • The National Gallery

“The Medici is a remarkably modern story of power, money and ambition. Against the background of an age which saw the rebirth of ancient and classical learning, Paul Strathern explores the intensely dramatic rise and fall of the Medici family in Florence, as well as the Italian Renaissance which they did so much to sponsor and encourage. Interwoven into the narrative are the lives of many of the great Renaissance artists with whom the Medici had dealings, including Leonardo, Michelangelo and Donatello, as well as scientists like Galileo and Pico della Mirandola, both of whom clashed with the religious authorities.

In his enthralling study, Strathern also follows the fortunes of those members of the Medici family who achieved success away from Florence, including the two Medici popes and Catherine de Medici, who became Queen of France and played a major role in that country through three turbulent reigns. “

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10 .) The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • The National Gallery

Il Principe (The Prince) is a political treatise by the Florentine public servant and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli. Originally called De Principatibus (About Principalities), it was written in 1513, but not published until 1532, five years after Machiavelli’s death. The treatise is not representative of the work published during his lifetime, but it is the most remembered, and the work responsible for bringing “Machiavellian” into wide usage as a pejorative term. It has also been suggested by some critics that the piece is, in fact, a satire.

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9 .) The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt

The Swerve- How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt

Lists It Appears On:

  • The National Gallery
  • Goodreads

“One of the world’s most celebrated scholars, Stephen Greenblatt has crafted both an innovative work of history and a thrilling story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it.

Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late thirties took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic, On the Nature of Things, by Lucretius―a beautiful poem of the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles in eternal motion, colliding and swerving in new directions.”

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8 .) The Traveling Artist in the Italian Renaissance: Geography, Mobility, and Style by David Young Kim

The Traveling Artist in the Italian Renaissance- Geography, Mobility, and Style by David Young Kim

Lists It Appears On:

  • National Gallery
  • The National Gallery

“This important and innovative book examines artists’ mobility as a critical aspect of Italian Renaissance art. It is well known that many eminent artists such as Cimabue, Giotto, Donatello, Lotto, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian traveled. This book is the first to consider the sixteenth-century literary descriptions of their journeys in relation to the larger Renaissance discourse concerning mobility, geography, the act of creation, and selfhood.

David Young Kim carefully explores relevant themes in Giorgio Vasari’s monumental Lives of the Artists, in particular how style was understood to register an artist’s encounter with place. Through new readings of critical ideas, long-standing regional prejudices, and entire biographies, The Traveling Artist in the Italian Renaissance provides a groundbreaking case for the significance of mobility in the interpretation of art and the wider discipline of art history.”

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7 .) The Ugly Renaissance by Alexander Lee

The Ugly Renaissance- Sex, Greed, Violence and Depravity in an Age of Beauty by Alexander Lee

Lists It Appears On:

  • National Gallery
  • The National Gallery

Tourists today flock to Italy by the millions to admire the stunning achievements of the Renaissance—paintings, statues, and buildings that are the legacy of one of the greatest periods of cultural rebirth and artistic beauty the world has ever seen. But beneath the elegant surface lurked a seamy, vicious world of power politics, perversity, and corruption. In this meticulously researched and lively portrait, Renaissance scholar Alexander Lee illuminates the dark and titillating contradictions that existed alongside the enlightened spirit of the time: the scheming bankers, greedy politicians, bloody rivalries, murderous artists, religious conflicts, rampant disease, and indulgent excess without which many of the most beautiful monuments of the Renaissance would never have come into being.

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6 .) Women in Italian Renaissance Art: Gender, Representation, Identity by Paola Tinagli & Mary Rogers

Women in Italian Renaissance Art- Gender, Representation, Identity Paola Tinagli & Mary Rogers

Lists It Appears On:

  • National Gallery
  • The National Gallery

Between c1350 and c1650, Italian urban societies saw much debate on women¹s nature, roles, education, and behaviour. This book fills a gap in the still burgeoning literature on all aspects of women¹s lives in this period. Using a broad range of material, most of which never translated before, this book illuminates the ideals and realities informing the lives of women within the context of civic and courtly culture in Renaissance Italy. The text is divided into three sections: contemporary views on the nature of women, and ethical and aesthetic ideals seen as suitable to them; life cycles from birth to death, punctuated by the rites of passage of betrothal, marriage and widowhood; women¹s roles in the convent, the court, the workplace, and in cultural life.Through their exploration of these themes, Mary Rogers and Paola Tinagli demonstrate that there was no single ‘Renaissance woman’. The realities of women¹s experiences were rich and various, and their voices speak of diverse possibilities for emotionally rich and socially useful lives.

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5 .) Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy by Michael Baxandall

Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy- A Primer in the Social History of Pictorial Style by Michael Baxandall

Lists It Appears On:

  • The National Gallery
  • Five Books
  • Tuscany Tours

Serving as both an introduction to fifteenth-century Italian painting and as a text on how to interpret social history from the style of pictures in a given historical period, this new edition to Baxandall’s pre-eminent scholarly volume examines early Renaissance painting, and explains how the style of painting in any society reflects the visual skills and habits that evolve out of daily life. Renaissance painting, for example, mirrors the experience of such activities as preaching, dancing, and gauging barrels. The volume includes discussions of a wide variety of painters, including Filippo Lippi, Fra Angelico, Stefano di Giovanni, Sandro Botticelli, Masaccio, Luca Signorelli, Boccaccio, and countless others. Baxandall also defines and illustrates sixteen concepts used by a contemporary critic of painting, thereby assembling the basic equipment needed to explore fifteenth-century art.

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4 .) The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy by Jacob Burckhardt

The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy by Jacob Burckhardt

Lists It Appears On:

  • Daily History
  • Goodreads
  • The National Gallery

The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy is a work by Jacob Burckhardt now brought to you in this new edition of the timeless classic.

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3 .) Art and Love in Renaissance Italy by Andrea Bayer and Beverly Louise Brown

Art and Love in Renaissance Italy by Andrea Bayer

Lists It Appears On:

  • National Gallery
  • The Online Book Page
  • The National Gallery

“Many famous Italian Renaissance artworks were made to celebrate love and marriage. They were the pinnacles of a tradition—dating from the early Renaissance—of commemorating betrothal, marriage, and the birth of a child by commissioning extraordinary objects or exchanging them as gifts. This important volume is the first to examine the entire range of works to which Renaissance rituals of love and marriage gave rise and makes a major contribution to our understanding of Renaissance art in its broader cultural context. Some 140 works of art, dating from about 1400 to 1600, are discussed by a distinguished group of scholars and are reproduced in full color.

Marriage and childbirth gifts are the point of departure. These range from maiolica, glassware, and jewelry to birth trays, musical instruments, and nuptial portraits. Bonds of love of another sort were represented in erotic drawings and prints. From these precedents, an increasingly inventive approach to subjects of love and marriage culminated in paintings by some of the greatest artists of the Renaissance, including Giulio Romano, Lorenzo Lotto, and Titian.”

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2 .) The Lives of the Artists by Giorgio Vasari

The Lives of the Artists by Giorgio Vasari

Lists It Appears On:

  • The Guardian
  • The National Gallery
  • The Daily Beast
  • Goodreads
  • The National Gallery

These biographies of the great quattrocento artists have long been considered among the most important of contemporary sources on Italian Renaissance art. Vasari, who invented the term “Renaissance,” was the first to outline the influential theory of Renaissance art that traces a progression through Giotto, Brunelleschi, and finally the titanic figures of Michaelangelo, Da Vinci, and Raphael.

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1 .) Art in Renaissance Italy, 1350-1500 by Evelyn Welch

Art in Renaissance Italy by Evelyn Welch

Lists It Appears On:

  • National Gallery
  • Goodreads
  • The National Gallery
  • National Gallery
  • The National Gallery

The Italian Renaissance was a pivotal period in the history of Western culture during which artists such as Masaccio, Donatello, Fra Angelico, and Leonardo created some of the world’s most influential and exciting works in a variety of artistic fields. Here, Evelyn Welch presents a fresh picture of the Italian Renaissance by challenging traditional scholarship and placing emphasis on recreating the experience of contemporary Italians: the patrons who commissioned the works, the members of the public who viewed them, and the artists who produced them. Art in Renaissance Italy 1350-1500 dramatically revises the traditional story of the Renaissance and takes into account new issues that have greatly enriched our understanding of the period. From paintings and coins to sculptures and tapestries, Welch examines the issues of materials, workshop practices, and artist-patron relationships, and explores the ways in which visual imagery related to contemporary sexual, social, and political behavior.

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The Remaining Top Art and Renaissance Books



 

#BookAuthorLists
(Books Appear On 1 List Each)
26A Companion to Renaissance DramaArthur F. KinneyGoodreads
27A Concise Encyclopaedia of the Italian RenaissanceJ.R. HaleGoodreads
28A Florentine Diary from 1450 to 1516Luca LanducciThe Guardian
29A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599James ShapiroGoodreads
30A. Hyatt Mayor: Selected Writings and a BibliographyA. Hyatt MayorThe Online Book Page
31Adventures in the Arts: Informal Chapters on Painters, Vaudeville, and PoetsMarsden HartleyThe Online Book Page
32Airborne Particles in MuseumsW. W. Nazaroff, Mary P. Ligocki, Lynn G. Salmon, Glen Rowan Cass, Theresa Fall, Michael C. Jones, Harvey I. H. Liu, and Timothy MaThe Online Book Page
33Albrecht DürerNorbert WolfGoodreads
34Apollo: An Illustrated Manual of the History of Art Throughout the AgesSalomon Reinach, trans. by Florence SimmondsThe Online Book Page
35April Blood: Florence and the Plot Against the MediciLauro MartinesGoodreads
36Aristotle’s Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Middle AgesRichard E. RubensteinGoodreads
37ArtClive BellThe Online Book Page
38Art and Anatomy in Renaissance Italy: Images from a Scientific RevolutionThe National Gallery
39Art and Life in Renaissance VeniceThe National Gallery
40Art and SocialismWilliam MorrisThe Online Book Page
41Art and Society in Italy, 1350-1500Evelyn WelchGoodreads
42Art of Renaissance Florence, 1400–1600The National Gallery
43Artistic Theory in Italy, 1450-1600National Gallery
44Astraea: The Imperial Theme in the Sixteenth Century (Peregrine Books)Frances A. YatesGoodreads
45Balancing Acts: Reading Sources and Weighing Evidence in Recent Italian Renaissance Art HistoryGoffen, RonaQuestia
46Barbaren und Klassiker: Ein Buch von der Bildnerei Exotischer VölkerWilhelm HausensteinThe Online Book Page
47Beyond Isabella: Secular Women Patrons of Art in Renaissance ItalySheryl E. Reiss; David G. WilkinsQuestia
48Bring Out Your Dead: The Past as RevelationAnthony GraftonGoodreads
49Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and ProfaneAndrew Graham-DixonThe Daily Beast
50Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of FranceLeonie FriedaGoodreads
51Children Of England: The Heirs of King Henry VIII 1547-1558Alison WeirGoodreads
52Christianity and the Renaissance: Image and Religious Imagination in the QuattrocentoTimothy Verdon; John HendersonQuestia
53Christopher Marlowe: A Renaissance LifeConstance Brown KuriyamaGoodreads
54Collected WorksElizabeth IGoodreads
55Continuity and Change in Art: The Development of Modes of RepresentationSidney J. Blatt; Ethel S. BlattQuestia
56Crucial InstancesEdith WhartonThe Online Book Page
57Devotion by Design : Italian Altarpieces before 1500 (HB)The National Gallery
58Die Grundlegung der modernen Welt (Fischer Weltgeschichte #12)Ruggiero RomanoGoodreads
59Display of Art in the Roman Palace, 1550-1750The National Gallery
60Dosso Dossi: Court Painter in Renaissance FerraraPeter Humfrey and Mauro LuccoEverything But The House
61Elements of Art CriticismG. W. SamsonThe Online Book Page
62Elizabeth and EssexLytton StracheyGoodreads
63Elizabeth IAnne SomersetGoodreads
64Elizabeth: The Struggle for the ThroneDavid StarkeyGoodreads
65England Under the TudorsG.R. EltonGoodreads
66Fischer Weltgeschichte: Entstehung des frühneuzeitlichen Europa 1550 – 1648Richard van DülmenGoodreads
67Florence Art and ArchitectureThe National Gallery
68Florence: A Walking Guide to Its ArchitectureRichard J. GoyGoodreads
69Forbidden FriendshipsMichael RockeThe Guardian
70From Filippo Lippi to Piero della Francesca: Fra Carnevale and the Making of a Renaissance MasterKeith Christiansen, contrib. by Emanuela Daffra, Andrea De Marchi, Matteo Ceriana, Andrea Di Lorenzo, Matteo Mazzalupi, Livia Carloni, Roberto Bellucci, Cecilia Frosinini, Ciro Castelli, and George BisaccaThe Online Book Page
71Galileo’s Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and LoveDava SobelGoodreads
72Gardens of the RenaissanceThe National Gallery
73Gothic and Renaissance Art in Nuremberg, 1300-1550Rainer Kahsnitz and William D. Wixom, contrib. by Martin Angerer, Guy Bauman, Barbara Drake Boehm, Rainer Brandl, Jane Hayward, Timothy Husband, Walter J. Karcheski, Kurt Löcher, Otto Lohr, Hermann Maué, Helmut Nickel, Klaus Pechstein, Rainer Schoch, Alfred Wendehorst, Leonie von Wilckens, and Johannes Karl Wilhelm WillersThe Online Book Page
74Hellas und Rom: Eine Culturgeschichte des Classischen AlterthumsJacob von FalkeThe Online Book Page
75Henry VIII: The King and His CourtAlison WeirGoodreads
76Hopes and Fears for ArtWilliam MorrisThe Online Book Page
77How to Read Italian Renaissance PaintingStefano ZuffiBerkeley
78Humanism and the Culture of Renaissance EuropeCharles G. NauertDaily History
79Images and Identity in Fifteenth Century FlorenceThe National Gallery
80In the Company of the CourtesanSarah DunantGoodreads
81In the Courts of Religious LadiesYale Books Blog
82Infinite Jest: Wit and Humor in Italian Renaissance ArtPaul BarolskyQuestia
83Isabella of Castile: The First Renaissance QueenNancy Rubin StuartGoodreads
84Italian Renaissance ArtChristiane L. Joost-GaugierBerkeley
85Italian Renaissance: Culture and Society in ItalyThe National Gallery
86KunstClive Bell, ed. by Paul WestheimThe Online Book Page
87L’Art et le GesteJean d’ UdineThe Online Book Page
88La Galleria dei Gonzaga, Venduta all’Inghilterra nel 1627-28Alessandro LuzioThe Online Book Page
89Lectures on Art, and PoemsWashington AllstonThe Online Book Page
90Leonardo da Vinci: Flights of the MindCharles NichollThe Daily Beast
91LimboAldous HuxleyThe Online Book Page
92Lucrezia Borgia: Life, Love, and Death in Renaissance ItalySarah BradfordGoodreads
93Magnifico: The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo de’ MediciMiles J. UngerGoodreads
94Making Renaissance Art: Renaissance Art ReconsideredThe National Gallery
95Mary Queen of Scotland and the IslesStefan ZweigGoodreads
96Mary Queen of ScotsAntonia FraserGoodreads
97Metamorphosis : Poems Inspired by Titian (PB)The National Gallery
98Michelangelo and the Pope’s CeilingRoss KingGoodreads
99Michelangelo: The Artist, the Man and His TimesWilliam E. WallaceThe Daily Beast
100My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of ScotsJohn GuyGoodreads
101Negro Art in the Belgian CongoLéon KochnitzkyThe Online Book Page
102Nigel Scribes and Scholars: A guide to the transmission of Greek and Latin LiteratureReynolds, LD and WilsonDaily History
103On PaintingThe National Gallery
104Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the GlobeLaurence BergreenGoodreads
105Ovid & the Metamorphoses of Modern Art From Botticelli to PicassoYale Books Blog
106Painted GloriesYale Books Blog
107Painting in Late Medieval and Renaissance SienaThe National Gallery
108Painting in Renaissance VeniceThe National Gallery
109Painting Under Pressure: Fame, Reputation and Demand in Renaissance FlorenceThe National Gallery
110Paolo Veronese: A Master and His Workshop in Renaissance VeniceVirginia BrilliantEverything But The House
111Patronage, Art, and Society in Renaissance ItalyJ. C. Eade; F. W. Kent;Questia
112Pliny and the Artistic Culture of the Italian RenaissanceThe National Gallery
113Poison in the Blood: The Memoirs of Lucrezia BorgiaM.G. ScarsbrookGoodreads
114Postcards on ParchmentYale Books Blog
115Pot-BoilersClive BellThe Online Book Page
116Power and Imagination: City-States in Renaissance ItalyLauro Martines,Daily History
117Princes of the RenaissanceOrville PrescottGoodreads
118Private Lives in Renaissance VeniceThe National Gallery
119Prose MiscellanyHorace P. BiddleThe Online Book Page
120Questioni Pratiche di Belle Arti: Restauri, Concorsi, Legislazione, Professione, InsegnamentoCamillo BoitoThe Online Book Page
121Questioni Pratiche di Belle Arti: Restauri, Concorsi, Legislazione, Professione, InsegnamentoCamillo BoitoThe Online Book Page
122Renaissance : Taschen Basic (HB)The National Gallery
123Renaissance Art: A Beginner’s GuideThe National Gallery
124Renaissance Art: A Very Short IntroductionThe National Gallery
125Renaissance Faces: Van Eyck to Titian (Hardback)The National Gallery
126Renaissance Fancies and Studies: Being a Sequel to EuphorionVernon LeeThe Online Book Page
127Renaissance Florence: The Invention of a New ArtThe National Gallery
128Renaissance in Italy, 7 volJohn Aldington SymonsDaily History
129Renaissance ItalyGene BrucknerDaily History
130Renaissance People: Lives that Shaped the Modern AgeThe National Gallery
131Renaissance Self-FashioningStephen GreenblattFive Books
132Rewriting the Renaissance: The Discourses of Sexual Difference in Early Modern EuropeMargaret W. FergusonGoodreads
133Sailing from Byzantium: How a Lost Empire Shaped the WorldColin WellsGoodreads
134Searching for ShakespeareTarnya CooperGoodreads
135Secret KnowledgeThe National Gallery
136Seven Discourses on ArtJoshua ReynoldsThe Online Book Page
137Shakespeare After AllMarjorie GarberGoodreads
138Shakespeare and Renaissance EuropeAndrew HadfieldGoodreads
139Shakespeare: For All TimeStanley WellsGoodreads
140Shakespeare: The Invention of the HumanHarold BloomGoodreads
141Shakespeare: The World as StageBill BrysonGoodreads
142Shakespeare’s IdeasDavid BevingtonGoodreads
143Shakespeare’s SonnetsWilliam ShakespeareGoodreads
144Sienese Painting: The Art of a City-RepublicThe National Gallery
145Signs of ChangeWilliam MorrisThe Online Book Page
146Since CézanneClive BellThe Online Book Page
147Sketches of Art, Literature, and CharacterMrs. JamesonThe Online Book Page
148Stone Giant: Michelangelo’s David and How He Came to BeJane SutcliffeGoodreads
149Studies in Iconology: Humanistic Themes in the Art of the RenaissanceErwin PanofskyQuestia
150Studies in the History of the RenaissanceThe National Gallery
151Ten Young Artists: Theodoron AwardsSolomon R. Guggenheim Museum, contrib. by Thomas M. Messer, Linda Shearer, and Diane WaldmanThe Online Book Page
152The ReformationDiarmaid MacCullochFive Books
153The Aesthetic and Miscellaneous Works of Friedrich von Schlegel: Comprising Letters on Christian Art; An Essay on Gothic Architecture; Remarks on the Romance-Poetry of the Middle Ages and on Shakspere; On the Limits of the Beautiful; On the Language and Wisdom of the IndiansFriedrich von Schlegel, trans. by E. J. MillingtonThe Online Book Page
154The Agony and the EcstasyIrving StoneGoodreads
155The Art of Italian RenaissanceRolf TomanGoodreads
156The Art of Renaissance Europe: A Resource for EducatorsBosiljka Raditsa, Rebecca Arkenberg, Deborah L. Krohn, John Kent Lydecker, and Teresa Russo, ed. by Alexandra Bonfante-WarrenThe Online Book Page
157The Art of the Exposition: Personal Impressions of the Architecture, Sculpture, Mural Decorations, Color Scheme and Other Aesthetic Aspects of the Panama-Pacific International ExpositionEugen NeuhausThe Online Book Page
158The Artist, The Philosopher and The WarriorThe National Gallery
159The Arts in the Middle Ages and the RenaissanceP. L. Jacob and Walter Armstrong, illust. by Franz KellerhovenThe Online Book Page
160The Autobiography Of Benvenuto CelliniBenvenuto CelliniGoodreads
161The Basilica of St Francis in AssisiThe National Gallery
162The Birth of VenusSarah DunantGoodreads
163The BorgiasThe National Gallery
164The Boundaries of ErosGuido RuggieroThe Guardian
165The Cambridge Companion to English Renaissance DramaA.R. BraunmullerGoodreads
166The Cambridge Companion to Renaissance PhilosophyThe National Gallery
167The Cambridge Companion to the Italian RenaissanceMichael WyattBerkeley
168The Companion Guide to FlorenceEve BorsookThe Guardian
169The Complete Poetry and Selected ProseJohn DonneGoodreads
170The Creative Will: Studies in the Philosophy and the Syntax of AestheticsWillard Huntington WrightThe Online Book Page
171The Daughter of Time (Inspector Alan Grant, #5)Josephine TeyGoodreads
172The Duchess of MalfiJohn WebsterGoodreads
173The Elizabethan Renaissance: The Life of the SocietyA.L. RowseGoodreads
174The Elizabethan World PictureEustace Mandeville Wetenhall TillyardGoodreads
175The Expanding Discourse: Feminism and Art HistoryNorma Broude; Mary D. GarrardQuestia
176The Feud That Sparked the Renaissance: How Brunelleschi and Ghiberti Changed the Art WorldPaul Robert WalkerGoodreads
177The Fifteenth Century Italian Paintings: Volume INational Gallery
178The First Folio of ShakespearePeter W.M. BlayneyGoodreads
179The Florentine RenaissanceVincent CroninGoodreads
180The Flowering Of The RenaissanceVincent CroninGoodreads
181The Galleries of the Exposition: A Critical Review of the Paintings, Statuary and the Graphic Arts in The Palace of Fine Arts at the Panama-Pacific International ExpositionEugen NeuhausThe Online Book Page
182The Gunpowder PlotAntonia FraserGoodreads
183The House of Medici: Its Rise and FallChristopher HibbertGoodreads
184The Hutchinson Encyclopedia of the RenaissanceDavid RundleQuestia
185The InfernoDante AlighieriThe Guardian
186The Intellectual Life of the Early Renaissance ArtistThe National Gallery
187The Italian Painters of the RenaissanceBernard BerensonTuscany Tours
188The Italian RenaissanceJ.H. PlumbGoodreads
189The Italian Renaissance, Culture and SocietyPeter BurkeDaily History
190The Italian Renaissance: The Origins of Intellectual and Artistic Change Before the ReformationMJ GillDaily History
191The Life of Elizabeth IAlison WeirGoodreads
192The Longman Companion To Renaissance Europe, 1390 1530Stella FletcherGoodreads
193The Lost BattlesThe National Gallery
194The Lover’s Path: An Illustrated NovelKRIS WALDHERRNPR
195The Making of AssisiYale Books Blog
196The Marlowe ConspiracyM.G. ScarsbrookGoodreads
197The Medici Letters: The Secret Origins of the RenaissanceTaylor BuckGoodreads
198The Merchant of PratoIris OrigoThe Guardian
199The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Renaissance in Italy and SpainThe Online Book Page
200The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Renaissance in the NorthThe Online Book Page
201The Miraculous Image in Renaissance FlorenceYale Books Blog
202The Mirror of the Gods: Classical Mythology in Renaissance ArtThe National Gallery
203The Mysteryes of Nature and ArtJohn BateThe Online Book Page
204The Nature of Conservation: A Race Against TimePhilip R. WardThe Online Book Page
205The New Cambridge Modern History, Volume 1: The Renaissance, 1493-1520G.R. PotterGoodreads
206The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan AgeFrances A. YatesGoodreads
207The Oxford Classical DictionarySimon HornblowerBerkeley
208The Oxford Dictionary of Classical Myth and ReligionSimon PriceBerkeley
209The Oxford Dictionary Of The RenaissanceGordon CampbellGoodreads
210The Practice of Persuasion: Paradox and Power in Art HistoryKeith MoxeyQuestia
211The Princes in the TowerAlison WeirGoodreads
212The Printing Press as an Agent of ChangeElizabeth EisensteinFive Books
213The Reformation (The Story of Civilization, #6)Will DurantGoodreads
214The Renaissance (The Story of Civilization, #5)Will DurantGoodreads
215The Renaissance Artist at Work: From Pisano to TitianBruce ColeQuestia
216The Renaissance Bazaar: From the Silk Road to MichelangeloJerry BrottonGoodreads
217The Renaissance CompleteThe National Gallery
218The Renaissance in Italy: A Social and Cultural History of the RinascimentoGuido RuggieroDaily History
219The Renaissance in RomeThe National Gallery
220The Renaissance: Studies in Art and PoetryWalter PaterTuscany Tours
221The Rise and Fall of the House of MediciChristopher HibbertThe Guardian
222The Riverside ShakespeareWilliam ShakespeareGoodreads
223The Sacred Image in the Age of ArtThe National Gallery
224The Sanity of Art: An Exposure of the Current Nonsense about Artists being DegenerateBernard ShawThe Online Book Page
225The Sensory World of Italian Renaissance ArtThe National Gallery
226The Serpent and the Moon: Two Rivals for the Love of a Renaissance KingPrincess Michael of KentGoodreads
227The Shakespearean Stage, 1574-1642Andrew GurrGoodreads
228The Six Wives of Henry VIIIAlison WeirGoodreads
229The Sixteen PleasuresROBERT HELLENGANPR
230The Springtime of the Renaissance: Sculpture and the Arts in Florence 1400-60The National Gallery
231The Stones of FlorenceMary McCarthyTuscany Tours
232The Tigress of Forlì: Renaissance Italy’s Most Courageous and Notorious Countess, Caterina Riario Sforza de MediciElizabeth LevGoodreads
233The Two PathsJohn RuskinThe Online Book Page
234The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success ,Stark, Rodney,Daily History
235The Virgin Queen: Elizabeth I, Genius Of The Golden AgeChristopher HibbertGoodreads
236The Waning of the Middle AgesJohan HuizingaGoodreads
237The Weaker VesselAntonia FraserGoodreads
238The Wilton DiptychYale Books Blog
239The Wives of Henry VIIIAntonia FraserGoodreads
240Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance VeniceThe National Gallery
241Titian: His LifeSheila HaleThe Daily Beast
242UtopiaThomas MoreGoodreads
243Viewing Renaissance ArtThe National Gallery
244Virgins of VeniceMary LavenThe Guardian
245Visions of ParadiseYale Books Blog
246Visits and Sketches at Home and Abroad: With Tales and Miscellanies Now First Collected, and a New Ed. of the “Diary of an Ennuyée”Mrs. JamesonThe Online Book Page
247War in KoreaRobert LeckieGoodreads
248What Did the Renaissance Patron Buy?Gilbert, Creighton EQuestia
249Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became ShakespeareStephen GreenblattGoodreads
250Women in the Age of ShakespeareTheresa D. KempGoodreads
251Women of the RenaissanceMargaret L. KingGoodreads
252Women’s Roles in the RenaissanceKari Boyd McBrideGoodreads
253World So WideSinclair LewisThe Online Book Page
254Worldly GoodsLisa JardineFive Books


The Best Italian Renaissance & Art Book Lists



SourceArticle
Berkeley Introduction to Italian Renaissance Art / The Italian Renaissance: Finding Books & Reference Sources
Daily History Top 10 Books on the origins of the Italian Renaissance
Everything But The House Books on Renaissance Art
Five Books Jerry Brotton recommends the best books on The Renaissance
Goodreads Best Books on the Renaissance
National Gallery Italian Art Books
NPR Three Books To Take You Back To The Renaissance
Questia Renaissance art and architecture
The Daily Beast Ross King’s Italian Renaissance Book Bag
The Guardian Sarah Dunant’s top 10 books on the Renaissance
The National Gallery Italian Renaissance Art Books
The Online Book Page Art, Renaissance
Tuscany Tours Best Renaissance Art Books
Yale Books Blog MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE ART BOOKS ROUND-UP