Disegno: Italian Renaissance Designs for the Decorative Arts

Front Cover
Beth L. Holman
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, 1997 - Art - 128 pages
The beginnings of modern design occurred in Renaissance Italy, which first fostered the concept that all the arts are based on universal principles of design. As the medieval separation of crafts broke down, Renaissance painters, sculptors, and architects created designs in a variety of media to be carried out by others. With the separation of design from actual execution, drawing became the critical means of communicating between artist and artisan. The promotion of artist as designer and the rise of drawing as an independent art form were inextricably intertwined. Design (the foundation of art) and drawing (the cornerstone of design) were so intimately linked as to share the same designation--disegno. In introducing audiences to the origins of modern design, this catalog and the exhibitions associated with it seek to elevate Renaissance drawings for decorative arts objects to a new level commensurate with the fine arts.

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About the author (1997)

BETH L. HOLMAN is a Renaissance art historian who has been on the faculty of the Cooper-Hewitt/Parsons Masters Program in the History of Decorative Arts and the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture.

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