The Quattro Cento: And, Stones of Rimini, Volumes 1-2
Adrian Stokes (1902&–1972) was a British painter and writer whose books on art have been allowed to go out of print despite their impact on Modernist culture and ongoing acclaim for their beauty and intellectual acuity. This new edition of The Quattro Cento and Stones of Rimini presents the original texts of 1932 and 1934 and furnishes them with introductions by David Carrier and Stephen Kite that will help readers grasp the structure and significance of what have become Stokes&’s most widely-cited and influential books.
Written as parts of an incomplete trilogy, The Quattro Cento and Stones of Rimini mark a crossroads in the transition from late Victorian to Modernist conceptions of art, especially sculpture and architecture. Stokes continued, even extended, John Ruskin&’s and Walter Pater&’s belief that art is essential to the individual&’s proper psychological development but wove their teaching into a new aesthetic shaped by his experience of psychoanalysis with Melanie Klein and recent innovations in literature, dance, and the visual arts.
Few writers have been able to invoke the material presence of works of art in the way Stokes does in The Quattro Cento and Stones of Rimini. They combine travel writing with acts of looking spun out so as to reinterpret the imposing legacy of the Italian Renaissance through an aesthetic of the direct carving of stone, which has parallels in the sculpture of Brancusi, Henry Moore, and Barbara Hepworth but was for Stokes the discovery of artists in fifteenth-century Italy. To his way of thinking, there then arose a realization that the materials of art &"were the actual objects of inspiration, the stocks for the deepest fantasies.&" During the Renaissance, Stokes maintained, stone accordingly &"blossomed&" into sculpture and buildings, such as the Tempio Malatestiano, that throw &"inner ferment outward into definite act and thought.&"
This new edition of Stokes&’s pivotal books will be of interest to those concerned with art criticism, aesthetics, psychoanalysis and art, and the art and architecture of the Renaissance and Modern periods.
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Florence and Verona
in The Monumental or Seeds of the Baroque
Quattro Cento Architecture in General 167
Stone and Water