The Great Workshop, Pathways of Art in Europe 5th - 18th Centuries
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An artist's workshop is both a mental and an artistic space in which the artist's idea is carved in marble, laid down in pigments, or engraved in copper. The workshop is also a classroom in which the trade of the painter, sculptor, or cabinetmaker is passed on by example and where companions or apprentices seek to exceed the master. Finally, it is a salon where reputations are forged, sometimes echoed or even undermined by remarkable imitators or passionate amateurs. Europe itself figures throughout the centuries as a large workshop, or rather like a suite of workshops, each housing artists with specific practices and particular styles, and each creating opportunities for collaboration. Long before its emergence as a political entity, Europe was distinguished by its intense traffic in goods and people. Artists, art-lovers, and rich patrons made arduous journeys not only by road but also by river to far-flung locales as they sought to satisfy their appetite for beauty. This is the world of The Great Workshop, in which the editors develop a number of themes analyzing the circulation of art and the artistic community over a substantial geographic area ranging from Dublin to Palermo, from Cordoba to Stockholm, Rouen to Sofia. Short, focused essays treating the peregrinations of those conducting the business of art are crucial to our understanding of the migration of themes and formal motifs. With its remarkable and often spectacular selections, The Great Workshop illustrates the complex web of European artistic exchange and production. The book contains 250 full-color examples from well over one hundred European collections and essays from distinguished art historians who elucidate a long stretch of art history from the fall of the Roman Empire to the birth of the first great museums of Europe.