Sydney Freedberg, who retires this year from Harvard and will assume the position of Chief Curator at the National Gallery of Art in the fall, is one of America’s best-known art historians and the author of the standard English-language history of Italian High Renaissance and Mannerist painting. Here he publishes three lectures, originally given at Cornell, each devoted to one of the three great masters of the emerging Baroque style in Italy: Annibale Carracci, his cousin Ludovico Carracci, and Michelangelo da Caravaggio. The book is densely illustrated, and its text informed by an acute and consistent critical intelligence. Because it also represents in a lively and sophisticated way the current state of thought about its subject, it provides an ideal introduction to the painting of these extraordinarily interesting and complex masters. This is a timely accomplishment, for, although Caravaggio is certainly well...


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