Images of the Illustrious
The Numismatic Presence in the Renaissance
AUTHOR: Cunnally, John
PUBLISHER: Princeton University Press
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Images of the Illustrious is an introduction and a guide to the numismatic scholarship of the Renaissance--the coin collections and illustrated coin-books produced by humanists and artists of the sixteenth century. Ancient Greek and Roman coins were the most abundant and portable remains of antiquity throughout Renaissance Europe, and were avidly collected as treasures, studied as documents, exchanged as gifts, admired as art, venerated as relics, and cherished as talismans of antique virtue.
The ubiquitous presence of these coins, the author argues, made the lost world of the ancients accessible, comprehensible, and concrete to all literate Europeans, and encouraged an attitude toward history as a series of discontinuous scenes and events, driven by the ambitious and self-seeking individuals whose striking faces appear on the coins. Illustrated with many examples of the elegant art of the Renaissance coin-books, Images of the Illustrious ends with a comprehensive descriptive bibliography of the sixteenth-century numismatists and their books.
PUBLICATION DATE: 5/9/1999
CATEGORY: Antiques & Collectibles, Design