In this widely anticipated book, two leading contemporary art historians offer a subtle and profound reconsideration of the problem of time in the Renaissance. Alexander Nagel and Christopher Wood examine the meanings, uses, and effects of chronologies, models of temporality, and notions of originality and repetition in Renaissance images and artifacts. Anachronic Renaissance reveals a web of paths traveled by works and artists--a landscape obscured by art history's disciplinary compulsion to anchor its data securely in time. The buildings, paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and medals discussed were shaped by concerns about authenticity, about reference to prestigious origins and precedents, and about the implications of transposition from one medium to another. Byzantine icons taken to be Early Christian antiquities, the acheiropoieton (or "image made without hands"), the activities of spoliation and citation, differing approaches to art restoration, legends about movable buildings, and forgeries and pastiches: all of these emerge as basic conceptual structures of Renaissance art. Although a work of art does bear witness to the moment of its fabrication, Nagel and Wood argue that it is equally important to understand its temporal instability: how it points away from that moment, backward to a remote ancestral origin, to a prior artifact or image, even to an origin outside of time, in divinity. This book is not the story about the Renaissance, nor is it just a story. It imagines the infrastructure of many possible stories.
somehow gone astray. The forger produced documents substituting for absent documents that must have once existed. Sorting out the textual record of the earliest history of Europe was 20.3 A pretended relic of postdiluvian Tuscan history. "Marmo osiriano" (twelfth and fifteenth centuries?}. Viterbo, Museo Civico. This object, a medieval lunette framed by a pair of profile heads of uncertain date, was interpreted by the historian Ann ius of Viterbo as a monument erected by the Egyptian god Osiris
to attract commentary in writing. Authorship and age had become factors in every work's value. The dominant fables about the Renaissance was understood to be the altered double of a predecessor text. Acceptable doubling was literary creation itself; unacceptable art shifted from substitutional to performative. The physician and collector Giulio Mancini wrote a pamphlet describing the methods of fakers, includ- doubling-duplicitous doubling-was plagiarism. Some fifteenth- and sixteenth-century
(London: Verso, 20oo), pp. 68-70. On measurement Shrine cif St. Peter and the Vatican Excavations (London: of the Holy Sepulchre themselves could imitate the catalogue, Museo Civico Archeologico, Bologna (Bolo- relics generally, see Ernst Kitzinger, "Cult of Images," Longmans, 1956), pp. 141, 161, 201-203. Matthew reliquaries or ciboria. On this point, see Paul Naredi- gna: Grafis, 1987), p. 47; see alsop. 40 for the replica Dumbarton Oaks Papers 8 (1954), p. 105 and Lenz Kriss- 27:6o
devices to a painter, must go one step further. As if to dramatize the difference between the visual artist and the writer, the impatient painter interrupts his own epigram: "After all, I am Giotto. What need is there to relate these things? This name has stood as the equal to any long poem." The gesture stages a topos of word-and-image confrontations. Within the linguistic context of the epigram, the name lottus is a stand-in for the image that renders words superfluous, a parallel brought home
Spolia were "stones reborn," rediviva saxa in the phrase of the late fourth-century l 8 l CITATION ANACHRON\C Codex Theodosianus. 15 They could have become a symbol of the Renaissance. Fifteenth-century eyes were wide open to what was left of the oldest Roman buildings, pagan and early Christian, including such putative relics as the Baptistery in Florence, with their polychromy, precious monoliths, and variegated aspect. Quattrocento eyes were pleased by aggregation and 16 bizarre piling