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Born Under Saturn: The Character and Conduct of Artists

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  136 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
A rare art history classic that The New York Times calls a "delightful, scholarly and gossipy romp through the character and conduct of artists from antiquity to the French Revolution."

Born Under Saturn is a classic work of scholarship written with a light and winning touch. Margot and Rudolf Wittkower explore the history of the familiar idea that artistic inspiration is a
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Paperback, 344 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by NYRB Classics (first published 1968)
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Daina
Aug 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Artists
Forget modern art. This is about the development of the artistic personality from antiquity up to the French Revolution. Covers patronage, the break from guilds and workshops, the assertion of artistic freedom, obsession with work, the inability of artists to get along with others, their sex lives, food lives, sleep lives, and much more.
Elisa Goudriaan
Dec 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Dit boek begint sterk met de vraag of er een universele karakterschets gegeven kan worden van kunstenaars, bij wie een creatieve geest vaak samengaat met de behoefte aan introspectie en afzondering. Vlagen van genialiteit worden veelal afgewisseld door periodes van melancholie en soms zelfs waanzin. Maar is dit eigenlijk wel kunstenaar-eigen? Of zijn dit gewoon algemeen menselijke kenmerken? In hun zoektocht naar antwoorden nemen Rudolf en Margot Wittkower de biografische gegevens van talloze Re ...more
Wendy
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-books
A scholarly work, extensively researched. Amusing, astounding, and interesting studies of artist's personalities, foibles, and work habits from the early Renaissance period to the beginning of the Romantic era. The artist's place in society is also described in great detail.
Jody
Sep 18, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: artists and art historians
Shelves: jodyread
An excellent sociological study of art as a profession, how artists have supported themselves, and how their profession has been viewed throughout history, the role of patrons, business sense, and drink.
destanie
Dec 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of wonderful source material, not great plates (but that's what the internet is for), a very loose argument, but ultimately I was ok with that. Introduced me to some artists as well, which is always a plus.
Darrell Madis
Nov 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book, very informative and interesting. The book obviously required an enormous amount of research.
Giovanni Garcia-Fenech
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
Despite the authors' insistence that they don't want the book to be a collection of meandering (and contradictory) anecdotes, it's largely what it is. And that's what makes this hilarious, gossipy, and slightly cracked book so great.
Nika
Feb 01, 2017 marked it as to-read
The title! —— Art history! Saturn! Must read ~~
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