Five Comedies from the Italian Renaissance. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003.
The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
English Renaissance Literary Criticism* Oxford and New York: The Clarendon Press, 2003.
Scholars have long commented on the importance of the Irish Renaissance of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century as a model for African American artists and intellectuals theorizing what a "New Negro" political and cultural "renaissance" might be during the 1920s.
It is clear from the statements of many of the leading writers and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance that they were inspired by the works, figures, institutions, discussions, and arguments of the Irish Renaissance.
As the study stands, the account of the Harlem Renaissance, and perhaps the Irish Renaissance (though I am less familiar with its secondary literature), is essentially a retelling of accounts by other scholars that have appeared elsewhere at greater length and in greater depth.
Both in scope and content, this study represented a departure from the traditional way in which the Renaissance had been described in Spanish historiography.
The novelty of his formulation can be partly explained by his acquaintance with some of the latest research by European and American scholars in the field of Renaissance studies, a remarkable endeavor considering the isolation in which Spanish historians were working during the decades of the 1940s and '50s.
Regarding the origin of the Renaissance in Spain, Maravall identified three fundamental components: the empire, which until the sixteenth century was alien to the Spanish tradition;(6) the influence of Italian humanism, beginning in the early years of the fifteenth century; and a number of innovations (novedades) brought about by a series of changes within the autochthonous culture of Castilian society.
Interest in the Renaissance as a cultural rebirth waned during the first part of the nineteenth century when the predominant romantic interpretations of Spanish literature, generally written outside of Spain, stressed the originality, purity and spontaneity of the national creative genius as this manifested itself in the Middle Ages.
In the years during which Michelet was preparing the seventh volume of his monumental history of France dedicated entirely to the Renaissance period, a Spanish historian, Jose Amador de los Rios, was also working on a massive history of Spain.(5) Although Amador de los Rios' work never reached the sixteenth century, the century that in Michelet's history bears the title of La Renaissance, the Spaniard's last volume, the seventh in a series, dealing exclusively with the fifteenth century, is clearly written with a new conception of the Renaissance in mind.
The attention he paid to Santillana and to the century in which he lived is a clear indication that Amador de los Rios recognized in this period the beginning of a new era that was to culminate in the sixteenth century.(6) In his reluctance, however, to refer to this period as the Renaissance, he was perhaps following Michelet, who in those same years reserved the use of this term exclusively for the sixteenth century.
It was largely within the context of this American reformulation of the debate on the Renaissance that Panofsky published his famous Kenyon Review essay of 1944, "Renaissance and Renascences,"(13) originally intended as a contribution to the Renaissance symposium in the Journal of the History of Ideas.(14) Against this background Panofsky's Kenyon Review essay offered an idealized Renaissance which could stand for certain cultural ideas.
It is important to recognize the close affinity of Panofsky's methodological polemics and his apology for the Renaissance, for ultimately the art historical methodology of the iconologist and the cultural ideals represented by the Renaissance were closely connected in his mind.
Before delving deeper into Panofsky's bolstering of a growing Italian Renaissance ideology in the United States, it is important to remember his other attachments to the art of the North and the High Gothic.