The artist and the warrior: military history through the eyes of the masters

TitleThe artist and the warrior: military history through the eyes of the masters
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsRabb, Theodore K.
Number of Pages228
PublisherYale University Press
CityNew Haven
Abstract

How have artists across the millennia responded to warfare? In this uniquely wide-ranging book, Theodore Rabb blends military history and the history of art to search for the answers. He draws our attention to masterpieces from the ancient world to the twentieth century--paintings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, engravings, architecture, and photographs--and documents the evolving nature of warfare as artists have perceived it. The selected works represent landmarks in the history of art and are drawn mainly from the western tradition, though important examples from Japan, India, and the Middle East are also brought into the discussion. Together these works tell a story of long centuries during which warfare inspired admiration and celebration. Yet a shift toward criticism and condemnation emerged in the Renaissance, and by the end of the nineteenth century, glorification of the warrior by leading artists had ceased. Rabb traces this progression, from such works as the Column of Trajan and the Titian "Battle of Lepanto", whose makers celebrated glorious victories, to the antiwar depictions created by Brueghel, Goya, Picasso, and others. Richly illustrated and accessibly written, this book presents a study of unprecedented sweep and multidisciplinary interest. [Book jacket.]

Full Text

Chapters
1. The ancient world: Assyria and Greece.
2. Rome and the Middle Ages.
3. A new vigor: war and art in feudal Japan.
4. The persistence of tradition in the early renaissance.
5. Traditions transformed; the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
6. War as decoration: Suleyman, Palladio, and Akbar.
7. Davis versus Goya.
8. The pity of war: modern times.

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