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Why did Renaissance art come to matter so much, so widely, and for so long? Patricia Emison's answer draws on a recalibrated view of the long Renaissance - from 1300 to 1600 - synthesizing the considerable evolution in our understanding of the epoch since the foundational nineteenth-century studies of Jacob Burckhardt and Heinrich Wolfflin. Demonstrating that the imitation of nature and of antiquity must no longer define its limits, she exposes the self-consciously modern aspect of Renaissance style. She sets the art against the literary and political interests of time and analyzes works of both very familiar artists - Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael - and lesser-known figures, such as Cima da Conegliano and Federico Barocci, as well as various printmakers. Succinct yet expansive, this treatment of the period also explores its layered significance for subsequent generations, from the Old Masters to the Post-Modernists.