Alexander Lee

The Ugly Renaissance
  • The Ugly Renaissance

  • Featuring the beauties of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, combined with the dark and hidden side of the Renaissance, by an acclaimed historian and expert in the period.

    Renowned as an age of artistic rebirth, the Renaissance is cloaked with an aura of beauty and brilliance. But behind the Mona Lisa’s smile lurked a seamy, vicious world of power politics, perversity and corruption that has more in common with the present day than anyone dares to admit. Enter a world of corrupt bankers, greedy politicians, sex-crazed priests, rampant disease, and lives of extravagance and excess. Enter the world of the ugly Renaissance.

    Uncovering the hidden realities beneath the surface of the period’s best-known artworks, historian Alexander Lee takes the reader on a breathtaking and unexpected journey through the Italian past and shows that, far from being the product of high-minded ideals, the sublime monuments of the Renaissance were created by flawed and tormented artists who lived in an ever-expanding world of bigotry and hatred. The only question is: will you ever see the Renaissance in quite the same way again?

Alexander Lee is a fellow in the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance at the University of Warwick. A specialist in the history of the Italian Renaissance, he completed his first two degrees at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, before proceeding to undertake his doctoral research at the University of Edinburgh. He has previously held positions at the Università degli studi di Bergamo and the Université du Luxembourg. He the author of numerous studies on the Italian Renaissance, including, most recently, Petrarch and St. Augustine: Classical Scholarship, Christian Theology, and the Origins of the Renaissance in Italy (2012), and is currently working on a study of humanistic concepts of empire in the fourteenth century.

We use cookies on this site to enable certain parts of the site to function and to collect information about your use of the site so that we can improve our visitors’ experience.

For more on our cookies and changing your settings click here


Strictly Necessary


Analytics


Preferences & Features


Targeting / Advertising