• The Renaissance

  • Studies in Art and Poetry
  • By: Walter Pater
  • Narrated by: Wanda McCaddon
  • Length: 6 hrs and 24 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (43 ratings)

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The Renaissance  By  cover art

The Renaissance

By: Walter Pater
Narrated by: Wanda McCaddon
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Publisher's Summary

Published to great acclaim in 1873, Walter Pater’s compendium of idiosyncratic, impressionistic essays on the Renaissance gained him a reputation as a daring modern philosopher. Oscar Wilde called it the “holy writ of beauty.” It was Pater’s cry of “art for art’s sake” that became the manifesto for the aesthetic movement. He believed that art should be sensual and that beauty should rank as the highest ideal. Marked by elegant fluency, Pater’s essays discuss Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and other artists who, for him, embodied the spirit of the Renaissance. Pater’s work survives to this day as one of the best pieces of cultural criticism to emerge from the 19th century.

This collection is criticism as beautiful as the art it considers.

Public Domain (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“It is not often that we have to welcome a book like this, which brings its readers into fresh and intimate relations with remote phases of life and art, informing these with the vivid glow of a new personality…It is hard to analyze the results of analysis, and to criticize criticism. But if it is necessary to look for the secret of Mr. Pater’s success in The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry, it might be stated as lying in a peculiar exquisiteness, distinction, refinement, occupying itself with artistic subjects somewhat remote in character…There is a command of such a style as has not before been written, a wonderful style that sometimes threatens to overstep the limits of prose, delicate, dainty, impassioned, yet certain and chastened.” ( Guardian)

What listeners say about The Renaissance

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Bizarre....no idea what I just listened to.

Listened to in the background at work (was free) but couldn’t tell you a single thing I remember or learned. It was very odd and no idea what organization was. Couldn’t hear the forest thru the trees. Narration had strong English (?) accent, was distracting.

3 people found this helpful

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Wanda McCaddon and Pater = 😍

Wanda McCaddon is wonderful. Finding her reading of this work by Pater was fortunate. Some many bookmarked moments. McCaddon is as engaging, natural, and effortless as ever.

1 person found this helpful

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Art history

I found this title when looking for the novel Marius the Epicurean (not available). The performance and content feel didactic to me, not what I look for on and audiobook.

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Profile Image for Roger Watts
  • Roger Watts
  • 08-05-22

Disappointed…

Michealangelo shortshrift…something deep was needed…disappointed. Regarding sculpture and procedure of accomplishment. No indepth coverage of his technique. Same for Leonardo…shame.

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  • Pamela
  • 03-14-22

Perplexing!

The narration by Wanda McCaddon, Ileavess me astonished that she was chosen to read this. There is such an art to reading well and Wanda McCaddon's reading is rushed through as if she had another appointment, lacks correct pauses, and has a most grating pitch to her voice. I always have been keenly interested in the Renaissance but I found this book to be like student notes of randomly collected information.
I am extremely puzzled by the glowing five-star reviews and am merely grateful it was from the free plus section of audible.

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  • Martin D James
  • 04-09-21

Key Victorian

Fantastic essay on Michelangelo, also Botticelli who was fairly unknown then and Leonardo. Narrator was excellent too.