A. Richard Turner

A. Richard Turner

Almon Richard Turner, known as Dick, was born on July 28, 1932, in New Bedford, Mass. His father, Louis A. Turner, was a well-known physicist who helped develop radar during World War II.

He attended Princeton, where, after earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art history, he was awarded a doctorate in 1959. His first book, “The Vision of Landscape in Renaissance Italy,” was published by Princeton University Press in 1966.

After teaching at the University of Michigan, Princeton and Middlebury College, he was appointed president of Grinnell College in Iowa in 1975.

In 1979 he became the director of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. He later served as dean of the faculty of arts and science and as director of the New York Institute for the Humanities. He retired from the university in 2000.

Mr. Turner wrote extensively on Renaissance Italy, especially Florence, in a clear, easy style that made him attractive to publishers of books for a general audience. The British publisher Weidenfeld & Nicolson engaged him to write a volume on the Florentine Renaissance for its Everyman Art Library, published in the United States in 1997 under the title “Renaissance Florence: The Invention of a New Art.”

The Art of Florence

(two volumes, slipcased)


This popular monument of scholarly and publishing history, winner of the prestigious Prix Vasari in France, is now available at an irresistible low price.

Since the radiant years of the Renaissance, the city of Florence has come for many to represent the greatest triumph of the Western cultural tradition. This is the city where humanism was born, where Plato was discussed passionately in the narrow streets, and where men and women first found themselves to be the measure of all things. For more than three centuries Florence nurtured a creative community of astounding, even revolutionary genius. Here, starting in the late 1200s, Giotto painted the grave and powerful frescoes that drew Florence and the world toward a radical new vision of realism, and here, ushering in the dazzling era of the High Renaissance, Michelangelo began his incomparable career as architect, sculptor, and painter. During the intervening years, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Ghiberti, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Raphael, Leonardo, and hundreds of the most splendidly talented artists in history lived and worked in this small city on the Arno and collaborated in the creation of the great urban museum we know as Florence.

Matching an elegant and sophisticated text by three leading art historians with hundreds of glorious color photographs, The Art of Florence immerses us in a city and a time of unparalleled cultural ferment. This important and uncommonly beautiful publication analyzes the history of Florentine art in terms of the distinctly Florentine and Tuscan influences that shaped it—an approach never before employed in a study of this breadth and complexity. The fascinating and lucid text by Glenn Andres, John Hunisak, and Richard Turner gracefully links Florentine architecture, sculpture, and painting to the rich social fabric and the dramatic political life of the city. Woven into this compelling history is the most luxurious and comprehensive visual documentation available of Florence's unrivaled treasures. More than 700 color images and another 854 duotones and architectural drawings have been reproduced with a meticulous care worthy of the Renaissance craft tradition. Joining visual beauty with intellectual rigor in a fashion that truly invokes the spirit of this great city, The Art of Florence presents as rich a vision of human creativity as we can find anywhere outside Florence itself.

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