"= there is a long history of dispute over the word eclecticism and its application to paintings of the Carracci school. Unger (Ben-Gurion Univ., Israel) surveys the rise and fall of that term and makes a valiant and deft attempt to resuscitate it and apply it to particular works. Unger sorts out knotty controversies = clearly and cogently, aware that postmodernism currently makes new space for eclecticism." Summing Up: Recommended -- P. Emison, University of New Hampshire, CHOICE Reviews, November 2019 Vol. 57 No. 3
Redefining Eclecticism in Early Modern Bolognese Painting. Ideology, Practice, and Criticism focuses on the unique nature of early modern Bolognese painting that found its expression in stylistic diversity. The flourishing of different stylistic approaches in the Mannerist paintings of the previous generation evolved, at the turn the seventeenth century, in the work of the Bolognese painters into an approach best described as eclecticism, characterized by the combination of two or more styles in a single work of art. Eclectism was a major innovation and major contribution to the history of art. But it then also became a critical term that suffered much negative press. The book therefore also traces the role of ecclecticism as a concept in the evolution of criticism and scholarship about the Bolognese school of painting over 250 years, showing how the dramatically vacillating attitudes towards this concept shaped the historical view of the Bolognese painters, ultimately having a tremendous dampening impact on our understanding of seventeenth-century art.
Daniel M. Unger teaches art history at Ben-Gurion University, Israel. He specializes in early modern Italian painting. Unger is the author of Guercino's Paintings and His Patrons' Politics in Early Modern Italy and Redefining Eclecticism in Early Modern Bolognese Painting.