'A pearl of a book, a delight to read, full of language and ideas that form a tumbling elegy to the “eruption of curiosity” of the age'
Anna Keays, The Times
'Jonathan Jones, the art critic of the Guardian, rides into battle like the knights in Uccello’s Battle of San Romano, gives you big ideas and bold themes, then, dismounting, writes with lyrical loveliness about the “light-catching locks” and spiralling curls of Leonardo’s angels or the slender, honeytrap Venuses of Lucas Cranach the Elder ... This is the Renaissance of Botticelli and Bosch, of heavenly goddesses and teeming hells'
Laura Freeman, Art Books of the Year, The Sunday Times
'From Titian and Michelangelo to Cezanne and Soutine, from Velazquez and Chardin to Bonnard and Pissarro, Neve sketches out the final periods of artists’ lives in lilting, lyrical prose ... His painterly style, his eye for detail and colour, is all the more powerful for the way that he juxtaposes it with the news of the outside world ... His approach amounts to a kind of emotional ekphrasis'
Times Literary Supplement
'Jonathan Jones has reimagined the Renaissance for our times in a beautifully written love letter to the art of Leonardo, Bosch, Dürer, Titian, Michelangelo and so many others ... it is a tale of artistic innovation and exchange in a world of sex, piety, revolution and discovery. From Van Eyck to Caravaggio, each page makes new connections and offers brilliant revelations about works we thought we knew, but which appear anew under Jones’ period gaze. His love of the art of the period is passionate and infectious: a superb achievement'
Jerry Brotton, author of 'The Renaissance Bazaar'
'Earthly Delights captures the extraordinary transformation in Europe of thinking from 1400 to 1600 ... Packed with the stories of the geniuses who made the art of this period soar -- from Leonardo and his ideas for a flying machine to Michelangelo and his St Peter’s Basilica – this book is both beautifully illustrated and hugely readable'
Art Society Magazine
'One of the most compelling and widely read critics of our time … Jones deftly side-steps the great morass of scholarly verbiage that has built up around this pivotal era, and goes straight to the works of art themselves. We stand at his shoulder as some of the greatest paintings and sculptures of all time reveal their meanings to him - and to us. The result is a highly readable book that makes an extraordinary, but now distant period of human history feel fresh, immediate and very relevant to now. And not least through Jones's own unquenchable passion for his subject'
Mark Hudson, art critic and author of 'Titian, The Last Days'
'The author surveys a wide range of artists and key paintings, providing his own perspective on masterpieces such as Donatello’s Judith and Holofernes (1455-60) sculpture in Florence'
'Jonathan Jones sets out to rebut the view that the very idea of the Renaissance is “a wheezing old steam train, a 19th-century construct”. Instead, he argues, it constituted a revolutionary new focus on the earthly realities of the world, human flesh among them. He makes the case vigorously, persuasively and entertainingly'
Martin Gayford, Books of the Year, Spectator