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Here I present some of the books that are helping us make a historically accurate game.

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Below is the bibliography of Painters Guild with a few comments on how each book is helping make the game a fun and historical experience.

Art Market and Connoisseurship: A closer look at Paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and their Contemporaries
Anna Tummers and Koenraad Jonckheere

This book focuses on the market of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance art. While that region is not the focus of the first version of Painters Guild, my intention is that the player will be able to create his guild in many different regions of Europe, the most important after Italy being the Low Countries.

Leonardo da Vinci: The Marvellous Works of Nature and Man
Martin Kemp

Deep analysis of Leonardo's mind. While it doesn't provide a clear and simple biography, it captures the complexity of the painter's thoughts. This book will be particularly useful for the minigame Painters Guild: Leonardo.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance Art
Lilian H. Zirpolo

Historical dictionaries are great for quick consultation of concepts without having to read entire works of historians. They usually also include some historiography, giving you an idea of which author wrote what, helping you contextualize historical research on a subject and serving as a good introduction to a topic. This book also contains a timeline with important events in Renaissance art and biographies from known and unknown artists, which will help me greatly with creating a list of names for the procedurally generated artists of Painters Guild.

Renaissance in Italy
John Addington Symons

I found this to be an outdated book, and no wonder – it was written in the 19th century. There are interesting insights, but it requires very critical reading.

Living on the Edge in Leonardo’s Florence
Gene Brucker

This book contains research on the political situation of Florence and Italy, which will be useful when including historical events in the game. There’s also the story of Alessandra Strozzi, a female member of the Strozzi family, which commissioned many works of art.

The Lives of the Artists
Giorgio Vasari

This was the first attempt to write the art history of the Renaissance, and it was written during the Renaissance. Vasari’s Vite contains biographies of the best artists until his time and is a necessary read that must be read critically, since he embellishes things sometimes.

Forbidden Friendships: Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence
Michael Rocke

While not focused on artists, this book is useful for understanding the homoerotic inclinations of artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Botticelli in the context of the time and without anachronisms. I do not know how homosexuality will be portrayed in the game, if I’m going with the Rogue Legacy route of a trait or detail relationships more. There are no concrete plans for heterosexual romances either, but I’d like to see both if I am able to include them. A lot of thought must go into this.

Leonardo da Vinci in his own words
William Wray

This book is worth it for the quotes. There is a big collection with all kinds of quotes categorized by theme, taken from the writings of Leonardo. Primary sources allow you to experience history firsthand and these quotes do wonders for immersion in a game. Have a quote on artistic freedom:
“The painter is lord of all types of peopleand things... If the painter wishes to seemonstrosities that are frightful andbufoonish or ridiculous, or pitiable hecan be lord and god thereof... if he wantsfrom high mountain to unfold a greatplain extending down to the sea'shorizon, he is lord to do so.”

Il Libro dell’Arte
Cennino Cennini

This is the true book of the Painters Guild. Cennini was a master painter of the medieval era who wrote it for his apprentices. It has tips not just on how to mix your paints with eggs to make colors more vivid, but also moral teachings such as to abstain from women to preserve the artist’s hands.

Leonardo and the Last Supper
Ross King

This book starts with the story of Savonarola, a reformist Dominican friar that would play a role in Charles’s VIII of France invasion of Naples. These are the kinds of historical events that will be present in the game. Ross King writes an excellent biography of Leonardo and analyzes some of his works.

The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry
Walter Pater

This book has chapters on a few artists and poets. Interestingly, the chapter on Michelangelo is about his poetry, not his painting or sculpture. There’s also Leonardo and Botticelli.

The Renaissance: A Very Short Introduction
Jerry Brotton

This book is more about humanism and rationalism than art. It’s a broad introduction to the subject with interesting historiography, commenting the classic works of Michelet and Burckhardt.

Renaissance Art: A Very Short Introduction
Geraldine A. Johnson

Another introductory book. A very interesting chapter is “Did women have a Renaissance?”, which talks about the representation of women, inequality, women as art patrons and as artists, a topic that I approached in my last article.

The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy
Jacob Burckhardt.

The State is a work of art. This is a classic interpretation of the Renaissance that deals very little with individual artists and families and talks more about the zeitgeist, spirit of the times. A good and old book.

The Young Leonardo: Art and life in fifteenth-century Florence
Larry J. Feinberg

A very interesting book that focuses on the art training of Leonardo and, therefore, contains a lot of information on the workings of art academies in Italy. The guild of the game should have much in common with Verrochio’s workshop, where Leonardo was an apprentice.
If you have any book or research suggestions, contact @AD1337. Thanks!

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