The report focuses on the heritage of an outstanding scholar of the Leningrad school of art history of the 20th century — T. P. Znamerovskaya. The aim of this work is to identify the key issues of the Italian Renaissance art which the researcher investigated. The study of this issue allows us to extend our knowledge of the ways of development of the Russian history of art in the 20th century.
The basis for the study are the author’s published articles and monographs, as well as the materials from her personal archive housed in the Central State Archive of Literature and Arts, St. Petersburg, including T. P. Znamerovskaya’s unpublished works such as “Genius’s harmony”, “„Cheerful freethinking“ of Renaissance”, “K. Marx and F. Engels on realism in art (to the question of nature and boundaries of realism)” and others. The author’s correspondence with Russian researchers (V. N. Lazarev, J. B. Vipper, M. V. Alpatov, A. S. Samoilo) and foreign experts is of particular interest.
The range of issues examined by T. P. Znamerovskaya in her studies is diverse. The particular attention is paid to theoretical understanding of Renaissance culture and art. First of all, it is the ideological origins of the Renaissance, its philosophical foundations, and social base of the Italian art of this period (the question of folk origins).
The question about which part of society was the bearer of the Renaissance worldview was relevant in the 1950s–1960s and was discussed in the theory of art and literary criticism. In parallel, the author raises the question of the lower boundary of the Renaissance, and challenges the conventional idea for the Soviet art criticism about realism as a creative method of the Italian Renaissance masters.