Art and Architecture of the Renaissance Giotto Di Bondone (1267 – 1337) – Madonna in Glory Born just outside of Florence At the end of the 13th century, several technically skilled painters emerged Broke from the frozen Byzantine style for softer, more lifelike forms (up to that point, Italian painters had portrayed subjects in a flat, unrealistic manner) Giotto’s frescos were the first since the Roman period to render human forms suggesting weight and roundness Made Madonna (like other Byzantine artists) larger than the saints and angels who surrounded her Also designed the bell tower for the Duomo in Florence Madonna in Glory Duomo Florence, Italy 1296-1436 AD (Built) Third largest cathedral in the world Carved bronze doors – three arches at entrance Bell tower designed by Giotto Dome designed by Brunelleschi Gothic and Byzantine influence Considered a great engineering feat Dome was a key feature of the Renaissance Early Renaissance – 1400s Donatello (1386 – 1466) Born in Florence Great Italian sculptor Did three well-known statues of David – first life-size, freestanding nude since the Classical period, bronze Contrapposto – weight concentrated on one leg with the rest of the body relaxed, often turned Supported by Medici family David Sandro Botticello (1444 – 1510) Lived and worked in Florence Clear, rhythmic lines, delicate color, lavish decoration (Byzantine influence) Didn’t share interest of fellow Florentines in nature and science – two kinds of works 1) mythological and 2) religious Painted all women the same – features, coloring, hair, etc Criticized by da Vinci Principal patrons were the Medici dynasty, for whom he created alter pieces, portraits, allegories, and banners Dreamlike, otherworldly atmosphere in art Birth of Venus (in Uffizi) Rebirth of Classical mythology in the Renaissance Well manicured hands and feet Primavera (in Uffizi) Shows the garden of Venus, the goddess of love Probably commissioned by a Medici to hang in a room adjoining the wedding chamber of his townhouse in Florence Mercury, the messenger of gods, is shown wearing his winged boots; he was the son of the nymph Maia, whose name was given to the month of May – the month in which the marriage of the Medici commissioner took place in 1482. Mercury uses his wand entwined with snakes to hold back the clouds so that nothing can ruin the eternal spring of Venus’ garden. Intertwined hands, intricate drapers folds, and flowing hair of the Three Graces display his perfection of crisp lines. Their pointed faces, long necks, and curving bellies embody the ideal feminine beauty in Renaissance Florence. Venus is wearing the characteristic headdress of a Florentine married woman – a reference to the nuptial theme of the painting Cupid mischievously aims his arrow at the Three Graces Zephyrus (god of West Wind) courted Chloris (startled nymph) and made her his wife, transforming her into the goddess Flora Flora – balances the right-hand side of the painting; embodiment of beauty and is a reference of the joy of marriage; symbol of Florence “City of Flowers” Jan Van Eyck (1385 – 1444) Born in Netherlands He and his brother were the first to use oil painting – Hubert so idolized for his discovery that his right arm was preserved as a holy relic Painted the most microscopic details in brilliant, glowing color Style emphasizes natural lighting effects, vivid color, and rich precise details Arnolfini Wedding (the Betrothal of the Arnolfini) This painting is a portrait of Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini and his wife Giovanna Cenami in a Flemish bedchamber. It is one of the most original and complex paintings in Western art history. Currently part of the collection of the National Gallery in London (which acquired it in 1842), van Eyck executed the work with oil on oak panel in 1434. Example of symbolic arrangement of images within the painting The placement of the two figures suggests conventional gender roles – the woman stands near the bed and well into the room, symbolic of her role as the caretaker, whereas the man stands near the open window, symbolic of the outside world. Giovanni looks directly out at the viewer, his wife gazes obediently at her husband. The oranges on the chest below the window may refer to fertility and symbolize the purity and innocence that reigned in the Garden of Eden before the Fall of Man. They are also a token of prosperity, since these fruits could be afforded only by the wealthy few. Crystal prayer beads were typical gift from the groom The small medallions set into the mirror frame show tiny scenes from the Passion of Christ and represent God’s promise of salvation for the figures reflected on the mirror’s convex surface, which in turn, represent the eye of the Christian God observing the vows of the wedding. The dog symbolizes loyalty Post of bed is surmounted by a carved St. Margaret – patron saint of childbirth Chandelier has one lit candle – symbol of unity Whisk broom symbolizes bride’s responsibility Whole scene is reflected in the mirror ( as well as the artist) Signature says “Jan Van Eyck was here” over the mirror. The artist signature is lettered in script normally used for legal documents. The green of the woman’s dress symbolizes fertility and hope, possibly the hope of becoming a mother and her white cap signifies purity. The bride is wearing a pillow under her dress in hopes of fertility Cast off shoes – holy ground Hands are central to Christian marriage and unify picture reflected in chandelier above By applying layer after layer of translucent thin glazes, van Eyck created a painting with an almost reflective surface. The intense glowing colors also help to highlight the realism and underscore the material wealth and opulence of Arnolfini’s world. He took advantage of the longer drying time (than compared to tempera) of the oil medium to blend colors and to achieve subtle variations in light and shade so as to heighten the illusion of three-dimensional forms. He carefully distinguished textures and manages to capture surface appearance precisely. Also, he rendered effects of both direct and diffused light by depicting the light from the window on the left reflecting off various surfaces. Hieronymous Bosch (1450 – 1516) Father and Grandfather were painters Historians know little about him; bizarre imagination Bosch showed that the traditions and achievements of painting which had been developed to represent reality most convincingly could be turned round, as it were, to give us an equally plausible picture of things no human eye had seen. Typical painting consists of many separate episodes and a variety of symbolic actions – paintings tell a story that have a religious or moral meaning – he saw evil everywhere Painted panoramic landscapes crowded with figures of people, demons, and fantastic dreams; Innovative torments as punishment for sinners Seemed to believe that humanity was doomed to tortures in Hell because of the foolish, greedy, and lustful nature of human beings Best known work is a triptych (three-piece painting) called Garden of Earthly Delights Paradise and Hell (Two portions of Garden of Earthly Delights) On the left we watch evil invading the world. The creation of Eve is followed by the temptation of Adam and both are driven out of Paradise, while high above in the sky we see the fall of the rebellious angels, who are hurled from heaven as a swarm of repulsive insects. On the other wing we are shown a vision of hell. There we see horror piled upon horror, fires and torments and all manner of fearful demons, half animal, half human or half machine, who plague and punish the poor sinful souls for all eternity. For the first and perhaps for the only time, an artist had succeeded in giving concrete and tangible shape to the fears that had haunted the minds of man in the Middle Ages. It was an achievement which was perhaps only possible at this very moment, when the old ideas were still vigorous and yet the modern spirit had provided the artist with methods of representing what he saw. Garden of Earthly Delights Each panel shows a separate but interrelated scene, organized around the themes of creation, fall, and damnation of the human race. Scholars are divided about its ultimate meaning, but most agree that Bosch was a stern moralist, mocking the corrupt society of his day. The center panel is the dramatic focus of the triptych, and depicts the sins of the flesh in lurid and metaphorical detail. The diverse images in this panel are thought to symbolize Bosch’s perspective on the human condition: perpetual enslavement to the sexual appetite unleashed by Adam and Eve’s original sin. The right panel is a repulsive portrait of Hell and the inescapable torment of sinful human beings. A horrific scene of fiery ruins and grisly instruments of torture, this panel seems to proclaim Bosch’s hopeless vision of the futility of life on earth. The artist seems to say that human beings cause their own destruction through wicked desires. Nowhere in the entire work is there a hint of salvation. Pieter Bruegel (1525 – 69) Influenced by Bosch’s pessimism and satiric approach Painter of Peasants – peasant life was his subject; common workers merrymaking, feasting, and dancing; Scenes are congested – lots of activity His paintings, including his landscapes and scenes of peasant life, stress the absurd and vulgar, yet are full of zest and fine detail. They also expose human weaknesses and follies. People began to think of him as a peasant, a common mistake to confuse an artist with his subject A Peasant Wedding – Best-known work features guests eating and drinking gluttonously Hunters in the Snow High Renaissance – 1500 Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1514) Born in Vinci – near Florence Illegitimate son of a peasant girl – time when illegitimacy was extremely frowned upon Most of life worked for foreign dukes and princes who were often at war with Florence Medici family essentially ignored him; spent his last years in the service of the French monarchy Designed parachutes and flying machines, and drew plans for hundreds of inventions – way ahead of his time; fascinated with heights; Avid mountain climber – loved to scale great heights Abandoned the use of fresco because he wanted to create shadows Portrayals of the human anatomy are excellent Lived in a hospital studying skeletons and over 30 cadavers “Renaissance Man” – omnitalented individual who radiates wisdom Constantly stressed the intellectual aspects of art and creativity, and transformed the artist’s public status into a “Lord and God,” as he put it. Distractions constantly lured him from one unfinished project to the next Less than 20 paintings by him survive The Last Supper (On wall of Santa Maria delle Grazie) Shows disciples in several small groups responding differently to Christ when he tells them one of them will betray him – facial expressions and gestures Christ in the middle creates balance Tried new method to create shadows, but the idea didn’t work and the wall began to flake – Renovated inch by inch Church was bombed twice during WWII and the wall was never harmed; building was also used as a stable at one point Use of perspective – with all diagonal lines converging on Christ’s head – Christ as apex of the pyramidal configuration Mona Lisa (Louvre) Mona – Mrs. Or Ms. Young wife of a Florentine merchant, just lost a child, and husband was at sea The Mona Lisa's enigmatic expression, which seems both alluring and aloof, has given the portrait universal fame. Pyramidal configuration – lines converge at head Hung in Napoleon’s bedroom until put in louver in 1804 Stolen twice – 1911 (from the Louvre and was missing for two years) and was found two years later in a Florence hotel room, and again, slashed once then put in a case and protected 24 hrs Eyebrows are missing because it is believed they were erased in a restoration Relaxed, natural, ¾ pose – diverged from the norm Perspective, chiaroscuro, realized full potential of the new oil medium One of the first easel paintings intended to be framed and hung on a wall Most admired and reproduced image in all art Michelangelo (1475 – 1564) Born near Florence to a respectable family, full name is a Michelangelo Buonarroti; spent most of his working life in Rome Grew up absorbed with carving, drawing, and art, even though his family beat him severely to force him into a “respectable” profession. Moved in with the Medici family at age 15, after they recognized his talent Deeply influenced by Donatello; learned body movement from Leonardo Sculptor, painter, architect, and poet Pieta in Rome (1498) and David in Florence (1501-04) both created before he was 30. Sistine Chapel ceiling in Rome (1508-12) when he was in his mid-30s Driven by Christianity; God created life from clay, and the sculptor “liberated the figure from the marble that imprisoned it” When someone said it was a shame he never married and had children, he said that his demanding art was a harassing wife enough, and his works left behind would be his sons. Always carved from one block, never added marble David 14 ft high; Hands are big to show that he is not yet an adult Embodies physical beauty and mental strength (David and Goliath) Sistene Chapel Commissioned by Pope Julius II – only supposed to be a few vines on a blue background; turned into more than 340 human figures representing the origin and fall of man – most ambitious undertaking of the entire Renaissance Shows 9 OT scenes including 3 each of the story of Adam and Eve, Noah and the Flood, and the Creation. Surrounded by 12 larger than life OT prophets; Last Judgement takes up a whole wall – finished 29 yrs after ceiling Worked on a seven-story high scaffold in a cramped position Roof leaked, which made the plaster too damp, nearly ½ the length of a football field (Creation of Adam) Pieta Inside of St. Peters Originally meant to be a tombstone for a Pope; 5 feet by 5 feet Mary was supposed to resemble his mother who died when he was young. One of the first designs of a body lying in this fashion Carved when he was 21 – when first unveiled, a viewer attributed the work to a more experienced sculptor, when he heard, he carved his name on a ribbon across the Virgin’s breast – the only work he ever signed Attacked by a man with a hammer – her face and left arm were damaged; it was repaired, but it is now in a protected cage. St. Peter’s The Vatican in Italy 1507-1612 Built It is believed to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of St. Peter – one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Raphael (among others) was the original architect, but Michelangelo is given the credit for the design (especially the dome) 54,402 square feet Bernini designed the colonnades – 280 Doric columns surround the plaza The Vatican is the second largest church and has the largest collection of art Capacity of over 60,000 people 25.5 m tall obelisk. The obelisk was moved to its present location in 1585 The obelisk dates back to the 13th century BC in Egypt, and was moved to Rome in the 1st century to stand in Nero's Circus some 250 m away. Including the cross on top and the base the obelisk reaches 40 m. On top of the obelisk there used to be a large bronze globe allegedly containing the ashes of Julius Caesar, this was removed as the obelisk was erected in St. Peter's Square. There are also two fountains in the square, the south one by Maderno (1613) and the northern one by Bernini (1675). Raphael (1483 – 1520) Born in Urbino, Italy – died on his 37th birthday when he caught a fever after a midnight assignation, and was well-liked and would have been voted most pop out of the three High Ren (Raph, da Vinci, Mich) Born and died on Good Friday Father was a court painter – taught him basics By 17, he was big time; called to Rome by the Pope at age 26 to decorate the Vatican rooms; he completed the frescoes, aided by an arm y of 50 students, the same year Michelangelo finished the Sistine ceiling Incorporates architectural features into his paintings Popular works are gentle paintings of Madonna, uses pyramidal compositions His art most completely expressed all the qualities of the High Renaissance art – from da Vinci he borrowed pyramidal composition and learned to use light and shadow with faces (chiaroscuro), and from Michelangelo, he adapted full-bodied, dynamic figures and the contrapposto pose. The Sistine Madonna The figures stand on a bed of clouds, framed by heavy curtains which open to either side. The Virgin actually appears to descend from a heavenly space, through the picture plane, out into the real space in which the painting is hung. Titian (1487 – 1576) Born in Venice Recognized by his contemporaries as "the sun amidst small stars", Titian was one of the most versatile of Italian painters, equally adept with portraits and landscapes (two genres that first brought him fame), mythological and religious subjects. Mannerism – exaggeration of the stylistic achievements of the Renaissance; contorted and elongated bodies, strong light-dark contrasts, extremely unclear special alignments, Bright colors, bold brushstrokes, showed human facial expressions and gestures Generally uses red background, 30-40 layers of glaze to tone down the vivid hues – through this method he was able to portray any texture (polished metal, shiny silk, red-gold hair, or warm flesh) convincingly. Influenced El Greco and Rembrandt Broke the time-honored rules of composition – moved Madonna from center of paintings His work, which permanently affected the course of European painting, provided an alternative, of equal power and attractiveness, to the linear and sculptural Florentine tradition championed by Michelangelo and Raphael; this alternative was eagerly taken up by Peter Paul Rubens, Diego Velazquez, Rembrandt, Eugene Delacroix, and the Impressionists. His paintings create a Venetian counterpart to High Renaissance style: equally complex, monumental, and dynamic, but one which made full use of the traditional Venetian resources of color, free brushwork, and atmospheric tone. Most of Titian's work is deep and emotionally charged, marking the transition of High Renaissance period into the emerging Baroque era. Fame almost paralleled Michelangelo Painted with his fingers as opposed to brushes at the end Died of the plague at roughly age 90 The Allegory of Time Governed by Prudence Painted three heads alluding to the three ages of man: youth, maturity and old age. This series of portraits, painted when Titian was nearly eighty years old, could be said to be a metaphor for "a life lived." The left head resembles Titian himself in old age, the bearded central man has been thought to represent his son Orazio, and the youth may depict his cousin and heir, Marco Vecellio (born 1545) Hans Holbein (1497 – 1524) Known for portraits – one of greatest portraitists ever Famous painter of Henry VIII and his wives Set the standard for portraits – tended to show his subjects in a flattering light Henry VIII Albrecht Durer (1471 – 1528) Born in Nuremberg, Germany Admired by Raphael and was known as the “Leonardo of the North” Fascinated with nature, and believed art should be based on careful scientific studies – insisted on tramping through a swamp to see the body of a whale and died of a subsequent fever Best known for his graphic work and woodcuts and first to use printmaking as a major medium for art Study of Praying Hands El Greco (1541 – 1614) Born in Italy, did most of his work in Spain 7 of his works are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art due to late popularity. Mary Cassatt purchased them for the Museum while she was in Europe First started in the highly patterned Byzantine style, but was then influenced by Michelangelo, Raphael, and the Mannerists in Rome Self-confident and said Michelangelo couldn’t paint and offered to revamp “The Last Judgment” Unnatural light of uncertain origin and harsh colors like strong pink, acid green, and brilliant blue and yellow – mannerism Elongated limbs, distorts forms, swirling movement in religious paintings to emphasize emotion – mannerism; Surreal, emotionally intense paintings View of Toledo The Spoliation The Spoliation is considered one of the most stunning depiction's of Christ, particularly given the luminous red robe in a crowed of muted figures. The scene depicts Christ at the foot of the cross as it, as well as he, are prepared for the crucifixion.
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