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  • The foundation of the family’s power and its art patronage was the Medici bank, which financed the trade of Florentine wool and silk merchants into an international scale. The Medici banking family also collected papal taxes abroad and even influenced the appointments of new bishops and popes.
  • Two themes appear often in his work:A very sad young girl detached from what is going on around her.The roles male and females played in society.
  • Giovanni Bellini's St. Francis in the Desert is a masterpiece of spiritualpoetry that has enthralled generations of visitors to The Frick Collection.This monumental painting — the largest work on panel at the Frick — portrays Francesco Bernardone of Assisi (c. 1181–1226), the medieval saint who renounced earthly riches to embrace a life of poverty, humility, simplicity, and prayer. Francis founded the mendicant religious order known in Italy as the FratiMinori, or Friars Minor, still flourishing today. In 1224, during a retreat to the Tuscan mountain of La Verna, he was honored for his empathetic faith with the stigmata, the imprint of the five wounds of Christ's Crucifixion.    Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430/1435–1516), St. Francis in the Desert,c. 1475-78, oil on poplar panel, 49 x 55 7⁄8 inches, The Frick Collection, New YorkThe Frick St. Francis belongs to a rich tradition of biographies, legends, and works of art centering on the life of this saint, who was close in time to Italians of the Renaissance. Yet the image is unlike any other representation of him, visual or written. Bellini's figure appears to be in a state of mystical transport. He strides barefoot from his simple shelter into a rock-strewn wilderness; with hands extended and lips parted, he is transfigured by a supernatural radiance that emanates from the clouds at the upper-left corner of the scene. Could this be an unconventional image of Francis's stigmatization? If not, what has the artist sought to represent instead?     Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430/1435–1516), Infrared reflectogram detail of St. Francis in the Desert, Technical photography by Department of Paintings Conservation, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; image © The Metropolitan Museum of ArtA recent technical investigation (see Technique and Working Method) addressed some longstanding questions about the picture's meaning. It had been proposed that the scene once contained a winged seraph on a cross, delivering the wounds of the Crucifixion to Francis. The technical study strongly discounts this possibility: the painting probably never contained a seraph. The examination also confirmed that the subtle stigmata on Francis's hands are the original work of Bellini himself — not a later retouching — and that the saint once bore a wound on his left foot as well. Owing to abrasion of the paint surface over time, this detail is no longer visible to the naked eye.Most important, the study documented the consummate beauty, precision, and facility of the artist's painting technique. Gifted with an extraordinary sensitivity to nuances of color and light, Bellini manipulated the oil medium to create a deeply communicative work of religious devotion.

    1. 1. Early Renaissance in 15th c. Italy • Intellectuals in 15th c. Italy thought of themselves as living in a NEW AGE. • Believed they could improve their culture by reviving the best features of antiquity…Greek and Roman culture. • Rebirth of classical learning, literature and art.
    2. 2. Causes: • Study of texts from Greece and Rome for moral content and style (medieval university—prized theology) but Renaissance humanism aimed for practical use—for lawyers, bureaucrats, politicians, diplomats and merchants • Humanists’ analytical approach and empirical observations inspired new thinking in many fields
    3. 3. 15th c. Republic of Florence (ala Roman Republic) • Signoria—governing council—officials elected from members of the guilds and mercantile families. • Milan threatened to invade in 1401…Florence was able to defy Milan…a comparison was made between Athens defeat of the Persians…praised for piety and devotion…Renaissance humanists wished to reconcile the lessons of antiquity with their Christian faith.
    4. 4. Across the piazza from the Florence Cathedral facade was the baptistery. Every child born in Florence (heathens excepted) was baptized into the Church there. It was decided that the baptistery needed new doors. The city fathers of Florence held a competition to solicit plans for the dome's completion and for door designs in bronze. Florence Baptistery Competition
    5. 5. Guild-sponsored competition in 1401 east doors of the city’s baptistery.
    6. 6. Ghiberti. Sacrifice of Isaac 1401Bronze relief competition panel for east doors, baptistery of Florence Cathedral 1401-02
    7. 7. Brunelleschi. Sacrifice of Isaac. Competition panel for east doors, baptistery of Florence.
    8. 8. BRUNELLESCHI • After losing the competition…Rome with Donatello • Studied ancient structures • Discovered linear perspective • Won competition for dome of Florence cathedral—wool merchants guild
    9. 9. The Cathedral of Florence was begun in 1298. Santa Maria del Fiore (our Lady of the Flower, the lily was a symbol of Florence) was the third cathedral built on the site. Brunelleschi submitted the winning plan for the dome in 1420. He combined his knowledge of Roman engineering principles with innovative building techniques to construct a 100’ dome w/o any visible means of support.
    10. 10. Brunelleschi, dome of Florence Cathedral, 1420-36
    11. 11. • Brunelleschi placed dome over 140’ crossing by designing a thin double shell that was ogival (pointed arch) in section. • The dome’s weight is borne by 8 marble ribs that span the dome form base to lantern. These ribs are supplemented by 16 concealed ribs radiating from the center.
    12. 12. Brunesslechi, Hospital of the Innocents, 1421…1st Ren. bldg. Patron: Silk Merchants Guild and Goldsmiths The commission enabled him to apply the principles of: balance, harmony and proportion he discovered during his study of ancient Roman buildings.
    13. 13. Details: Loggia—covered walkway Arcade—series of columns spanned by arches Pedimented windows—triangular treatment balance, harmony and proportion
    14. 14. Andrea della Robbia - Glazed terra-cotta reliefs of swaddled babes
    15. 15. Interior of the church begun 1436 - Santo Spirito, Florence
    16. 16. • Simplicity • Proportion • symmetry Mathematical ratios and graceful rhythm embody the new Renaissance style of architecture. Brunelleschi applied these principles to the interior of Santo Spirito.
    17. 17. Pazzi Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence, begun after 144 (Brunelleschi).
    18. 18. Pazzi Chapel Int.
    19. 19. • Attributed to • Michelozzo di Bartolomeo, • Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Florence, begun 1446
    20. 20. • Courtyard with sgraffito (decoration produced by scratching through plaster or glaze).
    21. 21. Or San Michele, Florence (early 14th c.) 1406—dictum to fill niches 1414—K. Ladislaus, Naples threatened Florence 1423—niches filled
    22. 22. Nanni di Banco. Four Saints. Or San Michele, Florence, c.1410-16 Four martyred sculptors who refused and order from the Roman emperor Diocletian to carve a pagan deity. Early example of Renaissance artists’ attempt to liberate statuary form its architectural setting. Patron: Wood and Stone Carvers Guild
    23. 23. Donatello, St Mark, 1411, Marble, 7’9” As Giotto had succeeded his master Cimabue, so Ghiberti produced a student whose fame exceeded his own: Donatello. Donatello was the great master of the Early Renaissance. His skills as a sculptor were unsurpassed until Michelangelo appeared almost a century later. He completed many commissions for the city of Florence. His St. Mark was commissioned by the Linen Weaver’s Guild.
    24. 24. Donatello. S. George. Or San Michele. Florence, c.1417 Guild of Armorers’ and Swordmakers’ Continues Gothic tradition (depicting warrior saints on church facades) but here it plays a civic role…ready to defend Florence.
    25. 25. Two years later Donatello was commissioned to install this relief…marks a turning point in Renaissance sculpture…painterly approach…atmospheric effect…a window onto an infinite vista.
    26. 26. Donatello. Feast of Herod, baptismal font of the Siena Cathedral. c.1425 Reflects Brunelleschi’s linear perspective and recalls his architecture— rounded arches and fluted columns and pilasters.
    27. 27. Donatello Equestrian monument of Gattamelata a recently deceased Venetian condottiere (military leader of mercenary troops) 1444-53 Bronze on marble plinth 340 cm Piazza del Santo, Padua
    28. 28. Erasmo da Narni (nicknamed Gattamelata) Venice honored him for his military successes. Donatello recalled the Equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius Donatello’s horse is so large that the rider must dominate by force of person rather than size.
    29. 29. • Donatello spent most of his career in Florence and worked for important families like the Medici.
    30. 30. GHIBERTI 1378-1455
    32. 32. Ghiberti, Lorenzo (1378-1455), one of the most important early Renaissance sculptors of Florence; his work and writings formed the basis for much of the style and aims of the later High Renaissance.
    33. 33. Adam/Eve and Cain/Abel
    34. 34. Noah and Abraham
    35. 35. Jacob/Esau and Joseph/Bros.
    36. 36. Moses/Sinai and Joshua/Promised Land
    37. 37. David/Goliath and Soloman/Q of Sheba
    38. 38. Ghiberti. PANEL ON THE DOOR, GATES OF PARADISE. 1425-52
    39. 39. Story of Jacob and Esau
    41. 41. Story of Jacob and Esau
    42. 42. Discovery of the Golden Cup
    43. 43. The Medici recognized Donatello’s great talent and commissioned him to sculpt a statue of David. The Florentines identified with David. As David had conquered Goliath, so had Florence overcome the boastful Duke of Milan when he attempted to conquer their city in 1402. Donatello’s David marked a milestone in Early Renaissance art. He chose to portray David as a nude youth…the first freestanding, life-size nude statue cast since antiquity. The Medici installed David in the courtyard of their Florence palace.
    44. 44. Medici as Patrons
    45. 45. Verrocchio. David. C.1465-1470. bronze One of the most important sculptors in the 2nd half of the century…reaffirms the Medici family’s identification with Florence. His David contrasts strongly in its narrative realism with the quiet classicism of Donatellos’s…he knew the psychology of brash young men.
    46. 46. Another Medici appropriation of civic imagery can be seen in a small table bronze of Hercules and Anteus made for the Medici by Antonio del Pollaiuolo (1433-98). Hercules had been represented on the state seal of Florence since the end of the thirteenth century—"to signify that Hercules, who was a giant, overcame all tyrants and evil lords as the Florentines have done.”
    47. 47. Antonio del Pollaiuolo. Hercules and Antaeus. C.1475 bronze, 18” Mythological themes… Medici Neo-Platonic school…reflects humanist preference…stress and strain of human figure in violent action. The Medici desired to associate their family with Florence’s symbolic heroes. They identified with the Greek hero and even placed his image on their state seal. Antaeus…giant and son of Earth goddess
    48. 48. ANDREA EL VERROCCHIO. EQUESTRIAN MONUMENT OF BARTOLOMMEO COLLEONI(Venetian condottiere) The condottiere and his horse have become the embodiment of will power, and a purposeful and ruthless machine.
    49. 49. Andrea del Verrocchio. Doubting Thomas. Or San Michele.
    50. 50. PAINTING
    51. 51. MASSACCIO. TRINITY WITH THE VIRGIN, SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST AND DONORS, fresco, 1425- 27/28 Sta. Maria Novella, Florence • Renaissance interests: • Realism based on observation • Application of mathematics to pictorial organization of perspective • Where is the vanishing point?
    52. 52. • Holy Trinity provides a vivid example of a pyramid or triangular composition. Rather than placing his figures along a horizontal line, Masaccio linked them in a series of interlocking pyramids. • First used by Masaccio, the pyramid configuration became one of the hallmarks of Renaissance art.
    53. 53. INTERIOR OF THE BRANCACCI CHAPEL. Sta. Maria del Carmine, Florence
    54. 54. TRIBUTE MONEY, fresco Masaccio’s figures represent a revolutionary step in Western art—solid three- dimensional figures, all standing in balanced contrapposto. A constant light source creates a realistic blend of light and shade. This chiaroscuro give each figure the illusion of volume.
    55. 55. MASACCIO. THE EXPULSION FROM PARADISE, fresco The colors in true fresco (boun fresco) are much paler than those in oil painting.
    56. 56. MASACCIO. THE EXPULSION FROM PARADISE, fresco Masaccio based his Eve on this ancient statue of the Modest Venus
    57. 57. • The Church of San Marco • Fra Angelico, Annunciation.
    58. 58. In the 1440's, a Dominican Friar, Fra Angelico painted the interior of the Monastery San Marco in Florence with frescoes. He decorated each of his fellow monks' cells with a holy image for their contemplation (the Dominicans were committed to work and prayer). At the top of the stairs leading to their quarters he painted this large-scale Annunciation.
    59. 59. The works of Fran Angelico reveal elements of both Gothic and Renaissance. Lacks symbolic objects…no book Figures are painted shallowly, harking back to pre-Renaissance The whole scene is a masterpiece of quiet understatement.
    60. 60. ANDREA DEL CASTANGO. LAST SUPPER, fresco, 1447 Trompe l’oeil effect is evident in the illusion of the room cut into the wall. Castango was influenced by Masaccio and Donatello. Castango was to influence later artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.
    61. 61. Madonna and Child (1440-1445) Filippo Lippi, (1406 – 1469) National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Carmelite friar
    62. 62. Paolo Uccello. Battle of San Romano. C.1455 tempera on wood
    63. 63. SANDRO BOTTICELLI PAINTER 1445—1510
    64. 64. • During the second half of the 15th century, the republic of Florence flourished under the leadership of Lorenzo de’ Medici, grandson of Cosimo. • Lorenzo established the Platonic Academy of Philosophy, consisting of scholars, poets, and artists. This intimate circle included Botticelli. • Botticelli was apprentice under Pollaiuolo. He was known of his grace and rhythm.
    65. 65. • Born in Florence • Apprenticed at age 14 to a goldsmith • Apprenticed in 1462 to Fra Filippo Lippi
    66. 66. Medici Patronage Botticelli lived at the time of the city’s greatest intellectual and artist flowering, which coincides with the reign of Lorenzo the Magnificent. Medici Family, a very powerful and political dynasty which not only ruled Florence but also produced four popes
    67. 67. • Botticelli’s style evolved into one that was very distinct. His portraits seemed to have a melancholy or sad characteristic. He stressed line and detail…to bring his characters alive. • He included Neo-Platonism in his work. This meant that he would bring together in one painting ideas that belong to both Christianity and pagan ideas which may have included mythology. • He was invited to Rome to take part in the painting of the Sistine Chapel
    68. 68. SANDRO BOTTICELLI. PRIMAVERA, 1482, tempera Neo-platonism was a court style, reflecting the advanced ideas of a small group of well-educated and sophisticated people. The audience was elite. Based on the teachings of Plato, they believed that the pagan gods could be reconciled with Christian values. The gods and goddesses were given spiritual qualities that made them representatives of Christian virtues like—innocence, love, spiritual and intellectual as well as physical beauty.
    69. 69. Patron: cousin of Lorenzo Medici, Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco. Painted as a celebration of his marriage in 1482. Celebrates the arrival of spring—filled with mythological symbolism. Venus (love) in orange grove; Left—Flora (flowers/spring); Chloris (pursued by Zephyrus (wind). Based on a poem by Ovid. Right—Three Grace (companions of love); Mercury (messenger) inspects and protects grove from intruders. Overhead—Amor (Eros/Cupid)
    70. 70. Note the emotion on the face of Chloris as she begins her transformation into Flora, Goddess of Flowers
    71. 71. In this allegory of life, beauty and knowledge united by love, Botticelli catches the freshness of an early spring morning, with pale light shining through the tall, straight trees, already laden with their golden fruit; oranges or the mythical golden apples of the Hesperides (nymphs of the evening)?
    72. 72. SANDRO BOTTICELLI. THE BIRTH OF VENUS, 1484- 86, tempera For the first time in a 1000 years, we see a painted a life-size female nude. She is Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, whom the Romans called Venus. Arisen from the waves and born by the wind Zephyrus, she glides to shore on a shell. The shell is a symbol of baptism and rebirth.
    73. 73. • On Venus' right is Zephyrus, God of Winds, he carries with him the gentle breeze Aura and together they blow the Goddess of Love ashore. The Horae, Goddess of the Seasons, waits to receive Venus and spreads out a flower covered robe in readiness for the Love Goddess' arrival.
    74. 74. Botticelli, Simonetta Vespucci Model for Venus is though to be Simone Cattaneo de Vespucci, a favorite of the Medici Court
    75. 75. Aura and Venus based on Simonetta who died young and Botticello asked to be buried at her feet.
    76. 76. Like Masaccio Venus is based on this antique statue. But unlike Masaccio, Botticelli kept the pagan subject. However, this is a complex allegory. Venus is symbolic of the Neo-Platonic way of looking at beauty. Beauty as an idea—conceived in the mind. Beauty as divine beauty. Just as we cannot have direct experience with the divine connection to God. We cannot have direct experience with divine beauty. In Neo-Platonic thought, the Biblical character Eve was identified with Venus.
    77. 77. Botticelli divieates from Renaissance characteristics. Masaccio (like Giotto) natural weighted bodies, atmospheric perspective Botticelli—stylized, elongated and weightless, no atmospheric perspective
    78. 78. Domenico Ghirlandaio. Portrait d'un vieillard et d'un jeune garçon (Vers 1490)
    79. 79. Fra Bartolomneo: Fra Girolamo Savonarola about 1497 • Savonarola becomes Prior of the Dominican monastery of San Marco in Florence. • He sparks a renaissance of religious fervor and preaches against the corruption of the Papacy and enunciates a personal responsibility for the care of ones soul. • This runs counter to Church policy of having to buy forgiveness from sin from the Vatican. • He sees Revelations being acted out in the political events leading up to the end of the millennium.
    80. 80. The Princely Courts
    81. 81. URBINO Federico da Montefeltro (condottiere) One of the two great patrons of the 15th c. Piero della Francesca
    83. 83. • Frederico was an outstanding military leader and served both the papacy and Lorenzo de’ Medici as a mercenary. • He lost his right eye in battle.
    84. 84. Piero della Francesca. Enthroned Madonna and Saints Adored by Federico da Montefeltro (Brera Altarpiece) c.1472 oil on wood Where is Battista Sforza?
    85. 85. Resurrection 1463 (220 Kb); Mural in fresco and tempera
    86. 86. Mantua Marquis Ludovico Gonzaga (condottiere) Alberti’s Sant’ Andrea Andrea Mantegna
    87. 87. Alberti, façade of S. Andrea in Mantua.
    88. 88. Alberti, church of Saint’Andrea
    90. 90. S. Andrea in Mantua, nave
    91. 91. Arch of Augustus. Rimini, Italy. 27 bce
    92. 92. ANDREA MANTEGNA. FRESCOES IN THE CAMERA PICTA, 1465-74 Palazzo Ducale, Mantua First completely consistent illusionistic fresco decoration of an entire room
    93. 93. Mantegna, Room of the Newlyweds, Palazzo Ducale, Mantua. fresco
    94. 94. Mantegna The Dead Christ
    95. 95. Mantegna. St. Sebastian.
    96. 96. Mantegna. S. James Led to Martyrdom. Ovetari Chapel, Ch. Of the Eremitani, Padua, fresco
    97. 97. Rome and the Papal States Perugino Luca Signorelli
    98. 98. Perugino. Christ Delivering the Keys of the Kingdom to S. Peter. Sistine Chapel, Vatican, 1481-83. fresco (patron Pope Sixtus IV)
    99. 99. Luca Signorelli. Damned Cast into Hell. Orvieto Cathedral, Orvieto, Italy, 1499-1504. fresco patron Pope Alexander VI Evokes the fiery passion of the sermons of Savonarola
    100. 100. Venice Major art center in the last quarter of the 15th c. Bellini Workshop
    101. 101. Venice Gateway to the Orient Venetians saw themselves as superior to Rome and Florence Their Byzantine heritage encouraged an art of rich patterned surfaces emphasizing light and color. Venetians were the first Italians to use oils for painting on both wood panel and canvas.
    102. 102. Giovanni Bellini 1430-1516 • Revolutionized Venetian painting, moving it towards a more sensuous and coloristic style. • Slow-drying oil paint…created deep, rich tints and detailed shadings. • Sumptuous color…fluent atmospheric landscapes had a great influence on Venetian painting, esp. Giorgione and Titian.
    103. 103. • He brought painting to a new degree of realism • He is remembered for the realistic landscapes and the harmony of light, color and mood.
    104. 104. St. Francis in the Desert, c.1489, tempera and oil on poplar panel
    105. 105. • This monumental portrays the medieval saint who renounced earthly riches to embrace a life of poverty, humility, simplicity, and prayer. Francis founded the mendicant religious order still flourishing today. In 1224 he was honored with the stigmata, the imprint of the five wounds of Christ's Crucifixion. Bellini's figure appears to be in a state of mystical transport. He strides barefoot from his simple shelter into a rock-strewn wilderness; with hands extended and lips parted, he is transfigured by a supernatural radiance that emanates from the clouds at the upper-left corner of the scene.
    106. 106. The End On to High Renaissance Leonardo and Michelangelo