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Italian Quattrocento

Italian Quattrocento






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    Italian Quattrocento Italian Quattrocento Presentation Transcript

    • Competition Panels of the Florence Baptistery
      • Ghiberti, Sacrifice of Isaac (1401 -02)
      • Designed for the second set of Florence Cathedral Baptistery
      • Competition used the same number of figures, same scene and quotation from the Bible
      • Gothic, Sienese in design: curve to the body of Abraham, fluttering of Abraham’s drapery behind arm
      • Idealized forms (vs. Brunelleschi’s expressiveness)
      • Polished effect
      • Decorative lines
      • No particular focus
      • Classical figure of Isaac inspired by Roman art
      • Abraham’s face taken from Roman model of Jupiter
      • Graceful poses
      • Made in two pieces, thus less expensive
    • Competition Panels of the Florence Baptistery
      • Brunelleschi, Sacrifice of Isaac
      • Commission given to Ghiberti after the success of the second set of doors
      • Doors use a more neutral and modern rectangular shape instead of more Gothic quatrefoil
      • Expansive and harmonious use of space
      • Elegant bodies
      • Creation of a precise spatial depth
      • One dense group of forms
      • Composition divided into two main tiers: upper and lower
      • Weighty figures
      • Great variety of poses
      • More dramatic, tense, sense of urgency
      • Youthful Isaac
      • Figures overlap boundaries of quatrefoil pattern
      • Figures inspired by Roman models
      • Made in eight pieces, much heavier than Ghiberti’s
    • Italian Quattrocento Architecture
      • Brunelleschi, Dome of Florence Cathedral
      • Dome is raised on a high drum, meant to be seen from the outside more than the inside, unlike the Pantheon or the Hagia Sophia
      • Semi-pointed, eight-sided dome
      • Built with no centering devices
      • Really two domes, the interior does the structural work, and the exterior gives it a soaring quality
      • Extremely wide width of 140’ to vault
      • Octagonal lantern on top: 8 buttresses with supports at the angles, each having a Corinthian pilaster; each buttress pierced by a classicizing portal-like opening
    • Italian Quattrocento Architecture
      • Brunelleschi, Santo Spirito, Florence
      • Early Christian basilica
      • Unfluted Corinthian columns
      • Flat coffered ceiling
      • Floor has square patterns that divide up the space mathematically
      • Added impost blocks for height
      • Width of nave equals height of nave arcade
      • Florentines thought geometric precision could decode the mysteries of the universe
      • Light, airy, open
    • Italian Quattrocento Architecture
      • Michelozzo, Palazzo Medici, Florence
      • Three horizontal levels
      • 1st story: rough cut, rusticated stone, Roman fortress like, used for shops and businesses; later the arches were filled in; fortitude of inhabitants implied
      • 2nd story: smooth cut blocks, family quarters
      • 3rd story: smooth surface
      • Heavy cornice to limit vision and imply sense of strength
      • Façade does not support building, working towards a curtain wall
      • Modern bank image comes from this building
    • Italian Quattrocento Architecture
      • Alberti, Sant’Andrea, Mantua
      • Combination of Roman triumphal arch with antique temple front
      • Pairs of giant pilasters, topped by Corinthian capitals, support pediment
      • Large barrel vault that rises above the façade
      • Size of façade dictated by the small plaza in front of church: Alberti could not change width—bell tower on one side, the plaza on the other
      • Alberti sought to create identical proportions of width and height
      • “ Ombrellone” seems awkward, but it creates a powerful barrel vault inside building, largest since antiquity
    • Italian Quattrocento Sculpture
      • Ghiberti, Gates of Paradise
      • Commission given to Ghiberti after the success of the second set of doors
      • Doors use a more neutral and modern rectangular shape instead of more Gothic quatrefoil
      • Expansive and harmonious use of space
      • Elegant bodies
      • Creation of a precise spatial depth
    • Italian Quattrocento Sculpture
      • Donatello, Gattamelata
      • Cast in parts; triumph of bronze casting
      • Idealized heroic portrait of a resolute commander
      • Pulsating facial muscles, heavy arches brows
      • Swelling of horse’s veins
      • Sense of classical revival: cf. Marcus Aurelius
      • On parade
    • Italian Quattrocento Sculpture
      • Donatello, Gattamelata
      • Cast in parts; triumph of bronze casting
      • Idealized heroic portrait of a resolute commander
      • Pulsating facial muscles, heavy arches brows
      • Swelling of horse’s veins
      • Sense of classical revival: cf. Marcus Aurelius
      • On parade
    • Italian Quattrocento Sculpture
      • Donatello, Saint Mark
      • Commissioned by the Guild of Linen Weavers and Peddlers, suggested by pillow at base and ample drapery
      • Although in a Gothic niche, the statue is free standing
      • Contrapposto based on Roman art
      • Drapery falls directly down
      • Easy posture
      • Face has piercing eyes
      • Calculated how the sculpture would look from street level
      • Donatello, David
      • First life size nude since antiquity
      • Subtle S curve of figure
      • In triumph after killing Goliath, whose head is at his feet
      • Black bronze has a shiny feminine quality
      • Epicene quality of pose and features
      • Standing self-assured, but not triumphant, as if in reverie
      • Young adolescent body
      • Laurel on foppish hat alludes to David’s powers as a poet
      • Nudity an allusion to David dancing nude in ecstasy at the return of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem
    • Italian Quattrocento Sculpture
      • Donatello, Zuccone (Habbakuk)
      • Cf. Roman Republican art
      • Strong, rustic, not refined, nor idealized
      • Heavy drapery sweeps your eye diagonally to head
      • Fiery intensity of expression, meant to be seen by passersby in the cathedral square below
      • Living out in the wilderness, looks haggard but divinely inspired
      • Bald head carved roughly to enhance effect
    • Italian Quattrocento Painting
      • Masaccio, Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden
      • Desolate world outside of Garden of Eden
      • Volumes are massive and simple
      • Monumental, sculptural figures inspired by Giotto
      • Dramatically cast shadows, also emphasizing weight and physicality; tragic intensity
      • Adam ignores his nudity, covers his face for shame
      • Eve’s profound cry of despair
      • Masaccio, Holy Trinity
      • Triangular form, dominated by perspective architecture inspired by Brunelleschi
      • Christ is crucified and a member of the Trinity
      • Viewpoint of average person standing in front and looking up at the cross
      • Ancient Roman triumphal arch, round arch, pillars, pilasters
      • Flanking Trinity is Mary and John, then – on the next spatial plane – the two kneeling donors
      • Below is the tomb of a member of the donor’s family, with his skeleton
      • Inscription reads, “I once was what you are, and what I am, you will become”
    • Italian Quattrocento Painting
      • Uccello, Battle of San Romano
      • Commemorates the victory of the Florentines over Sienese in 1432
      • Dominated by a fascination for perspective
      • Extremely high horizon line allows for wealth of action and detail
      • Scale often appears random, however
      • Toy horses, more ceremonial than terrifying
      • Interest in metal patterns of the fallen men and lances, figures fall in bold foreshortening
      • Vanishing points pull the eye into space
      • Miraculously, the dead knights and their broken lances fall perfectly along the orthogonal lines leading to the vanishing point
    • Italian Quattrocento Painting
      • Botticelli, Birth of Venus
      • Delicacy of line and surface ornament
      • Sharply drawn figures, focus on contours
      • Landscape flat and tapestry-like
      • Stylized V shaped waves
      • Little interest in perspective
      • Venus rises from a seashell, far away look in her eyes
      • Rose created at the same time as Venus, a symbol of love: it can be painful
      • Bloodless, weightless, idealized nude
      • Cf. Praxiteles, Aphrodite of Knidos
      • Zephyr and his love, Chloris, rush in to scatter roses before her
      • Handmaiden covers her
    • Italian Quattrocento Painting
      • Castagno, Last Supper
      • Christ is blessing, but Judas already has his food, not sacred to him
      • Judas is diabolical, jutting beard, hooked nose, on other side of table
      • Inconsistent geometric shape of room: ceiling panels 16 by 14, stringcourses 12 across back and 6 per side
      • Ceiling circles are 33 ½ in the back (the age of Christ at his death) and 17 at the sides
      • Six panels on the sides, but six in the back also
      • Animated marble over Judas’ head and skeptical Peter’s head reflects mood
      • Rugged features of individuals
      • Lit from windows on right
      • Nearly every figure sits independently
    • Italian Quattrocento Painting
      • Ghirlandaio, Birth of the Virgin
      • Saint Anne reclines in a palace room decorated with a classically inspired frieze
      • Midwives prepare for infant’s bath
      • Daughter of chapel’s patron of the work prominently shown in golden dress at center
      • Living people steal the show from the saints
      • Clear spatial arrangements
      • Large room divided by pilasters
      • Upper left corner: meeting of Joachim and Anna
    • Italian Quattrocento Painting
      • Perugino, Christ Delivering the Keys of the Kingdom to Saint Peter
      • Figures lined up in a row
      • Emphasis on clarity, bright colors
      • Feeling of easy grace
      • Contemporaries in the painting
      • Shapely mantles
      • Weight placed on one foot, hip noticeable
      • Vast Renaissance plaza
      • Arch of Constantine, dome of Florence Cathedral in background
      • Catholic Church centered on Saint Peter: open space to highlight the key
      • Middle Left: Render to Caesar the things which are Caesar’s
      • Middle Right: Stoning of Christ
      • Located in the Sistine Chapel, the place where Popes are elected
    • Italian Quattrocento Painting
      • Mantegna, Dead Christ
      • Uncharacteristic use of almost grisaille in contrast to his usual bold coloring
      • Emotionally charged
      • Bold foreshortening
      • Feet placed over the edge into our own space
      • Head enlarged to see it better; feet reduced to see body better
      • Wounds and dislocated shoulders of Christ prominently displayed
    • Italian Quattrocento Painting
      • Mantegna, Room of the Newlyweds
      • Oculus: eight winged putti and a peacock
      • Women lean over balcony
      • Foreshortening and perspective
      • Walls: heavy curtain pulled back
      • Antique decorative elements around main scenes
      • Patrons are the Gonzagas, their colors red and white on their hosiery
      • Realism of Gonzaga bodies: hump back, double chins, protruding foreheads and jaws, limp and spindly arms and legs
      • Charming legend about the possible use by newlyweds on their first night: Cupids abound, with a peacock as a symbol of marital harmony
    • Italian Quattrocento Painting
      • Piero, Brera Altarpiece
      • Light, open, clear space
      • Set within an actual Renaissance church interior
      • Crystalline, almost bleaching light
      • Roman architectural forms
      • Classical, quiet and a still quality
      • Deeply reverend patron
      • Egg as the Renaissance symbol for a perfectly centralized harmonious and symmetrical space
      • Mathematical proportion and balance
      • Barrel vault, cf. Alberti’s Sant’Andrea
      • Light comes in from left casting shadows on figures and vault
      • Armor-clad patron seen in profile on his knees in front
      • Pose requested by patron to hide disfigurement on the other side of his face: loss of right eye
    • Italian Quattrocento Art
      • Verrocchio, David
      • Slenderness and angularity of the adolescent body
      • Jutting left elbow, slightly cocky aspect
      • Precise ornament
      • Leather jerkin and skirt classical inspired, reveals rather than conceals the young hero’s wiry anatomy
      • Pensive and gentle in victory
      • Lacks anatomical exaggeration
      • Pollaiuolo, Battle of the Ten Nudes
      • Humans as wild beasts
      • Dense vegetation
      • Meant to teach students about anatomy, in all its possible variety
      • Many figures are in reflected/flipped poses
      • Composition of intertwined figures in superimposed registers to indicate depth
      • Mass-produced works of art, spreading Pollaiuolo’s fame to Northern Europe
    • Italian Quattrocento Painting
      • Signorelli, Damned Cast into Hell
      • Supreme representation of the nude in movement
      • First large scale painted treatment of the nude in Renaissance art
      • Heaven guarded by armored angels
      • Multicolored demons carrying female souls a suggestion of sexual threat
      • Demons with bat-like wings carry off the mortals
      • Demons rip off ears and sink their teeth into victims
      • Bizarre and lurid color of devils, some suggesting decaying flesh
      • Impenetrable tangle of demons and victims
      • Consuming desperation