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  • 1. Cimabue (c. 1280) and Giotto (c. 1308) with Madonna’s Enthroned
  • 2. CIMABUE
    (b. ca. 1240, Firenze, d. ca. 1302, Firenze)
    Florentine painter. His nickname means 'Ox-head'. He was a contemporary of Dante, who refers to him in The Divine Comedy (Purg. xi. 94-6) as an artist who was 'believed to hold the field in painting' only to be eclipsed by Giotto's fame. Ironically enough this passage, meant to illustrate the vanity of short-lived earthly glory, has become the basis for Cimabue's fame; for, embroidering on this reference, later writers made him into the discoverer and teacher of Giotto and regarded him as the first in the long line of great Italian painters. He was said to have worked in the 'Greek' (i.e. Byzantine) manner, but to have begun the movement towards greater realism which culminated in the Renaissance.
    Documentary evidence is insufficient to confirm or deny this estimate of Cimabue's art. The only work that can be proved to be by his hand is a St John forming part of a larger mosaic in Pisa Cathedral (1302), but tradition has tended to attribute to Cimabue many works of outstanding quality from the end of the 13th century, such as the Madonna of Santa Trinità (Uffizi, Florence), a cycle of frescos in the Upper Church of San Francesco in Assisi, and a majestic Crucifix in Santa Croce (badly damaged in the Florence flood of 1966). If these highly plausible attributions are correct, Cimabue was indeed the outstanding master of the generation before Giotto. The movement towards greater naturalism, however, may owe more to contemporary Roman painters and mosaicists (Cavallini,Torriti) than to him; he is documented in Rome in 1272 and could have known their work.
  • 3. Cimabue, detail
  • 4. Cimabue (c. 1280) and Giotto (c. 1308) with Madonna’s Enthroned
  • 5.
  • 6.
  • 7. Giotto diBondone (c. 1267 - 1337). Florentine painter and architect. Outstanding as a painter, sculptor, and architect, Giotto was recognized as the first genius of art in the Italian Renaissance. Giotto lived and worked at a time when people's minds and talents were first being freed from the shackles of medieval restraint. He dealt largely in the traditional religious subjects, but he gave these subjects an earthly, full-blooded life and force.
    Giotto is regarded as the founder of the central tradition of Western painting because his work broke free from the stylizations of Byzantine art, introducing new ideals of naturalism and creating a convincing sense of pictorial space. His momentous achievement was recognized by his contemporaries (Dante praised him in a famous passage of The Divine Comedy, where he said he had surpassed his master Cimabue), and in about 1400 CenninoCennini wrote `Giotto translated the art of painting from Greek to Latin.‘
    In the generation after his death he had an overwhelming influence on Florentine painting; it declined with the growth of International Gothic, but his work was later an inspiration to Masaccio, and even to Michelangelo. These two giants were his true spiritual heirs.
  • 8. Press to link to site with a history of the Arena, or Scrovegni Chapel painted with a series of frescoes by Giotto
    c. 1305
  • 9. Interior of the Arena Chapel facing the entrance and the Last Judgment fresco
  • 10.
  • 11. Lamentation, fresco panel from the Arena Chapel
  • 12. Lamentation, detail
  • 13. Lamentation, detail
  • 14.
  • 15. Early or Proto-Renaissance
  • 16.
  • 17. Petrarch 1304 - 1374
    The father of “Humanism”
    Big Fan of Cicero and classical antiquity, especially literature
    Originally from Florence
    Invented the modern ideal of the “autonomous individual”
    Sought to define of the Virtuous Life
    Began the debate on the contemplative vs. the active life
    Perfected the sonnet
    Unleashed the obsessive recovery of ancient texts in early Renaissance
  • 18. Early Influences (outside the role of Antiquity)
    Clement V begins the Avignon papacy in 1308, leading to Great Schism of 1378 and the period of “3 Popes” until 1409
    The Black Death; Plague in 1348
    The Introduction of Gunpowder and the changing role of the Nobility (from warrior to dilettante)
    The rise of the Merchant Class and Capitalism
    Overseas conquests, migration and colonization
    A growing Interest in the Natural World and the fidelity of depiction as opposed to symbolism
  • 19. Duccio, Maestà(center panel, Madonna with Angels and Saints)
    1308-11Tempera on wood,
  • 20. Sienese School of Painting
    Duccio, Maestà1308-11
    Mary as Queen of Heaven surrounded by angels and saints
    Most opulent and complex altarpiece of its time
    Mournful gaze characteristic of Duccio
    Almond eyes and rosebud mouth of the Mary are typical of Byzantine art
    Throne opens up for all to see
    Figures arranged in a hierarchy, however formal frontality of figures relaxed a bit
  • 21. Duccio's famous Maestà was commissioned by the Siena Cathedral in 138 and it was completed in 1311. Today most of this elaborate double-sided altarpiece is in the cathedral museum but several of the predella panels are scattered outside Italy in various museums. It is probably the most important panel ever painted in Italy; it is certainly among the most beautiful. Compressed within the compass of an altarpiece is the equivalent of an entire programme for the fresco painting of a church.
    The whole of the front of the main panel is occupied by a scene of the Virgin and Child in majesty surrounded by angels and saints, and corresponding to this on the back there are twenty-six scenes from Christ's Passion. Originally there were subsidiary scenes from Christ's life above and below the main panel. The whole work is a superb standard of craftsmanship, and the exquisite colouring and supple draughtsmanship create effects of great beauty.
  • 22. Digital reproduction of original, front
  • 23. Digital reproduction of Maesta, back
    Note the predella (small panel) above
  • 24.
  • 25. Sienese School of Painting
    Simone Martini, Annunciation, 1333
    International Style
    Elegant shapes, swaying figures
    Radiant color
    Fluttering drapery
    Courtly ritual, courtly dress
    Angel: white and gold brocade with floating plaid-lined mantle
    Virgin: mantle lined with deep gold lines
    No recession of space, only relationship of two main figures
    Vase of white lilies symbolizes Virgin’s purity
    Dove of Holy Spirit surrounded by Cherubim
  • 26.
  • 27. Sienese School of Painting
    Pietro Lorenzetti, Birth of the Virgin
    Birth of Mary, mother of Jesus, at home
    A midwife holds a fan to cool Saint Anne
    Everyday items of the Gothic period on display in the home
    Mary’s father, Joachim, is waiting outside to hear the news of the birth
    Wooden frame
    Cutaway cross-section allows viewer to look directly into a typical middle class home
    Pioneering attempt at building a consistent interior space
    Single vanishing point suggested
    Palpable sense of three-dimensionality on a two-dimensional surface
    Suggestion of great depth on left
    Local women bring gifts of bread and wine to symbolize the Eucharist
  • 28.
  • 29. Sienese School of Painting
    Singing and dancing in the streets of the ideal republic (actually against Sienese law)
    Crafts, professions, trades are highlighted as thriving
    Bountiful harvests: a good city feeds its people
    Aspects of leisure: hunters and falconers leave the city unafraid of their safety
    Dark blue sky in contrast with well lit scenery
    Aristocratic elegance of figures
    Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Allegory of Good Government, 1338 -40
    Painting done in the chief council chamber of Siena, the Hall of Peace
    Panoramic view of the city of Siena with walls and countryside
    Security in center has a banner that proclaims everyone can walk freely because justice reigns
  • 30. Andrea Pisano,
    Baptistery Doors
    “Life of St. John the Baptist”
    1330 – 36 – south entrance