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An Introduction to Renaissance Art

An Introduction to Renaissance Art

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  • 1. The Renaissance 0
  • 2. The fundamental principle will be that all steps of learning should be sought from Nature; the means of perfecting our art will be found in diligence, study, and application. – Leone Battista Alberti 0
  • 3. Introduction
    • Renaissance - A French word meaning “r e birth”.
    • The Renaissance was a period of significant historical, social, and economic events.
  • 4. The Renaissance
    • Period roughly spans from the 14th to the 16th centuries, keystone markers being 1492 - 1564.
    • Some historians consider it the beginning of modern history.
    • It is a revival of Classical themes in art and literature.
    • There was a keen observation of the natural world.
    • Greek philosophy of humanism, in which human dignity, ideas, capabilities are important.
    • Northern artist’s subject matter remained religious in nature while using exact trompe l’oeil renditions of things of this world.
  • 5. The Renaissance Artistic Periods
    • International Style
    • Early Renaissance
    • High Renaissance
    • Mannerism
  • 6. 15th-Century Northern Painting
    • Flemish Painting: from Page to Panel
    • Naturalism appeared in the work of the northern book illustrators.
    • As the work got too big for books, the artists started to use panels.
    • 15th century artists tried to reconcile religious subjects with scenes and objects from everyday. They managed this by using symbolism.
  • 7. LIMBOURG BROTHERS. “May” from Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (1416). Illumination. 8 7⁄8 ” x 5 3⁄8 ” .
  • 8. The Limbourg Brothers
    • Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, Book of Hours.
    • International Style - a manner of painting common throughout Europe during the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century.
    • Characterized by:
      • Ornate costumes, embellished with gold
      • Often depicting courtly scenes and splendid processions
  • 9. ROBERT CAMPIN. Merode Altarpiece: The Annunciation with Donors and St. Joseph , (c. 1425–1428). Oil on wood. Center: 24 1⁄4 ” x 24 7⁄8 ” ; Wings: each 25 3⁄8 ” x 10 7⁄8 ” .
  • 10. Robert Campin, the Master of Flémalle
    • Created religious paintings that used commonplace settings, paid attention to detail, and used symbolism.
    • Example, Merode Altarpiece: The Annunciation with Donors and St. Joseph.
    • Mary is a prime and proper middle-class Flemish woman in a typical Flemish household.
    • The bronze kettle symbolizes the Virgin’s body
    • Symbols of her purity include the spotless room and the lilies on the table.
    • Joseph in the other room makes mousetraps which is symbolic of Jesus being the bait that will trap Satan.
  • 11. JAN VAN EYCK. Giovanni Arnolfini and His Bride (1434). Oil on wood. 33 ” x 22 1⁄2 ” .
  • 12. Jan van Eyck
    • Genre – subject matter that depicts ordinary people engaged in everyday activities.
    • Symbolism in Giovanni Arnolfini and His Bride:
      • Dog = fidelity
      • Oranges = may symbolize victory over death
      • Finial on the bedpost is an image of St. Margaret = patroness of childbirth.
      • Small whisk broom on St Margaret’s belt = symbol of domesticity.
  • 13. German Art
    • Some of the most emotionally striking realism
      • has less detail
      • less symbolism
    • The artists:
      • Matthias Grünewald
      • Albrecht Dürer
        • Influenced by the works of the Italian masters
        • Emphasized the idealized beauty of the human body in his work Adam and Eve.
  • 14. MATTHIAS GRÜNEWALD. The Crucifixion, center panel of The Isenheim Altarpiece (exterior) (completed 1515). Oil on panel. 8 ’ 10 ” x 10 ’ 1 ” .
  • 15. ALBRECHT DÜRER. Adam and Eve (1504). Engraving, 4th state. 9 7⁄8 ” x 7 5⁄8 ” .
  • 16. ALBRECHT DÜRER. Knight, Death, and Devil (15 13) . Engraving, 9 7⁄8 ” x 7 5⁄8 ” .
  • 17. The Renaissance in Italy
    • The Early Renaissance
    • Florence and Rome witnessed a resurgence of Classicism as Roman ruins were unearthed.
    • Some of the early changes in art from the 13th to the 14th centuries can be seen in the works of two Florentine artists.
    • The artists:
    • Cimabue
    • Giotto
      • Compare the similarities and differences seen in their Madonna and Child Enthroned paintings
  • 18. CIMABUE. Madonna Enthroned (c. 1280–1290). Tempera on wood panel. 12 ’ 7 ” x 7 ’ 4 ” .
  • 19. GIOTTO. Madonna Enthroned (c. 1310). Tempera on wood panel. 10 ’ 8 ” x 6 ’ 8 ” .
  • 20. The Renaissance begins, and so does the Competition
    • A competition was held in 1402 to design the door of the Baptistery of the Florence Cathedral in quatrefoil format.
    • The subject: The Sacrifice of Isaac by his father, Abraham
    • The artists:
      • Ghiberti (1st Place)
      • Brunelleschi (2nd Place)
  • 21. FILIPPO BRUNELLESCHI. Sacrifice of Isaac (1401–1402). Gilt bronze. 21 ” x 17 1⁄2 ” .
  • 22. LORENZO GHIBERTI. Sacrifice of Isaac (1401–1402). Gilt bronze. 21 ” x 17 1⁄2 ” .
  • 23. Early Renaissance Artists
    • Donatello
        • First to to create sculpture that combines Classicism with realism.
        • His David was the first life-sized and first nude statue since Classical times.
    • Filippo Brunelleschi
        • Designed the dome for Florence Cathedral
    • Massacio
        • Developed systematic laws of one-point perspective.
  • 24. DONATELLO. David (1408). Bronze. H: 5 ’ 2 ” .
  • 25. Florence Cathedral (Gothic, begun 1368 CE). Dome by Brunelleschi.
  • 26. FILIPPO BRUNELLESCHI. Construction of the cathedral dome, Florence (1420–1436).
  • 27. MASACCIO. Holy Trinity, Santa Maria Novella, Florence (c. 1428). Fresco. 21 ’ x 10 ’ 5 ” .
  • 28. Renaissance Artists Mid-Century and Beyond
    • The artists:
    • Andrea del Verrocchio
      • Trained as a goldsmith
      • Goal with David was supreme realism in minute detail
      • Used Contrapposto
    • Piero della Francesca
      • Trained in math and geometry
      • Credited with writing the first theoretical treatise on the construction of systematic perspective in art.
      • Art reflects his rationale in the construction of forms and space.
  • 29. ANDREA DEL VERROCCHIO. David (c. 1470). Bronze. H: 49 5⁄8 ” .
  • 30. PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA. Resurrection (c. late 1450s). Fresco. 7 ’ 5 ” x 6 ’ 6 1⁄2 ” .
  • 31. Renaissance Artists
    • The artists continued…
    • Sandro Botticelli
      • Constructed shapes defined with line instead of tonal contrast.
      • Mythological scenes
      • Neo-Platonic Philosophy
    • Leon Battista Alberti
      • Architect, first to study treatises written by Roman architects
  • 32. SANDRO BOTTICELLI. The Birth of Venus (c. 1486). Tempera on canvas. 5 ’ 8 7⁄8 ” x 9 ’ 1 7⁄8 ” .
  • 33. SANDRO BOTTICELLI. The Birth of Venus (detail) c. 1486 . Tempera on canvas. 5 ’ 8 7⁄8 ” x 9 ’ 1 7⁄8 ” .
  • 34. LEON BATTISTA ALBERTI. Palazzo Rucellai, Florence (1446–1451).
  • 35. The High Renaissance
    • The High Renaissance
    • Established the artist as “genius”
    • The elevation of the artist’s social status
    • The artists:
    • Leonardo da Vinci - painter, scientist, inventor, and musician
    • Raphael - classical painter
    • Michelangelo Buonarotti - painter, sculpture, architect, poet
    • Donato Bramante - architect
  • 36. LEONARDO DA VINCI. Madonna of the Rocks (c . 1483). Oil on panel, transferred to canvas. 78 ½ ” x 48 ” .
  • 37. LEONARDO DA VINCI. The Last Supper (1495–1498). Fresco (oil and tempera on plaster). 13 ’ 9 ” x 29 ’ 10 ” .
  • 38. LEONARDO DA VINCI. Human Proportions . Journal drawing
  • 39. LEONARDO DA VINCI. Mona Lisa (c .1501 ). Oil on panel
  • 40. RAPHAEL. The School of Athens (1510–1511). Fresco. 26 ’ x 18 ’ .
  • 41. MICHELANGELO. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, Rome (1508–1512). 5,800 sq. ft.
  • 42. MICHELANGELO. The Creation of Adam (1508–1512). Detail from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, Rome.
  • 43. M ICHELANGELO. David (1501–1504). Marble. H: 13 1⁄2 ’ .
  • 44. GIANLORENZO BERNINI. David (1623). Marble. H: 6 ’ 7 ” .
  • 45. High and Late Renaissance in Venice
    • The artists:
    • Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) - painter and colorist
      • Venus of Urbino is a beautiful example of glazing techniques.
    • Tintoretto (Jacopo Pobusti) - painter
      • Used small dolls to arrange his composition.
      • Interested in motion, space, and time, the dramatic use of light, and the theatrical presentation of subject matter.
  • 46. TITIAN. Venus of Urbino (1538). Oil on canvas. 47 ” x 65 ” .
  • 47. TINTORETTO. The Last Supper (1592–1594). Oil on canvas. 12 ’ x 18 ’ 8 ” .
  • 48. High and Late Renaissance Outside Italy
    • The artists:
    • El Greco
      • Spanish art polarized into two stylized groups of religious paintings: the mystic and the realistic.
      • El Greco managed to pull these two trends together.
      • His works contain a dramatic, theatrical, flair.
    • Pieter Bruegel the Elder
      • Master of genre painting
      • Genre painting - scenes of ordinary people in everyday life.
  • 49. EL GRECO. The Burial of Count Orgaz (1586). Oil on canvas. 16 ’ x 11 ’ 10 ” .
  • 50. PIETER BRUEGHEL THE ELDER. The Peasant Wedding (1568). Oil on wood. 45 ” x 64 1⁄2 ” .
  • 51. Mannerism
    • The Mannerist Style - a brief expressionistic art period following the Renaissance.
      • Characteristics:
      • Distortion and elongation of the figure
      • Flattened almost 2 D space
      • Lack of a focal point
      • Use of discordant pastel hues.
    • The artists:
      • Jacopo Pontormo
      • Bronzino
    • Led to the Baroque Period
  • 52. JACOPO PONTORMO. Entombment (1525–1528). Oil on panel. 10 ’ 3 ” x 6 ’ 4 ” .
  • 53. Discussion Questions:
    • Why is the art of the Renaissance considered to be the beginning of modern history?
    • Who were the important thinkers, writers, scientists, and artists of the Renaissance?
    • Discuss humanism in the arts and the art of natural observation.
    • Discuss the various advancements in Renaissance arts in media.