STUDY GUIDE TEST 1
Italy 1200 to 1400
Italy 1400 to 1500
Northern Europe 1400 to 1500
BONAVENTURA BERLINGHIERI, panel from the Saint Francis Altarpiece.
CIMABUE, Madonna Enthroned with Angels and Prophets.
GIOTTO DI BONDONE, Madonna Enthroned.
GIOTTO DI BONDONE, Lamentation, Arena Chapel.
AMBROGGIO LORENZETTI, Peaceful City/Peaceful Country
DIRK BOUTS, Last Supper.
JAN VAN EYCK, Giovanni Arnolfini and His Bride.
JAN VAN EYCK, Man in a Red Turban.
JAN VAN EYCK, The Ghent Altarpiece.
LIMBOURG BROTHERS October, from Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry.
ROBERT CAMPIN (MASTER OF FLEMALLE), Merode Altarpiece .
LORENZO GHIBERTI, Sacrifice of Isaac.
LORENZO GHIBERTI, east doors (Gates of Paradise), baptistery, Florence.
LORENZO GHIBERTI, Isaac and His Sons (Gates of Paradise).
DONATELLO, Penitent Mary Magdalene.
SANDRO BOTTICELLI, Birth of Venus.
PERUGINO, Christ Delivering the Keys of the Kingdom to Saint Peter.
ANDREA MANTEGNA, Foreshortened Christ.
LUCA SIGNORELLI, Damned Cast into Hell.
Maniera greca (greek style)
Challenges some of the conventions of late medieval art
Feelings and physical nature of human beings.
New sense of realism by using light and space.
Re-inventor of “naturalistic” painting.
o Arena Chapel
Gives visual form to Sienese civic Concerns.
Among the first northern painters to demonstrate the use of a single vanishing
point (as illustrated in his Last Supper).
His work has a certain primitive stiffness of drawing, but his pictures are highly
expressive, well designed and rich in color.
Commissioned by Confraternity of the Holy Sacrement in Louvian (4
members appear in work as servants)
One of the first Northern Renaissance paintings to illustrate the use of a
single vanishing point, although not completely accurate.
Focus is on consecration of the Eucharistic wafer rather than Judas’
Biblical figures dressed in contemporary Flemish attire.
Jan van Eyck
A Flemish painter active in Bruges, considered one of the best Northern
European painters of the 15th century.
Traditionally known as the "father of oil painting.
Court Painter of Philip the good, Duke of Burgundy
commissioned by Jodocus Vyd (Chief Magistrate of Ghent)
meticulous attention to detail and also larger concept
Hidden away in a salt mine by Nazis during WWII
Usually closed (like most polyptchs) but would open for special days.
Closed panel is Annunciation theme
Open panel reveals superbly colored painting of humanity’s redemption
o God the Father in center, Virgin Mary to left, John the Baptist to the
o Choir of angels and Adam and Eve at far ends
o Lower panels:
Community of saints gather around altar of lamb (symbol of
Christ) on octagonal fountain of life
Right: 12 apostles and a group of martyrs in red robes
Far wings: hermits, pilgrims, knights and judges (4 cardinal
virtues Temperance, Prudence, Fortitude, Justice)
Giovanni Arnolfini and His Wife
Emerging capitalism leads to urban prosperity and interest in secular
Giovanni Arnolfini-wealthy financier with ties to Medici family
Holds hand of second wife during a ceremony (wedding, legal privileges?)
Every object has symbolic importance.
o Man stands on the left near the window (outside world), woman
stands inside (domestic world).
o Bride is not pregnant although fashionable costume makes it
o Cast aside clogs indicate holy ground.
o Oranges symbolize wealth and fertility.
o Dog symbolizes marital fidelity (“fido”).
Man in a Red Turban
First known portrait in 1,000 years where sitter looks directly at the viewer.
Widely considered to be a self-portrait.
“As I Can” in greek letters
Possible demonstration piece for prospective clients.
Robert Campin (Master of Flemalle)
Annunciation theme Isaiah 7:14
Small altarpieces for household prayer become common in the average
Religious themes usually depicted in contemporary, secular settings.
Closed garden symbolic of Mary’s purity.
Donors: wealthy merchant Peter Inghelbrecht (angel-bringer), and wife
Margarete Scrynmakers (shrine-maker)
Outside we can see street scene of contemporary Flanders.
Wash basin refers to Mary’s purity as a vessel for Christ.
Lily flowers symbolize purity
Single extinguished candle represents the presence of the divine.
Joseph has constructed a mousetrap (symbolizes Christ as bait set to catch
Axe, saw, and rod are mentioned in Isaiah 10:15
Dutch miniature painters active in the early 15th century in France and Burgundy,
working in the style known as International Gothic. They created what is certainly
the best known late medieval illuminated manuscript, the Très Riches Heures du
Duc de Berry.
o The Duke of Berry -avid art patron.
o A “Book of Hours” was used for reciting prayers.
o Full-page calendar pictures represent the 12 months and associated
seasonal tasks alternating between nobility and peasantry.
o Reinforces the image of the Duke of Berry as a cultured bibliophile and
sophisticated art patron.
Became famous when he won the 1401 competition for the first set of bronze
doors for the Baptistery of the cathedral in Florence.
o Sacrifice of Isaac
”prefiguration” of sacrifice of Christ
A “covenant” or binding agreement
Baptism is an entry into a covenant
Space recedes- more complex, 0verlapping
Emotional complexity (contemplation)
Also cast in one piece
o Gates of Paradise
No longer constrained by the “quatrefoil” the relief can
become a “window” of illusion.
Tommaso de ser Giovanni de Mone Cassai
Artistic heir of Giotto, but takes space and light one step further into unexplored
Dies at age 27
Tax collector meets Jesus and disciples at the entrance of the Roman town of
Capernum, Jesus directs St. Peter to shore of lake Galilee to gather a coin from
the mouth of a fish.
– Linear perspective
– Aerial perspective
– Classical body types (blend of realism with idealizing the human form)
– Chiaroscuro to create a more realistic picture, single light source from the
right, modeling the human anatomy to give figures weigh
First application of linear perspective and mathematics to a depiction of space
Vanishing point is 5 feet above the ground, roughly eye level.
Used perspective to construct an illusion of figures in three-dimensional space.
o I once was what you are and what I am you also will be.
Incorporates Greek idealism into Christian context.
Goes beyond Classical Idealism by incorporating the dimension of personal
o Commissioned by the Guild of linen makers and tailors.
o Contrapposto is evident in weigh shift.
o Dignity of the individual
o Intersection of the spiritual and human.
o Internal focus/awareness
o First freestanding nude since Classical antiquity. Nudity usually
associated with shame and sin.
o David vs Goliath
Sword vs Stone
Milan and Naples vs. Florence
Military might vs. Cultural richness
David represents Florence, the always underdog against the
greater powers of Milan(Visconti) and Naples (Ladislaus)
The private sensuality and eroticism are strangely at odds with
this public, civic message
o Rejection of the material world for a secluded spiritual life
o Sculpture acts as a “moral conscience” for the city of Florence
o Similarities to Greek Realism (Old Beggar Woman)
Nanni Di Banco
Four Crowned Saints
Four Christian sculptors defy an order from Diocletian (Roman Emperor) to
carve a statue of a Roman Deity. They are executed
Commissioned by the Guild of stone and woodworkers.
Shows moment of contemplation and communication.
Honors the power of the “group”.
Byzantine influence shown in lyrical use of line.
Decorative and flat space, little illusion of depth.
Strong focus on Classical Mythology.
Birth of Venus
Inspired by a love poem written by Humanist scholar Angelo Poliziano.
Zephyr (west wind), and Chloris on left.
Venus in center, her maiden Pomona on right.
Sacred Island of Cyprus.
First female nude since classical antiquity not associated with shame.
Accommodating culture made possible by powerful Medici family.
Contemplation of worldly (physical) beauty-in theory leads to contemplation of
spiritual and divine beauty.
Clothed Venus in center. Cupid above
Zephyr, Chloris and Flora at right.
Three graces to the left, and either Mars or Mercury to the far left.
The occasion for the painting was probably Lorenzo de Medici’s wedding in
Another Neo-Platonist allegory on worldly and spiritual love, although difficult
The leading painter of the Umbrian school, who developed some of the qualities
that found classic expression in the High Renaissance. Raphael was his most
Christ Delivering the Keys….
Perugino (Pietro Vanucci- Birthplace is Perugia in Umbria)
1481-83 Pope Sixtus IV summons artists to paint walls of Sistine Chapel.
Papacy bases claim to authority on this biblical event.
Triumphal arches modeled on arch of Constantine (first Christian Emperor)
North Italian Renaissance painter, experimented with perspective, e.g., by
lowering the horizon in order to create a sense of greater monumentality.
His flinty, metallic landscapes and somewhat stony figures give evidence of a
fundamentally sculptural approach to painting.
Painted of Ludovico Gonzaga, the Marquis of Mantua
Depicts scenes of the Marquis greeting guests, and court life.
All the room is painted (trompe l’oel) “fool the eye”
Di sotto in su (from below, upward)
8 fictive reliefs of the first Roman Emperors shows an interest in Rome’s
Imperial past (Florence would be more interested in the Republican past)
Reduced the size of Christ’s feet to compensate for unusual (foreshortened
St. John, Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene
Wounds prominently and realistically displayed
Damned Cast into Hell
Painted for Pope Alexander VI
Saint Michael and Angels cast the damned into hell.
Horrible consequences of a sinful life graphically depicted. Striking
representation of the nude figure.
One part of an “End of Days” Narrative when Christ returns to Judge mankind.
Other scenes included: Deeds of the Antichrist, Resurrection, Elect Being Called
Movements and “Schools”
Also called the Italo- Byzantine style. This style, which dominated Italian painting
in the tweflth and thirteenth centuries is characterized by shallow space and
linear flatness. (see Berlingheri)
Period in Europe from the late fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries, which was
characterized by a renewed interest in human-centered classical art, literature, and
Early Renaissance in Italy:
Northern European Renaissance
Absent the memories and ruins of ancient Rome, Northern Europe had
lingering cultural connections to its “pagan” past. A whole pantheon of Norse
gods distinct from Greco/Roman existed as did a closer connection to earth
based pagan superstitions, and holidays. A stronger connection to nature and
the spirit world, as well as a belief in the “immanence” of spirituality persisted
even as Northern Europe Christianized. Much of this is expressed as
attention to worldly DETAILS in art rather than “transcendent” themes. In
other words artists of the European Renaissance saw the spirit immanent in
everyday things and therefore lavished great attention to their depiction.
A focus on seasonal changes and ancient activities and festivals associated
with them were more present in Northern Europe.
Concerned with depicting life in the real world.
Artists like Jan van Eyck used linseed oil paint to achieve a brilliance and
transparency of color that were previously unattainable.
Methods and Techniques:
Italian word meaning “light-dark.” The gradations of light and dark values in two-
dimensional imagery; especially the illusion of rounded, three-dimensional form
created through gradations of light and shade rather than line. Highly developed
by Renaissance painters.
Italian for “counterpose.” The counterpositioning of parts of the human figure
about a central vertical axis, as when the weight is placed on one foot causing
the hip and shoulder lines to counter balance each other-often in a graceful s-
curve. An asymmetrical arrangement of the human figure in which the line of the
arms and shoulders contrasts with while balancing those of the hips and legs
Any of several related mural painting types, done on plaster on walls or ceilings.
The word fresco comes from the Italian word affresco which derives from the
Latin word for "fresh". Buon fresco, or true fresco, was much used in Italv from
the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries.
A type of slow-drying paint that consists of particles of pigment suspended in a
drying oil, commonly linseed oil. The viscosity of the paint may be modified by
the addition of a solvent such as turpentine or white spirit, and varnish may be
added to increase the glossiness of the dried film. Oil paints have been used in
Europe since the 12th century for simple decoration, but were not widely adopted
as an artistic medium until the early 15th century.
• Invented by Northern European artists, allowed an unparalleled exactitude of
• Transparent glazes of linseed oil built up luminous, rich, jewel-like colors and
an enamel surface.
• Perfect for wood panels, triptychs, and alter-pieces.
An oil painting technique by which thin, transparent layers of oil paint are applied
over an opaque layer to modify that layer's color. It is sometimes difficult to
determine exactly the glazes used by the Old Masters because of previous
restoration or cleaning, and also because of the similarity between the
appearance of a glazed paint layer and varnish.
A permanent fast drying painting medium consisting of colored pigment mixed
with a water-soluble binder medium (usually a glutinous material such as egg
yolk or some other size).Tempera paintings are very long lasting, and examples
from the 1st centuries AD still exist. Egg tempera was a primary method of
painting until after 1500 when it was superseded by the invention of oil painting.
A picture or relief representing a religious subject and suspended in a frame
behind the altar of a church. The altarpiece is often made up of two or more
separate panels created using a technique known as panel painting. It is then
called a diptych, triptych or polyptych for two, three, and multiple panels
respectively. Groups of statuary can be placed on the altar. Sometimes the
altarpiece is set on the altar itself.
An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented by
the addition of decoration, such as decorated initials, borders (marginalia) and
A method employed to represent three-dimensional space on a flat surface or in
relief sculpture. Objects in linear perspective are systematically foreshortened as
they receded into the distance. Orthogonal lines converged on a horizon line to a
single vanishing point, which is to correspond to the fixed viewpoint of the
spectator. Reflecting the growth of humanism, the spectator played a new role in
art, as man was to determine the measurement of all things
The Italian artists who experimented with perspective, including Donatello,
Masaccio, Uccello, and Piero della Francesca, sometimes diverged from the
rules for a greater artistic effect. In general, however, the 15th-century Italian
artists tended to work within a geometrical system, whereas the contemporary
Flemish painters used more empirical means to achieve a convincing delineation
Alberti formalized this system.
A visual reminder of human mortality.
The Black Death
Estimated to have killed 30% – 60% of Europe's population, thus reducing the
world’s population from an estimated 450 million to between 350 and 375 million
in 1400. This has been seen as creating a series of religious, social and
economic upheavals which had profound effects on the course of European
History. It took 150 years for Europe's population to recover.
Because the plague killed so many of the poor population, wealthy land owners
were forced to pay the remaining workers what they asked, in terms of wages.
Widespread death caused odd and varied reactions in people…from celebratory
nihilism, to extreme piety. All belief in social institutions were weakened. Jews
were often persecuted because their hygienic practices meant they did not die in
as great numbers.
A cultural and intellectual movement during the Renaissance, following the
rediscovery of the art and literature of ancient Greece and Rome. A philosophy or
attitude concerned with the interests, achievements, and capabilities of human
beings rather than with the abstract concepts and problems of theology and
Humanism changes Culture Italian scholars recovered a large part of Greek and
Roman Literature (Cicero) Humanism emulates Roman Civic Virtues: Self-
sacrifice to the state, stoic indifference to personal misfortune, participation in
government. Humans can solve their own problems through reason and don’t
have to turn to a higher authority. Reward for good deeds is “fame” not
“sainthood”. This thought began in Florence, Italy then spread all throughout
• Translated Plato into Latin
• (from Greek)
• “The Prince”
• “The Prince” A practical manual for young rulers that did not appeal to
Christian Morality. “Machiavellian” today refers to someone who is
scheming and sometimes unethical.
• Giovanni Boccaccio
Introduced an Italian Vernacular (Decameroc)
A compilation of Platonic, Aristotelian and Stoic ideas that experienced a strong
revival during the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Central to the
philosophy is the notion that spiritual things are real and that material things are
not. The freeing of the spiritual element, the soul, from the material element, the
body, should be the ultimate goal of all of mankind and could be achieved
through knowledge and contemplation.
All sources of inspiration, whether Biblical or Classical (Pagan)
mythology, represent a means of ascending earthly existence to a
mystical union with “the One”.
Religious orders which depend directly on the charity of the people for their
livelihood. In principle, they do not own property, either individually or collectively
(see corporate poverty), believing that this was the most pure way of life to copy
followed by Jesus Christ, in order that all their time and energy could be
expended on religious work.
Franciscans (Friars Minor, commonly known as the Grey Friars),
Dominicans (Order of Preachers, commonly called the Black Friars),
Mercenary soldier leaders (or warlords) of the professional, military free
companies contracted by the Italian city-states and the Papacy from the late
Middle Ages and throughout the Renaissance. In Renaissance Italian,
condottiero meant "contractor", and was synonymous with the modern English
title Mercenary Captain.
An association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were
formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner
something between a trade union, a cartel and a secret society. They often
depended on grants of letters patent by an authority or monarch to enforce the
flow of trade to their self-employed members, and to retain ownership of tools
and the supply of materials. A lasting legacy of traditional guilds are the guildhalls
constructed and used as meeting places.
FLORENCE UNDER ATTACK
• Giangaleazzo Visconti (Duke of Milan) attempts to take over Italian peninsula
• Florence is surrounded
• The theme of personal sacrifice for the common good becomes popular
• Luckily Visconti dies suddenly ending invasion threat.
• King Ladislaus of Naples surrounds
• Ladislaus, on the verge of military success dies suddenly in 1414.
Or San Michele
Church, granary, town hall, guild headquarters
Each guild is assigned a “niche”
In which to place a commissioned sculpture
Many works stress the importance of sacrifice, civic pride, and “Florentine Spirit”
1490’s Florence undergoes political, cultural, religious upheaval.
Dominican monk Savonarola becomes priest-dictator, banishes the Medici.
Denounces Humanism and Neo-Platonism as heretical, prophesied the downfall
of the city unless they undergo large scale repentance. Forces bonfire of secular
art, philosophy and literature (Bonfire of the Vanities).
City comes to its senses and executes Savonarola in 1498.
Early stages of European Capitalism. New credit and exchange systems
produces a network of commodities and industry.
Flanders, under control of the Duke of Burgundy (Phillip the Bold).
Bruges is the major city
o wool trade, banking
The Course of Empire
• The Course of Empire is a five-part series of paintings created by Thomas Cole
in the years 1833-36. It is notable in part for reflecting popular American
sentiments of the times, when many saw pastoralism as the ideal phase of
human civilization, fearing that empire would lead to gluttony and inevitable
• The series of paintings depicts the growth and fall of an imaginary city, situated
on the lower end of a river valley, near its meeting with a bay of the sea. The
valley is distinctly identifiable in each of the paintings, in part because of an
unusual landmark: a large boulder is precariously situated atop a crag
overlooking the valley.
• The Savage State
• The Arcadian or Pastoral State
• The Consumation of Empire
Powerful Families of Italy
Medici, Tornabuoni (Florence)
Visconti, Sforza (Milan)