ART HISTORY 2 de Beaufort
STUDY GUIDE TEST 2
LEONARDO DA VINCI, Leonardo da Vinci, Madonna of the Rocks.
RAPHAEL, Philosophy (School of Athens), Stanza della Segnatura.
MICHELANGELO, Creation of Adam detail of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel,.
MICHELANGELO, Last Judgment, altar wall of the Sistine Chapel
BELLINI and TITIAN, Feast of the Gods.
TITIAN, Meeting of Bacchus and Ariadne.
GIORGIONE (and/or TITIAN?), Pastoral Symphony.
TITIAN, Venus of Urbino.
PONTORMO, Entombment of Christ,
PARMIGIANINO, Madonna with the Long Neck,.
BRONZINO, Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time.
TINTORETTO, Last Supper.
VERONESE, Christ in the House of Levi.
Leonard da Vinci
Born in Vinci (near Florence)
Studied under Verrocchio
The definition of Renaissance Man
An expert an many areas:
Botany, geology, geography, cartography, zoology, military engineering,
animal lore, anatomy, physical science, hydraulics, mechanics, optics.
Tried to discover the laws underlying the flux of nature, but believed that
reality in an absolute sense is inaccessible and known only through
Left behind 10,000+ pages of drawings, ideas, and notes
All written in mirror image, left handed
o Eccentric, Mysterious Personality:
o Purchased caged birds to release them
o Highly secretive
o Possibly celibate (never married)
o Closest relationships with pupils
Leonardo in Milan
Leaves Florence, offers services to Ludovico Sforza.
In letter to the ruler, advertises his expertise as a military engineer and
only briefly mentions his skill in art.
Madonna of the Rocks
• Altarpiece for Confraternity of Immaculate Conception
• Builds on Masaccio’s use of chiaroscuro (subtle play of light and dark)
• Pyramidal composition
• Madonna, Christ, infant John the Baptist, angel, fleeing Massacre of the
• Atmospheric perspective and observation of nature evident in mysterious
• “Madonna of Humilty”
• Mary is seated on the ground not a throne
• Interlocking gestures, emotionally compelling, visually unified
• Bodies move in very graceful and complex ways.
• Protected garden metaphor for purity- cave symbolic of “womb”.
Chasm between the painting and the viewer emphasizes mystery,
• Mary’s right hand guides John the Baptist towards Christ. Left hand
foreshortened, protects the space Christ exists in. Infant Christ
gestures upwards to heaven. Empty space of Mary’s womb.
Cartoon for Madonna and Child with St. Anne
• Drawing more common in Renaissance-less expensive paper
available (previously parchment made from skins of young
• Drawing as a complete work of art (no perforations for tracing)-
• Sfumato, gradual gradations
• Integration of figures into whole (stability is characteristic of High
• Eternal and spiritual and human intimacy integrated.
• Rhythm of knees almost musical.
• Drapery recalls ancient Greek Sculpture.
• Gestures lead to heaven.
• Refectory (dining room) for Santa Maria delle Grazie
• “One of you is about to betray me” Matt. 26:21
Moment of reaction after announcement
AND first Ceremony of the Eucharist.
• Experimental painting technique lead to fast deterioration.
Most recently restored in 1999
• Jesus head is focal point of all converging lines.
• Simplifies setting to focus on figures and gestures.
• Disciples configured in 4 groups of 3.
• Numerous preparatory studies with live models-each figure meant
to communicate a specific emotion.
• Several moments in same story
• Sense of divine eternal importance (not just 13 people having
supper) without obvious symbols of divine.
The expressions of the body reveal the soul (one’s internal
• Separation of our world and pictorial world with barrier of table.
• Christ is the calm divine center to the hurricane of human worries
and concerns. Uniting the earthly and the divine.
• Christ identifies the betrayer as the person who dips with him in a
bowl. “He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall
betray me” (Matthew 26).
• Lisa di Antonio Maria Gherardini- wife of wealthy Florentine Francesco del
• Mona Lisa- ma donna, “my lady”
• Pyramidal composition
– Originally in a “loggia” (balcony) that framed the scene
– Removed at some point but partial columns at base remain
• Phsycological intensity
– Engages viewer directly (unusual for a woman with mysterious
smile (Frued: mothering and seductive simultaneously). No
• Mysterious background creates enigmatic mood
– Atmospheric perspective
– Sfumato (misty haziness)
– Blurring of precise planes
• The art of portraiture confirms the values of humanism’s
emphasis on the individual and was more and more popular
during the Renaissance.
• Initial portraits painted in profile, later Northern European artists
experiment with ¾ view in believable spaces.
Leonardo’s Death and the Changing Status of the Artist
• Spent the last years of his life in France working for King
Francis I- often visited by the King (remember that the artist was
considered only a skilled artisan in the Middle Ages and for
much of the Early Renaissance).
• In the High Renaissance, we find that artists are considered
intellectuals, and that they keep company with the highest levels
• Said to have died in the arms of the king.
Talented, popular, and beloved artist who died young at 37 after
excessive partying. (entombed in the Pantheon)
His style combines the sculptural aspect of Michelangelo and the
feeling of Leonardo and the detail and light of his teacher
Master of balance and harmony
Won a commission to paint frescoes in the papal apartments.
o Stanza della Segnatura: Theology (Disputà), Law (Justice),
Poetry (Parnassus), and Philosophy (School of Athens)
o Paintings symbolize and sum up Western learning during the
Good looking, charming, cultured, accessible (unlike Leonardo,
Tremendously successful very early.
Preferred light over dark. Clarity and calm over struggle and tension.
Ladies man. Died at 37 from “excessive partying”
Madonna in the Meadow
• Adopted Leonardo’s pyramidal composition, modeling of faces in
• Landscape reflects Perugino’s lighter tonalities and blue skies.
• Preferred clarity over obscurity-not fascinated with mystery like
• Quickly achieved fame for his Madonnas.
The School of Athens
• Julius II awarded decoration of the Papal apartments in Vatican.
Stanze della Segnatura (Room of the Signature)-the Papal Library and
• Four walls symbolize 4 branches of human knowledge: Theology, Law,
• Philosophy (School of Athens)-congregation of great philosophers and
scientists from Ancient world.
• Set in vast Roman style coffered hall with statues of Apollo and Athena
(deities of Art and Wisdom).
• Plato and Aristotle are the central figures. Other figures share
gestures and glances like Leonardo’s Last Supper.
Plato vs. Aristotle
• Plato holds Timaeus, points to Heaven, source of inspiration.
• Aristotle holds Nichomachean Ethics, gestures towards the earth,
from which observations of reality sprang.
• Philosophers concerned with ultimate transcendent mysteries stand
on Plato’s side. On Aristotle’s side are thinkers concerned with
nature and human affairs.
• Other figures:
• Euclid (Bramante),
• Bramante: architect of new St. Peters
• Geometry. Interested in measure, the practical
• Discovered laws of harmony in music in mathematics- there is a
reality that transcends the reality that we see. (music of the
• Heraclitus (Michelangelo),
• Michelangelo is painting Sistine Chapel ceiling next door at the
same time. Raphael gives homage as lonely and brooding
Heraclitus all things in flux).
• Raphael (self-portrait)
• Raphael includes himself amongst intellectual…artist no longer
• “Il Divno” (the divine one)
• Architect, poet, engineer, sculptor
• Sculpture superior to painting because of it’s divine power to “make man”
• The “idea” is the reality the artist’s genius must bring forth-the absolute
idea is beauty and originates in the divine.
• Mistrusted application of mathematics to proportion (unlike Leonardo)-
measure and proportion should be kept in the eye and the hands.
• Asserted the artists authority over the patron-bound only by the idea.
• Ultimate Humanist artist-a style of vast, expressive strength, complex,
titanic forms with tragic grandeur.
• Studied under Ghirlandaio but claims to be self-taught.
A complex, brooding genius. Solitary, tempestuous, willful….Michelangelo
casts the mold for the persona of the Artist in Western Civilization.
Famous for battles of will with Pope Julius II.
Abstemoious (lived like a poor man despite great wealth). Rough, uncouth,
dirty, melancholy, unsociable.
Homosexual, wrote love poems to Tommaso dei Cavalieri
Crummy father, wanted son to be a lawyer. Not impressed by fame, and
asked son for money. (Daddy Issues ?)
• Commissioned by French Cardinal for Rotunda in Old St. Peters
• “pity” or “compassion”
• Created at age 23
• Michelangelo had dissected cadavers, shows knowledge of human body
• Mary’s has not aged, seems younger than Christ.
• Christ has drifted into peaceful sleep, we feel the weight of his body pulled
• Notice the odd proportions-Mary would be giant if she stood up.
• Beautiful polish, luminosity- incredible transformation of stone into lifelike
• Mary’s gesture-appears to offer her son as a sacrifice
• “David” remained important symbol of civic pride of Florence-
• Commissioned by Florence Cathedral building committee
• Used a giant 18” block of marble that other sculptors had abandoned.
• David shown before confrontation over Goliath.
• First colossal nude since ancient times.
• Career making piece for 26 year old artist.
• Embodies Humanist ideas- celebration of the individual, and celebration of
the artist as creator of divine works.
• Contrapposto (of course)
• Original plan called for it to be placed in a high niche in the Florence
• Michelangelo adjusted the proportions of the head and the hands to be
more visible from great distance.
• 3 times the size of average human
• Involves the spectator by implying sculptural arena beyond the pedestal
• Colossal size communicates heroic importance of mans actions
• Potential rather than accomplishment. Looking towards challenge of the
Tomb of Julius II
• First papal commission for Michelangelo
• Original design called for two story structure with 28 statues
• Project interrupted due to lack of funds
• Completed with 1/3 of planned figures- (Julius would’ve been very
Tablet of the Law (Commandments) under one arm.
Appears angry, almost in motion-pent up wrath at Israelites for
worshipping the Golden Calf.
Musculature expresses energy and might. Strong influence from
The "rays of light" that were seen around Moses' face after his meeting
with God on Mt Sinai were commonly expressed as horns.
(mistranslation of Hebrew word for “rays”).
“terribilita” (awe inspiring grandeur)
Swirling beard and drapery full of energy
Originally intended to add 20 statues of captives (slaves) in various
attitudes of revolt and exhaustion to Pope’s tomb.
Figures embody powerful emotional states. Violent contrapposto
conveys frantic but impotent struggle.
o 1.Trapped in matter-the individual struggling to be free from the
earthly realm and re-united with the divine spiritual one (GOD).
o 2.For Michelangelo-also an allegory for sculptural form
struggling to be free from inert stone to embody the platonic
idea locked within as a divine work of ART.
• Pope Julius II convinced Michelangelo to work on despite protestations.
• 5,800 sq ft, 70 ft high, 300 figures (completed in 4 years)
• Biblical narrative of Genesis, (9 scenes) Creation to Adam and Eve, Life of
• Old Testament scenes placed in pendentives (David, Judith, Haman,
Moses, Brazen Serpent).
• Other figures: Ancestors of Christ, Sibyls, Prophets, nude youths.
• THEMES: Chronology of Christianity, conflict of good and evil, energy of
youth and wisdom of age.
The Creation of Adam
Includes Unborn Eve
God’s arm leads to an infant Christ (second Adam)
•Expresses the Humanist concept of God: an idealized,
rational man who actively tends every aspect of human
creation and has a special interest in humans.
The Last Judgment
• Commissioned by Pope Paul III as part of the Counter-
• Christ as Stern Judge
• Terrifying vision of damnation goes beyond Signorelli
• Saint Bartholomew (self-portrait?)
• Purposeful lack of beauty in many figures
• Rises on left, descends on right
• Unlike other sacred narratives, which portray events of the past,
this one implicates the viewer. It has yet to happen and when it
does, the viewer will be among those whose fate is determined.
Saint Francis in the Desert
• Saint Francis in ecstatic moment
• BUT-No more “stage props” of divinity (gold rays, angels)
• Naturalism (beautiful details on rocky ledge, landscape)-borrowing
from Northern European artists.
• Miraculous stance, but everyday life continues.
• Landscape emerges as great theme.
Feast of the Gods
• Bellini painted figures, Titian (his student) completed landscape after
• “Arcadian” landscape (Arcadia=idyllic, peaceful rustic place of
• Duke of Ferrara (Alfonso d’Este) commissioned for his private room
the Camerino d’Alabastro (White Room). Preferred mythological
• Scene from Ovid’s Fasti
• Some amorous activity hinted at, pagan sensuousness, never-ending
pleasure. Bacchanalia. (Ancient Gods on Spring Break)
Invented the “Recumbent Nude”
• Mysterious and inscrutable
• Adam and Eve banished from the Garden?
• Changes in painting revealed by X-ray suggest that no definitive
narrative was planned.
• Uncertainty contributes to enigma.
• Painting almost more about transient effects of weather-figures seem
tacked on as an excuse
• “poesia”-painting as poetry
• Focus on lyrical and sensual
• Concrete narratives often elusive
• Giorgione-died young from plague (33) but developed poetic
• Aristocratic artists make music and poetry
• Nude women represent Allegorical muses drawing water
from the well of inspiration
• “Wandering shepherd” symbolizes the poet.
• Landscape eminent
• Extraordinary and prolific painter and supreme colorist
• Establishes oil on canvas rather than wood panel as the norm
• Is said to have used his fingers as well as the brush
• Believed color and mood were more important than line (design) and
• Would paint entire canvas red first
– Using brushstrokes to create a textured surface
Meeting of Bacchus and Ariadne
• Another commission for Alfonso d’Este’s Camerino d’Alabastro (White
• Ancient Latin poem by Catallus
• Bacchus (God of Wine and Intoxication), arrives on island of Naxos
where Ariadne has been abandoned by Theseus (slayer of the
• Rich luminous colors, sensual appeal
• Based one figure off of recently unearthed Laocoon
Venus of Urbino
• Commissioned by Duke of Urbino (Guidobaldo II)
• Borrows from Giorgione
• Sensual Italian Courtesan elevated allegorically to Roman Goddess of
love by title
• Composition divided in two, clever recession of space into smaller
• Suggestive gaze and hand
• Lapdog in place of Cupid
• “Venetian Red”- Bed sheets echo the maid
Entombment of Christ
• Characteristic Mannerist colorations (odd pinks, greens and blues)
• Omits cross and Christ’s tomb
• Creates void (symbol of loss and grief) in center of composition,
accentuates group of hands filling the hole
• Anxious glances cast in all directions
• Includes bearded self-portrait
• Athletic bending, twisting, distortions, odd figural placements and
• Elastic elongation of limbs
• Small, ovular heads
Madonna with the Long Neck
• Embodies elegant stylishness that was principle aim of Mannerism
• Sinuous, swaying elongation, Attenuation and delicacy-marks of
• Enigmatic capital (Painting is actually unfinished (has to flee Rome-
Charles V invades)
• Enigmatic figure with a scroll
• Madonna’s neck compared to ivory column
• Figural distortions and crowded composition
• Reference to Michelangelo’s Pieta
Portrait of a Young Man
• Cool sophistication and detachment
• Hyper-articulate elegance
• Very “posed” and obvious artificiality
• Identity is understood as a performance
Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time
• Learned allegory with lascivious undertones
• Cupid fondles Venus (mother), Folly is about to shower with Rose
petals. Both attempt to steal from the other.
• Time draws back the curtain to reveal the transgression.
• Temptation appears as a snake with girls head holding honeycomb in
• Masks represent deception.
• Other figures represent Envy and Oblivion.
• A dark statement on the pitfalls of Romantic love.
• Spiritual, visionary forms, swirling clouds, fitful, phantasmagoric light
• Shimmering halos, odd perspective
• Servants largest figures
• Imbalanced composition, willful complexity
Christ in the House of Levi
• Originally titled “Last Supper”
• Christ sits in the center of the splendidly garbed elite of Venice
• Holy Office of Inquisition accuses Veronese of Impiety
• First ever trial of the right to artistic expression
• Veronese simply changes the title rather than the image
Movements and “Schools”
High and Late Renaissance
Florence and Rome
The notion of “fine arts” and the exaltation of the artist genius originates.
“All good poets compose their beautiful poems not by art, but because
they are inspired and possessed…For not by art does the poet sing, but
by power divine”-
Visual Arts achieve status formerly held only by poetry. Artists become
Artists socialize with popes and kings, no longer anonymous craftsmen.
Birth of the idea of the “brooding” artist genius.
In the sixteenth century, artists such as Giorgione and Titian preferred a gentler,
more sensuous approach to oil painting than had been adopted by the Florentine
School. The Venetians used warm atmospheric tones.
Distant from the influence of the Papacy, Venetian artists did not shy away from
controversial (erotic/pagan) themes.
Venice vs Florence and Rome:
• Venetian Themes
– Poetry of senses
– Nature’s beauty
– Pleasures of Humanity (Eros)
• Florence & Rome Themes
– Esoteric, intellectual themes
– Conceptions of religion
– Grandeur of the ideal
“The Stylish Style”
Art from Art
A style that developed in the sixteenth century as a reaction to the classical
rationality and balanced harmony of the high Renaissance; characterized by
dramatic use of space and light; exaggerated color, elongation of figures, and
distortions of perspective, scale, and proportion.
• All problems of representing reality had been solved and art had reached
a peak of perfection and harmony – Now what?
• Answer: replace harmony with dissonance, reason with emotion, and
reality with imagination
– Highly subjective, arbitrary light
– Unusual color
– Dramatic composition – often with vacant centers
• Writhing/twisting/elongated bodies: Figura Serpentinata
• Less emphasis on balance, symmetry, and rational
composition (values of High Renaissance)
• Technical Fireworks
Methods and Techniques:
A painting technique using an imperceptible, subtle transition from light to dark,
without any clear break or line. The theory was developed and mastered by
Leonardo da Vinci, and the term derives from the Italian word fumo, meaning
vapor, or smoke.
Biographer of artists-great primary source for historians
Pope Julius II
o The “Warrior Pope”
o Chose the name Julius after Julius Caesar
o Referred to as “warrior-pope”
o Taste for the colossal
o Huge art patron
Large scale projects required a lot of $$$, and many Church
members saw this as indulging papal art, architecture, and
o Used the visual imagery for propaganda
o Commissioned work to represent his authoritative image and
reinforce the primacy of the Catholic Church
o Sistine Chapel ceiling, his tomb, decorating of papal apartments
REFORMATION and COUNTER-REFORMATION
• Led by Martin Luther and John Calvin
• Disgruntled Catholics voiced concerns about sale of indulgences (pardons
for sins), nepotism, and wealthy church officials
• Break away from Catholic church establish Protestantism
Personal relationship with God not mediated by church
• Led by Paul III, numerous initiatives (Council of Trent)
• Art as a tool for persuasion central to plan of action