The Italian High RenaissanceA Time of Renewal and Discovery
Origins✤ The High Renaissance began during the 1480’s, speciﬁcally with Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper.✤ It occurred principally in Rome.✤ The Popes in Rome spent copious amounts of money on commissioned works of art during this time.
Historical and Cultural Context✤ With the invention and use of the printing press, there was a greater spread of ideas, and artists could sell prints of their work.✤ Travel also increased during the High Renaissance; therefore, art became more international.✤ Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas in 1492, which challenged the classical world view and encouraged a new age of science and math.✤ Changes were also reﬂected in literature, poetry, philosophy, science, architecture, and music.
The Figure✤ The High Renaissance explored classical forms of the ﬁgure.✤ Several artists studied human anatomy in an effort to make more realistic paintings and sculptures of the human form.
Masters of the High Renaissance✤ Leonardo da Vinci✤ Michelangelo✤ Raphael
Leonardo daVinci✤ 1452 – 1519✤ Born in Vinci, Italy.✤ Was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer.✤ His work dissecting human corpses and studying anatomy helped artists develop proper proportions and realism.
San Giovenale Triptych (1422) Masaccio The Virgin and Child with St. Anne (1508-1517) da VinciHe also developed the technique of “sfumato”- the blurred outline and mellowed colors that allow one form to merge with another and always leave something to our imagination.
Leonardo da Vinci’sVitruvian Man✤ Also known as the Proportions of Man.✤ Uses text and drawing to describe and show the ideal proportions for a human male.✤ Excellent example of the blend of science and art.✤ Combined the classical ideals of the human ﬁgure with da Vinci’s own observations.
Leonardo daVinci’s Mona✤ 31” x 21”✤ da Vinci’s most famous work of art.✤ One of the ﬁrst portraits to depict the subject in front of an imaginary background.✤ For many years there was controversy regarding the subject of the painting, though in 2008 it was conﬁrmed that it is Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo.
Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper (1495-1498)✤ 15 feet x 29 feet✤ Inspired the book The Da Vinci Code.✤ Controversial because some art historians believe it is Mary Magdalene, rather than the Apostle John, seated next to Jesus.
Michelangelo✤ 1475-1564.✤ Believed God put the sculpture within the rock and that the artist must uncover it.✤ Also believed good art comes from divine inspiration and beauty is a path to salvation.✤ Preferred sculpting above all other forms of art. “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” - Michelangelo
Michelangelo’sThe Pieta (1498-1499)✤ Made of marble and is 68.5 in × 76.8 in.✤ Finished when Michelangelo was just 24 years old.✤ Balances the Renaissance ideals of classical beauty and naturalism.✤ When others attributed the sculpture to another artist, Michelangelo carved his name across Mary’s chest.
Michelangelo’sThe David (1501-1504)✤ Made of marble that was abandoned by another sculptor, it stands 17 feet tall.✤ Finished when Michelangelo was 29 years old.✤ The statue’s hands and head are disproportionately large. Because the statue was originally intended to be installed on the rooﬂine of a cathedral, it is most likely that Michelangelo did this intentionally, so these important details could be seen from below.
Michelangelo’sSistine Chapel (1508-1512)✤ Commissioned by Pope Julius II✤ The center represents 9 moments from the Bible’s Book of Genesis, surrounded by the 12 prophets who prophesied the coming of Jesus.✤ Painted it standing atop scaffolding. It is a fresco.
Masculinity inRenaissance Art✤ Why are Michelangelo’s women painted so masculine?✤ The models he used were male.✤ The male ﬁgure was considered the ideal of beauty during the Renaissance.
Raphael✤ 1483-1520✤ Primarily a painter, but also an architect.✤ Many of his commissions were from the Vatican, speciﬁcally Popes Julius II and Leo X.
The School of Athens (1510-1511) Raphael✤ 17 x 25 foot fresco✤ Depicts all of the great Greek philosophers - Plato and Aristotle are the two central ﬁgures.✤ Represented the revival of classical philosophy during the Renaissance.
Early vs. High Italian Renaissance Rome Florence 1480-1520 1400-1490 Focused on the Figure Focused on Linear Perspective Michelangelo da Vinci Brunelleschi Raphael Masaccio ﬁnancially supported by the ﬁnancially supported by the Popes and private Medici Family commissions