Leonardo Da Vinci
• Studied under Verrocchio
• Painters should paint “man and the intention of his soul”
• The definition of Renaissance Man
– An expert an many areas
• Left behind 10,000+ pages of drawings, ideas, and notes
– All written in mirror image, left handed
• Motivated by intense curiosity and an optimistic belief in the human ability to understand the
LEONARDO DA VINCI, Leonardo da Vinci, Madonna of the Rocks, from San
Francesco Grande, Milan, Italy, begun 1483. Oil on wood (transferred to canvas), 6’
6 1/2” x 4’. Louvre, Paris.
LEONARDO DA VINCI, cartoon for Madonna and Child with
Saint Anne and the Infant Saint John, ca. 1505–1507. Charcoal
heightened with white on brown paper, 4’ 6” x 3’ 3”. National
LEONARDO DA VINCI, Mona Lisa, ca. 1503–1505. Oil on wood, 2’ 6 1/4” x 1’
9”. Louvre, Paris.
A painting technique using an imperceptable, 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.
• Sfumato & chiaroscuro
• Atmospheric perspective
• Engages the viewer directly (unusal for a woman)
• Pyramid composition
• Psychological intensity
• Mysterious landscape
• His style combines the sculptural aspect of Michelangelo and
the feeling of Leonardo and the detail and light of his teacher
• Won a commission to paint frescoes in the papal apartments.
• Stanza della Segnatura: Theology (Disputà), Law (Justice),
Poetry (Parnassus), and Philosophy (School of Athens)
– Paintings symbolize and sum up Western learning
during the Renaissance
• Talented, popular, and beloved artist who died young
(entombed in the Pantheon)
• Master of balance and harmony
RAPHAEL, Philosophy (School of Athens), Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican Palace, Rome, Italy, 1509–1511. Fresco, 19’ x 27’.
• Unification of mathematics and pictorial science for a masterful depiction of space
– Combination of Roman Architecture, pagan gods, and St. Peter’s new building
• Psychological element to figures and groups
– Like Leonardo, gestures and glances
– Elliptical movement
Plato vs. Aristotle
Aristotle differed from his teacher, Plato, in his emphasis on the
supremacy of observation and on concrete reality. He sought to learn
all that was possible about the reality perceivable by the senses, and
the logic he developed was an effort directed at this end. He sought
to develop a universal method of reasoning in order to learn
everything possible about reality, and in his Categories he sets out a
scheme to describe particular things by identifying them in terms of
their properties, states, and activities.
• Plato approached the issue of knowledge and found that ideas, as he
used the term, are not only something in human consciousness but
something outside it as well. Platonic Ideas are subjective and do not
depend on human thought but exist entirely in their own right. They
are perfect patterns that exist in the very nature of things. Such an
idea is not just a human idea but the idea of the universe itself, so
that the universe can express itself externally in concrete form or
internally as a concept in the human mind at one and the same time.
The Idea is the foundation of reality itself.
Human beings are unique, almost godlike, empowered
with superhuman strength
In an artists hands, “life” could be created through
inspiration from God.
MICHELANGELO BUONARROTI, Pieta, ca. 1498-1500.
Marble, 5’ 8 ½” high. Saint Peter’s, Vatican City, Rome.
MICHELANGELO BUONARROTI, David, from Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Italy, 1501–1504.
Marble, 17’ high. Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence.
helangelo Buonarroti, head of David (detail of Fig. 22-13) 1501-1504. Galleria dell’Accademia,
• First colossal nude since ancient times .
• Embodies Humanist ideas.
• Carved from an abandoned eighteen foot block or marble.
• Symbol of freedom from tyranny for Florence which had just become a Republic.
• Career making piece for a 26 year old Michelangelo.
Pope Julius II
The Warrior Pope
Chose the name Julius after Julius Ceasar
Referred to as “warrior-pope”
Taste for the colossal
Huge art patron
Used the visual imagery for propaganda
Immediately commissioned work to represent
his authoritative image and reinforce the
primacy of the Catholic Church
Sistine Chapel ceiling, his tomb, decorating of
MICHELANGELO BUONARROTI, Moses, from the tomb of
Pope Julius II, Rome, Italy, ca. 1513–1515 Marble, 7’ 8 1/2”
high. San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome.
The horns have elicited various interpretations. The likeliest
explanation is that Michelangelo relied on Jerome's vulgate
translation of the Old Testament. In this commonly
available version, the "rays of light" that were seen around
Moses' face after his meeting with God on Mt Sinai were
expressed as horns. Some people believe that Jerome's
intention was to express a metaphor for the glory of God
reflected from Moses's face.
MICHELANGELO BUONARROTI, Moses, San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome, Italy, ca. 1513–
1515. Marble, approx. 8’ 4” high.
MICHELANGELO BUONARROTI, Bound Slave (Rebellious Captive), from the tomb of Pope Julius II, Rome, Italy,
ca. 1513–1516. Marble, 7’ 5/8” high. Louvre, Paris.
MICHELANGELO BUONARROTI, Creation of Adam detail of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican City, Rome, Italy, 1511–1512. Fresco, 9’ 2” x 18’ 8”.
Creation of 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.
Commissioned by Pope Paul III
A response to the Reformation of the
One of the first commissions was the Last Judgment
Christ as Judge
Raised arm damning souls to hell
MICHELANGELO BUONARROTI, Last Judgment, altar
wall of the Sistine Chapel (FIG. 22-18), Vatican City,
Rome, Italy, 1536–1541. Fresco, 48’ x 44’.
• Signorelli, Damned Cast in to Hell, 1500
• Michelangelo, Last Judgment, 1540
• 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
• Distant from the influence of the Papacy, Venetian
artists did not shy away from controversial
• Poetic (poesia)
• Both Classical and Renaissance poetry
inspired Venetian artists
• This makes understanding the subject
GIOVANNI BELLINI, Saint Francis in the Desert, ca. 1470–1480. Oil and tempera on wood, 4’ 1” X 4’ 7 7/8”. Frick Collection, New York (Henry Clay Frick Bequest).
GIOVANNI BELLINI and TITIAN, Feast of the Gods, from the Camerino d’Alabastro, Palazzo Ducale, Ferrara, Italy, 1529. Oil on canvas, 5’ 7” x 6’ 2”. National Gallery
of Art, Washington, D.C. (Widener Collection).
GIORGIONE DA CASTELFRANCO (and/or TITIAN?), Pastoral Symphony, ca. 1508–1510. Oil on canvas, 3’ 7 1/4” x 4’ 6 1/4”. Louvre, Paris.
GIORGIONE DA CASTELFRANCO, The
Tempest, ca. 1510. Oil on canvas, 2’ 8 1/4” x 2’
4 3/4”. Galleria dell’Accademia, Venice.
• Extraordinarily prolific painter and a supreme colorist
• Establishes oil on canvas rather than wood panel as the norm.
• Believed color and mood were more important than line (design) and
• Would paint entire canvas red first
– Using brushstrokes to create a textured surface
TITIAN, Meeting of Bacchus and Ariadne, from the Camerino d’Alabastro, Palazzo Ducale, Ferrara, Italy, 1522–1523. Oil on canvas, 5’ 9” x 6’ 3”. National Gallery,
TITIAN, Venus of Urbino, 1538. Oil on canvas, 3’ 11” x 5’ 5”. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.
– Poetry of senses
– Nature’s beauty
– Pleasures of Humanity (Eros)
Florence & Rome
– Esoteric, intellectual themes
– Conceptions of religion
– Grandeur of the ideal
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
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
Dramatic composition – often with vacant
Writhing/twisting/elongated bodies: Figura
Less emphasis on balance, symmetry, and
rational composition (values of High
Rosso Fiorentino, Deposition.
Composition is mainly around the edges
Figures seem frozen in time