Presentation on theme: "Art of the Renaissance Early Renaissance. The art of the Renaissance would not have been possible without the explosion of the philosophy HUMANISM. Humanism-"— Presentation transcript:
Art of the Renaissance Early Renaissance
The art of the Renaissance would not have been possible without the explosion of the philosophy HUMANISM. Humanism- an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems. The revival of ancient Roman and Greek texts brought about the humanist movement in Italy.
Humanists opened schools to spread the study of history, philosophy, Latin and Greek. These became the modern day “humanities”. Humanist schools replaced schools run by the Catholic Church. This type of education inspired scientific thinking, vernacular writing (writing in the common spoken language instead of Latin), and elevated the status of artists.
Some notable humanists- Nicolo Machiavelli- author of The Prince Francesco Petrarch- poet. Body of work includes 366 sonnets. Benvenuto Cellini- wrote the first modern autobiography. He encouraged anyone who had done anything of excellence to “describe it in their own hand.” Lorenzo Valla- pushed the long accepted traditions, assumptions and institutions. Proved that the document that provided the legal basis for the Pope’s supremacy over kings was a forgery.
The Proto-Renaissance The proto-renaissance is the period of time in Italy at the end of the Middle Ages. This is when the first identifiable shift in artistic style begins. The most notable artist of the proto-renaissance is Giotto. His paintings in the Arena Chapel in Padua provide the groundwork for advancements in later Renaissance artists, especially those from Florence.
Giotto uses architectural elements in his paintings to denote a sense of space within the painting.
Sometimes this element can a natural structure such as an ascending cliff and tree. Other times Giotto will use full architectural features that are contemporary to the time he lived.
Despite the advancement in artistic skill, Giotto’s work is still almost exclusively religious in nature and does not reflect the humanist ideals that later Renaissance works do.
The Early Renaissance or Quattrocento The period of the early Renaissance is referred to by art historians as the quattrocento- the period of the 1400s that had significant advances in art and architecture. Many of these advances are directly related to humanism and the revival of classical thought and art.
Basillica di Santa Maria del Fiore, “The Duomo”, Florence, Italy, completed Dome architect- Filippo Brunelleschi
The dome had not been used in Italy since ancient Roman times. The technology had been lost Brunelleschi studied the domes of Rome, specifically the Pantheon, for influence. The rediscovery of the oculus (hole at the top of the dome) made the dome possible. Brunelleschi also used a series of chains in the dome walls to divert the weight.
The study of ancient Roman art revived a more natural form of sculpture, specifically the contrapposto pose- where the subject is depicted with their weight shifted to one leg. This pose is also called an s-curve pose. One of the first sculptors to use and spread the use of the contrapposto pose was Donatello. “More than any of the contemporary innovators, he was fascinated by the inner life of his subjects and the naturalistic optic effects he observed in the world around him. The result is an art disturbing in its immediacy and careless of surface refinements, but able to reach a high level of force and drama.” – Frederick Hartt St. Mark, Donatello
At the height of his career, Donatello’s work draws almost exclusively from ancient Roman ideals in sculpture. At the end of his career and life, Donatello moves to an expressive artistic style, focusing almost exclusively on texture and the state of the human mind.
In the early quattrocento, artists look to Giotto’s work in the proto-renaissance. The artist Masaccio uses architectural elements to show depth. However, Masaccio pioneers the use of linear perspective, most notable in the fresco (a painting done on plaster), The Holy Trinity.
Linear perspective uses a vanishing pint within the picture that all points converge to. The use of linear perspective becomes the driving force behind the style of early Renaissance art.
Some artists took linear perspective to the extreme in subject matter. Such as Paolo Uccello in the Battle of San Romano. In this painting, even the soldiers are dying in perspective.
Humanism again plays a role in art. Subject matter is now reflecting the importance of the contemporary, human condition rather than the importance of religion. In Piero della Francesca’s Flagellation of Christ, the religious subject is intentionally placed in the background. The focus is on the contemporary patrons in the foreground.
Although there were hundreds of artists in the Renaissance period, there are only a few that are referred to as the masters. These include the five most innovative artists of the period- Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian. The earliest of these artists- Sandro Botticelli, was one of the most sought after artists in Italy. He was commissioned by both the Vatican and the wealthiest families of Italy. Botticelli was one of the first to portray mythical subject matter in art.
Botticelli’s most famous work is The Birth of Venus which depicts the mythological birth of the ancient Roman goddess Venus. This subject only became available with the humanist spread of the writings of ancient authors such as Ovid- who wrote detailed accounts of the legends and stories of the gods.
In addition to mythological subject matter, secular subject matter emerges as a major subject as well towards the end of the quattrocento. Portraiture increases. With this the return to realistic depiction of subjects does as well, showing the revival of ancient Roman artistic ideals. Old Man with a Young Boy, Domenico del Ghirlandaio.