2 Title: Saint Anthony Abbot Shunning the Mass of Gold Artist Name: AngelicoTitle: Saint Anthony Abbot Shunning the Mass of GoldMedium: Tempra and Gold on WoodTime Period: RennisanceAngelicoItalian / Florentine, cSaint Anthony Abbot Shunning the Mass of Gold [co ]Museum of Fine Arts, HoustonThis small painting is created with tempera on a wood panel the size of a sheet of notebook paper. It illustrates the story of Saint Anthony Abbot, who gave away his possessions and lived as a hermit in the desert. Satan tried to tempt him away from his holy life with illusions and even with actual gold, but the saint turned away from the temptations and continued his spiritual journey.Fra Angelico combined older art traditions with new ideas in his works.For example, using tempera on wood had been the standard way of painting for centuries. The gold leaf the artist used to show the saint's halo and the mass of gold in the foreground is characteristic of the way earlier paintings had been richly decorated. But Fra Angelico was also skilled at using light and color to show three-dimensional form. Notice, for example, how light and shadow help create the shape of Saint Anthony's head and the forms of the hills, or how variations of color shape the rocks at the right edge of the scene. The artist gave depth to his image using the techniques of scientific perspective. Compare the size of the buildings in the upper left of the picture to the size of those in the far background on the right and to those even farther away in the center of the painting. Showing form and distance like this were new ideas artists were developing during the Renaissance.Fra is an Italian word for brother, used as a title for monks. Fra An- gelico was already a trained professional painter when he took his vows to become a Catholic monk. He continued to use his art as part of his religious service. He was a very devout monk and was said to have prayed before starting each of his paintings. His name means "angelic brother," and he has sometimes been considered more a saint than an artist. But he was an extremely skilled and very popular painter. He had the largest and most highly-regarded workshop in Florence. He created many beautiful works to decorate churches and monasteries and traveled widely to fill commissions for his paintings.
3 Title: David with the head of Goliath CastagnoItalian / Florentine, beforeDavid with the Head of Goliath[c ] National Gallery of ArtThis image was also created with tem- pera, but here the paint was applied to the leather covering on a wood support. It ha an unusual shape because it is a rare example ofa ceremonial shield decorated with a painting by a great artist instead of with the simple coats of arms shown on most such shields. It might have been carried in religious parades or u ed as a symbol of an official's authority.The picture tells the Bible story of David and Goliath. Like many religious paintings of the early Renaissance, it shows more than one part of the story in the same image. We see David, with a stone in his slingshot, starting his fight with the giant. At the same time, we see the result of the battle, with Goliath's head at David's feet. The warm color in David's clothing and slingshot focuses our attention on the young warrior and pulls him toward us out of the cool and neutral tones of the rest of the image. Castagno's work demonstrates the strong concern with lines and drawing which developed among Florentine artists of his day. Notice the sharp, clean outlines of David's legs and arms, of the edges and folds of his clothes, even of the curls of his hair and the cloud in the sky. Many of these lines are created visually where different color come together, while others, like the thin outline that separates David's left leg from the rocks behind him, are carefully drawn. Almost every line is curved, creating a strong sense of action. The many curves in David's clothing and hair make us feel the wind and see the movement of his body. Renaissance artists usually drew their compositions onto the surface before they started to paint. They might change their minds about details and paint over lines, but the base drawing helped them get the results they wanted.Castagno spent most of his career in Florence, but is known by the name of the nearby village where he was born. The town itself is now called Castagno d' Andrea after the artist. Although he died relatively young, his skill at showing solid three-dimensional forms and realistic human figures made him one of the most important and influential artists of his time.24Artist Name: CastagnoTitle: David with the head of GoliathMedium: temperaTime Period: Renissance
4 Title: Adoration of the Shepherds GiorgioneThe Adoration of the ShepherdsGiorgione was one of thefirst artists to paint mainly forprivate patrons rather than forlarge public commissions. Verylittle is known about his shortlife, but he is considered one of the greatest Venetian Renaissance artists.Both his own teacher and some of his students are among the best-knownnames in the history of art. Although he was only in his early 30s whenhe died of the plague, he had already introduced new approaches to moodand subject that continued to influence later artists for many generations.While Florentine artists emphasized drawing and line, Venetian painterswere more concerned with color and light. Notice how the artist used colorto add harmony to this image, with blues tying foreground and backgroundtogether and muted greens scattered throughout the painting. The richblue of Mary's cloak also served as a symbol of her purity. Compare thesharp outlines of objects in our last painting to the softer edges in thiswork. Giorgione preferred oil paints to the older tempera. Oil paints lethim show gradual shadings of color and helped him bathe this scene withthe soft, hazy light that gives the picture its still, peaceful mood. Makingthe mood of a work as important as its story was one of Giorgione's mostimportant new approaches. Oil also let him show a variety of texturesand details very realistically. Compare the rock walls of the cave to thetorn clothing of the shepherds and to the small, clear stream behind them.Giorgione was one of the first artists to treat landscape as a subject.The landscape in Gastagno's painting is merely a necessary setting forhis story. Here the landscape itself is as important to the painting as thefigures and the story they represent. Warm colors and rich blues in theforeground of the image give way to more muted tones in land farther awayand then to soft blues in the distant hills. The path which is wide underthe shepherds' feet becomes a thin line where it passes between trees inthe background. The gentle light over the landscape pulls our eyes fromthe large cave past ever-shrinking buildings. The wide landscape helpsreinforce the painting's quiet mood.Artist: GiorgioneTitle: Adoration of the ShepherdsMedium: Oil on Wood PanelTime Period:Renaissance
5 Artist Name: Holbein the Younger Hans HoLbein the Younger German, 1497/ Sir Brian Tuke Early portraits usually showed their subjects in a profile or side view, while modern ones generally show subjects facing directly outward toward viewers. At the time this portrait was created, painters often preferred this three-quarter view. While Renaissance artists in Italy were adding realism to their works with form and perspective, those in northern Europe were emphasizing careful attention to detail. Holbein combined both those approaches. His portraits show very accurate images of his sitters' appearance and strong suggestions of character or mood. Artists often use size to suggest the importance of a subject by creating large paintings. This portrait is only about 19 inches tall by ~ 5 inches wide, but it gives a clear impression of a strong and important man. Sir Brian Tuke was an official at the English court who was responsible for establishing England's postal service. His clothing demonstrates his high social status. With invisible brushstrokes, the artist clearly shows the textures of the rich cloth of the coat, the fur collar, the cloth-of-gold sleeves, the leather gloves. His chain and cross indicate the man's position of authority. His personal motto, "Upright and Forward" shown in Latin across the background, tells of his dedication to integrity and duty. His expression suggests he takes life and responsibilities seriously. His expression and the paper under his hand also indicate he is aware that life is uncertain. A Bible quotation on the paper says "Are not the days of my life few?" The pyramid shape formed by the sitter's body gives the composition formal balance and stability. Hans Holbein the Younger was the most talented member of a family of painters. He was trained by his father and worked in his early career with his older brother. He was born in Germany, but spent almost all of his professional life in Switzerland and in England. While he also painted religious subjects, illustrated books, and created designs for stained glass, Holbein is best-known for his portraits. In England, he became official court painter to King Henry VIII, creating portraits of the king himself, his son, others of England's nobility, and many government and business leaders.Artist Name: Holbein the YoungerTitle: Sir Brian TukeMedium: Oil on Wood PanelTime Period: Renaissance
6 Portrait of a Man with Allegorical Symbols Artist Name:LottoTitle:Portrait of a Man with Allegorical SymbolsMedium:Oil on CanvasTime Period:RenaissanceLottoPortrait of a Man with AllegoricalSymbols Lotto was born and sometimes worked in Venice, but did not closely follow Ve- netian art traditions. Instead, he devel- oped his own, very personal style which combined vivid colors, strong lines, careful detail, and expressive gestures. He trained in the same studio as Giorgione and wasalso influenced by northern artists, includ- ing Holbein. His unconventional style was not always popular in Venice, but was well-liked in the many other Italian towns where he worked. He painted important religious works, but is perhaps even better-known for his expressive portraits.This work, almost twice as large as our last one, is our first example of a painting created with oil on canvas. Like our last portrait, it is an image of one particular individual painted mostly with neutral, rather dark colors. But it creates a very different impression. With his gaze turned aside and his thoughts apparently far away, Sir Brian T uke seems reserved, even distant. This man draws us immediately into the painting. He faces us directly, looking straight into our eyes. We feel as if we are having a conversation with him. The position of his hand, pointing toward the objects hanging behind his head, increases that feeling. It seems to be a gesture emphasizing something he has just said. His closed left hand is not relaxed but slightly tense, as if he is determined to get his message across.Perhaps the pointing finger is simply directing our attention to the objects, and we are supposed to read the message there. Unfortunately, we no longer have the key to interpret the symbols. Lotto usually includ- ed symbolic messages in his paintings, but many of them are not easy for modern viewers to understand. In Lotto's portraits, those symbols always had specific connection to the life or character of the sitter. This man, and the people who knew him, would have readily understood the meaning of these objects. We are not even sure who the man was. Some experts believe he may have been a doctor and scientist. The items hanging from the garland may have referred to his profession or to his family's position.27
7 Artist Name: Massys Title: St Artist Name: Massys Title: St. Jerome in Meditation Medium: Oil on Wood Panel Time Period: RenaissanceMassys St. Jerome in Meditation St. Jerome was known for having translated the Bible into Latin and for having lived for a time as a hermit to help him grow spiritually. He is some- times pictured in his study and often in the wilderness. By showing him with a book and writing quill while in thewilderness, this image combines both parts of his story. The symbols in this image still mean to modern viewers what they did to people when the work was created. The skull under the saint's hand is a reminder of death, the crucifix on the cave wall above a reminder of faith and salvation, the illustration of the Last Judgment on the open Bible page a reminder that the viewer will be held accountable for the way he lives.The artist has used light and the warm red of the cloak to focus our attention quickly on St. Jerome. His figure is shown at the very front of the picture plane and almost entirely fills the canvas. Its size and position emphasize that the painting is about the saint and his story and not about the clearly detailed landscape. But using cooler colors in the distant landscape that we glimpse beyond the rocks helps give us a real sense of perspective. Repeating those same tones in the Bible illustration ties the foreground and background of the composition together. Notice how the top of the quill almost vanishes against the red of the cloak. With age, some of the lighter and thinner areas of paint have become transparent. Pencil lines the artist drew to begin his work are now visible in the saint's body and hands. Some in the right hand even show changes Massys decided to make.Artists who lived and worked in the northern part of the Netherlands, which became the modern country often known as Holland, are called Netherlandish or, later, Dutch. Those from the southern part which be- came modern Belgium are sometimes called Netherlandish, but are usually known as Flemish. J an Massys was born and died in the city of Antwerp, although he also traveled and worked in Italy and France. He and one of his brothers were trained by their father, Quentin, who was the most important artist in the city. One of [an's own sons also became a painter.28
8 Doge Alvise Mocenigo and Family before the Madonna and Child Tintoretto Doge Alvise Mocenigo and Family before the Madonna and Child [prob. 1573]This artist was named ]acopo Robusti, but he is known as Tintoretto.The nickname means "little dyer" and was given to him because his father was a cloth dyer. He was one of the most productive and important artists in Venice and is mainly known for religious paintings and portraits. His daughter and two of his sons were among his assistants in his large workshop.Light and color were very important to Tintoretto, but he did not use them with the kind of softness and harmony we saw in Giorgione's work. Tintoretto's paintings were filled with strong emotion and activity. He painted very quickly and energetically. He often used exaggerations of light and shadow to add drama to his images. Here the visual weight of the dark clothing on the right is balanced by bright light on the holy figures and on the white clothing and trim at the left. Twisted and turning poses of figures in his paintings help create feelings of action and intensity. Even in this quiet scene, the hands of the Madonna and Christ Child are held out as if blessing the family. The Child is twisting and turning in his mother's arms. The hands of the men on the left are not calmly folded or held in a lap, but actively posed. The hands of all the figures form a rhythm that keeps our eyes moving across the entire picture. Tintoretto used small wax or clay figures arranged on miniature stages to help him plan his poses and compositions and to experiment with lighting to get the effects he wanted.This work fits into two of our subject categories, both portrait and history and legend. Art patrons often wanted their portraits included in religious paintings they were donating or their faith represented in the portraits they commissioned. This painting, over 7 feet tall and 13Yz feet wide, was designed as a suitable decoration for a large church or a doge's palace. The picture is formally balanced and organized around the figures of the Madonna and Child. A halo of golden light surrounds their bodies, separating them from the family figures and symbolizing their holiness. The triangle formed by the figures of the madonna and the doge and his wife at her feet provides a strong, stable base for the structure of the composition.29Artist Name:TintorettoTitle:Doge Alvise Mocenigo and Family before the Madonna and ChildMedium:Oil on CanvasTime Period:Renaissance
9 Artist Name: Beert the Elder Title: Basket of Flowers Medium: Beert the ELder Flemish, cBasket of Flowers [c. 1615] Dallas Museum of ArtThis picture was painted with oil on wood. The term "still life"was not yet in use when it was so new for artist that it had notdeveloped a common name. Paintings of different kinds ofobjects were described according to the things in them.Beert specialized in flower paintings and the images of food anddishes that were called "breakfast pieces."Early still life artists often wanted to show their skill at creating an image so lifelike that viewers would feel they were seeing real objects. But Beert didn't start this picture by arranging real flowers in a basket. He built his compositions from sketches he had drawn of individual flowers, often using flowers that bloomed at different times. He has given us a high point of view, as if we are standing beside the table looking down at the basket and flowers. This lets the artist show individual blooms more completely than he could if we were seeing the arrangement from a lower level. In that case, the flowers would overlap, with those closest to us blocking our view of others. A wide curve of white and pale blossoms draws us quickly into the painting. Warm red pulls our eyes across the basket to flowers at the back. The blue flowers placed mostly around the edges of the arrangement help visually hold it together and create a unified composition.The Dutch valued works like this for the beauty they brought into homes. Paintings cost less than the rare flowers they portrayed and lasted longer. But the Dutch also expected moral messages in the images. The meanings of some of the symbols artists used have been lost over time, but others we can easily understand. For example, cut flowers, which will soon wilt, are a reminder that earthly beauty and life do not last long. The dropped petals on the table emphasize that message. The caterpillar on the table and the red and white butterfly perched on the top of one tulip are symbols of resurrection and eternal life.Beert was one of the earliest still life painters in the city of Antwerp.Besides his art career, he also maintained his business as a cork merchant. His son was a successful painter who worked in the same style.31Artist Name:Beert the ElderTitle:Basket of FlowersMedium:Oil on Wood PanelTime Period:Baroque