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Italian Renaissance Art
Patronage Florence was the leader in Renaissance art especially in the quattrocento (1400s) Giorgio Vasari (1511-74): The Lives of the Artists Contemporary Renaissance art historian who left much valuable information about Renaissance artists and their works. Massive patronage for the arts came from wealthy merchant-families (such as the Medicis) who commissioned countless works In essence, the wealth of Florence was mirrored by the superb artistic output of the Renaissance A good example is Donatello‘s David which stood in the Medici courtyard during the wedding of Lorenzo de Medici. In Milan, the Sforza‘s commissioned Leonardo‘s The Last Supper
Patronage c. Patronage also came from local churches who increasingly saw Renaissance art as a means of glorifying God. Some notable examples include Brunelleschi‘s Il Duomo built for the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral Ghiberti‘s two sets of doors for the baptistery opposite Il Duomo Michelangelo‘s David was originally commissioned for the cathedral (but was too heavy and thus placed elsewhere).
Rome Became the center of the Renaissance in 1500s (cinquecento) With the decline of Florence in the late-15th century, Renaissance dominance shifted to Rome. Pope Alexander VI (r. 1492-1503): most notorious of the Renaissance popes; spent huge sums on art patronage (e.g. Bramante‘s Tempietto) A few of the notable works commissioned by the Church in this period include Michelangelo‘s dome atop St. Peter‘s Cathedral, his paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and the sculpture Pieta that is located within the cathedral Raphael‘s The School of Athens (a fresco painting inside the papal apartments) Bramante‘s Tempietto, a small church that is a masterpiece in classical architecture; and his floor plan for a newly rebuilt St. Peter‘s cathedral. (Much of his plans were altered after his death)
New artistic techniques Painting Perspective: 3-D effects on a 2-dimensional surface Medieval works, in contrast, looked flat and two-dimensional Chiaroscuro: use of dark and light colors to create the illusion of depth Faces of subjects expressed unique individual characteristics (embodied Renaissance ideal of ― individualism) Also, more emotion was shown on human faces In contrast, medieval paintings tended to be more stylized in their portrayal of human faces (i.e. more generic) Sfumato developed by Leonardo; a technique of blurring or softening sharp outlines
1. Realism & Expression Expulsion from the Garden Masaccio 1427 First nudes since classical times.
2. Perspective Perspective! Perspective! Perspective! Perspective! Perspective! First use of linear perspective! Perspective! Perspective! The Trinity Masaccio 1427 What you are, I once was; what I am, you will become.
3. Classicism Greco-Roman influence. Secularism. Humanism. Individualism free standing figures. Symmetry/Balance The “Classical Pose” Medici “Venus” (1c)
4. Emphasis on Individualism Batista Sforza & Federico de Montefeltre: The Duke & Dutchess of Urbino Piero della Francesca, 1465-1466.
Isabella d’Este – da Vinci, 1499 1474-1539 “First Lady of the Italian Renaissance.” Great patroness of the arts. Known during her time as “First Lady of the World!”
5. Geometrical Arrangement of Figures The Dreyfus Madonna with the Pomegranate Leonardo da Vinci 1469 The figure as architecture!
6. Light & Shadowing/Softening Edges Chiaroscuro Sfumato
7. Artists as Personalities/Celebrities Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects Giorgio Vasari 1550
Sculpture Renaissance sculpture was often free-standing, designed to be seen in the round Heavily influenced by ancient Greek and Roman sculpture Contrast with medieval sculpture that largely was done in relief Many sculptures glorified the human body and many portrayed nude figures (like works in ancient Greece and Rome) Like Renaissance painting, many Renaissance sculptures glorified the individual
Lorenzo the Magnificent 1478 - 1521 Cosimo de Medici 1517 - 1574
David by Donatello 1430 First free-form bronze since Roman times! The Liberation of Sculpture
David Verrocchio 1473 - 1475 David Verrocchio 1473 - 1475
Leonardo, the Sculptor An Equestrian Statue 1516-1518
David Michelangelo Buonarotti 1504 Marble
15c 16c What a difference a century makes!
The Pieta Michelangelo Buonarroti 1499 marble The Popes as Patrons of the Arts
Architecture Utilized ancient Greek and Roman forms such as Greek temple architecture (with triangular pediments), Greek columns, Roman arches and domes (e.g. the Pantheon in Rome) Simplicity, symmetry and balance. Contrasted sharply with the highly-ornamented gothic style of the middle ages of pointed arches (as evidenced in numerous medieval cathedrals)
Florence Under the Medici Medici Chapel Medici Chapel The Medici Palace
Filippo Brunelleschi 1377 - 1436 Architect Cuppolo of St. Maria del Fiore
Filippo Brunelleschi Commissioned to build the cathedral dome. Used unique architectural concepts. He studied the ancient Pantheon in Rome. Used ribs for support.
Other Famous Domes Il Duomo St. Peter’s St. Paul’s US capital (Florence) (Rome) (London) (Washington)
A Contest to Decorate the Cathedral: Sacrifice of Isaac Panels BrunelleschiGhiberti
Ghiberti – Gates of Paradise Baptistry Door, Florence – 1425 - 1452 The Winner!
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