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Early Renaissance

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Title: Early Renaissance


1
Early Renaissance 1400-1450
The Artist as Idea-maker
2
  • Early Renaissance began in Florence because of
    specific circumstances.
  • At the beginning of the 15th C., Florence was
    threatened by Duke of Milan
  • Put up defenses, including intellectual ones, to
    rally the people.
  • Propaganda in the form of writing, art, music
    championed Florence as the new Athens
  • Began a campaign to finish and decorate Florence
    Cathedral- opportunity for the emergence of new
    artistic talent
  • Art was raised from a craft to a liberal art
    (like writing, mathematics, philosophy)- a
    necessity for a gentlemans education
  • The artist became the manipulator of ideas rather
    than just a craftsman-and the artist began to be
    educated and respected.
  • New style began with Ghibertis Baptistry doors.

3
  • Life-sized figures
  • Mass and volume much more realistic than Medieval
  • Heads based on Roman sculpture
  • This time form and content are not separated like
    in Medieval

Nanni di Banco, Four Saints, c.1410-14
4
  • Attitude of the human body is much like classical
    antiquity
  • Donatello- greatest sculptor of his time
    (1386-1466)
  • Spent early years working on Cathedral
    commissions
  • Brought back Contrapposto!
  • In same architectural niche like Banco, but
    different feeling
  • Elastic limbs, lifelike, ready for battle (right
    hand originally held a sword)
  • Renaissance version of the brave Christian
    soldier but now redefined as the defender of the
    new Athens

Donatello, St. George Tabernacle, 1415-17
5
  • Donatello learned bronze sculpture from Ghiberti
  • He ended up with a more expressive quality than
    his teacher.
  • Acts as a window of reality
  • Earliest example of linear perspective (invented
    by Brunelleschi)!!
  • Linear perspective made art empirical- a reason
    to include as a liberal art

Donatello, Feast of Herod, 1425
6
Ghiberti has learned from his student!
Ghiberti, Gates of Paradise, c.1435
7
  • David is based on Classical proportions and is
    symbolic of the struggle between Florence and
    Milan (David v. Goliath)
  • Note Greek-like wreath on his helmet
  • Not based on the Greek athletic type

Donatello, David 1425-30
8
Niccolo DellArca, The Lamentation, 1485-90
  • Integration of motion and emotion
  • Life-sized
  • Figure on the right is reminiscent of Nike of
    Samothrace (forward rush)

9
  • Brunelleschi created the early Renaissance,
    Architecturally
  • First to study the exact measurements of ancient
    monuments
  • Invented linear perspective
  • Won the building of the Florence Cathedral Dome-
    created a new way of distributing weight and a
    new hoisting machine for construction

Brunelleschi, S. Lorenzo 1421-69
Commissioned by the Medici to add on to the
Romanesque building and then to redo the entire
thing Interior- order rather than Passion.
Precise and mathematical
10
  • New emphasis on the regular and symmetrical
  • Whole design based on square units
  • Ushered in the Renaissances search for order and
    uniformity
  • Helped to organize the disorder of the Middle
    Ages- in art as well as language

Plan, S. Lorenzo
  • Drawn to classical architecture because of its
    inflexibility
  • Everything had to be the correct proportions- and
    completely integrated

11
Brunelleschi, Pazzi Chapel, 1430-33
  • Completely unrelated to any Gothic structure that
    came before
  • Central arch that links two classical colonnades
    is an innovation

12
  • Surfaces are decorated
  • First example of roundels- sculpture is not
    really needed like Gothic sculpture- its added
    on, but architecture now stands on its own.

Interior, Pazzi Chapel
13
  • Brunelleschi was rejected by his patrons because
    of his very innovative ideas- this commission was
    given to a lesser-known architect
  • Very fortress-like
  • Stone is in a graded sequence (smooth,
    rusticated, and rough)

Michelozzo, Palazzo Medici 1444
14
  • Death of Brunelleschi allowed for the rise of
    Alberti
  • 1400-1472
  • didnt start designing until he was OLD (40)-
    wrote a lot about Renaissance art
  • This is a critique of the Medici Palace- more of
    a strict design
  • Reminiscent of the Colloseum
  • Dealt with how to put a classical scheme on a
    non-classical building

Alberti, Palazzo Rucellai, 1146-51
15
  • Alberti was able to meld classical and
    contemporary
  • Triumphal arch from Rome
  • Classical temple front
  • Pilasters instead of columns
  • Complete continuity in the interior of the
    church- the façade is a preview of the order of
    the entire interior

No clerestory, designed as one long nave w/o
transcept- reminiscent of Roman basilicas
Alberti, S. Andrea, 1470
16
  • New style was single-handedly launched by
    Masaccio (died at the age of 27)
  • Renaissance style already established in
    sculpture and painting
  • Inscription reads What you are, I once was what
    I am, you will become.
  • Realm of monumental grandeur, not everyday life
  • Drapery is real- figures are clothed nudes
  • Shows linear perspective
  • Deliberately painted to be seen from the viewers
    perspective

Masaccio, The Holy Trinity 1425
17
  • Fresco from the Brancacci Chapel, showing
    continuous narration
  • Figures merge the weight and volume of Giotto
    with new precision of the Renaissance
  • Most figures are very static and sculptural

Masaccio, The Tribute Money c. 1427
18
How do we know this is Renaissance and not
Medieval?
Masaccio, Madonna Enthroned, 1426
19
Duccio
Fra Angelico, The Annunciation, 1440-50
20
Paolo Ucello, Battle of San Romano, 1455 (tempera
and silver foil)
  • Shows preoccupation with depicting space- ground
    is very gridlike
  • Ordered space in a very disordered painting

21
Castagno, The Last Supper, 1445-50
  • Depicts an alcove of real space- reminiscent of
    Masaccio
  • Almost too ordered- imprisons and silences
    figures- uses medieval pose of Judas seperated

22
  • From the city of Padua (near Venice) 1431-1506
  • 2nd most important painter of the early
    Renaissance
  • Fresco destroyed in 1944
  • Worms-eye view perspective based on viewers
    eye-level
  • Devotion to classical remains-desire for accuracy
    (soldiers costumes)
  • Great emotional content (fight breaking out on
    the right)

Mantegna, St.James Led to his Execution, 1455
23
  • Painting is set in the apse of a church
  • Very gentle, diffused light
  • Very spacious and calm
  • Colors have rich depth
  • Meditative rather than static (like medieval)

Bellini, Madonna and the Saints, 1505
24
Botticelli, The Birth of Venus, 1480
  • 1444-1510- Florentine-favorite of the Medici from
    the Masaccio style-stable and monumental
  • Lack of concern for deep space, ornamental
  • Does not follow precise anatomy- bodies are
    deflated looking, never touching the ground
  • Why was mythological subjects allowed in a very
    religious society?

25
  • Very Flemish in nature- realism and facial detail
    but filled with emotion like the Italians

Ghirlandaio, An Old Man and his Grandson, 1480
26
Perugino, The Delivery of the Keys, 1482
  • Roman- a fresco from the Sistine Chapel-story of
    Peter being named the first Pope
  • Very symmetrical design, vast expanse of the
    background
  • Mathematically exact perspective
  • Became Raphaels teacher (poor guy!)
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