Download Chapter Seventeen Renaissance Artists

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 “The
eye, which is called the
window of the soul, is the
chief means whereby the
understanding may most
fully and abundantly
appreciate the infinite works
of nature.”
 Leonardo da Vinci
 Early
Renaissance (1400-1490)
Florence: the Medici
 High Renaissance (1490-1530)
Rome: the Pope
Early Renaissance
 1.
 2. the artist as hero and genius
 3. the revival of the classical
Techniques of
Spatial Illusionism
Filippo Brunelleschi developed the laws of
 Masaccio was among the first to use
Brunelleschi's rules to achieve the illusion
of perspective in his paintings.
 Leon Battista Alberti theorized the method
in the book On Painting
Perspective in art is a method of graphically
depicting three-dimensional objects and
spatial relationships in two-dimensional
The illusion of depth in a painting, drawing,
or graphic is created using the perspective
Perspective is based on elementary laws of
optics: objects in the distance appear
smaller and less distinct than objects that
are near.
Masaccio, Trinity with
the Virgin, Saint John
the Evangelist, and
Donors, ca. 1426-1427.
Basic principles of linear perspective.
Aerial or atmospheric interference with visual
perception causes loss of contrast, detail and
sharp focus. The effect, which Leonardo called
"the perspective of disappearance," tends to
make objects seem to take on a blue-gray
middle value as they increase in distance. This
effect is used by film makers to give the illusion
of great depth, but can be used to great effect by
painters and draughtsmen. The illustration
above shows loss of color saturation, contrast,
and detail as the cubes fall further away from the
Aerial Perspective
Aerial Perspective
Masaccio, The Tribute of Money, ca. 1425.
 The
arrangement or treatment
of the light and dark parts in a
pictorial work of art
made of pieces
of inlaid wood
Ghiberti, Baptistery of San Giovanni, Florence
Solomon and the Queen of Sheba: Relief from the Doors of Paradise,
da Vinci
The Virgin of the Rocks
More haze
Some haze
A feeling of distance
The Last Supper
 Mona
(La Gioconda)
The Venetian School
Bellini (c. 1430-
Giorgione (c. 1478-1510)
Titian (c. 1490-1576)
The Venetian School
art reflected the
luxurious life of Venice.
Their aim was to appeal to
the senses, not the mind.
Giorgione, Pastoral Concert
masterful blends colors
Titian, Venus of Urbino
1. Clarity
2. Harmony
3. Unity of design
Raphael, Alba Madonna
Raphael, the School of
RAPHAEL. The Disputa. 1509
Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel
 Painted
between 1508 to
 Nine scenes from the Book of
 Seven Old Testament
 Five sibyls, as well as four
corners and eight triangular
Creation of Adam
God and Man
Equal in size and
muscular grace
The moment of
fulfillment sought
by Adam
Potential divinity of
the Last
Judgment, 1536
vs. Naked
 “A naked
body has to be seen
as an object in order to
become a nude.”
 “Nakedness reveals itself.
Nudity is placed on display.”
(John Berger, Ways of Seeing, 1972)
In the average European oil painting of the
nude the principal protagonist is never
painted. He is the spectator in front of the
picture and he is presumed to be a man.
Everything is addressed to him. Everything
must appear to be the result of his being
there. It is for him that the figures have
assumed their nudity. But he, by definition,
is a stranger—with his clothes still on.
(John Berger, Ways of Seeing, 1972)
The Renaissance Portrait
 Two
desire to immortalize oneself by
way of one’s physical appearance
wish to publicize one’s greatness
in the traditional manner of Greek and
Roman antiquity
(Fiero 401)
Jan van Eyck,
Marriage of
Giovanni Anolfini
and His Bride,
The mirror is the focal point of the whole
composition. It has often been noted that two tiny
figures can be seen reflected in it, their image
captured as they cross the threshold of the room.
They are the painter himself and a young man,
perhaps arriving to act as witnesses to the marriage.
The essential point, however, is the fact that the
convex mirror is able to absorb and reflect in a
single image both the floor and the ceiling of the
room, as well as the sky and the garden outside,
both of which are otherwise barely visible through
the side window. The mirror thus acts as a sort of
hole in the texture of space. It sucks the entire visual
world into itself, transforming it into a representation.
Jan van Eyck,
Man in a Turban
Jan van Eyck,
Portrait of
Margareta van
Eyck, 1439
Jan van Eyck,
The Virgin of
Chancellor Rolin,
“Indeed, in this tribute to
male beauty, Donatello
rejected the medieval view
of the human body as the
wellspring of sin and
anticipated the modern
Western exaltation of the
body as the seat of
pleasure” (Fiero 395).
Lifeless Jesus
held by young
 Protective
pyramidal shape
 Monumental
statement on the
meaning of
Mother Mary is represented
very young, three possible
1. incorruptible purity
2. Perhaps Mary was Jesus’
daughter, like all of humanity is,
but is also his mother.
3. Viewer is actually looking at
an image of Mary holding the
baby Jesus
Florence Cathedral (Santa Maria del Fiore, called the
Duomo), dome, 1420–36, by Filippo Brunelleschi (1377–1436)
S. Maria Novella by Leon Battista Alberti, at Florence, Italy, 1456 to 1470.
Dome of St Peter's
1564, Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican Leon
Battista Alberti. Interior of Sant'Andrea, Mantua, Italy. Designed 1470.
Leon Battista Alberti.
Façade of Sant'Andrea,
Mantua. Designed 1470
Leon Battista Alberti. Façade of Sant'Andrea, Mantua. Designed 1470