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Italian Renaissance Notes
1. What changes does Europe experience for the Renaissance to happen?
2. Where does the Renaissance begin?
3. How is Renaissance art different from the art that came before it?
4. Who are the sculptors of the Florentine Renaissance? What did they sculpt?
5. What does Renaissance architecture look like?
6. What is Florence’s biggest architectural achievement?
7. Who are the painters of the Florentine Renaissance? What did they paint?
8. What about Renaissance music in Italy?
9. Why is Rome so filled with art?
10. Who is the sculptor of the Roman Renaissance? What did he sculpt?
11. Who are the painters of the Roman Renaissance? What did they paint?
12. What architectural masterpieces are in Rome? What characteristics do they
13. What are the major ideas to come out of the Italian Renaissance?
1. What changes does Europe experience for the Renaissance to happen?
Economics -- Expanding merchant class
Globally --
Expanding world!
Scientifically -- Expanding world of science
Data gathering (thanks, Aquinas!)
Heliocentric by end of Renaissance
Educationally -- Expanding mind!
Gutenberg! 1456
Artistically -- Expanding opportunities!
Humanistically -- Expanding definition of man!
Universities teach that man has free will!
Refocus on HUMANISM!
2. Where does the Renaissance begin?
Italy! Why?
Specifically, begins in Florence!
Florence – wool & silk center, Papal bankers
Piero -Lorenzo --
Pater Patriae, 1434 to 64
Neoplatonic Academy
Collector of books
Patron of the arts
1464 to 69
1469 to 1492
1494 Medicis exiled
1498 Savonorola burned
3. How is renaissance art different from art that comes before it?
No longer humanizes faith, but reflects humanity!
Careful description and accurate forms
Nude reemerges
Classical references
Atmospheric Perspective
Linear Perspective
4. Who are the sculptors of Florence?
A. Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378 – 1455) Sacrifice of Isaac
Gates of Paradise
Story of Adam & Eve
Competition -- North doors
Quatrefoils of Sacrifice of Isaac
2 entries are best – Ghiberti & Brunelleschi
Why is Ghiberti’s chosen?
B. (Donato di Niccolo di Betto Bardi) Donatello (1386 – 1466)
Lo Zuccone
Repentant Magdalene
Ghiberti’s apprentice, worked on doors
Began as goldsmith, moves to sculpting
No single style defines him
Lo Zuccone – for Duomo
David -- for Cosimo
Repentant Magdalene – for Duomo
5. What does Florentine architecture look like?
Influenced by geometry and symmetry of Ancient Rome & Greece
Influenced by the harmonious proportions of music
Compare to Gothic?
Harmonious and balanced v. intricate and overwhelming
6. What is Florence’s biggest architectural achievement?
The Duomo, Santa Maria del Fiore
Filippo Brunelleschi
Church finished in 1400
No dome, no light, no ventilation
Dome needed is 180 ft. in diameter – no precedent
His proposal -- 2 shells, no centering
Created all machines for this work: reverse hoist, load positioner, lantern crane
Lantern with buttresses
Da Vinci’s connection
Brunelleschi’s other masterpiece: Pazzi Chapel
What do we see?
7. Who are the painters of Florence?
A. (Tomasso Cassai) Masaccio (1401-1427)
“Big Tom”
heavily influenced by Giotto!
Expulsion from the Garden
Tribute Money
Painted for the decoration of the Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine
Expulsion-- clear light source, shadow, volume, weight
Tribute-- simultaneous modes of time
Influenced all others: Lippi, Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Botticelli
B. Filippo Lippi (1406-1469)
Lippi is Masaccio’s student
Finishes Brancacci Chapel
Lippi’s “dispensation”
Adoration painted for Cosimo
Prefers pastels, softer figures than Masaccio
C. Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510)
Adoration of the Magi
La Primavera
Birth of Venus
Botticelli is Lippi’s student
Medici patronage
Adoration – for Gaspare di Zanobi del Lama for his chapel in Santa Maria Novello
all Medicis are shown, classical and religious
Primavera and Birth -- both for Medici family linear, classical and religious,
Known for beautiful figures, little muscular power
D. Fra Angelico (1387- 1455)
Prayed before all paintings
Less-convincing figures sit in perfect 3D space
Natural detail is incredible!
For monastery of San Marco, Florence
E. Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
Vitruvian Man
Madonna of the Rocks
Madonna and St. Anne
Last Supper
Mona Lisa
Born in Vinci
Verocchio’s apprentice
Biggest patron is Duke of Milan
Very few completions and copious notes!
Vitruvian -- based on treatise of Vitruvius
Drawings -- chiaroscuro
Madonna -- triangular composition
Last Supper -- Milan
Perfect linear perspective
Vanishing point / halo
Considered first painting of the High Ren.
Raphael uses it for School of Athens
Not fresco
Mona Lisa -- “La Giocanda”
Florentine merchant’s wife
Motherhood/ maternal
Portraiture in 3/4s
Leda and the Swan
8. What about Renaissance music in Italy?
Popular music, simple (Italianizing = simplifying)
Performance oriented, little of what is written is written down during the period
What’s written down moves away from counterpoint towards simple harmony
Lorenzo the Magnificent’s lyrics = native tongue
9. Why is Rome so filled with art?
Because. . .
Pope Leo X is a de Medici
Pope Julius II is a big Michelangelo patron
10. Who is the sculptor of the Roman renaissance?
Michelangelo Buonarati!
(1475-1564) (89!)
Lorenzo de Medici in the gardens of Palazzo Medici
Two biographies in his lifetime!
Studies anatomy
Saw himself as a sculptor
Carrara marble
Liberated figure
Pieta -- 23 years old
Pyramid composition
Serenity/ acceptance
Only work he signed
** inspires other sculptures
David -- 26 -29 years old
Florentian symbol
Moses -- 38 years old
Only figure completed for Julius’s tomb
Most ambitious sculpture project of his life, 40 figures
Keeper of the laws = Moses
Slaves or Captives -- 38
Unfinished for tomb
11. Who are the painters of the Roman Renaissance?
A. Michelangelo
Sistine Chapel Ceiling
Last Judgment
Sistine Chapel -- 1508-1512 (33 to 37 years old)
Private chapel of the Pope
Walls by Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Perugino
Commissioned by Julius II
44 ft. by 133 ft
68 ft up, vaulted ceiling
300 figures!
Up to 43 sq. ft. a day
Optimism, human power
Full span -- man’s sin, judgment, salvation
Exceedingly complex thought!
Divided into 3 sections:
1. lunettes/ spandrels -- ancestors of Christ as written
in Matthew symbolize mankind before salvation/ redemption
pendentives -- chosen people are saved from destruction through miracles
foreshadow salvation
2. External band of thrones -- 7 male prophets, 5 female sibyls
all foretold of Jesus/ Messiah
3. Central rectangle -- nine smaller rectangles from Genesis
“Ignudi” -- strength, grace, power of man
Philosophical divide as well – the three platonic stages, matter, becoming, being
Last Judgment -- 1533- 1541 (58 years old)
22 years after Sistine
Pessimistic about man’s condition
St. Bartholomew = Michelangelo
B. Raffaelo Sanzio (Raphael)
School of Athens
Perugino’s student
Known for serene scenes, less drama
Began painting the papal apartments in 1508
School of Athens
Intellectual spirit of the era
Considered his masterpiece
Divided into reason and spirit
Plato/Aristotle = Apollo/Athena
Influence of both Da Vinci and Michelangelo
12. What architectural masterpieces are in Rome?
Can’t talk about it all!
A. Tempietto by Donato Bramante
Commemorative structure for St. Peter’s martyrdom in church courtyard
What do we see?
B. St. Peter’s by many including Bramante, Michelangelo, and Raphael
St. Peter’s tomb
Constantine’s church
Chief architect is Bramante until 1514, then Raphael
Michelangelo is chief from 1547 to 1564 (age 71 when he takes over)
Michelangelo designs dome inspired by _______________________________
“Largest” dome 450ft x 130 ft
Uses pendentives
Greek cross shape
Colonnade and façade are Baroque by Bernini
13. What are the major ideas to come out of the Italian Renaissance?
A. Classical Humanism
Man is the measure of all things -- focus on civic duty, service to others, here and now,
ethics, man’s abilities and beauty, intellect!
B. Scientific Naturalism
Careful observation of nature, universe, etc, in the effort to understand and reproduce it.
C. Individualism
Seeking personal prestige
D. Mixing of Classical/ Pagan and Christian ideas
Coexistence and religious and scientific, the Classical and the Biblical