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Fichner Rathus CH15

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Published on November 1, 2007

Author: Octavio

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Chapter 15:  Chapter 15 The Renaissance The Renaissance:  The Renaissance The Renaissance spans roughly the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries. Many scholars consider the Renaissance as the beginning of modern history. The Renaissance:  The Renaissance During this period, we witness a revival of Classical themes in art and literature a return to the realistic depiction of nature through keen observation the revitalization of the Greek philosophy of humanism, in which human dignity, ideas, and capabilities are of central importance. Fifteenth-Century Northern Painting:  Fifteenth-Century Northern Painting Flemish Painting: From Page to Panel As the art of manuscript illumination progressed, these thumbnail sketches were enlarged to fill greater portions of the manuscript page, eventually covering it entirely. As the text pages became less able to contain this imagery, the Northern Renaissance artist shifted to painting in tempera on wood panels. Fifteenth-Century Northern Painting:  Fifteenth-Century Northern Painting The Limbourg Brothers One of the most dazzling texts available to illustrate this transfer from minute to more substantial imagery is Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, a book of hours illustrated by the Limbourg brothers. The calendar pages of Les Tres Riches Heures are rendered in the International style, a manner of painting common throughout Europe during the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. This style is characterized by ornate costumes embellished with gold leaf and by subject matter literally fit for a king, including courtly scenes and splendid processions. Fifteenth-Century Northern Painting:  Fifteenth-Century Northern Painting Jan van Eyck The fifteenth century saw the development of genre painting—painting that depicts ordinary people engaged in run-of-the-mill activities. These paintings make little or no reference to religion: they exist almost as art for art’s sake. Yet they are no less devoid of symbolism. Fifteenth-Century Northern Painting:  Fifteenth-Century Northern Painting Jan van Eyck Giovanni Arnolfini and His Bride This unique double portrait was commissioned to serve as a kind of marriage contract or record of the couple’s taking of marriage vows. The artist’s striking realism and fidelity to detail provide exact records of the facial features of the wedding couple. German Art:  German Art Some of the most emotionally striking work of this period was created by German artists. German Art:  German Art Albrecht Durer Durer’s passion for the Classical in art stimulated extensive travel in Italy, where he copied the works of the Italian masters, who were also enthralled with the Classical style. The development of the printing press made it possible for him to disseminate the works of the Italian masters throughout Northern Europe. He is most often celebrated for his engravings and woodcuts. The Renaissance in Italy:  The Renaissance in Italy The Italian Renaissance took root and flourished most successfully in Florence. The development of this city’s painting, sculpture, and architecture parallels that of the Renaissance in all of Italy. Throughout the Renaissance, as Florence went, so went the country. The Renaissance in Italy:  The Renaissance in Italy The Renaissance Begins, and So Does the Competition The prize of casting the doors for the Baptistery of Florence led to competition involving countless entries. Most notably, the competition included Filippo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti, with the latter taking the prize. The Renaissance in Italy:  The Renaissance in Italy The Renaissance Begins, and So Does the Competition Twenty years later, Brunelleschi was commissioned to cover the crossing square of the cathedral of Florence with a dome. The challenge called for quite an engineering feat, ultimately demanding an ogival (or pointed) section, which is inherently more stable than a rounded or hemispherical structure. The Renaissance in Italy:  The Renaissance in Italy The High Renaissance From the second half of the fifteenth century onward, a refinement of the stylistic principles and techniques associated with the Renaissance can be observed. Most of this significant, progressive work was being done in Florence, where the Medici family played an important role in supporting the arts. At the close of the decade, however, Rome was the place to be, as the popes began to assume the grand role of patron. The Renaissance in Italy:  The Renaissance in Italy The High Renaissance Three artists—the great masters of the High Renaissance—were in most demand: Leonardo da Vinci—painter, scientist, inventor, and musician Raphael Sanzio—Classical painter thought to have rivaled the works of the ancients Michelangelo Buonarroti—painter, sculptor, architect, and poet The Renaissance in Italy:  The Renaissance in Italy High and Late Renaissance in Venice The artists who lived and worked in the city of Venice were the first in Italy to perfect the medium of oil painting. The Venetian artists sought the same clarity of hue and lushness of surface in the oil-on-canvas works. High and Late Renaissance Outside of Italy:  High and Late Renaissance Outside of Italy El Greco Spanish art polarized into two stylistic groups of religious painting. El Greco was able to pull these opposing trends together in a unique pictorial method. High and Late Renaissance Outside of Italy:  High and Late Renaissance Outside of Italy Pieter Bruegel the Elder Scenes of everyday life involving ordinary people were becoming increasingly popular. One of the masters of this genre of painting was Pieter Bruegel the Elder, whose compositions focused on human beings in relation to nature and the life and times of plain Netherlandish folk. Mannerism:  Mannerism Mannerist artists abandoned copying directly from nature, and instead copied art. Several characteristics separate Mannerist art from the art of the Renaissance and the Baroque periods: Distortion and elongation of figures Flattened, almost two-dimensional space Lack of a defined focal point Use of discordant pastel hues Discussion Questions:  Discussion Questions What might have happened to the dome of Florence’s cathedral if Brunelleschi had won the competition for the doors to the Baptistery? What factors might account for the angle at which the table sits in Tintoretto’s Last Supper? A bit of investigation will provide valuable insights. Which single work by one of the Renaissance masters do you find most appealing? Explain the characteristics that speak most clearly to you. Related Websites:  Related Websites Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry http://www.christusrex.org/www2/berry/ WebMuseum, Paris: Jan van Eyck http://www.ibiblio.org/louvre/paint/auth/eyck/ Artchive: Albrecht Durer http://www.artchive.com/artchive/ftptoc/durer_ext.html Web Gallery of Art: The Art of Giotto http://www.kfki.hu/~arthp/tours/giotto/ Florence’s Duomo http://www.duomofirenze.it/index-eng.htm La Renaissance: Italy http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/glo/renaissance/it.html

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