The Early Renaissance

1350-1550 mostly in Florence Italy French for rebirth

a revolutionary period breaking away from medieval art major changes take place

donors and patrons become important, attitudes and society change

social (class mobility) ,economic (shift to trade from agriculture) and political (a stable time period, Italian city states),

general attitudes of the renaissance:

  1. optimism / courage
  2. tone of independence
  3. curiosity
  4. concept of progress

optimism and courage- leonardo da vinci 1452-1519

ex the last super 1495-1498 he used an experimental technique, not traditional fresco, and the painting beacon to deteriorate

ex the battle of anghiari 1499 he used a new method to dry the painting, but it caused the paint to blacken

Filippo Brunelleschi a sculptor who changes to architecture (a great architect)

ex- the dome of the cathedral of Florence 1420-1436

a tone of independance- the renaissance valued the independance of the individual and the thought of the self made man

self awareness / identity- pride in personnel achievements artists sign there work and made self portraits

Michaelangelo- ex- pieta 1498-1500 the name is signed across the sash of the virgin

believed to be his only signed work

ex- the last judgment Michaelangelo includes a portrait of himself on the flailed skin of saint Bartholomew

lorenzo ghiberti- ex- the gates of paradise He included his portrait on the doors and the phrase "look at these beautiful doors I have made"

Rafael ex- self portrait of Rafael

ex- the school of Athens he includes a self portrait

curiosity- about the material world. People were interested in the study of the structure of things ex- Leonardís notebooks

concept of progress- a change in the sense of time. People felt things were getting better

the top 4 breakthroughs in art: technical innovations, creative discoveries, and a new style of representing reality.

  1. oil on stretched canvas. The medium of choice. Greater range
  2. perspective: method of creating illusion of depth
  3. the use of light and shadows. Chiaroscuro (light and dark in Italian) it was a method of modeling figures and adding depth and volume
  4. pyramid configuration. Produces symmetrical compositions.

Renaissance scultpure

ex the gates of paradise the competition 1401 baptistery cathedral of Florence a sample was submitted with the subject matter of the sacrifice of Isaac. 7 individuals entered the contest, the two finalist where ghiberti and brunelleschi, but ghiberti was the winner and was commissioned to do the doors of the baptistery.

Ghiberti 1425 he won the contest and did the north doors, he latter did the east doors. They were decorated with old testament and new testament scenes. He included a self portrait and on the doors wrote, "look at these beautiful doors I have made"

he also made a terra cotta Madonna and child

Brunelleschi 1420-1436 an architect who built the dome of the Florence cathedral

Donatello 1394-1466 the greatest sculpture of the early renaissance

his sculpture was known for:

  1. vitality
  2. life like qualities
  3. drama

he worked in ghilbertiís workshop

his greatness lies in his visibility of themes fundamental to the human experience

  1. the real, the ideal and the spiritual
  2. he could do childhood through old age
  3. the nude
  4. military leaders through holy men

ex- St. George 1417 marble commissioned by the armor workers guild

the head and face are tense, alert, sensing danger, human emotions, not a idealized

ex- prophet zuccone 1423-1425 marble on the campanile (bell tower) in the cathedral of Florence old testament prophet with an important message emaciated and ugly

mouth open- delivers message to the people

nicknames: big squash, pumpkin head, baldly

ex- David 1430 bronze first life size nude since ancient times

nudity represents the body beautiful

ex st john the Baptist 1440 national gallery in Washington made of terra cotta

the shirt of hair tells us it is st john

ex- Mary Magdalene 1445 wood intense, emotion is involved

raggedy clothing, emaciated, toothless, a wild look

not a very popular sculpture at the time

ex- equestrian statue of gattamelata condottiere- paid solider 1445-1450 bronze

this is the first equestrian statue since ancient times

the face displays renaissance courage


masaccio (nickname meaning ugly tom) 1401-1428 one of the fathers of the renaissance

bad personnel habits because he dedicated his entire life to painting

by his 20ís he revolutionized art, he died at 27 years old

his 3 great contributions:

  1. figures have volume
  2. he is a master of perspective and depth
  3. his use of light was natural and from a single source

ex- the tribute money in the church of santa maria del carmine in Florence

1427 fresco this is a sequence painting with three different events shown

ex- the expulsion of adam and eve from paradise 1427

simple but powerful the volume of the bodies is produced by chiarosucra

ex- st peter healing with his shadow 1425-1427 volume of figure, perspective, color and shade donatelo and masacio appear in the painting

ex- the holy trinity 1428 dove is the holy spirit it is located in the church of santa maria novella in florence lots of depth, and perspective

momento mori: a reminder of death he includes a skelaton and the saying " what you are i once was, what i am you will be"

international gothic style:

gentile da fabriano 1370-1427

ex- the adoration of the magi people are tightly packed

three characteristics of the international gothic style:

  1. crowded composition
  2. elaborate gold drapery pattern
  3. exotic animals, especially birds and monkeys

piero della francesia 1420-1492 south of florence in the town of arezzo

influenced by mastacio his figures are monumental, they have volume

3 ways he produced volume:

  1. detail is lacking
  2. involvement with perspective
  3. perfect proportions gained from mathematics

his figures appear frozen in motion, no emotions or expressions

ex- the resurection late 1450ís fresco tower of borgo san sepolcro

he used pyramidal construction

ex- constantines dream 1460

fresco constantine accepts the christian faith "under this sign you will conquer"

ex- federico da montefeltro of urbino and battista sforza, duchess of urbine

1475 in uffizi gallery he was a mercenary

ex- st apollonia

frozen in action face

her symbols are a tooth and pinchers (pliers) she was martyred and her teeth were knocked out by a mob

andrea mantegna 1431-1501 painted in the north of italy

best known for form and anatomy he excelled in foreshortening, the use of perspective to represent a single object extending back into space at an angle to the picture plane

ex- the dead christ tempera on canvas he later added the 2 weeping married on the left

ex. st. Sebastion 1455-1460 tempera on panel use of roman classicism

st sebastion was exicuted by being shot by arrow. There is a man on a horse in the clouds

columns, arches, ruins and controposto stance are roman

ex- the agony in the garden 1460 tempera on panel

animals suggest renaissance fascination with nature

ex- cavalry 1457-1459 tempera on wood panel

ex- the st James frescoís destroyed in 1944 by American bomb that hit the church in padua when it missed the intended target

ex. judith and holofernes 1495 oil on wood

deals with courage and was popular

roman influence includes her hair, dress, and sandles

Sandro botticelli 1445-1510 classical subject matter

inspired by Greek mythology

neoplatoism- tried to unify Christianity and the philosophy of Plato

he produced good linear quality and was a master of line

ex the birth of Venus 1484-1486 tempera on canvas

ex the adoration of the magi early 1480ís tempera on wood

luca della robbia 1400-1482 leading florantine ceramics family, he worked in glazed terra cotta because it was cheap and easy to work with. His family had a secret recipe for ceramic. His favorite subject matter was the Madonna and child.

Paolo uccello 1397-1475 uccello is a nickname meaning bird. He was obsessed with perspective and mathematics in art

ex the battle of san romano tempera on wood 1455

3 panels over 34 feet wide it hung in a bedroom of the medici palace

the panels are located in:

  1. the national gallery in london
  2. the uffizi in florence
  3. the louvre in Paris

ex- st George and the dragon tempera on wood 1460

andrea del castagno 1419-1457

first artist of the early renaissance to successful show people in motion

ex- the youthful david tempera on a leather shield

the shield was carried in cerimonial processions.

The wind, stance, hair, garment, and swing of the sling show motion

2 scenes are depicted, one before and one after the battle with goliath

unique for 3 reasons:

  1. the only painted shield attributed to a master
  2. itís a narative scene, not a family coat of arms
  3. one of the first great action pictures

ex- the last supper fresco 1447

Fra Angelico 1400-1455 Dominican monk, all his works were religious

art served 2 purposes:

  1. to tell the story of the church
  2. to assist his fellow monks in meditation

ex- san marco frescos they were basic and simplistic he did about 50 inside monks cells

heís best known for his annunciation scenes

ex- the annunciation 1435 tempers

ex- the adoration of the magi 1445 tempera it is a tondo, a round painting

ex- the birth of St. Nicholas, his vocation, and the gift to 3 maidens tempera on wood

Fra Filippo lippi 1406-1469 he was kicked out of the monastery, he had mistresses and is believed to have used them as models. He was influenced by masaccio

his pupil was botticelli heís know for painting transparent, gauze like cloth

ex- maddona and child

the northern renaissance: flanders and holland

the italians looked to antiquity for influence. The northerners looked to nature

topic Italian Northern

specialty ideal beauty intense realism

style simplified forms, life like features,

measured proportions unflattering realism

subjects religious and mythological religious and domestic

figures heroic male nudes prosperous citizens and peasants

portraits formal and reserved reveal individual personality

technique fresco, tempera, oil oil on wood panel

emphasis underlying anatomical structure visible appearance

basis of art theory observation

composition static and balanced complex and irregular

as the renaissance spread north from italy, it took different forms.

Jan van eyck netherlands 1390-1441

first renaissance artist to achieve international fame "the prince of painters"

known for his rich detail in painting, about 20 works survive

he signed and dated his paintings and included the motto "als ich chan" "as best I can"

in Italy:

giovanni bellini 1430-1516 master painter of Venice used oil as a painting medium

know for his use of color, his brother in law was mantagna

ex- st. Francis in ecstacy 1485

andrea del verrocchio 1435-1488 he taught Leonardo Da Vinci

he was the finest sculpture between donatello and michelangelo

ex- david bronze bronze 49 5/8 inches commissioned by the medici clan

ex- lorenzo de medici terra cotta 1485

ex- the baptism of christ tempera and oil 1470-1473

the outer angel was painted by Da Vinci While he was an apprentice