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Renaissance Art

History and characteristics of art during the Renaissance. Focuses on Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Durer.

Anne Culver

on 8 December 2014

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Transcript of Renaissance Art

da Vinci


Other Works
French for
Revival of Classical principles after the Middle Ages
Spanned 14th-17th Centuries (mid 1300s-early 1600s)
Changes in all parts of culture:
Politics, Education, Literature, Science, Architecture, Art, Etc.
Began in Italy and spread throughout Europe
Preceded by Late Gothic Style
Followed by Baroque Style
Developed separately in Netherlands and Italy
"Proto-Renaissance" artists include:
Nicola and Giovanni Pisano
Giotto di Bondone
Return to classical ideals and realism portrayed in Greek and Roman art (especially sculpture)
Stylized, idealized, but realistic figures
Body looks dynamic (weight and movement)
Emphasis on individuals
Subjects often religious
Often used heavy symbolism
Patrons give money to support artists
Artists create works commissioned by patrons
Developed to improve realism
Also emphasizes important subjects
Linear Perspective
Developed by Brunelleschi and Paolo Uccello
Objects and sight lines recede to a "vanishing point"
Objects get smaller the farther they are from the "viewer"
Aerial/Atmospheric Perspective
Objects become more indistinct as they recede into the background
Objects farther from the "viewer" are less detailed, "softer", have less intense colors
Mona Lisa
Other Works
Lived 15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519
Born in Vinci, Italy
Ultimate "Renaissance Man"
Many fields of study:
Painting, Sculpting, Writing, Mathematics, Engineering, Anatomy, Geology, Botany,etc.
Studied painting and sculpture under Andrea del Verrocchio
Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan was his patron from 1482 to 1499
Virgin of the Rocks
The Last Supper
, among other works
Worked as a military architect, engineer, and mapmaker for 3 years
Worked for the French King Francis I for 3 years, until his death
Stylized realism
Idealized androgynous beauty
Caricatured grotesqueness
Used Sfumato - shading blended extremely finely, without outlines
Gives a smokey, otherworldly quality
Backgrounds of finished pieces are minutely detailed
Often depict dramatically rocky natural scenes
Sketched extensively - much more often than painted
Mainly used oil paints
Sometimes also tempera paints
On wood panels (some transferred to canvas)
Charcoal, Chalks
Also called
La Gioconda
Portrait of Lisa Gherardini
Born in Florence, Italy on 15 June 1479
Husband was Francesco del Giocondo, a Florentine merchant and official
Had 5 children
Portrait was commissioned in 1503, to celebrate birth of son Andrea and purchase of new home
Was postponed before completion and never paid for
Leonardo kept it and brought it to France
Many copies exist, some by Leonardo's students, painted at the same time as the original
Half-length portrait of a woman in a 3/4 turn, seated between two columns before a fantastical landscape, her hands folded before her on the armrest of her chair
Triangular composition mimics many depictions of seated Madonnas
Right hand folded over left to indicate faithfulness as a wife
Appears to be looking at viewer
Dark clothing with embroidery and veil in Spanish fashion
Indicate wealth of the Giocondo family
Frame and accent lightness of hands and face
Draw attention to the face
Painted with Sfumato - gentle blending of shadows rather than outlines indicate contours and angles
Gives life especially at corners of eyes and mouth
Background is rocky, wild, fantastical looking
Mountains recede into the distance according to aerial perspective (become lighter and less distinct, colors become cooler)
Exaggerated features
Often grotesque
Done almost solely as sketches
Based on real people Leonardo saw in everyday life
Lived 21 May 1471 – 6 April 1528
Born in Nuremberg, Holy Roman Empire (modern Germany)
Considered greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance
Father was a goldsmith, godfather was a printer and publisher
1486-1490 apprenticed with Michael Wolgemut, a paiter and printmaker
1490-1495 visited other northern artists, then traveled to Italy
Influenced by Italian style
1495 Opened workshop in Nuremberg
Focused on printmaking, especially engraving
Studied to improve anatomy, proportion, and perspective
1505-1507 Visited Italy again, focused on painting
1512-1519 Maximillian I, Holy Roman Emperor was his main patron
Declining health and arthritis slowed his production rate
Wrote books on mathematics, city fortifications, and the proportions of the human body
Self Portrait
Praying Hands
Other Works
El Greco
(Doménikos Theotokópoulos)
1586–1588, oil on canvas, 480 × 360 cm, Santo Tomé, Toledo
The Burial of the Count of Orgaz
Raphael Sanzio
Michelangelo Merisi da
Judith Beheading Holofernes
1598–1599. Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome
Judith Slaying Holofernes
(1614–20) Oil on canvas 199 x 162 cm Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
Jan Van Eyck
The Arnolfini Portrait
(1434) Oil on oak panel of 3 vertical boards National Gallery, London
Sistine Chapel Ceiling


(1498–1499) Marble, 174 cm × 195 cm, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City
Madonna del Prato
(1505) oil on board, 113 cm × 88 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione
(1514–1515) Oil on canvas, 82 cm × 67 cm, Louvre, Paris
School of Athens
(1509–1511) Fresco, Apostolic Palace, Vatican City
Sistine Madonna
(1512) Oil on canvas, 265 cm × 196 cm, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden
Engraving, Drypoint etching, Woodcut
Watercolor & Gouache (for sketches and studies)
Oil paints
Silverpoint, Chalk, Charcoal
Self-Portrait at Twenty-Eight Years Old Wearing a Coat with Fur Collar
Oil on wood panel
Last of 3 self portraits
28 considered transition from youth to maturity
Appears much more serious and somber than earlier portraits
Resembles many early paintings of Jesus
Subject faces viewer directly (unusual in non-religious portraiture - 3/4 pose popular)
Right hand raised to chest height, similar to gesture of a blessing
Dark, somber earth tones and dramatic shadows
Reason debated:
Draw comparison as creator?
Following iconographic tradition?
Lack of background and floating inscription give sense of importance and timelesness
Inscription reads : "I, Albrecht Durer of Nuremberg portrayed myself in everlasting colours aged twenty-eight years"
Initialed "AD" under the year, drawing further comparison with Christ ("Anno Domini")
"Study of the Hands of an Apostle"
Pen and ink drawing
A study for the center portion of the triptych for the Heller Altar, destroyed by fire in 1729
Probably Durer's own hands
Adoration of the Magi
(1475–1476) Tempera on panel, 111 cm × 134 cm, Uffizi, Florence
The Last Supper
(1494–1498) Tempera on gesso, pitch and mastic, 460 cm × 880 cm, Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan
Virgin of the Rocks
(1483-1486) Oil on panel (transferred to canvas), 199 cm × 122 cm, Louvre, Paris
(1495-1508) Oil on panel, 189.5 cm × 120 cm, National Gallery, London
Portrait of a Musician
(1490) Oil on wood panel, 45 cm × 32 cm, Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan
La belle ferronnière
(1490–1496) Oil on wood, 62 cm × 44 cm, The Louvre, Paris
The Virgin and Child with St. Anne
(c. 1508) Oil on wood, 168 cm × 112 cm, Louvre, Paris
Head of a Woman
(c. 1508) Oil on canvas, 24.7 cm × 21 cm, Galleria nazionale di Parma
Focused on capturing realistic images
Heavy use of religious imagery
Religious works heavily stylized and idealized
Very detailed backgrounds
Realistic - capture key details of subjects, like nose shape
Focus on subject, background often only a solid color, sometimes with a small portion of outdoor scenery
Carefully detailed clothes (status symbol)
Intricate details
Many tones of gray (light-dark)
Appearance of textures
Portrait of a Venetian Woman
(1505), Oil on panel, 32.5 × 24.5 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Hans Tucher
(1499) Oil on panel, 28 × 24 cm, Schlossmuseum, Weimar
The Painter's Father
(1497) Oil on panel, 51 × 40.3 cm, National Gallery, London
Portrait of Barbara Dürer
(1490) Oil on panel, 47 × 38 cm, Germanisches National Museum, Nuremberg
Portrait of Bernhard von Reesen
(1521) Oil on panel, 45.4 × 31.5 cm, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden
(1514) Copper engraving, 247 x 188 mm
St Jerome in His Study
(1515) Woodcut, 23.5 cm × 29.8 cm
Dürer's Rhinoceros
Fra Angelico
The Annunciation
(c. 1438-47) Fresco, 230 x 321 cm, Convent of San Marco, Florence
(1501–04) Marble statue, Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence
The Creation of Adam
(c. 1512) Fresco, 280 cm × 570 cm, Sistine Chapel
(1505–12) Fresco, Sistine Chapel, Vatican City
Portrait of a Young Woman
(1497) Oil on canvas, 56 × 43 cm, Städel, Frankfurt
Self-Portrait at 26
(1498) Oil on panel, 52.5 × 41 cm, Museo del Prado, Madrid
Madonna with the Pear
(1511) Copper engraving, 160 x 107 mm
St Anne with the Virgin and Child
(1519) Oil and tempera on canvas, transferred from panel, 60 × 50 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
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