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Chapter 12 Early Renaissance Art
Transcript of Chapter 12 Early Renaissance Art
At the heart of the Italian Renaissance was an intellectual movement known as
Based on the study of classical cultures, (Greek and Roman) humanism focused on worldly subjects rather than the religious issues that had occupied medieval thinkers however, humanism did not do away with religious images...in fact, religious images continued to inspire artists throughout Europe
•Humanists believed that education should stimulate an individual's creative powers.
•The goal of humanism was to create well-rounded individuals.
What was the Renaissance?
The ideal Renaissance person had talent in many fields.
The Italian Renaissance
The Italian Humanists developed a system of mathematical perspective which allowed artists
to represent the visible world in a new and convincing way. Perspective is a way of creating a 3-D illusion of space on a flat 2-D surface.
There are different types of perspective
Linear perspective is a method of creating
an illusion of 3-D space on a flat picture plane
using lines. Here you will find a horizon line and
a vanishing point
The most famous example of one-point perspective
is Leonardo di Vinci's painting of the "Last Supper".
Here the vanishing point is found on the face of Jesus.
Atmospheric perspective uses color,
value (light and dark) and clarity
to make objects look like
they are going away into the distance.
The Limbourg Brothers...Jean, Paul and Herman
created one of the most famous books in art history known as "The Book of Hours."
The Book of Hours was created for the Duke of Berry and is referred to as "the king of illuminated manuscripts."
The Book of Hours was the most important religious book in the hands of the laity.
The contents contained a church calendar, prayers from the offices, or hours, of the Virgin, psalms, and other prayers.
The book could be plain and unillustrated or a luxury object like the one commissioned by the Duke of Berry.
(Remember a Book of Hours was a private prayer book containing hours...in this case months... where the owner would place private prayers.)
The Northern Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance
Jan van Eyck depicts a wealthy financier
(who had established himself in Bruges as an agent of the Medici family) and his betrothed in a Flemish bedchamber that is simultaneously mundane and charged with the spiritual.
Almost every object is symbolic. These objects conveys the event’s sanctity, specifically, the holiness of matrimony.
Arnolfini and his bride, Giovanna Cenami, hand in hand, take the marriage vows.
I. The cast-aside clogs indicate this event is taking place on holy ground.
II. The little dog symbolizes fidelity (the common canine name Fido originated from the Latin fido, “to trust”).
III. Behind the pair, the curtains of the marriage bed have been opened. The bedpost’s finial (crowning ornament) is a tiny statue of Saint Margaret, patron saint of childbirth. From the finial hangs a whisk broom, symbolic of domestic care.
IV. The oranges on the chest below the window may refer to fertility.
V. The all-seeing eye of God seems to be referred to twice. It is symbolized once by the single candle burning in the left rear holder of the ornate chandelier and again by the mirror, where viewers see the entire room reflected.
VI. The small medallions set into the mirror’s frame show tiny scenes from the Passion of Christ and represent God’s ever-present promise of salvation for the figures reflected on the mirror’s convex surface.
See the little Mirror behind them?
The artist augmented the scene’s credibility by including the convex mirror, because viewers can see not only the couple, Arnolfini and his wife, but also two persons who look into the room through the door. One of these must be the artist himself, as the florid inscription above the mirror, “Johannes de Eyck fuit hic,” announces he was present.
The picture’s purpose, then, seems to have been to record and sanctify this marriage.
Although this has been the traditional interpretation of this image, some scholars recently have taken issue with this reading, suggesting that Arnolfini is conferring legal privileges on his wife to conduct business in his absence. Despite the lingering questions about the precise purpose of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Bride, the painting provides viewers today with great insight into both van Eyck’s remarkable skill and Flemish life in the fifteenth century.
Double Portrait 1434
Saint Francis in Ecstasy
Of or pertaining to Vitruvius, an ancient Roman architect.
Jan van Eyck was employed under the service of Duke Philip, the Good of Burgundy.
In 1432, van Eyck & his brother, Hubert painted "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb", or "Lamb of God" the altarpiece for the Church of St. Bavon, Ghent. Better known as the
Ghent Altarpiece of 1432
, referred to in the movie, "The Monuments Men" ranks among the most significant works of art in Europe!
Housed at Saint Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium, the large and complex altarpiece suffered a varied history over the centuries. Dismantled, stolen, and damaged many times over, it was reassembled, cleaned, and restored after World War II.
In 1434, van Eyck created another masterpiece, "Arnolfini Wedding." Throughout his career, van Eyck used oil painting in his portraits and panel paintings. He died on July 9, 1441 in Bruges, Netherlands.
Portrait of a Carthusian, 1446
Northern Renaissance Painters
In the Middle Ages most apprenticeships were closed to women and if they learned the trade it was through family and convents
But. in the 15th century, women were admitted to artists quilds in some cities, particularly Flemish towns.
Women artists excelled in manuscript illumination.
In Italy, the positions of women were different.
The Humanists emphasized academic study...since this included anatomical study, women were forbidden to enter into the apprenticeship of an artist.
When Christine's husband Etienne de Castel died after ten years of marriage, she turned to writing to support herself, her mother, and her three children.
Here she is depicted instructing her son.
Christine de Pisan
Woman Artists in the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance
Hugo van der Goes, one of the greatest painters in the Netherlands in the second half of the 15th century.
Nothing is known of his life before 1467, when he became a master in the painters' guild at
He had numerous commissions from the town of Ghent for work of a temporary nature such as processional banners.
He became Dean of the painters' guild and he entered a priory near Brussels as a lay-brother, but he continued to paint and also to travel.
In 1481 he suffered a mental breakdown
(he had a tendency for acute depression)
and although he recovered, he died the following year.
No paintings by Hugo are signed and his only securely documented work is his masterpiece, a large triptych (3 panels) of the Nativity known as the Portinari Altarpiece (Uffizi, Florence, c.1475-76).
Hugo van der Goes
Tapestries and Textiles
Splendor in Thread
In Brussels and the Loire Valley, major weaving centers arose.
The influences on subject matter was influenced by Roman artisans.
is built of small sections of color woven on a loom.
(or pattern) of strips is put beneath the loom and the weaver follows the color patterns which builds up the forms on the tapestry.
Tapestries served as both wall coverings and portable wealth.
In fact, the wealth of an individual could be found by the number of tapestries they owned. Tapestries also found political themes. Most of the high quality tapestries came from Brussels.
The Unicorn is found, the Hunt of the Unicorn tapestry 1498-1500
Portinari Altarpiece, 1475-75
Christine de Pisan
Petrus Christus Self-Portrait
February, Book of Hours
Leonardo Di Vinci
emerged in Europe due
to a greater availability of paper.
Multiple copies of text began replacing originals.
(This was the old school of xeroxing or coping...if you will)
The main form of printmaking was either
In a woodcut, a design is drawn on a smooth block
of wood. Cuts are made around the lines of the
images leaving the lines in high relief. Then the block is
inked and paper is pressed down on the block. The ink
appears on the relief image and a reverse image appears.
In an engraving, a design is drawn on metal in a process called
intaglio. Lines are scratched into the plate with tools called
burnishers. Ink is applied and forced into the lines. The image
appears and the plate is then cleaned.
What are advantages of woodcuts and engravings over
The Buxheim St. Christopher 1423
Intaglio Print Engraving : Intaglio Printmaking
Filipps Brunelleschi was one
of the major pioneers of Renaissance
architecture. The design of the Dome
of Florence Cathedral (
) is based on
a pointed arch which uses ribs to support the
vault. But look, no flying buttresses!
The important aspect of the dome was that
he created a structural system where each
part of the dome reinforced the next...a system
of layering if you will.
Florence: Brunelleschi's Dome 1:58 Rick Steves
Duomo Brunelleschi Santa Maria del Fiore 4:40
disection of Brunelleschi's Duomo
The de' Medici families were important in the Renaissance...actually some called them the "Godfather's of the Renaissance."
They achieved wealth by the banking business. This gave the family power and the listening ear of some of Italy's most important people...a.k.a. the Pope. The Pope allowed the Medici's uninterrupted access to the most important and creative people of the Renaissance.
Richard Bangs 2:01
"The Gates of Paradise"
Lorenzo Ghiberti was a famous Florentine metalworker and was also trained in the gold trade by his father.
Born in 1378, Ghiberti won a competition for a pair of new doors for the Baptistery in Florence.
The Gates of Paradise!
The Gates of Paradise are divided into ten panels each one contains a scene from the Old Testament.
Lorenzo Ghiberti (Italian, 1378-1380–1455)
Adam and Eve relief, Gates of Paradise, 1425–52, from the east portal of the Baptistery of San Giovanni, Florence
Gilt bronze; 31 1/2 x 31 1/2 in.
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence
Florence Church Art
...Let's talk about it! A Wedding Portrait...A Memorial ?
The Annunciation. 1434-1436
In 1444, Petrus Christus became a citizen of Bruges, where he worked until his death. He is believed to have been trained in Jan van Eyck's studio.His naturalistic mature style, characterized by his jewel like execution, is a simplified adaptation of Jan van Eyck's style.
A Goldsmith in his shop- 1149
now, can you see how they thought that he might have been a student of Jean van Eyck?
The Limbourg Brothers
Kings of the Illuminated Manuscripts
Back to van Eyck...a few of his many works
The Ghent Altarpiece
Jean van Eyck
Who were the real Monuments Men & Women?.
Notice the reflection & the exceptional detail of the metal, jewels and glass.
The reflective surfaces, the detail...
Early Renaissance Art
The Renaissance in Italy saw four important artists…you know...the ninja turtles; Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael.
Thinkers during the Renaissance looked to the ancients…in mathematics, architecture, astronomy, and in the ideal forms.
And... it was because of the study of the ancients along with the modern understanding of the late 15th & early 16th century that artists developed many interesting techniques and devices for art.
Techniques and devices that would change the way we see and think about art.
Here Donatello sculpts the biblical figure of David.
This is one of the earliest life-size freestanding nudes made in bronze.
Thanks for your attention!
The Renaissance (rebirth) was a time of creativity and change in many areas…
political, social, economic and cultural.
The most important change was the way that people viewed themselves
and their place in the world.
Scholars argue about exactly when the Renaissance happened, where it took place, and how long it lasted.
But for our purposes, we will refer to our text...
When we think of the Renaissance, we typically think of Italy but remember the Renaissance was a rebirth…a re-thinking.
So much changed in Northern Europe in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Some of the most important changes in Northern Europe include the:
• invention of the printing press, c. 1450
• advent of mechanically reproducible media such as woodcuts and engravings
• formation of a merchant class of art patrons that purchased works in oil on panel
• Protestant Reformation and the translation of the Bible from the original
languages into the vernacular or common languages such as German and French
• international trade in urban centers
The Early Renaissance put forth Flemish painters such as the Limbourg brothers, Paul, Herman and Jean, Jean van Eyck, and Petrus Christus.
During the Early Renaissance art and artists sought to understand,
observe and represent the natural or material world.
Northern Renaissance artists came from France, the Germanic lands, and the Low Countries (present day Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg).
The Northern Renaissance was the Renaissance that occurred in Europe north of the Alps. Before 1497, Italian Renaissance humanism had little influence outside Italy.
In the 15th century, the northern European countries we know today as Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were controlled by the enormously wealthy Dukes of Burgundy (Burgundy is a region in France).
Adoration of the King
A Fine Example...