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Art History II(Dr. Schwarz)-Exam 2

Artist: Donatello 
Title:
Artist: Donatello
Title: “Equestrian Statue of Erasmo do Narni”(Gattamelata)
Stylistic Period: 15th Century-Early Renaissance.
Bronze, height approx. 12′ 2″
In 1443, Donatello was probably called to Padua to execute an Equestrian Statue to commemorate the Paduan general of the Venetian army, Erasmo da Narni, nicknamed “Gattamelata”(meaning “Honeyed Cat” -a reference to his mother, Melania Gattelli). If any image could be said to characterize the self-made men of the Italian Renaissance, surely it would be those of the condottieri-the brilliant generals such as Gattamelata and Niccolò da Tolentino who organized the armies and fought for any city-state willing to pay for their services. As guardians for hire, they were tough, opportunistic mercenaries. But they also subscribed to an ideal of military and civic virtue. Horsemanship was more than a necessary skill for the condottieri. The horse, a beast of enormous brute strength, symbolized animal passions, and skilled horsemanship demonstrated physical and intellectual control-self-control, as well as control of the animal-the triumph of the intellect, of “mind over matter.”

Donatello’s sources for this statue were surviving Roman bronze equestrian portraits, notably the famous image of Marcus Aurelius. Which the sculptor certainly knew from his stay in Rome, as well as the famous set of Roman bronze horses installed on the façade of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice. Viewed from a distance, Donatello’s man-animal juggernaut, installed on a high marble base in front of the church of Sant’Antonio in Padua, seems capable of thrusting forward at the first threat. Seen up close, however, the man’s sunken cheeks, sagging jaw, ropy neck, and stern but sad expression suggest a warrior grown old and tired from the constant need for military vigilance and rapid response.

Equestrian Statue of Erasmo di Narni, (Gattamelata)
15th Century-Early Renaissance.
(Lecture Notes)
Donatello’s Equestrian Statue of Erasmo di Narni (Gattamelata) was regraded as a heroic figure.
This is a sculpture that is meant for outdoors which means it is intended for public view.
It is life-size and elevated to be higher up. He is a commander of the horse. If the big mighty horse/beast responds to his commander then it means the men under his command also respond.
This sculpture is symbolic of being a greater leader.
Contemporary clothing, actual portrait. Serious because he is a leader, visually you can tell he is an intelligent, strong leader. All realistically done. NO unintentional distortion. Cast in bronze which means it was very difficult to make.

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It’s a Roman version of a great emperor-Marcus Aurelius (1200 or 1300 years apart, also shown on horseback). Peace attire, Ancient Roman portraiture. 100s have been made of Ancient Roman men on horseback. Cultures destroyed art previously before them. They thought the Ancient Roman sculpture of Marcus Aurelius was Constantine so they did not destroy it.

Artist: Verrochio 
Title:
Artist: Verrochio
Title: “David”
Stylistic Period: 15th-Century-Early Renaissance
Commissioned by Lorenzo de Medici for the Medici Palace. Bronze with gilded details, height 49 5/8″
One of the most prestigious and active workshops in Florence was that of Andrea di Michele Cioni, nicknamed “Vercocchio” (“true eye”). Trained as a goldsmith, but best known for his works as a painter and bronze sculptor, Vercocchio was also a gifted teacher, counting among his pupils Perugino and Leonardo da Vinci. Around 1470, Lorenzo dé Medici commissioned from Vercocchio a bronze statue of David for Palazzo Medici, the location where Donatello’s sculpture of the same subject was then displayed. Vercocchio’s work seems to have been conceived as a response to the demure, sleek, but awkwardly boyish nude of his famous predecessor. Vercocchio’s triumphant biblical hero is a poised and proud adolescent, modestly clothed and confidently looking out to meet the gaze of the viewer. Although slight, he is equipped with the developing musculature required for the daunting task-whose accomplishment is signaled by the severed head of his fore, displayed like a trophy between his feet. The careful attention to the textural details of hair and clothing reveal Vercocchio’s training as a goldsmith.
Verrochio, “David”
15th-Century-Early Renaissance
(Lecture Notes)
Verrochio’s David was made for the Medici family. He casted this 4 foot statue in bronze. He portrays the Biblical Hero of David as a young man who just killed Goliath.
Compared to Donatello’s David, Verrochio’s has a greater interest in naturalism and has done away with symbolism. This David is an adolescent but might be older than Donatello’s. Verrochio has portrayed that David used skill and intellect, but is stronger than Donatello’s.

A garment covers David’s body (upper part is molded against the body, also has a sword that matches his size), is not a Biblical garment but rather like a modern Florentine attire. The hair is also a contemporary Florentine hairstyle. Modeling David in a contemporary manner appeals to the contemporary audience.

While Donatello’s David is philosophical Verrochio has made his David cocky, proud of what he has done.

Artist: Desiderio da Settignano
Title: Bust of a Little Boy
Stylistic Period: 15th Century-Early Renaissance
Marble.
(Lecture Notes and internet sources)
Artist: Desiderio da Settignano
Title: Bust of a Little Boy
Stylistic Period: 15th Century-Early Renaissance
Marble.
(Lecture Notes and internet sources)
Born into a Florentine family of carvers and stonemasons, Desiderio da Settignano was a sculptor whose work was greatly influenced by Donatello. Scholars have even argued that he may have been Donatello’s pupil. Greatly admired by Leonardo, his works, which include a number of portrait busts of women and children, possess an unusual degree of tenderness. One of his finest achievements is the tomb of the humanist scholar Carlo Marsuppini.

Settignao’s Bust of a Little Boy is modeled after an unknown boy presumably around 3 years of age. Sculpture was made of marble (marble was beloved in the Renaissance by sculptures b/c it was easier to carve and seems to sparkle), but it is very realistic. Has a high degree of naturalism (always beautiful and ideal). Little boy has a serious expression, but also calm.

Artist: Masaccio 
Title:
Artist: Masaccio
Title: “Trinity with the Virgin, St. John the Evangelist, and The Donors”
Stylistic Period: 15th Century-Early Renaissance
Fresco, 21′ x 10′ 5″
Even though his brief career lasted less than a decade, Tommasi di Ser Giovanni di Mone Cassai, nicknamed “Masaccio” (meaning “Big Tom”), established a new direction in Florentine painting, much as Giotto had a century earlier. He did this by integrating monumental and consistently scaled figures into rational architectural and natural settings using linear perspective. The chronology of Masaccio’s works is uncertain, but his fresco of the TRINITY in the church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence must been painted around 1426, the date of the Lenzi family tombstone that once stood in front of it.

Masaccio’s fresco was meant to give the illusion of a stone funerary monument and altar table set below a deep aedicula (framed niche) in the wall. The effect of looking up into a barrel-vaulted niche was made plausible through precisely rendered linear perspective. The eye level of an adult male viewer standing within the church determined the horizon line on which the vanishing point was centered, just below the kneeling figures above the altar. And the painting demonstrates not only Masaccio’s intimate knowledge of Brunelleschi’s perspective experiments, but also his architectural style. The painted architecture is an unusual combination of Classical orders. On the wall surface, Corinthian pilasters support a plain architrave below a cornice, while inside the niche Renaissance variations on Ionic columns support framing arches at the front and rear of the barrel vault. The “source” of the consistent illumination of the architecture lies in front of the picture, casting reflections on the coffers, or sunken panels, of the ceiling.

The figures are organized in a measured progression through space. At the near end of the recessed, barrel-vaulted space is the Trinity-Jesus on the cross, the dove of the Holy Spirit poised in downward flight above his titled halo, and God the father, who stands behind to support the cross from his elevated perch on a high platform. As in many scenes of the Crucifixion, Jesus is flanked by the Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist, who contemplate the scene on either side of the cross. Mary gazes calmly out at us, her raised hand drawing our attention to the Trinity. Members of the Lenzi family kneel in front of the pilasters-thus closer to us than the Crucifixion; the red robes of the male donor signify that he was a member of the governing council of Florence. Below these donors, in an open sarcophagus, is a skeleton, a grim reminder of the Christian belief that since death awaits us all, our only hope is redemption and the promise of life in the hereafter, rooted in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. The inscription above the skeleton reads: “I was once that which you are, and what I am you also will be.”

Artist: Masaccio 
Title:
Artist: Masaccio
Title: “The Tribute Money”
Stylistic Period: 15th Century-Early Renaissance
Fresco, 8′ 1″ x 19′ 7″
Symbolic- If Jesus can pay taxes then so can the Florentines. (The Florentines had just raised their taxes).
In The Tribute Money, Masaccio portrays an incident from the life of Jesus that highlights St. Peter (Matthew 17:24-27), to whom this chapel was dedicated. In the central scene a tax collector (dressed in a short red tunic and seen from behind) asks Peter (in the left foreground with the short gray beard) if Jesus pays the Jewish temple tax (the “tribute money” of the title). Set against the stable backdrop of a semicircular block of apostolic observers, a masterful series of dynamic diagonals in the postures and gestures of the three main figures interlocks them in a compositional system that imbues their interaction with a sense of tension calling out for resolution. Jesus instructs Peter to “go to the sea, drop in a hook, and the take the first fish that comes up,” which Peter does at the far left. In the fish’s mouth is a coin, which Peter gives to the tax collector at the far right. The tribute story was especially significant for Florentines because in 1427, to raise money for defense against military aggression, the city enacted a graduated tax, based on the value of people’s personal property.

The Tribute Money is particularly remarkable for its early use of both linear and atmospheric perspective to integrate figures, architecture, and landscape into a consistent whole. Jesus, and the apostles surrounding him, form a clear central focus, from which the landscape seems to recede naturally into the far distance. To foster this illusion, Masaccio used linear perspective in the depiction of the house, and then reinforced it by demising the sizes of the distant barren trees and reducing the size of the crouching Peter at far left. The central vanishing point established by the orthogonals of the house corresponds with the head of Jesus.

The cleaning of the painting in the 1980s revealed that it was painted in 32 giornate (a giornata is a section of fresh plaster that could be prepared and painted in a single day). The cleaning also uncovered Masaccio’s subtle use of color to create atmospheric perspective in the distant landscape, where mountains fade from grayish-green to grayish-white and the houses and trees on their slopes are loosely sketched to simulate the lack of clear definition when viewing things in the distance through a haze. Green leaves were painted on the branches al secco (meaning “on the dry plastered wall”).

As in The Expulsion, Masaccio modeled the foreground figures here with bold highlights and long shadows on the ground toward the left, giving a strong sense of volumetric solidity and implying a light source at far right, as if the scene were lit by the actual window in the rear wall of the Branacci Chapel. Not only does the lighting give the forms sculptural definition; the colors vary in tone according to the strength of the illumination. Masaccio used a wide range of hues-pale pink, mauve, gold, blue-green, seafoam-green, apple-green, peach-and a sophisticated shading technique using contrasting colors, as in Andrew’s green robe which is shaded with red instead of dark green. The figures of Jesus and the apostles originally had gold-leaf haloes, several of which have flaked off. Rather than silhouette the heads against consistently flat gold circles, however, Masaccio conceived of haloes as gold disks hovering space above each head that moved with the heads as they moved, and he foreshortened them depending on the angle from which each head is seen.

Some stylistic innovations take time to by fully accepted, and Masaccio’s innovative depictions of volumetric solidity, consistent lighting, and spatial integration-though they clearly had an impact on his immediate successors-were perhaps best appreciated by a later generation of painters. Many important sixteenth-century Italian artists, including Michelangelo, studied and sketched Masaccio’s Branacci Chapel frescos, as they did Giotto’s work in the Scrovegni Chapel. In the meantime, painting in Florence after Masaccio’s death developed along somewhat different lines

Artist: Masaccio 
Title:
Artist: Masaccio
Title: “Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise”
Stylistic Period: 15th Century-Early Renaissance
Fresco, 7′ x 2’11
Masaccio’s brief career culminated in the frescos he painted on the walls of the Brancacci Chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence. Reproduced here are two of the best-known scenes: THE EXPULSION OF ADAM AND EVE FROM PARADISE and THE TRIBUTE MONEY. In The Expulsion, he presented Adam and Eve as monumental nude figures, combining his studies of the human figure with an intimate knowledge of ancient Roman sculpture. In contrast to Flemish painters, who sought to record every visible detail of a figure’s surface, Masaccio focused on the mass of the bodies formed by the underlying bone and muscle structure, and a single light source emphasizes their tangibility with modeled forms and cast shadows. Departing from earlier interpretations of the event that emphasized wrongdoing and the fall from grace, Masaccio concerns himself with the psychological impact of shame on these first humans, who have been cast out of paradise mourning and protesting, thrown naked into the world.
Artist: Uccello 
Title:
Artist: Uccello
Title: “The Battle of San Romano”
Stylistic Period: 15th Century-Early Renaissance
Tempera on wood panel, approx. 6′ x 10′ 6″
This ferocious but bloodless battle seems to take place in a dream, but it depicts a historical event. Under an elegantly fluttering banner, the Florentine general Niccolò da Tolentino leads his men against the Sienese at the Battle of San Romano, which took place on June 1, 1432. The battle rages across a shallow stage defined by the debris of warfare arranged in a neat pattern on a pink ground and backed by blooming hedges. In the center foreground, Niccolò holds aloft a baton of command, the sing of his authority. His bold gesture-together with his white horse and outlandish though quite fashionable, crimson and gold damask hat-ensures that he dominates the scene. His knights charge into the fray, and when they fall, like the solider at the lower left, they join the many broken lances on the ground-all arranged in conformity with the new mathematical depiction of receding space called linear perspective, posed to align with the implied lines that would converge at a single point on the horizon.

An eccentric Florentine painter nicknamed Paolo Uccello (“Paul Bird”) created the panel painting. It is one of three related panels-now separated, hanging in major museums in Florence, London, and Paris-commissioned by Lionardo Bartolini Salimbeni, who led the Florentine governing Council of Ten during the war against Lucca and Siena. Uccello’s remarkable accuracy when depicting armor from the 1430s, heraldic banners, and eve fashionable fabrics and crests surely would have appealed to Lionardo’s civic pride. The hedges of oranges, roses, and pomegranates-all ancient fertility symbols-suggest that Lionardo might have commissioned the paintings at the of his wedding in 1438. Leonardo and his wife, Maddalena, had six sons, two of whom inherited the paintings.

According to a complaint brought by Damiano, one of the heirs, Lorenzo de’ Medici, the powerful de facto ruler of Florence, “forcibly removed” the paintings from Damiano’s house. They were never returned, and Uccello’s masterpieces are recorded in a 1492 inventory as hanging in the Medici palace. Perhaps Lorenzo, who was called “the Magnificent,” saw Uccello’s heroic pageant as a trophy more worhoty of a Medici merchant prince. We will certainly discover that princely patronage was a major factor in the genesis of the Italian Renaissance as it developed in Florence during the early years of the fifteenth century.

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Artist: Fra Filippo Lippi 
Title:
Artist: Fra Filippo Lippi
Title: “Madonna and Child with Angels”
Stylistic Period: 15th Century-Early Renaissance
Tempra on wood panel.
This tempura on wood painting was meant for a private individual. The Madonna and Child are set in front of a window and there is a beautiful landscape outside. This shows greater naturalism because there are buildings, people, and a sea out the window. The figures are very close to the foreground and in the viewers space. The halos around the figures are very faint. Mary’s hands are closed together in prayer, meaning she knows who that the child is Jesus. Her face portrays that she is sad because she sees Jesus’s future death. Mary is in holy people attire and the hair and dress makes her look more like a contemporary Italian woman. With the pearls in her hair being a stylistic fad, they also represent her purity. The two children lift up to the Christ child as he reaches toward Mary which is an emphasis on love and warmth. One of the children makes eye contact with the viewer and this is one of the first times a painter has done this. This is not a nativity scene, however, it is symbolic.

In this painting by Fra Filippo Lippi, Madonna and Child with Two Angels—a variation on the Madonna and Child Enthroned (see Giotto or Cimabue) that artists have been painting for hundreds of years—halos virtually disappear.

Mary’s hands are clasped in prayer, and both she and the Christ child appear lost in thought, but otherwise the figures have become so human that we almost feel as though we are looking at a portrait. The angels look especially playful, and the one in the foreground seems like he might giggle as he looks out at us.

The delicate swirls of transparent fabric that move around Mary’s face and shoulders are a new decorative element that Lippi brings to Early Renaissance painting—something that will be important to his student, Botticelli. However, the modeling of Mary’s form—from the bulk and solidity of her body to the careful folds of drapery around her lap—reveal Masaccio’s influence.

Artist: Botticelli 
Title:
Artist: Botticelli
Title: “The Birth of Venus”
Stylistic Period: 15th Century-Early Renaissance
Tempera and gold on canvas, 5′ 8 7/8″ x 9′ 1 7/8″
Like most artists in the second half of the fifteenth century, Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, called “Botticelli” (“the little barrel,” a nickname borrowed from his older brother), painted sculptural figures that were modeled by light from a consistent source and placed in a setting rendered illusionistic by linear perspective. An outstanding portraitist, he, like Ghirlandaio, often included recognizable contrempory figures among the saints and angels in religious paintings. He worked in Florence, often for the Medici, then was called to Rome in 1481 by Pope Sixtus IV to help decorate the new Sistine Chapel along with Ghirlandaio, Perugino, and other artists.

Botticelli returned to Florence that same year and and entered a new phase of his career. Like other artists working for patrons steeped in Classical scholarship and humanistic thoughts, he was exposed to philosophical speculations on beauty-as well as to the examples of ancient art in his employers’ collections. For the Medici, Botticelli produced secular paintings of mythological subjects inspired by ancient works and by contemporary Neoplatonic thought. Art historian Micheal Baxandall has shown that these works were also patterned on the slow movements of fifteenth-century Florentine dance, in which figures acted out their relationships to one another in public performances that would have influenced the thinking and viewing habits of both painters and their audience.

Several years after the Primavera, some of the same mythological figures reappeared in Botticelli’s BIRTH OF VENUS, in which the central image represents the Neoplatonic idea of divine love in the form of a nude Venus based on an antique statue type known as the “modest venus” that ultimately derives from Praxiteles’ Aphrodite of Knidos. Botticelli’s Classical goddess of love and beauty, born of sea foam, averts her eyes from our gaze as she floats ashore on a scallop shel, carefully arranging her hands and hair to hide-but actually drawing attention to-her sexuality. Indeed, she is an arrestingly alluring figure, set within a graceful composition organized by Botticelli’s characteristically decorative, almost calligraphic use of line. Blown by the wind-Zephyr (with his love, the nymph Chloris)-Venus arrives at her earthly home. She is welcomed by a devotee who offers her a garment embroidered with flowers. The circumstances of this commission are uncertain. It is painted n canvas, which suggests that it may have been a banner or a painted tapestrylike wall hanging.

Artist: Piero della Francesca 
Title:
Artist: Piero della Francesca
Title: “Battista Sforza and Federico da Montefeltro”
Stylistic Period: 15th Century-Early Renaissance
Oil on wood panel, each 18 1/2″ x 13″
This small oil on panel diptych is an allegorical portrait of the Duke and Duchess of Urbino. She died before the painting was finished. The Duchess was educated and bore 11 children and when the Duke left for a military campaign, she took over as head of state. He was educated in a humanist way. These profile portraits were very desired in the Renaissance. He lost his nasal bridge and right eye in a tournament accident. The landscape is the countryside surrounding Urbino as you can see waterways, boats and hills. The horizon line is below their heads so they are set apart. Francesca tried to incorporate serval different colors into the skin. For her, it was all about the beauty with the white skin, high forehead, the jewels and garment. For him, it was about dignity and confidence. In the Renaissance, people who had portraits of themselves were wealthy and prideful.
Artist: Mantegna 
Title:
Artist: Mantegna
Title: “Interior and Ceiling of the Painted Chamber”
Stylistic Period: 15th Century-Early Renaissance
Fresco, room 26′ 6″ square
Working at Ludovico’s court was Andrea Mantegna, a painter trained in Padua and profoundly influenced by the sculptor Donatello, who arrived in Padua in 1443 and worked there for a decade. Mantegna learned the Florentine system of linear perspective and pushed to their limits experiments in radically foreshortened forms and dramatic spatial recessions. He went to work for Ludovico Gonzaga in 1460, and he continued to work for the Gonzaga family for the rest of his life.

Perhaps his finest works are the frescos of the CAMERA PICTA (“Painted Room”), a tower chamber in Ludovico’s palace, which Mantegna decorated between 1465 and 1474. Around the walls the family-each member seemingly identified by a portrait likeness-receives in landscapes and in loggias the return of Ludovico’s son, Cardinal Francesco Gonzaga.

Artist: Mantegna 
Title:
Artist: Mantegna
Title: “Interior and Ceiling of the Painted Chamber”
Stylistic Period: 15th Century-Early Renaissance
Fresco, diameter of false oculus 8′ 9″
On the domed ceiling, the artist painted a tour de force of radical perspective in a technique called di sotto in sù (“from below upwards”). The room appears to be open to a cloud-filled sky through a large oculus in a simulated marble-and mosaic covered vault. On each side of a precariously balanced planter, four young women-one an African, outfitted in an exotic turban-peer over a marble balustrade into the room below, while a fourth looks dreamily upward. Joined by a large peacock, several putti play around the balustrade, three standing on the interior ledge of a cornice, unprotected by the balustrade, toes projecting into space but seemingly oblivious to the danger of their perch. This ceiling began a long tradition of illusionistic ceiling panting that culminated in the extravagant and explosive ceilings of Baroque churches.
Artist: Ghirlandaio 
Title:
Artist: Ghirlandaio
Title: “Portrait of a Man and Boy”
Stylistic Period: 15th Century-Early Renaissance
This tempura painting was made for private purposes. The artist is aware of the reflection of color bouncing from his shirt to face. He uses very rich color and uses several different colors to make the skin look realistic. The shadows are not just a darker shade of the color but various other colors. There is fine detail. The landscape outside is not realistically places, just like in the Fra Filippo Lippi, the background are idealistic. The older man is mostly likely the little boy’s grandfather, but very well could be a father-son relationship. The figures appear dignified and intimate. The older man’s nose is very much deformed but the child loves him aways. Children love family no matter what they look like. It was difficult for Renaissance men to be shown all slammed up but this man is very realistic. However, his pose is very idealistic. There is emphasis on the relationship between grandson and grandfather.
Europe in the 16th Century
Two young artists-Raphael and Michelangelo-although rivals in almost every sense-were in linked in service to Pope Julius II(pontificate 1503-1513) in the early years of the sixteenth century. Raphael was painting the pope’s private library (1509-1511) while, nearby, Michelangelo painted the ceiling of his Sistine Chapel (1508-1512). The pope demanded an art that reflected his imperial vision of a new, worldwide Church based on humanistic ideas, which he would lead as a new St. Peter, founding a second great age of papal dominion. In fulfilling this proud demand, Raphael and Michelangelo, following the lead of Leonardo da Vinci, united Renaissance principles of harmony and balance with a new monumentality based on Classical ideals, and they knit these elements into a dynamic and synthetic world, rich in color and controlled by cohesive design. Working alongside Leonardo and the architect Donato Bramante, they created a style we call High Renaissance.

The sixteenth century was an age of social, intellectual, and religious ferment that transformed European culture. It was marked by continual warfare triggered by the expansionist ambitions of warring rulers. The humanism of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, with its medieval roots and its often uncritical acceptance of the authority of Classical texts, slowly developed into a critical exploration of new ideas, the natural world, and distant lands. Cartographers began to acknowledge the Earth’s curvature and the degrees of distance, giving Europeans a more accurate understanding of their place within the world. The printing press sparked an explosion in book production, spreading new ideas through the translation and publication of ancient and contemporary texts, broadening the horizons of educated Europeans and encouraging the development of literacy. Since travel was growing more common, artists and their work became mobile, and the world of art was transformed into a more international community.

At the start of the sixteenth century, England, France, and Portugal were nation-states under strong monarchs. German-speaking central Europe was divided into dozens of principalities, counties, free cities, and small territories. But even states as powerful as Saxony and Bavaria acknowledged the supremacy of the Habsburg Holy Roman Empire-in theory the greatest power in Europe. Charles V, elected emperor in 1519, also inherited Spain, the Netherlands, and vast territories in the Americas. Italy, which was divided into numerous small states, was a diplomatic and military battlefield where, for much of the century, the Italian city-states, Habsburg Spain, France, and the papacy fought each other in shifting alliances. Popes behaved like secular princes, using diplomacy and military force to regain control over central Italy and in some cases to establish family members as hereditary rulers.

The popes’ incessant demands for money, to finance the rebuilding of St. Peter’s as well as their self-aggrandizing art projects and luxurious lifestyles, aggravated the religious dissent that had long been developing, especially in the north of the Alps. Early in the century, religious reformers within the established Church challenged beliefs and practices, especially Julius II’s sale of indulgences promising forgiveness of sins and assurance of salvation in exchange for a financial contribution to the Church. Because they protested, these northern European reformers came to be called Protestants; their demand for reform gave rise to a movement called the Reformation.

The political maneuvering of Pope Clement VII (pontificate 1523-1434) led to a direct clash with Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. In May 1527, Charles’s troops attacked Rome, beginning a six-month orgy of killing, looting, and burning. The Sack of Rome, as it is called, shook the sense of stability and humanistic confidence that until then had characterized the Renaissance, and it sent many artists fleeing from the ruined city. Nevertheless, Charles saw himself as the leader of the Catholic forces-and he was the sole Catholic ally Clement had at the time. In 1530, Clement VII crowned Charles emperor in Bologna.

Sixteenth-century patrons valued artists highly and rewarded them well, not only with generous commissions but sometimes even high social status. Charles V, for example, knighted the painter Titian. Some painters and sculptors became entrepreneurs and celebrities, selling prints of their works on the side and creating international reputations for themselves. Many artists recorded their activities-professional and private-in diaries, notebooks, and letters that have come down to us. In addition, contemporary writers began to report on the lives of artists, documenting their physical appearance and assessing their individual reputations. In 1550, Giorgio Vasari wrote the first survey of Italian art history (revised and expanded in 1568)-Lives of the Most Excellent Architects, Painters, and Sculptors-organized as a series of critical biographies but at its core a work of critical judgement. Vasari also commented on the role of patrons, and argued that art had become more realistic and more beautiful over time, reaching its apex of perfection in his own age. From his characterization developed our notion of this period as the High Renaissance-that is, as a high point in art since the early experiments of Cimabue and Giotto, marked by a balanced synthesis of Classical ideals and a lifelike rendering of the natural world.

During this period, the fifteenth-century humanists’ notion of painting, sculpture, and architecture not as manual arts but as liberal (intellectual) arts, requiring education in the Classics and mathematics as well as in the techniques of the craft, became a topic of intense interest. And from these discussions arose the Renaissance formulation-still with us today-of artists divinely inspired creative geniuses, a step above most of us in their gifts of hand and mind. This idea weaves its way through Vasari’s work like an organizing principle. And this newly elevated status to which artists aspired favored men. Although few artists of either sex had access to the humanist education required by the sophisticated, often esoteric, subject matter used in paintings (usually devised by someone other than the artist), women were denied even the studio practice necessary to study and draw from nude models. Furthermore, it was almost impossible for an artist to achieve international status without traveling extensively and frequently relocating to follow commissions-something most women could not do. Still, some European women managed to follow their gifts and establish careers as artists during this period despite the obstacles that blocked their entrance into the profession.

Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
Title:
Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
Title: “The Last Supper”
Stylistic Period: 16th Century-High Renaissance
Tempera and oil on plaster, 15′ 2″ x 28′ 10″
Leonardo da Vinci was 12 or 13 when his family moved to Florence from the Tuscan village of Vinci. After an apprenticeship in the shop of the Florentine painter and sculptor of Andrea del Vercocchio, and a few years on his own, Leonardo traveled to Milan in 1481 or 1482 to work for the ruling Sforza family.

At Duke Ludovico Sforza’s request, Leonardo painted THE LAST SUPPER in the refectory, or dining hall, of the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan between 1495 and 1498. In fictive space defined by a coffered ceiling and four pairs of tapestries that seem to extend the refectory itself into another room, Jesus and his disciples are seated at a long table placed parallel to the picture plane and to the monastic diners who would have been seated in the hall below. In a sense, Jesus’ meal with his disciples prefigures the daily gathering of this local monastic community at mealtimes. The stagelike space recedes from the tape to three windows on the back wall, where the vanishing point of the one-point linear perspective lies behind Jesus’ head. A stable, pyramidal Jesus at the center is flanked by 12 disciples, grouped in four interlocking sets of three.

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On one level, Leonardo has painted a scene from a story- one that captures the individual reactions of the apostles to Jesus’ announcement that one of them will betray him. Leonardo was an acute observer of human behavior, and his art captures human emotions with compelling immediacy. On another level, The Last Supper is a symbolic evocation of Jesus’ coming sacrifice for the salvation of humankind, the foundation of the institution of the Mass. Breaking with traditional representations of the subject to create compositional clarity, balance, and cohesion, Leonardo placed the traitor Judas-cluthcing his money bags in the shadows-within the first triad to Jesus’ right, along with the young John the Evangelist and the elderly Peter, rather than isolating Judas on the opposite side of the table. Judas, Peter, and John were each to play an essential role in Jesus’ mission: Judas set in motion the events leading to Jesus’ sacrifice; Peter led the Church after Jesus’ death; and John, the visionary, foretold the Second Coming and the Last Judgement in the Book of Revelation.

The painting’s careful geometry, the convergence of its perspective lines, the stability of its pyramidal forms, and Jesus’ calm demeanor at the mathematical center of all the commotion, work together to reinforce the sense of gravity, balance, and order. The clarity and stability of this painting epitomize High Renaissance style.

Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
Title:
Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
Title: “Mona Lisa”
Stylistic Period: 16th Century-High Renaissance
Oil on wood panel, 30 1/4″ x 21″
Leonardo returned to Florence in 1500, after the French, who had invaded Italy in 1494, claimed Milan by defeating Leonardo’s Milanese patron, Ludovico Sforza. Perhaps the most famous of his Florentine works is the portrait he painted between about 1503 and 1506 known as the MONA LISA.

A fiercely debated topic in Renaissance Italy was the question of the relative merits of painting and sculpture. Leonardo insisted on the supremacy of painting as the best and most complete means of creating an illusion of the natural world, while Michelangelo argued for sculpture. Yet in creating a painted illusion, Leonardo considered color to be secondary to the depiction of sculptural volume, which he achieved through his virtuosity in sfumato. He also unified his compositions by covering them with a thin, lightly tinted varnish, which enhanced the overall smoky haze. Because early evening light tends to produce a similar effect naturally, Leonardo considered dusk the finest time of day and recommended that painters set up their studios in a courtyard with black walls and a linen sheet stretched overhead to reproduce twilight.

Leonardo’s fame as an artist is based on only a few works, for his many interests took him away from painting. Unlike his humanistic contemporaries, he was not particularly interested in Classical literature or archaeology. Instead, his passions were mathematics, engineering, and the natural world. He complied volumes of detailed drawings and notes on anatomy, botany, geology, metrology, architectural, design, and mechanics. In his drawings of human figures, he sought not only the precise details of anatomy but also the geometric basis of perfect proportions. Leonard’s searching mind is evident in his drawings, not only of natural objects and human beings, but also of machines, so clearly and completely worked out that modern engineers have used them to construct working models. He designed flying machines, a kind of automobile, a parachute, and all sorts of military equipment, including a mobile fortress. His imagination outran his means to bring his creations into being. For one thing, he lacked a source of power other than men and horses. For another, he may have lacked focus and follow-through. His contemporaries complained that he never anything and that his inventions distracted from his painting.

Leonardo returned to Milan in 1508 and lived there until 1513. He also lived for a time in the Vatican at the invitation of Pope Leo X, but there is no evidence that he produced any works of art during his stay. In 1516, he accepted the French king Francis I’s invitation to relocate to France as an adviser on architecture, taking the Mona Lisa, as well as other important works, with him. He remained at Francis’s court until his death in 1519.

Artist: Raphael 
Title:
Artist: Raphael
Title: “Philosophy”(School of Athens)
Stylistic Period: 16th Century-High Renaissance
Fresco
SIDE NOTE:
Plato is pointing to the heavens, Aristotle is pointing to the earth.
Julius II intended the Stanza Della Segnatura, or Room of the Signature, to be his personal study. Raphael sought to create an ideal setting for papal activities, with murals proclaiming that all human knowledge exists under the power of divine wisdom. He organized the mural program itself like a library, separated into divisions of theology, philosophy, poetry, and law. He created pictorial allegories to illustrate each theme. On one wall, churchmen discussing the sacraments represent theology, while across the room ancient philosophers led by Plato and Aristotle debate in the SCHOOL OF ATHENS. Plato holds his Timaeus, in which creation is seen in terms of geometry, and in which humanity encompasses and explains the universe. Aristotle holds his Nicomachean Ethics, a decidedly human-centered book concerned with relations among people. Ancient representatives of the academic curriculum-Grammar, Rhetoric, Dialectic, Arithmetic, Music, Geometry, and Astronomy-surround them. On a window wall, Justice, holding a sword and scales, assigns each his due. Across the room, Poetry and the Arts are represented by Apollo and the Muses, and the poet Sappho reclines against the fictive frame of an actual window. Raphael included his own portrait among the onlookers on the extreme lower right in the School of Athens fresco and signed the painting with his initials-a signal that both artists and patrons were becoming increasingly aware of their individual significance.

Raphael achieved a lofty style in keeping with papal ambition-using ideals of Classical grandeur, professing faith in human rationality and perfectibility, and celebrating the power of the pope as God’s earthly administrator. But when Raphael died at age 37 on April 6, 1520, the grand moment was already passing: Luther and Protestant Reformation were challenging papal authority and the world would never be the same again.

Raphael left Florence about 1508 for Rome, where Pope Julius II put him to work almost immediately decorating rooms (stance, singular stanza) in the papal apartments. In the Stanza della Segnatura-the Pope’s private library-Raphael painted the four branches of knowledge as conceived in the sixteenth century: Religion (the Disputà, depicting discussions concerning the true presence of Christ in the Eucharistic Host), Philosophy (The School of Athens), Poetry (Parnassus, home of the Muses), and Law (the Cardinal Virtues under Justice).

Raphael’s most influential achievement in the papal rooms was The School of Athens, painted about 1510-1511. Here, the painter seems to summarize the ideals of Renaissance papacy in a grand conception of harmoniously arranged forms in a rational space, as well as in the calm dignity of the figures that occupy it.

Artist: Raphael 
Title:
Artist: Raphael
Title: “Baldassare Castiglione”
Stylistic Period: 16th Century-High Renaissance
This oil on wood painting located in Louvre Museum in Paris was inspired by Leonardo. He poses the same as Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, which is 3/4 angle and 3/4 length. There is light on the forehead to symbolize the mind. He wears dark colors to emphasis the hands and face. He was a member of the Medici court and wrote the book “The Courtier” which was a guide to autocratic behavior. It was about how people should be truly civilized.
Artist: Michelangelo 
Title:
Artist: Michelangelo
Title: “David”
Stylistic Period: 16th Century-High Renaissance
Marble, height 17′ feet tall without pedestal.
In 1501, Michelangelo accepted a Florentine commission for a statue of the biblical hero DAVID, to be placed high atop a buttress of the cathedral. But when it was finished in 1504, the David was so admired that the city council instead placed it in the principal city square, next to the Palazzo della Signoria, the seat of Florence’s government. There it stood as a reminder of Florence’s republican status, which was briefly reinstated after the explosion of the powerful Medici oligarchy in 1494. Although in its muscular nudity Michelangelo’s David embodies the antique ideal of the athletic male nude, the emotional power of its expression and its concentrated gaze are entirely new. Unlike Donatello’s bronze David, this is not a triumphant hero with the trophy head of the giant Goliath already under his feet. Slingshot over his shoulder and a rock in his right hand, Michelangelo’s David knits his brow and stares into space, seemingly preparing himself psychologically for the danger ahead, a mere youth confronting a gigantic experienced warrior. No match for his opponent in experience, weaponry, or physical strength, Michelangelo’s powerful David stands for the supremacy of right over might-a perfect emblem for the Florentines, who had recently fought the forces of Milan, Siena, and Pisa, and still faced political and military pressure.
Artist: Michelangelo 
Title:
Artist: Michelangelo
Title: “Sistine Chapel Ceiling”
Stylistic Period: 16th Century-High Renaissance
Despite Michelangelo’s contractual commitment to Florence Cathedral for additional statues, in 1505, Pope Julius II, who saw Michelangelo as an ideal collaborator in the artistic aggrandizement of the papacy, arranged for him to come to Rome to work on the spectacular tomb Julius planned for himself. Michelangelo began the tomb project, but two years later the pope ordered him to begin painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Michelangelo considered himself a sculptor, but the strong-minded pope wanted paintings; work began in 1508. Michelangelo complained bitterly in a sonnet to a friend: “This miserable job has given me a goiter….the force of it has jammed my belly up beneath my chin. Beard to the sky…Brush splattering make a pavement of my face…I’m not a painter.” Despite his physical misery as he stood on a scaffold, painting the ceiling just above him, the results were extraordinary, and Michelangelo established a new and remarkably powerful style in Renaissance painting.

Julius’s initial order for the ceiling was simple: trompe l’oeil coffers to replace the original star-spangled blue decoration. Later he wanted the 12 apostles seated on thrones on the triangular spandrels between the lunettes framing the windows. According to Michelangelo, when he objected to the limitations of Juliu’s plan, the pope told him to paint whatever he liked. This Michelangelo presumably did, although he was certainly guided by a theological advisor and his plan no doubt required the pope’s approval.

In Michelangelo’s design, an illusionistic marble architecture establishes a framework for the figures and narrative scenes on the vault of the chapel. Running completely around the ceiling is a painted cornice with projections supported by pilasters decorated with “sculptured” putti. Between the pilasters are figures of prophets and sibyls (female seers from the Classical world) who were believed to have foretold Jesus’ birth. Seated on the fictive cornice are heroic figures of nude young men called ignudo), holding sashes attached to large gold medallions. Rising behind the ignudi, shallow bands of citive stone span the center of the ceiling and divide it into nine compartments containing successive scenes from Genesis-recounting the Creation, the Fall, and the Flood-beginning over the altar and ending near the chapel entrance. God’s earliest acts of creation are therefore closest to the altar, the Creation of Eve at the center of the ceiling, followed by the imperfect actions of humanity: Temptation, Fall, Expulsion from Paradise, and God’s eventual destruction of all people except Noah and his family by the Flood. The eight triangular spandrels over the windows, as well as the lunettes crowning them, contain paintings of the ancestors of Jesus.

Trompe l’oeil
A manner of representation in which artists faithfully describe the appearance of natural space and forms with the express intention of fooling the eye of the viewer, who may be convinced momentarily that the subject actually exists as three-dimensional reality.
Artist: Michelangelo
Title:
Artist: Michelangelo
Title: “The Creation of Adam”
Stylistic Period: 16th Century-High Renaissance
Fresco. 9′ 2″ x 18′ 8″
Perhaps the most familiar scene on the ceiling is the CREATION OF ADAM, where Michelangelo captures the moment when God charges the languorous Adam-in a pose adapted from the Roman river-god type-with the spark of life. As if to echo the biblical text, Adam’s heroic body, outstretched arm, and profile almost mirror those of God, in whose image he has been created. Emerging under God’s other arm, and looking across him in the direction of her future mate, is the robust and energetic figure of Eve before her creation.
Artist: Michelangelo
Title:
Artist: Michelangelo
Title: “Last Judgement”
Stylistic Period: 16th Century-High Renaissance
Fresco, 48′ x 44′
In 1534 Pope Clement VII invited Michelangelo back to Rome (after two decades in Florence) to work on the altar wall in the Sistine chapel. Michelangelo had not painted in fresco for over twenty years, yet his Last Judgement was a highly original, if not controversial, masterpiece.

The Last Judgement was a common theme in church art, but Michelangelo’s interpretation was entirely novel. His vision of the Apocalypse is a swirling maelstrom, filled with thick-set and muscular naked figures. Traditional symmetry and order are replaced by dynamic,often violent, action, in which the rules of perspective and proportion are suspended. The painting speaks directly about the salvation of souls—an issue which was widely debated in this period of religious upheaval.

Although Michelangelo took great care to strip the nude figures of their sensuality, the Last Judgement still caused offense to some members of the church. After his death in 1564 there were calls for it to be censored, largely because so many prints of the painting were circulating. As a result, Michelangelo’s friend Daniele da Volterra painted drapery on some of the figures.

Illusion of Reality
To make an image appear as if it were really in front of you.
Ex. Masaccio made the “Trinity with the Virgin, St. John the Evangelist, and Donors” appear as if were a real chapel and not a fresco on a wall.
Linear Perspective
A method of creating the illusion of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface by delineating a horizon line and multiple orthogonallines. These recede to meet at one or more points on the horizon (vanishing point), giving the appearance of spatial depth. Called scientific or mathematical because its use requires some knowledge of geometry and mathematics, as well as optics.
Atmospheric Perspective
A system for representing three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface. Atmospheric or aerial perspective: a method of rendering the effect of spatial distance by subtle variations in color and clarity of representation.
Chiaroscuro
An Italian word designating the contrast of dark and light in a painting, drawing, or print. Chiaroscuro creates spatial depth and volumetric forms through gradations in the intensity of light and shadow.
Vanishing Point
In a perspective system, the point on the horizon line at which orthogonals meet. A complex system can have multiple vanishing points.
Sfumato
Italian term meaning “smoky,” soft, and mellow. In painting, the effect of haze in an image. Resembling the color of the atmosphere at dusk, sfumato gives a smoky effect.
Ex. Leonardo’s Mona Lisa and other works by Leonardo
Allegory
In a work of art, an image (or images) that symbolizes an idea, concept, or principle, often moral or religious

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