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Early Renaissance. The Adoration of the Maggie. Giotto di Bondone, Arena Chapel ( Scrovegni Chapel ), Padua, Veneto, Italy.

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The Adoration of the Maggie

  • Giotto di Bondone, Arena Chapel (Scrovegni Chapel), Padua, Veneto, Italy.

  • Sometime between 1303 and 1310 Giotto executed (and signed) his most influential work, the painted decoration of the interior of the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, commonly called the Arena Chapel

  • This fresco cycle depicts the life of the Virgin and the passion of Christ. It is regarded as one of the supreme masterpieces of the Early Renaissance.[2]

  • This chapel, the building and decoration of which were commissioned by Enrico degli Scrovegni to atone for the sins of his father, is externally a very plain building of pink brick which was constructed next to an older palace that Scrovegni was restoring for himself. The palace, now gone, and the chapel were on the site of an Roman arena, for which reason it is commonly known as the Arena Chapel

  • Giotto's figures are not stylised, not elongated and do not follow set Byzantine models. They are solidly three-dimensional, have anatomy, faces and gestures that are based on close observation and are clothed, not in swirling formalised drapery, but in garments that hang naturally and have form and weight.

  • Although aspects of this trend in painting had already appeared in Rome in the work of Pietro Cavallini, Giotto took it so much further that he set a new standard for representational painting.

  • The heavily sculptural figures occupy compressed settings with naturalistic elements, often using forced perspective devices so that they resemble stage sets. This similarity is increased by Giotto's careful arrangement of the figures in such a way that the viewer appears to have a particular place and even an involvement in many of the scenes.

  • The Adoration of the Magi includes a realistic depiction of a comet as the Star of Bethlehem in the Nativity scene; this image is believed to have been inspired by the artist's observation of the passage of Halley's Comet in 1301.

  • Giotto di Bondone (c. 1267 – January 8, 1337), better known simply as Giotto, was an Italianpainter and architect from Florence.

  • He is generally considered the first in a line of great artists who contributed to the Italian Renaissance.

  • That Giotto painted the Arena Chapel is one of the few certainties of his biography. Almost every other aspect of it is subject to controversy: his birthdate, his birthplace, his appearance, his apprenticeship, the order in which he created his works, whether or not he painted the famous frescoes at Assisi, and where he was eventually buried after his death.

  • The feature which more than any other sets Giotto's work apart from that of his contemporaries is his depiction of the human face and of human emotion in both expression and gesture.


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Arnolfini Portrait

  • The Arnolfini Portrait is a painting in oils on oakpanel executed by the Early Netherlandish painterJan van Eyck in 1434.

  • This painting is believed to be a portrait of Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini and his wife in a room, presumably in their home in the Flemish city of Bruges.

  • it was established in 1997 that they were married in 1447, thirteen years after the date on the painting and six years after van Eyck's death. It is now believed that the subject is Giovanni di Arrigo's cousin Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini (an Italian merchant, originally from Lucca, but resident in Bruges) and his wife.

  • It is considered one of the most original and complex paintings in Western art history.

  • The oldest very famous panel painting to have been executed in oils rather than in tempera.

  • The painting was bought by the National Gallery in London in 1842.

  • The illusionism of the painting was remarkable for its time, in part for the rendering of detail, but particularly for the use of light to evoke space in an interior, for "its utterly convincing depiction of a room, as well of the people who inhabit it”

  • The couple are shown in an upstairs room in summer as indicated by the cherry tree outside the window which is in fruit. Cherry tree may also symbolize love.

  • The room is in fact not a bedroom, as usually assumed, but a reception room as it was the fashion in France and Burgundy to have beds in reception rooms that were normally used just as seating except, for example, when a mother with a new baby received visitors.

  • Although the woman's plain gold necklace and the plain rings both wear are the only jewellery visible, both outfits would have been enormously expensive, and appreciated as such by a contemporary viewer.

  • The interior of the room has other signs of wealth; the brass chandelier is large and elaborate by contemporary standards, and would have been very expensive. It would probably also have had a mechanism with pulley and chains above, to lower it for managing the candles.

  • The view in the mirror shows two male figures just inside the door that the couple are facing. The one in front, wearing blue, is presumably the artist although, unlike Velázquez in Las Meninas, he does not seem to be painting.

  • The placement of the two figures suggests conventional gender roles – the woman stands near the bed and well into the room, symbolic of her role as the caretaker, whereas the Giovanni stands near the open window, symbolic of the outside world.

  • Although many modern viewers mistakenly assume the wife to be pregnant, this is not believed to be so. Art historians point to numerous paintings of female saints similarly dressed, and believe that this look was fashionable for women's dresses at the time


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David

  • Donatello's bronze statue of David (circa 1440s)

  • David is notable as the first unsupported standing work in bronze cast during the Renaissance period, and the first freestanding nude male sculpture made since antiquity.

  • It depicts the young David with an enigmatic smile, posed with his foot on Goliath's severed head just after killing the giant. The youth is standing naked, apart from a laurel-topped hat and boots, bearing the sword of Goliath.

  • The physical frailty and effeminate physique contrasted with the absurdly large sword by his side shows that David has conquered Goliath not by physical prowess, but through the will of God.

  • The traditional identification of the figure has been recently questioned, with an interpretation leaning toward ancient mythology, the hero's helmet especially suggesting Hermes.

  • Around 1430Cosimo de' Medici, the greatest art patron of his time, commissioned from him the bronze David (now in the Bargello) for the court of his Palazzo Medici

  • Donatello was the son of Niccolo di Betto Bardi, who was a member of the Florentine Wool Combers Guild, and was born in Florence, most likely in 1386.

  • While doing studies and excavations with Filippo Brunelleschi in Rome (1404-1407), which gained them the reputation of treasure seekers, the two men made a living by working at the goldsmiths' shops.

  • This Roman sojourn was decisive for the entire development of Italian art in the 15th century, for it was during this period that Brunelleschi undertook his measurements of the Pantheon, Rome Pantheon dome and of other Roman buildings. Brunelleschi's buildings and Donatello's monuments are considered the supreme expressions of the spirit of this era in architecture and sculpture, and exercised a potent influence upon the painters of the age.

  • In Florence, Donatello assisted Lorenzo Ghiberti with the statues of prophets for the north door of the Battistero di San Giovanni, for which he received payment in November 1406 and early 1408. In 1409-1411 he executed the colossal seated figure of Saint John the Evangelist, which until 1588 occupied a niche of the old cathedral facade, and is now placed in a dark chapel of the Duomo


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Primaver

  • Tempera on panel painting by Sandro Botticelli, c. 1482. It is housed in Uffizi Gallery of Florence.

  • Primavera had been displayed in Florence's city palaceof Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco

  • The Primavera is significantly illustrative of Renaissance classicistic iconography and form, depicting classical gods almost naked and life-size and a complex philosophical symbolism requiring deep knowledge of Renaissance literature and syncretism to interpret.

  • While some of the figures were inspired by ancient sculptures, these were not direct copies but translated into Botticelli's own, idiosyncratic formal language: slender, highly-idealized figures whose bodies at times seem slightly too attenuated and presage the elegant, courtly style of 16th-century Mannerism.

  • Venus is standing in the centre of the picture, set slightly back from the other figures. Above her, Cupid is aiming one of his arrows of love at the Charites (Three Graces), who are elegantly dancing a rondel. The garden of Venus, the goddess of love, is guarded on the left by Mercury, who stretches out his hand to touch the clouds. From the right, Zephyrus, the god of the winds, is forcefully pushing his way in, in pursuit of the nymph Chloris. Next to her walks Flora, the goddess of spring, who is scattering flowers.

  • Various interpretations of the scene exist. For instance, the Primavera was also read as a political image: Love (Amor) would be Rome ("Roma" in Italian); the three Graces Pisa, Naples and Genoa; Mercury Milan; Flora Florence; May Mantua; Cloris and Zephyr Venice and Bolzano (or Arezzo and Forlì).

  • Leaving aside the suppositions there remains the profoundly humanistic nature of the painting, a reflection of contemporary cultural influences and an expression of many contemporary texts. One source for this scene is Ovid'sFasti, a poetic calendar describing Roman festivals. Botticelli is depicting two separate moments in Ovid's narrative, the erotic pursuit of Chloris by Zephyr and her subsequent transformation into Flora. This is why the clothes of the two women, who also do not appear to notice each other, are being blown in different directions.

  • Ernst Gombrich is in favour of a passage from The Golden Ass by Apuleius, that represents the choice of Venus as the most beautiful goddess by Paris (The Trojan War described in Homer's Iliad).Venus represented Humanitas, so that the painting becomes an invitation to choose the values of Renaissance Humanism.

  • Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli March 1, 1444/45 – May 17, 1510


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The Garden of Earthly Delights

  • The Garden of Earthly Delights is the center panel of a triptych by DutchpainterHieronymus Bosch. Painted around 1504, oil painting on wood panels

  • is perhaps his best-known work. It depicts the Creation of Earth and the infiltration of sin into mankind.

  • It is on display in the Museo del Prado in Madrid.

  • The title is a later attribution. It was registered in the inventory of the Spanish Crown as "the picture with the strawberry-tree fruits".

  • it is likely that it was produced for the private enjoyment of a noble family.

  • The Garden of Earthly Delights in its entirety can be read from exterior to interior and then left to right, featuring a full narrative realized from all of the surfaces.

  • Chronologically, the creation of the world becomes imparted onto the creation of Man, followed by earthly sin, culminating in damnation.

  • The left interior panel of Eden depicts animals living together with humans without interaction. Curiously, death exists, exemplified by a cat carrying a mouse and a lion eating a deer or antelope.

  • The center panel, animals and humans begin to coexist and intermingle. It panel details the descent of humanity into sin, featuring giant birds, abundant fruit, and many people frolicking nude in a lush, green field.

  • Right panel illustrates Hell. The bird sitting in the chair eating the man is supposed to be Satan himself. The face staring out from under the dish holding the pink bagpipes is said to be a portrait of Bosch himself.

  • Hieronymus Bosch, (latinizedJheronimus Bosch; his real name Jeroen van Aken) (c. 1450 – August 9, 1516) [1] was a Early Netherlandishpainter of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

  • Born to a family of Dutch and German painters, he spent most of his life in 's-Hertogenbosch, a flourishing city in fifteenth century Brabant

  • Many of his works depict sin and human moral failings.

  • Bosch used images of demons, half-human animals and machines to evoke fear and confusion to portray the evil of man.

  • The works contain complex, highly original, imaginative, and dense use of symbolic figures and iconography, some of which was obscure even in his own time.

  • He is said to have been an inspiration for the surrealist movement

  • He became a popular painter and even received commissions from abroad.


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The dome of Florence Cathedral

  • The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is the cathedral church (Duomo) of Florence, Italy, major feat of engineeringby Filippo Brunelleschi, It had been one of the most impressive projects of the Renaissance.

  • Brunelleschi was foremost in studying the remains of ancient Classical buildings, and with rediscovered knowledge from the 1st century writer Vitruvius and the flourishing discipline of mathematics, formulated the Renaissance style.

  • In 1419, the Arte della Lana held a competition to design a dome and cupola for the cathedral. The two main competitors were Lorenzo Ghiberti (famous for his work on the "Gates of Paradise" doors at the Baptistery) and Filippo Brunelleschi with Brunelleschi winning and receiving the commission.

  • It was the first 'octagonal' dome in history (The Roman Pantheon, a circular dome, was built in 117–128 C.E. with support structures) to be built without a wooden supporting frame and was the largest dome built at the time (it is still the largest masonry dome in the world). The building of a stone dome posed many technical problems. Though Brunelleschi drew his inspiration from the great dome of the Pantheon in Rome, the use of concrete had long since been forgotten.

  • To show what his dome was to look like, he constructed a wooden and brick model with the help of Donatello and Nanni di Banco. Brunelleschi won by a nose.

  • Brunelleschi's solutions were ingenious and unprecedented: the distinctive octagonal design of the double-walled dome, resting on a drum and not on the roof itself, allowed for the entire dome to be built without the need for scaffolding from the ground. The dome rested on a drum with no external butresses supporting it,

  • This enormous construction weighs 37,000 tons and contains over 4 million bricks.

  • Brunelleschi had to invent special hoisting machines and brilliant masonry techniques and lewissons for hoisting large stones - spectacular contribution to architecture.

  • The ability to transcribe a circle on a cone face within the innermost double-shelled wall makes the self-sustaining "horizontal" arch construction possible, since geometrically, a circular plan is needed for such an erection.

  • Only 150 years later would this dome be surpassed by Michelangelo's dome of Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City.

  • Brunelleschi's ability to crown the dome with a lantern was questioned and he had to undergo another competition, which he won again, but never completed because of his death. It was completed by Brunelleschi's friend Michelozzo in 1461 and in 1461 crowned with a gilt copper ball and cross, containing holy relics.


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