The Fourteenth Century: A Time Of Transition. Outline Chapter 11. Chapter 11: The Fourteenth Century: A Time Of Transition OUTLINE Calamity, Decay, and Violence The Black Death The Great Schism The Hundred Years' War Literature in Italy, England, and France Petrarch Chaucer
Chapter 11: The Fourteenth Century:
A Time Of Transition
Calamity, Decay, and Violence
The Black Death
The Great Schism
The Hundred Years' War
Literature in Italy, England, and France
Christine de Pisan
Art in Italy
The Italo-Byzantine Background
Giotto's Break with the Past
Painting in Siena
Art in Northern Europe
Late Gothic Architecture
Music: Ars Nova
Timeline Chapter 11: The Fourteenth Century: A Time Of Transition
c. 1280-1290 Cimabue, Madonna Enthroned; Crucifix, Arezzo
1296 Florence Cathedral (Duomo) begun
1300 Pope Boniface VIII proclaims first Jubilee Year ("Holy Year")
c. 1300 New naturalism in Italian painting appears with work of Giotto
1305-1306 Giotto, Arena Chapel frescoes
1310 G. Pisano completes Pisa Cathedral pulpit
1332-1357 Gloucester Cathedral choir ("Perpendicular" style)
1337-1453 Hundred Years' War between France and England
after 1337 Machaut, Messe de Notre Dame, polyphonic setting -Ordinary of the Mass
c. 1345-1438 Doge's Palace, Venice
1348-1352 Boccaccio, Decameron, collection of tales
after 1350 Petrarch compiles Canzoniere, collection of poems
c. 1377 Wycliff active in English church reform; translates Bible into English
1378 Great Schism begins
c. 1385-1400 Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, collection of tales
c. after 1389 Christine de Pisan, The City of Women
1395-1406 Sluter, Well of Moses
1413-1416 Limbourg Brothers, illustrations for Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry
1417 Council of Constance ends Great Schism - election of Pope Martin V
The fourteenth century marks the painful transition from the medieval
period to the world of the Renaissance. Its beginning saw the
construction of several major buildings in Italy, including Florence's
Duomo and Siena's Palazzo Pubblico, seat of city government. Music
flourished throughout the century, especially in France, where Machaut
was the leading composer of his day.
In the years shortly after 1300 the new naturalistic style of Giotto
revolutionized the art of painting, while the works of the Pisano family
proved equally important for the history of sculpture.
Yet the age was fraught with disasters and racked
by war: the Hundred Years' War between France and England
(1337‚1453) was barely under way when in 1348 Europe was devastated
by bubonic plague – the Black Death. Among the works of literature
to reflect the effects of the terrible plague is Boccaccio's Decameron.
As the century began, the church appeared to be at the height of its
influence. In 1300 Pope Boniface VIII proclaimed the first holy year,
and pilgrims flocked to Rome. Yet within a few years the French had
forced the transfer of the papacy to Avignon in southern France.
Among those who accompanied the papal court was the poet Petrarch,
many of whose sonnets deal with his love for Laura,
killed by the Black Death.
The "Babylonian Captivity" lasted from 1309 to 1376,
and the pope's return to Rome was embittered by the Great Schism,
which saw the Western powers locked in a struggle
to impose rival claimants.
One of the artistic consequences of the papal
move from Rome was that Italian styles were carried north of the Alps.
The resulting blend of Italian and Northern elements is called the
International style, which quickly spread throughout Europe;
two of its main centers were at Prague and at Dijon.
The more cosmopolitan spirit of the age is also illustrated by the
career of the greatest English writer of the time, Chaucer,
who traveled to Italy and to France and may actually have met Petrarch.
International Style in Painting
By the end of the 14th century, the fusion of Italian and Northern European art had led to the development of an International Gothic style. For the next quarter of a century, leading artists travelled from Italy to France, and vice versa, and all over Europe. As a consequence, ideas spread and merged, until eventually painters in this International Gothic style could be found in France, Italy, England, Germany, Austria and Bohemia.
In an age of such ferment the pressure for reform intensified.
In England, John Wyclif's charges of church corruption heightened
dissatisfaction among the lower classes, leading to peasant riots
Similar popular protests against both the church and the aristocracy
occurred in France in 1356, while in 1378 the poor woolen workers
of Florence revolted against the city authorities.
These manifestations of general discontent brought no immediate
radical changes in government, but they prepared the way for
the social mobility of the Renaissance.
The greatest struggle of the century, the Hundred Years' War,
was supposedly fought over the right of succession to the French
throne. In fact, its underlying cause was the commercial rivalry
between France and England and the attempts of both countries
to gain control of the wool-manufacturing region of Flanders.
The war's early stages were marked by a series of English victories,
culminating in the battle of Poitiers of 1356. By 1380 the French had
reversed the tide, and the last years of the century saw
inconclusive skirmishes, with both sides resigned to a stalemate.
Thus, a century in which political, economic, and religious strife
and revolutionary artistic developments were accompanied by
the disaster of plague produced deep changes in the fabric of
European society and made possible the renewal of the Renaissance.
Christine de Pisan
Last Judgment (detail)1310MarbleCathedral, Pisa
Massacre of the Innocents,
detail from pulpit1301, Marble,
Pulpit, 1301, Marble, Sant'Andrea, Pistoia
with the Child
and Two Angels-Tempera on wood,
dei Servi, Bologna
CIMABUE, Crucifix1268-71Tempera on wood,
San Domenico, Arezzo
DUCCIO di BuoninsegnaAgony in the Garden1308-11Tempera on wood, , Siena
DUCCIO di BuoninsegnaAgony in the Garden (details)1308-11Tempera on wood, Siena
GIOTTO di BondoneBaroncelli Polyptychc. 1334Tempera on wood,
Santa Croce, Florence
GIOTTO di BondoneBaroncelli Polyptych (detail)c. 1334, Tempera on woodBaroncelli Chapel
GIOTTO di BondoneChrist Among the Doctors1310sFrescoNorth transept,
San Francesco, Assisi
GIOTTO di BondoneAscension of Christc. 1300FrescoUpper Church,
San Francesco, Assisi
SIMONE MARTINIAltar of St Louis of Toulouse (detail)c. 1317Tempera on wood, 56 x 38 cmMuseo Nazionale di Capodimonte,
Blessed Agostino Novello Altarpiece1324Tempera on wood, 198 x 257 cmPinacoteca Nazionale, Siena
LORENZETTI, AmbrogioEffects of Good Government on the City Life (detail)1338-40FrescoPalazzo Pubblico, Siena
LORENZETTI, PietroBeata Umilta
Transport Bricks to the Monasteryc. 1341Oil on wood, 45 x 32 cmGalleria degli Uffizi, Florence
UNKNOWN MASTER, BohemianVirgin Enthronedc. 1350Panel, 186 x 95 cmStaatliche Museen, Berlin
and St Thomas1395Tempera on wood, National Gallery,
LIMBOURG brothersLes très riches heures du Duc de Berryc. 1416, Illumination on vellumMusée Condé, Chantilly
- Florence Cathedral
Exterior view looking at facade,
with a glimpse of dome above
Overview of Dome
The main entrance portal
Pinnacles and flying buttresses
Palazzo Pubblico at night.
Piazza Del Campo and Palazzo
Pubblico at dusk. Siena, Toscany, Italy
Photo, exterior overview, showing the palace
in context across water, with tower behind
Photo, facade bay and details
The Ars Nova In France
The rapid rise of polyphony in the 12th and 13th centuries
depended upon corresponding advances in style and notation.
It was an age of rapid invention. But once these innovations
had been transformed into usable techniques, composers
could concentrate on extracting the full potential of what had
been learned. This process of consolidation and refinement
was the task of the 14th century. Four major trends can be
discerned; first, increasing secularization; second, the growing
dominance of polyphony; third, the emergence of national
idioms and forms; and fourth, an increasing preoccupation
with musical technique.