Early Renaissance Review

Department of History
The Fieldston School
History of Art from the Renaissance to the Present- Power, Patronage, Propaganda and Perception
Andrew Meyers
The Renaissance and the Myth of Genius
The Early Renaissance’s Greatest Hits
The Early Renaissance
Brunelleschi, Cathedral Dome, 1420
read Ghiberti and Alberti,
excerpts from Artists of Art pp27-33
Early Renaissance Europe
merchant capital
capitalists, guild merchants, artisans
crusades and trade
political stability
rise of cities
Petrarch (Petrarca) and Bocaccio
scholastic tradition
“humanities:” rhetoric, history, poety, politics
individual dignity and achievement
classical republicanism
democratic constitutions
Florence: Ghiberti (1381-1455) and Donatello (1386-1466)
Florence, map, 15th C
Arno and Monuments
The “new Athens”
threat from Duke of Milan (1400s)
“freedom v. tyranny”
art as propaganda and political rhetoric
break down barriers between liberal, mechanical and fine arts
Giorgio Vasari, Palazzo degli Uffizi, 1560 and Palazzo Vecchio
The Medici
Medici control behind the scenes (Cosimo, 1390-1430)
Medici expelled
Lorenzo de Medici (1449-92) “Il Magnifico”
Pazzi Conspiracy. plot against Lorenzo instigated by Pope Sixtus IV
1494-1512 expelled,
reign of Savonarola (94-98)
re-establishment of republic
Machiavelli’s The Prince
Pope Leo X ( Giovanni de Medici, 1475-1521) son of Lorenzo
Stepping out with Donatello
Donatello, St. Mark, Or San Michele, Florence, 1411-13
Polycleitos, Doryphoros (Spear Bearer),
Gr., marble, 450
engaged and free leg
movement/ drapery
Kouros, Greece, 7 c BC (Met)
Farnese Hercules, 3 C BC, Roman Copy, Louvre
Donatello, David, Florence, 1425
Polycleitos, Doryphoros
Archaic Smile to classical poise/ gaze
movement in stasis, balance (Epicureanism)
naturalism, anatomy (Empiricism)
ratio and geometry (Pythagoras)
rhythmos, symmetria
the “canon” of Polycleitos
idealism/realism; synthesis of divine and human beauty
(Platonism, Aristotelianism)
helmet of Goliath and the Dukes of Milan (Sforza)
Florence v. Milan
peace v. war
Donatello, Prophet (Zuccone) Florence, 1423
Roman Head, 1C BC
Donatello, Statue of St. George, Or San Michele, 1415
Della pittura (On Painting) Read
christian soldier slaying the dragon and saving the maiden
breaking the frame
maiden in schiacciato: “flattened-out” yet illusionistic depth
Donatello, Crucifiction, Florence, 1460
Arch of Titus, 81 AD, detail, Spoils of Jerusalem
schiacciato: “flattened-out” yet illusionistic depth
question of realism, perspective, landscape
schiacciato and sfumato (painting)
Harvey, “It’s the way they draw these damn tables”
Duccio, Last Supper
Alberti, One-Point Perspective construction
"One-point perspective"
Duccio, Annunciation of the Virgin’s Death, Siena, 1308-11
Giotto, Lamentation (Pieta), Arena frescos,
Padua, 1304
architectural interior/ enclosure
Roman illusionism
portraying space- painting ‘taking over’ from architecture (ie photography and painting)
Humanism: naturalism, emotionalism and dynamism
two point perspective
Brunelleschi’s invention and Alberti’s formulas
perpective construction
Ghiberti, Gates of Paradise, Florence baptistry, c.1425-52
Noah, Jacob and Esau
Ghiberti and the “International Style”
ten relifs (larger than previous 28)
“pictorial releif” and continuous space
Creation of man
Massacio (1401-28)
Read A and A pp. 33-38
first “renaissance” painter
perspective, motion and emotion
Holy Trinity with Virgin, St. John, and two Donors, Fresco, Sta. Maria Novella, Florence, 1425
Brancacci Chapel, Sta Maria del Carmine, Florence, 1427
life of St. Peter
Tribute Money
Expulsion from Paradise
Perugino (Pietro Vanucci – 1450-1523)
Delivery of the Keys to St. Peter, Sistine Chapel, Vatican, 1481 (from Day One)
Piero della Francesca (1406-92)
Battista Sforza and Frederico da Montefeltro, Uffizi, Florence, 1472-4
oil and tempera
patronage and detail
preview of Northern Renaissance
Sandro Botticelli (1444-1510)
Patronage of Lorenzo de Medici (and later influence of Savonarola)
the naked v. the nude
neo-platonism and neo-paganism: divine love and the equation of revelation (Ficino)
classical form and classical subjects
La Primavera (Spring), 1482
detail, Flora
From right to left: Zephyrus, Chloris, Flora (flowers) or Primavera (Spring), Venus?, Graces, Mercury
(and Cupid)
Orange grove (Medici)
Birth of Venus, 1485-6
Zephyrus (wind), Chloris (his wife) or Aura (breeze)
Horae (one of the Three Graces- spring)
”celestial Venus” and Neo-Platonism
“Mary and Eve”?
medieval flatness (tempera), classical contrapposto
the Medici
Giovanni Bellini (1431-1516)
St Francis
warrior: compassion
vision in 1206
“Francis, go repair my house that thou seeist is all in ruins”
renounces wealth of his father/ bishops cloak (cloak, skull, lily, wolf, lamb
Franciscan Order: chastity, humility, obedience, poverty (marriage to poverty)
battles and miracles (stigmata)
St. Francis in Ecstasy
iconography: stigmata, sun, Jerusalem, bridge, Zion, paradise, st. Jerome, donkey, etc...