MARS 1F90 Lecture Notes - Cinquecento, Quattrocento, Masaccio

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Lecture 6 Outline
From Giotto to Michelangelo
1. Introduction
a. The intellectual and cultural life of Florence in the Renaissance
--> When western art experienced its greatest most
b. The city’s contribution to the fine arts
c. The Renaissance as one of the greatest periods in the history of western art
d. Leonardo’s Mona Lisa (Most famous)
e. The radical change between Giotto and Michelangelo
f. Renaissance art compared to medieval art (medieval art was unrealistic and highly
symbolic; Renaissance art created the illusion of being realistic, and the changed
occurred in Florence beginning with Giotto)
g. Three major periods of Renaissance art (according to Vasari) [3 periods in the
Renaissance art]
i. 14th cent. (Giotto) [1st period]
ii. 15th cent. or quattrocento (Masaccio and Donatello)[2nd period]
iii. 15th and 16th cent. or cinquecento (Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and
Michelangelo) [the golden age of renaissance art, the 3rd period]
2. Factors that shaped the change in Renaissance art
a. The Church and Christianity [in the medieval period, you had to have a patron
(someone who paid for the work of art) = the church. Therefore only religious
things were painted.]
b. Art and the Church in the Renaissance [ the church begins to lose its control;
wealthy merchants arise. The merchants spend their money on commissions for art,
therefore there's more freedom for the artists to paint (begin experimenting)]
c. The new patrons of art [they gave topics that interested them (personal enjoyment-
still mainly religious topics) resulted in more freedom = more individualism = new
artistic techniques)]
i. The subjects of art in the Renaissance [some secular but mostly religious, an
actual increase, from the 100 years war]
ii. Freedom and originality; individualism; new artistic techniques
iii. Religion and the Bible
iv. An increase in religious fervour
3. The style of Renaissance art (general comments)
a. Aims to stir the emotions of the viewer [and to stir the viewers emotions into a
spiritual experience]
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