FSN 232 Lecture Notes - Sistine Chapel Ceiling, Relief Printing, Polymath
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Art History II Terms
High Renaissance- the artistic style of early 16th century painting in Florence and
Rome; characterized by technical mastery and heroic composition and humanistic
Umo Universale (Renaissance man)- a cultured man of the Renaissance who was
knowledgeable, educated, or proficient in a wide range of fields.
Humanism- A Renaissance cultural movement that turned away from medieval
scholasticism and revived interest in ancient Greek and Roman thought. Centered on
humans and their values, capacities, and worth
Neoplatonism- Neoplatonism is a thought form rooted in the philosophy of Plato
combined withed Christianity. Far more mystical and religious than platonism.
Painterly style- when there are visible brushstrokes, the result of applying paint in a
less than completely controlled manner, generally without closely following carefully
Sfumato-a painting technique with witch there are no harsh outlines, and areas blend
into one another through small brushstrokes, which makes for a rather hazy, albeit more
realistic, depiction of light and color.
Contrapposto- The position of a figure in painting or sculpture in which the hips and
legs are turned in a different direction from that of the shoulders and head; the twisting
of a figure on its own vertical axis. Started by the Greeks, revived during the
Ignudi- a phrase used by Michelangelo to describe the twenty seated male nudes he
incorporated into the Sistine Chapel ceiling frescoes. Later used to describe any nude
(usually male) which resemble Michelangelo’s.
Chiaroscuro- the use of strong contrasts between light and dark, usually bold contrasts
affecting a whole composition. It is also a technical term used by artists and art
historians for using contrasts of light to achieve a sense of volume in modelling three-
dimensional objects such as the human body.
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Reformation- the16th-century movement within Western Christianity initiated by Martin
Luther, and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who
objected to ("protested") the doctrines, rituals, and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman
Catholic Church, led to the creation of new national Protestant churches
Counter Reformation- the Catholic Church’s reaction to Martin Luther and the
Reformation. A period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent (1545–
1563) and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War (1648)
Mannerism- An artistic style of the late 16th century characterized by distortion of
elements such as scale and perspective.
Figura Serpentinata- a style in painting and sculpture that is typical of Mannerism that
features figures in a twisted/spiral pose.
Putto / Putti- a figure in a work of art depicted as a chubby male child, usually nude
and sometimes winged.
Rustication-an architectural feature that contrasts in texture with the smoothly finished,
squared block masonry surfaces. Rusticated masonry is usually squared-off but left with
a more or less rough outer surface and wide joints that emphasize the edges of each
block. Rustication is often used to give visual weight to the ground floor in contrast to
smooth ashlar above. Originated during classical Roman period but was revived during
Alchemy- a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve
the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for
disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life. During the
Renaissance, the dawn of medical, pharmaceutical, occult, and entrepreneurial
branches of alchemy occurred .
Melancholy- a deep, pensive, and long-lasting sadness.
Printmaking: Woodcut (relief)- a piece of wood is cut along the grain to produce an
image. When printed, the carved out areas remain white, and the rest receives the ink.
Engraving (intaglio)- when the artist cuts into the end of the block as apposed to the
Intaglio- the family of printing and printmaking techniques in which the image is incised
into a surface, and the incised line or sunken area holds the ink. It is the direct opposite
of a relief print.
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