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Lecture 14

ART 142 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Zoroaster, Sistine Chapel Ceiling, PontormoPremium

5 pages62 viewsWinter 2017

Department
Art
Course Code
ART 142
Professor
Arthur Sparks
Lecture
14

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January 25, 2016
The High Renaissance in Florence and Rome, continued:
Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel ceiling:
- When Pope Julius realized that the tomb he had requested couldn’t be finished in time, he in-
stead made Michelangelo paint the chapel
- Michelangelo had assistants, but did most of the work himself
- ceiling narratives all from Genesis
- other information discussed in last class
Fall of Man and Expulsion:
- Michelangelo was uninterested in popular artistic depictions of the day (landscape, perspec-
tive, plants, etc.) and instead focused on the human body.
- there are two episodes represented in this one painting, divided by the trunk of the tree of
knowledge; the first is the temptation of Adam and Eve and the second is the expulsion
- the devil is represented as a serpent with a woman’s upper body; he tempts Adam and Eve,
and they are expelled because they ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge
- in the expulsion scene, Adam and Eve have changed appearance; both have become uglier
(ex: Eve has a wrinkled face where she was once beautiful and youthful) and Eve becomes
shy and ashamed, covering her body
- traditionally the fall was blamed on Eve, but Michelangelo has painted the two as simultane-
ously reaching for the fruit, placing blame equally on both
Creation of Adam:
- there is a division between heaven and earth
- God is purple, representing royalty
- the hair of both figures is swept backwards, perhaps to emphasize the drama and power of
this moment
- God’s beard is a good example of the blending of colours
- some scholars suggest that, instead of the actual moment of the creation, this could be the
moment after the creation when God must leave Adam; this is suggested in the cherubic fig-
ures grabbing God and pulling him away, and in the bending of the green garment flowing at
the bottom of the scene, indicating sudden backwards motion
- the large cloak of God surrounding him and the related figures has been suggested to be in
the shape of a cross-section of the brain, suggesting that the figures behind him are people in
his mind whom he has not yet created (ex: the woman under his arm is suggested to be the
uncreated Eve)
- The Laocoon statue was dug up the same year as this was being painted; Michelangelo was
one of the first on the scene. Suggested that is why Adam is so muscularly similar
- Michelangelo is interested in displaying the human body in motion and emotion
Raphael, Stanza della Segnatura:
- Raphael was born in 1483; when he grew into his art, Pope Julius the second called him to
Rome; the Pope wanted to return Rome to its former glory, but with a Christian touch
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- Raphael began to work in a room of the Vatican, called the Stanza della Segnatura (where
papal documents were later signed, but which was originally a library)
- libraries were divided into faculties of knowledge; this one was divided into four main catego-
ries: Philosophy, Poetry, Theology and Law. Raphael made a painting for each section
- the first painting he did in this room was the Disputa
Disputa:
- this was the image representing Theology
- there are apostles, saints, prophets, etc. all gathered in a semi-circle around the throne of Je-
sus in the top register, representing the heavenly realm. Mary and John are at his sides,
which is something typically signifying the Last Judgement. At the top is God, and on the gold
circle near the bottom is the dove (thus completing the Holy Trinity)
- In the bottom register is another semi-circle, this time comprised of various famous theologi-
ans of the time. This represent the earthly realm.
- This painting is called Disputa because everyone is talking/discussing. Many figures on the
bottom register are pointing towards the center of the painting, where the host is presented in
an elaborate case. This leads many to believe that the subject they are debating is the nature
of the host. Some branches of Christianity believe in a symbolic version of the host (symboliz-
ing the body and blood of Jesus), while others believe in transubstantiation (where the bread
and wine truly become the body and blood of Christ)
- the host is in line with the trinity
School of Athens:
- ideal gathering of major philosophers of the ancient world; Plato and Aristotle are in the cen-
tre
- Raphael included himself in a gathering of philosophers
- some of the people are thought to be: Ptolemy, Euclid, Zoroaster, Heraclitus, etc.
- the man sitting on the steps writing is thought to be a portrait of Michelangelo
- including artists among philosophers suggests that painting is not just a physical action but a
mindful action as well
Raphael and Marcantonio Raimondi, Judgement of Paris:
- Raphael was not only a great painter but an astute businessman; he wanted to make copies
of his works to sell
- Raimondi helped him to make woodcuts of his works, to create prints
- the scene depicted here is of Paris choosing between three goddesses which is the most
beautiful; he chooses Venus, which leads to her later favouring him
- these engravings increased his fame (allowed his work to be shared while he painted the
Stanza della Segnatura), and also earned him money while he was on commission
- the use of curved lined crossing other curved lines helped to create three-dimensionality,
which was a technique used a lot later
- Raphael dies at 37 years old
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