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Giancarla Periti

FAH230 - Renaissance Art and Architecture FAH230 - Renaissance Art and Architecture • at end of some classes will be asked to write small paragraph about what you learned in that class - don’t really count towards mark, for prof’s purposes • looking at iconography • differences between techniques of production of art WEEK ONE September 10, 2012 Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral and Bapistery - Dome of Florence Cathedral by Brunelleschi • cathedral is main church (“mother church”) in any Catholic city • “mother church” because it contains seat/chair of bishop • dome was missing because it was a technical problem, unable to construct until Brunelleschi came and constructed it • studied ancient monuments with arches and domes to solve problem and design dome • beginning of Renaissance art is when technical problem is solved through looking back to antiquity, rebirthing these techniques - this followed by many artists of the time The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise - Masaccio, Brancacci Chapel Florence inside church of Santa Maria del Carmine c. 1427, fresco • Masaccio created 3D look • linear perspective used • bodies have “weight” to them • effects of linear perspective in work of art • expresses emotion and feelings of Adam and Eve - shame - not seen before • worked in collaboration of colleague • one of earliest examples of collaboration between artists and different styles within same site (Chapel), accepted by Patron Ghent Altarpiece, Adoration of the Mysic Lamb - Jan and Hubert can Eyck, 1432, oil on panel, Cathedral of St. Bavo, Ghent • importance of cathedrals with works of art • altarpiece: work of art placed on top of an altar • generally would appear closed • on special occasions (feasts, celebrations) the altarpiece would be opened, will discuss why • another collaboration between artists • outside: St John Baptist, St John Evangelist in middle, monochromatic statued figures flanked by two figures 1 FAH230 - Renaissance Art and Architecture • inside: “explosion of colours”, Mary, St John the Baptist, Adam and Eve at edge (notice difference between Masaccio, no inner emotions expressed) • oil on panel: very specific technique, invented in the North, allowing artists to replicate in vivid manner nature/realities of subject The Martyrdom of St. Sebastion, South Germany, 1470-75/Martyrdom of St. Sebastion, 1470-75, coloured wood cut (printmaking) • style is crude, not refined or sophisticated • includes tet • beginning of printmaking, changing landscape of Renaissance and whole culture Leonardo, The Virgin of the Rocks, ca. 1485, oil on wood panel • seems simplistic, but topic of painting is still under debate • two copies of same subject • schemata technique Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel Ceiling, vault fresco, ca. 1508-12 • wanted to do it by himself Raphael, Stanza della Segnatura, ca. 1510-11, right lunette The School of Athens • originally private chambers of Pope Julius II • not rooms meant to be seen by the general public • themes Pope wanted Raphael to address • Pope was not only acting as spiritual figure, but also political at this time (temporal/political power) • manifestation of temporal/political Michelangelo, Last Judgment, 1536-41, fresco • very unusual altarpiece • not framed or contained • raised many questions • substituted previous altarpiece on wall • in olden days priests would face wall, pieces of art, will explore dynamic between priest and reception of art Jan Gossaert, St. Luke Drawing the Virgin Mary, 1520, oil on panel • Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith beheading Holofernes, ca. 1620 • beginning of time where Renaissance turns into Baroque period 2 FAH230 - Renaissance Art and Architecture WEEK TWO September 17, 2f012 Brunelleschi and Masaccio: the Method of Linear Perspective • Masathio and Brunelleschi were the major protagonists of art and architecture in 15 Century Cathedral of Florence • early 15 Century was an era of peace and prosperity in Florence • name “cathedral” comes from Latin word for Bishop “cathedra” and a cathedral is the Church where the Bishop • Cathedrals usually connected with baptistry and Bishop’s palace - most important Church of city • most of Cathedral of Florence was constructed in the 13 Century, constructed for almost a century th • in 15 Century centre of Church needed to be vaulted, but the workers did not have the capacity to complete this goal, until Brunelleschi (a sculptor, not a painter) came up with a solution • solution: double shelled structure with areas allowing light in and inside structure consisting of ribs and rings to support the outer shell, sustaining the vast vaulted ceiling • internal and external ribs, dividing weight of heavy masonry • major innovation - kind of prototype for vaulting huge areas done with architectural and economic integrity • Antonio Manetti’s wrote about life of Brunelleschi, giving us an answer of how Brunelleschi came up with a solution to the dome problem • “Brunelleschi decided to explore the Ancients’ highly refined method of building and their use of harmonious proportions in order to find out how all these things could be properly executed without great difficulty and expense...He went to see ancient buildings [in Rome]...Which had different types of vaults, and studied the method of centering the vaults and the other systems of support” • what could be the model to solve this problem? Brunelleschi most likely studied the dome of the Pantheon • this method was common for the Renaissance, using ideals of antiquity to reinvent and solve modern problems • created a kind of blueprint solution - a dome that could be replicated by others • • solution used geometrical model within the Church to create proportions throughout the dome • done by measuring square of centre of cross of the church • measurement helped make harmonious height of the dome and elevate it in a beautiful as well as architecturally sound way • done using geometry, repetition of the same unit of measurement 3 FAH230 - Renaissance Art and Architecture • also an important because he solved a problem that had slowed architects for a century, he was commissioned by many to create and design other buildings • was seen by community as a kind of genius Foundling Hospital • designed not only religious institutions, but civic institutions • charitable institution • contemporary Florentine citizens saw Brunelleschi’s working on the Foundling Hospital as a sort of charitable act - would have helped his reputation? • all hospitals were built with a long loggia, allowing poor to stay there before they were admitted into the hospital • created practical but also beautiful architecture • re-imagined what could be done architecturally • by studying antiquity, he could give a loggia a kind of elegance and practical use which was not seen before • details were Classical • adopted Corinthian model of columns • cornice that just frames the arcade, not made of expensive stone, but of local sandstone, although it is not expensive it still creates colour contrast that is effective • looked to antiquity not only in the grand scheme of architecture, but also in the details • also used geometrical module in this piece as well - adds to order and harmony of the building • repeating an ancient model in a new way • glazed terracotta details added later • this technique developed by Andrea dell Robbia • durable, but visually pleasing as well • special way to treat the teracotta • these additions were not and imposition on Bruenelleschi’s original design - intended to have these medallions, but they were not commissioned immediately Church of San Lorenzo • church close to the Medici palace • church built due to the money the Medici donated • wanted their parish church to be a relevant space • in order to achieve this, got Brunelleschi to intervene in a church that had already been constructed • Brunelleschi intervened in the nave • wanted to divide up the space creating a sequence of arcades that were similar to the Foundling Hospital, same idea • still using the geometrical module as sequence • used grey stone set against the white wall of the Church • simple, but • main thing that this arcade does 4 FAH230 - Renaissance Art and Architecture • allows light in • divides space of the nave • give sense of harmony and symmetry of San Lorenzo • Old Sacistry • founded by Giovanni di Medici • space originally used as burial space for members of the Medici family, had a very specific purpose • basically a permutation of the same module as was used in the nave • used same colours; grey sandstone against white walls • similar shape to whole church on inside with • give sense of spacial order and unity in effective manner • midterm comparison: same architect, same building, two different spaces, church sapce, name, old sacistry used as funerary chapel but constructed according to same geometrical module as the nave with arcades Palazzo Medici-Riccardi • across street of San Lorenzo Church • not architecture built by design that was done by Brunelleschi, but di Bartolomeo, a close follower of Brunelleschi • supplied project for this building, but Medici was too greandeuse and didn’t accept this plan, but followed instead the plan from Michelozzo • important to note this palazzo (private living space of Medici), follows same rules of order, harmony, and unity that Brunelleschi had devised for contemporary architecture (his own style?) th • in 15 Century ground floor where large arches were, were open, much like a loggia - used for Medici business • Medici were bankers, but there were no banks separate, so all transactions were done within that first floor • functioned well because it was open, but covered • arches walled up and windows made according to design by Michelangelo • notice masonry • first floor had very rustic bricks, compared to second and third floor which got progressively more smooth • typical of 15 Century Florentine architecture that Masaccio also picked up in his own paintings • comparison: solution of major architectural problem in religious building vs. perfected arcades at the Foundling hospital - two major buildings of Florence constructed by Brunelleschi Trinity, Masaccio - fresco, Church of Santa Maria Novella, Florence - Lenzi family • “Masaccio always followed as best as he could in the footsteps of Brunelleschi and Donatello even though he worked in a different medium...” from Vasari’s Life of Masaccio, 1568 • Vasari recognized as Father of History of Renaissance art 5 FAH230 - Renaissance Art and Architecture • very important primary source for contemporary historians to trace and analyze Renaissance art • very short career, at most 6-8 years long • changed history of painting in Renaissance Florence - highly influential regardless of how short his career can be documented • fresco • made of pigments that are diluted with water applied on freshly laid plaster • once dried, combine together into fresco • usually used for large surfaces in churches to decorate • Masaccio created “cartoon” of drawing which is transferred onto the wall • creates hole along contours of painting and uses charcoal to perforate through page and transfer drawing onto fresh plaster • 3 figures • Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, God the Father • below is Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist • below that is the two Lenzi donors • below is skeleton • complicated iconography • looked at a painted chapel • looking to create 3D setting on a 2D surface - chapel • different registers • donors • Madonna and John • primitive divine figures set in the vault • looking at a space that recedes into the background • donors seeming as if they are at the same level as the viewer • further back are Madonna and John, then the divine • painting is a reminder that death is eminent and our bodies will turn into this kind of skeleton - invitation to do good work and redeem ourselves, Lenzi donors praying and because of that are closer to the Crucifixion and God? • creates a kind of illusion that there is a continuation between the real space of the viewer and the divine space - sense of recession • achieved this through linear and atmospheric perspective • linear perspective apparently developed by Brunelleschi and shared with his colleagues - Masaccio being the first person who really applied this to his work • Lenzi family are horizon or painting, but remarkable because things go beyond the horizon, instead of using more simplified one-point perspective with right angle horizon and viewpoint • vanishing point is at centre of Lenzi members with orthogonals branching up to Jesus Christ and to vaulted ceiling, which also recedes into the background - more complicated than other paintings with linear perspective of the time • but used atmospheric perspective in the vault to make it seem to recede further Example: The Delivery of Keys to St Peter, Perugino 6 FAH230 - Renaissance Art and Architecture • imagine fusion of real space in which we are and painted spaced which exists in front of us - fusion of these spaces • to see the painted space as a continuation of the real space that we occupy • the three dimensionality must be transferred through geometrical rules into the painted surface, hard feat to accomplish • this example is much later in the 15 Century, so this painting is a refined version of linear perspective • using orthogonals as a measurement of space • architecture creates horizon • linear perspected allowed artists to create the real and the painted - as well as a narrative with protagonists in foreground and architecture in the background • allowed artists to create paints that reflected more the reality of life Sant’ Anna Metterza, Masaccio and Masolino • common in the Renaissance for artists to take on major commissions as a team • altarpiece • two artists working in two different styles • revolutionary style of Masaccio is recognizable in Madonna and the Child - sense of volume of Madonna, physicality • Saint Anne is almost just a decorative figure, not as much body • Masolino still working in a late Gothic style - rendering surfaces in pneumatic way, but not the physicality of the body • creates a stark contrast between the figures, makes the Madonna stand out Branacci Chapel, Church of Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence - Masaccio and Masolino • very significant chapel that duo painted together in late 1520s • altar, altarpieces, walls decorated with frescoes • light source - window • Masaccio, in doing his frescoes, took into consideration the actual light source • fused real space and frescoes together • seems as if all the shadows and real light are coming in direction that is depicted in the paintings • no other artists had sensitivity to think about how to treat the space in a way that would fuse the rational and the fictional worlds • church founded by the Carmelites, patron being Felice Branacci • bought the chapel to transform into moselium for his family • worked with Pietro Brancacci, patron Saint of Pietro Brancacci St. Peter, patron wanted to be honoured hence... • these frescoes are really narratives of St. Peter, honouring the patron • major restoration of 1980 removed all dirt on surface of walls • see brilliant colours and true beauty of frescoes • two scenes paired together at the entrance of the chapel • Masolino’s Temptation vs. Masaccio’s Expulsion of Adam and Even from Paradise • can see the very different approaches that each artist had • Masolino 7 FAH230 - Renaissance Art and Architecture • idealized bodies, set against dark background • set against space we cannot measure • cannot perceive these figures as two real bodies • surreal figures • Masaccio • puts them in a setting where space can be measured • depicted as two real bodies, can see the shadow, bodies have weight, exist as we do - once again fusing reality with fiction • using real light source in painting again, suggesting real light is actually hitting these two figures • participants of the moment, feeling the shame of their actions - Eve trying to cover her nudity, Adam covering his face, both showing agony • participant of the emotions that humans experience, unlike Masolino’s very surreal figures that are completely unlike normal human beings • why is there not definition of the physical reality of Adam and Eve? • have to remember that there have been several restorations of these paintings • pigments and colours dried together • could have been done on top of dry plaster, as the trees were done - asecco? • these details could easily be lost during restoration, lack of intensity - are the colours powdered? and then become liquid when mixed with water? • Tribute Money • proof that linear perspective allows artists to create narratives with this technique • story goes that Jesus was asked if he was to pay the Jewish Temple tax, orders Peter to get first fish from stream and Peter finds coin worth twice tax amount in mouth of the fish • narrative has more than one part, more than one time is being shown at once - Peter is in the foreground, then fishing, then giving money to tax person • can see the architecture painted is close to Brunelleschi’s own, with a loggia, th definitely typical of early 15 Century Florence • contrast to Masolino and Gothic style - figures are not engaging in any sort of narrative, just there to look at • above Peter and tax collector is open windows, opened different amounts • allows religious story to be actualized in 15 Century Florentine setting • adds to the space as a whole, creating even more of a sense of reality than before • St Peter healing with his shadow • not exactly sure whether this was a duo, but is assumed to be for our sake • scene itself is set in the reality of 15 Century florence - rustic style and setting • light source still coming from natural light source amplifying rational characteristics 8 FAH230 - Renaissance Art and Architecture • Masaccio created new way of narrating stories using linear perspective and 15 th Century motifs of Florence • comparison between two st Peters • works done by same artists in same church • fresco • new way of narrating stories by constructing credible measurable space and inserting figures with their own reality and own physicality • in narratives usually a sense to go from centre, then to left, and finally to right • viewer in early 15 Century would have known stories of St Peter, being the main apostle, and would know strategies to look at painting as a painted space • rarely ever more than 3 episodes in one painting 9 FAH230 - Renaissance Art and Architecture WEEK THREE September 24, 2012 th Ghiberti, Donatello and the Art of Sculpture in 15 c. Italy • Florence was major artistic centre in Italy - most “artistic inventions” happened in Florence at this time Baptistery of San Giovanni (St. John) of Florence • building used for baptism of community members, important religious site • St. John the Baptist baptized Christ, hence baptisteries being dedicated to St. John • building probably rounded in 4 c. then renovated in 11 and 13 centuries • octagonal building • early 15 c.: religious authorities and city authorities joined forces to decorate the building - wanting tothecorate external doors especially • very beginning of 15 c. • competition between Brunelleschi and Ghiberti • authorities asked competitors to produce story of their choice (story from Old Testament) • authorities also decided what frame of work - quadri-form • Ghiberti wins competition • able to produce own scene as one single entity, showing judges major technical innovation (treating bronze and figures as one entity) - new technique • competition was so crucial because this was Ghiberti’s break into “fame” in artistic community in Florence • Ghiberti had to maintain quadri-form frame on Baptistery doors • Baptism of Christ • St. John baptizing Christ on right with Christ in the middle • linear perspective not used exclusively - space cannot be measured • angels on left • 3-dimensionality of figures is clear • Gates of Paradise • selected to do second commission after doing such a good job on first doors where he won competition • framing of panels allowed for easy linear perspective use • difference between first and second doors: • difference in materials used • first: bronze with gilded areas (some golden areas) • second: gilded bronze - entire surface enriched visually - “sense of splendor” • what contemporaries wanted to see in a work of art: • political and city authorities were deeply involved in embellishment of religious site 10 FAH230 - Renaissance Art and Architecture • Leonardo Bruni “it is my opinion that...the stories of the new doors...Should mainly have two qualities: one, that they should show splendor and the other that they should have significance...” • Creation of Adam and Eve (second doors) 1425-1452 • Haines’s reading gives us sense of importance of documentation of • several scenes within one panel • centre has creation of Eve, emerging from Adam • lower left foreground: creation of Adam, still attached to the earth • lower right side: progenitors after being banished from paradise, can see door • this panel also is very clear example of linear perspective • Jacob and Esau • system of linear perspective even more clear due to architecture in the background - recede into the distance • tiles of the pavement are clear orthogonal lines Orsanmichele • in early 15 century was a hybrid building; served as place where guilds could be represented • space meant to be used as grain market • storage of grain on second and third floor • inside of main floor ended up being a Church dedicated to tabernacle of miracle- working image of Virgin and Child • guilds asked to decorate niches with either painted image of patron saint of sculpture, issued in 1339 • not until the early 15 century that actual piece of legislation stating each guild had 10 years to complete decoration or they would lose the right to their tabernacle • aesthetic evaluation • Ghiberti: St. John the Baptist for Calimala, the wool makers’ guild • depicted in fine fabrics, basically an ad for the Calimala guild • base treated in simple way, with decorative motif • Nanni di Banco: Four Crowned Saints, for stonecarvers/woodworkers’ guild • also member of this guild, sense of pride in taking on this commission • different from others in way that there are 4 patron saints, not one • according to tradition, asked by Roman emperor to produce pagan figure and thus executed • in order to accomodate small space for four figures, Banco had to carve stone and allow for two outside saints to be outside of tabernacle frame • base different as well: for first time became place for narrative: this having several activities which sculptors perform • Donatello: St. George for Armorers’ guild, marble • statue not so much outstanding part of tabernacle, but the basement • basements became place for narrative - this one being St. George slaying dragon and saving princess • marble carved, treated, and colour
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