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Lecture 5

HISTART 2002 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: State Religion, Polykleitos, Jacob Van Ruisdael

History of Art
Course Code
Christian Kleinbub

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lecture 1—Masaccio and the Beginning of the Italian Renaissance
Renaissance: “Rebirth”(French)
-14th-17th Century
-The rebirth of classical antiquity & the rediscovery of Greek philosophy
The early renaissance in Italy (15th century)
-Development of naturalism
-Narrative cycles which was intelligible to contemporary viewers
-Linear perspective and aerial perspective
-Human body as three-dimensional mass via single light source casing shadows and
highlight (chiaroscuro)
-Unity in phycological response
-Nature & Science
-Intellectual demanding art
New interests and artistic trends brought about by humanism
-New interests in studying earthly existence, human bodies, and nature through
scientific means
-Stress on humanity’s ability to engage logic and reasoning
-Rise of naturalism: what is on the canvas should match what we see in reality.
-Horizon line = Transversals
-Vanishing point: where all parallel lines (orthogonals) that run towards the horizon
line appear to come together like train tracks in the distance.
-Orthogonals: a "visual rays" helping the viewer's eye to connect points around the
edges of the canvas to the vanishing point.
How does linear perspective work in creating sense of space?
-Erase the materiality of surface
-3 dimensional space on a 2 dimensional surface
-Creates illusion of space and depth (as if the canvas is an open window)
How does this technique manifest the ethos of humanism/naturalism?
-Historical thinking: the earthly world, body, and nature can be represented precisely
and naturalistically through scientific means (Combination of Art & Science)
Alberti’s perception of painting:
-To use linear perspective an artist must first imagine the a framed picture surface as an
"open window" through which to see the painted world
-What is a painting: A painting should be illusionistic, naturalistic, and mimetic

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View of Brancacci Chanpel, Florence, Santa Maria del Carmine

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Masaccio’s Key works*:
-Masaccio, The Tribute Money, Santa Maria del Carmine, Brancacci Chapel,
Florence, circa 1424-27
Saint Peter Christ Tax collector(no hallo)光环
Detail of St. Peter pulling a coin from a fish’s mouth
Separate narrative episodes in a single pictorial field
Space is important
Comparison: Fabriano v.s Masaccio
Surface(material): Rough surface, cheap material, Fresco
Space & composition: Illusion of depth and volume, a sense of air and space around
figures, emphasis on the rendering of light and shadow, folds on drapery and shading
on body parts, mountain ranges lie diagonally in the background, stress on interaction
between figures, Christ- centered composition, sense of unity
Technique:Linear perspective, Vanishing point, Orthogonals, transversal, Stress on
ingenuity of artists
-Mentality: Strong sense of Naturalism,bring the holy story back to earth
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