HAA 1306 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Donato Bramante, Quattrocento, Giuliano Da Sangallo

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15 Sep 2015
Wednesday August 28: The lecture will look at Giorgio Vasari's importance for factual content
in Renaissance art history and, amazingly, how we still "frame" the Italian Renaissance the way
he presented it half a millennium ago. Turning to Renaissance paintings teaches us how much
less well we understand its architecture than its visual cues in figurative art.
Renaissance comes after the middle ages and looks back to the Classical era
Middle ages did not understand it was the middle ages – saw themselves as continuance
of Classical age
Language of architecture hard to interpret because after drawing leaves table, architect
has no involvement, rather than painters and sculptors who see the project through
Key works:
1. Giorgio Vasari (1511-74): Lives of the Artists; Florence, 1550 and 1568.
Wrote books on history of art
Trecento: Giotto, the Pisani, and Arnolfini di Cambio
Quattrocento: Masaccio, Donatello, Brunelleschi
Cinquecento: Raphael, Michelangelo, and Bramante
Painter, sculptor, architect by Renaissance era
2. Titian: portrait of Alfonso I d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, c. 1527 (original lost? this copy in Prado,
Madrid) and portrait of ducal mistress Laura Dianti, c. 1523 (Kisters collection, Switzerland)
Unruly hair, lack of gloves, and gauze over bust used to insinuate Laura as mistress rather
than wife of Alfonso = language of painting
3. Michelangelo: Pietà, Florence Cathedral museum, 1560s
Carved for own tomb, ended up in a museum
5 figures – Joseph (Michelangelo self-portrait), Mary, Jesus, random
Jesus has only right leg – engraving of the Pieta with both legs
Leg draped over other person alludes to spiritual connection (?)
4. Giuliano da Sangallo, Monastery of Cestello (today S. Maria Maddelena dei Pazzi), Florence,
5. Attributed to Raphael: Palazzo Uguccioni, Florence, not completed until 1560s
3 levels
Arches around doors on bottom level
Semi-circular pediments on 2nd level over windows
Triangular pediments over 3rd floor windows
Originally had bust of Cosimo, now has only Capricorn (symbol of Cosimo)
Propaganda symbol – stoniness of palace – fortitude of family
Sand stone hasn’t held up well
6. S. Spirito vestibule to sacristy
Giuliano da Sangallo
Barrel vaults – signature element
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