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Lecture 14

HISTART 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Classical Antiquity, Clearwater, Florida, Mary Magdalene


Department
History of Art
Course Code
HISTART 101
Professor
Celeste Brusati
Lecture
14

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Lecture 14 Notes:
Outline
"Art and Spirituality": Annunciation images in Renaissance Florence
I.
The "Miraculous Image"
II.
"Miraculous Images" and the "Canon" of Renaissance Art
Related reading: Megan Holmes, "Miraculous Images in Renaissance
Florence"
a.
I. "Art and Spirituality": Annunciation images in Renaissance Florence
"Art and Spirituality" -visual art in the service of religion
-
Renaissance period (1300-1600)
-
Maps of Religions in Europe (1555)
Catholic Italy, before the major religious fragmentation in Europe associated
with the "Reformation"
-
Florence, Italy -place of religion within society
-
Visual art in the service of spirituality
Location: Church, SS. Annunziata, Florence, Italy
-
Subject: Annunciation
-
Medium: Fresco
-
Scale: a little under life-size
-
Date: c. 1340
-
Religious setting: fresco on the inner façade wall of the church of the SS.
Annunziata, Florence, Italy
-
Annunciation: Incarnation
Bible, New Testament, Gospel of Luke (1: 26-28)
"The angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor
with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and
you will name him Jesus...."
Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?"
-
One of the most important and challenging Christian narratives to represent:
How to visualize the arrival of a heavenly messenger in the earthly
domain?
How to visualize the mystery of the "Incarnation": the Word of God made
Flesh?
How to visualize the impregnation of a human virginal woman with the
son of God?
-
Study Slide:
Scene set within a domestic interior = the Virgin's house in Nazareth
-
Separation: heavenly angel Gabriel on one side of the composition and the
Virgin Mary on the other side
-
Heavenly flight (Gabriel) vs. earthbound Virgin
-
Virgin is shown responsive: not to Gabriel, but to God in the upper left
-
Virgin looks up toward God and responds with the statement "Here, I am the
servant of the Lord"
Written in Latin, backwards, signifying a response, directed toward God
-
Figures of the Virgin and Gabriel are in the foreground of the painting and
would have been visually accessible to the viewer
-
Emphasis on the Virgin's piety: she was interrupted while reading a prayer
book, her body is contained (arms calmly folded on her lap), she is responsive
and open to the request being made of her
-
Visual idiom is compellingly materially rich, but in terms that Florentine
viewers would have recognized:
Expensive wooden inlaid bench
Carpet of a type imported from the Eastern Mediterranean
Fur lining the Virgin's cloak "ermine" which was associated with rulers
and royalty
Finely woven curtain around the bed
Actual gold leaf used for the haloes and rays (but the crown in later)
-
Comparison: Annunciation (1340) vs Annunciation (1489-90)
Botticelli -a space in a space is created, which reflected new developments of
using convention
A more masterful storyteller
-
Location: Cestello church in Florence, but now in Uffizi Museum, Florence,
Italy
-
Artist: Botticelli
-
Patron: family for chapel
-
Medium: tempera on panel
-
Scale: figures about half life-size
-
Botticelli
Botticelli represents the Annunciation in dramatic terms, as a sacred story
unfolding in time and space. The angel's arrival from another realm is suggested
by the movement of the veil and the Virgin's response is registered in her bodily
movement
-
He divides the pictorial space into two symmetrical halves, with the crisp line of
the door frame separating the heavenly messenger from the human Mary in her
early domain
-
Linear perspective is used to reinforce this division, but also to draw the eye of
the viewer toward the place of encounter between the two beings: their hands
(Angel Gabriel's greeting gesture and the Virgin's gestural response "How can
this be?")
-
The Virgin Mary is shown to be a worthy vessel to bear the son of God -she is
designated as saintly, by her halo; she had been reading (assumedly a prayer
book) before Gabriel's arrival. She is extraordinarily beautiful and graceful in
her bodily movements -with her outer physical qualities inferring inner
spiritual qualities
-
Linear perspective is used to draw the eye back into the deepest space in the
painting, to a skillfully rendered "enclosed garden" out of doors. This is a
standard Christian symbol (known as the "hortus conclusus") used to elaborate
on Mary as a chaste Virgin, and on the fertility of her womb
-
Comparison:
Differences due to time period: c. 1340 vs 1489-90
-
Botticelli is a more masterful "story teller"
Dramatic terms: bodily movement, linear perspective, and connoted inner
spiritual qualities
-
Arguably Botticelli is a more skillful painter
-
"Canon" of Italian Renaissance Art History:
Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo
Recognition of major monuments
-
If someone to have asked a Florentine, circa 1510: what is the most important
work made by an artist in Florence?
They would have said the Annunciation from 1340
They have different methods
Efficacy -what kinds of work can this do?
The OG Annunciation was the most efficacy image (greatest ability
to have an effect)
§
-
II. The "Miraculous Image"
"Miraculous Image" -face of Virgin painted by an angel (divine artifice)
1340s -1360s -people are rushing to pray to the painting, gift, Pope assigned
special days, which helped people get to purgatory/heaven
The painting is enshrined in a tabernacle
Surrounded by gifts = "votive offerings"
-
Painters struggled with the face of the Virgin -the painter falls into a stupor and
wakes up to a shining face/an angel who has painted it
This was interpreted as God himself painting the picture, so the face itself
was not created by human
Woodcut showing God painting the Virgin's Face
This was sacred matter (fresco)
The virgin personally liked this image: Virgin operating through the city
-
Angel Gabriel from behind God with the painting
-
Still an active site of devotion, with masses said every hour
-
Reproductions
Most frequently reproduced image in Renaissance Florence; copies were made
in different sizes and media, and some were given as gifts by the Florentine
ruling Medici family
-
Interesting Questions:
-Why are some places, objects, and images considered to be "more sacred" than
others?
-How is it that supernatural powers are thought to operate in and through the
materiality of the world, particularly images?
Clearwater, Florida
-Dec. 17, 1996 Apparition
-Virgin Mary "appears" in the window
-450,000 people visited over Christmas period
-"Apparition" in the Catholic Christian tradition
1997 solvents thrown on the window effectively dissolving the images;
upper panes of glass intentionally shattered in 2004
-Catholics believed it was an appearance by the Virgin Mary through the
materiality of the glass and showed herself
Continuation of the Virgin Mary operating through images
§Not everyone accepted the claim
Notion: sights through which images manifest
Places of Conflict: power, authority, supernaturalism
What does this all have to do with "art" and "art history"?
Everything
-Across cultures, representational images are considered to be designated sites
"in and through" which supernatural forces operate
-Images perceived to be sites of sacred immanence, because of their potency,
often come under intense scrutiny and challenge. During the Protestant
Reformation in Europe, miraculous images were associated with "idolatry"
-This type of image also challenges the traditional categories that art historians
tend to work with
Site for material oppression -gifts pile up and the church gets richer
§Protestant reformation
III. "Miraculous Images" and the "Canon" of Renaissance Art
The Italian Renaissance "Canon"
-Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo
Traditional Renaissance Art History
-Privileges "quality"
-Values artistic innovations in the period like perspective, naturalisms, new
interest in classical antiquity, etc.
Naturalism -study the natural world translated into the art world
-Interested primarily in great masters and influential patrons
-Prefers masterpieces in good condition
Condition -miraculous images have lower quality because so many
people come to see it and touch it
You are to show your respect by continually beautifying the paintings
§The most important painting from Rome was studied to see the
work without the updates and there was almost nothing left in the
end
-Focuses on artists as inspired interpreters
Showing the art to the embassy in Japan -stampede happened to go see
the art
-This painting does not make it into the so-called "canon" of great works in the
Renaissance
There were over 40 highly valued miraculous images in the city of Florence in the
Renaissance
-We need to come up with new categories with which to evaluate these kinds of
images
-Acknowledge 40 to emphasize the elite commission
Different forms of viewing images and socioeconomic classes
-Virgin responding with her face and agreeing with God
Dialect
What are the characteristics that make this a highly value "miraculous image"?
Annunciation
-Foundation legend of the cult: face of the Virgin "not made by human hand" -a
"sign" from God privileging this sacred image
-A history of efficacy -safety of Florence, recovery from illness
-Visual signs of enshrinement and votive offerings
-Dialectic of intimacy and distance in viewers' experience
The Virgin is agreeing with God
-Made of more "humble" fresco
The painting is easily accessible and not exclusively for big patrons
-Formal Features:
Suggest intimacy between the viewer and sacred subjects
Suggest active agency of religious figures (animated face of Virgin)
Italian Renaissance "Canon"
-Should be studied in relation to a fuller range of representational object from the
period, like "miraculous images"
SS. Annunziata -Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo
Another miraculous image in Renaissance Florence:
-"The Madonna dei Ricci"
-Painted circa 1490, cult 1501
Story about how this particular painting acquired a reputation for being
"more sacred" than other religious works of art in Florence
Inscriptions
-"Antonio di Giovanni Rinaldeschi, a Florentine nobleman, playing at dice in the
"Tavern of the Fig", lost money and clothe, and was overcome by anger"
-"Encourages by the devil, he gathered horse manure"
-"He threw the manure in the face of the Beatified Virgin, swearing, and the fled
into the countryside"
The profane dung was said, miraculously, to have left a stain like a rose
(no longer visible) on the face of the virgin
-"Prayer addressed by Antonio Rinaldeschi to Jesus Christ: My Lord Jesus
Christ, have mercy on my soul"
-"At the seventh hour of the night, he was hanged at the window of the
Magistrate's building and buried on the feast day of Saint Mary Magdalene"
Annunciation painting becomes a "Miraculous Image"
-Miraculous image as a mediator of social experience in Renaissance
(02.08.17.) Miraculous Images in Renaissance
Sunday,(March(19,(2017
8:17(PM

Only pages 1-2 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Lecture 14 Notes:
Outline
"Art and Spirituality": Annunciation images in Renaissance Florence I.
The "Miraculous Image" II.
"Miraculous Images" and the "Canon" of Renaissance Art
Related reading: Megan Holmes, "Miraculous Images in Renaissance
Florence"
a.
III.
I. "Art and Spirituality": Annunciation images in Renaissance Florence
"Art and Spirituality" -visual art in the service of religion
-
Renaissance period (1300-1600)
-
Maps of Religions in Europe (1555)
Catholic Italy, before the major religious fragmentation in Europe associated
with the "Reformation"
-
Florence, Italy -place of religion within society
-
Visual art in the service of spirituality
Location: Church, SS. Annunziata, Florence, Italy
-
Subject: Annunciation
-
Medium: Fresco
-
Scale: a little under life-size
-
Date: c. 1340
-
Religious setting: fresco on the inner façade wall of the church of the SS.
Annunziata, Florence, Italy
-
Annunciation: Incarnation
Bible, New Testament, Gospel of Luke (1: 26-28)
"The angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor
with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and
you will name him Jesus...."
Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?"
-
One of the most important and challenging Christian narratives to represent:
How to visualize the arrival of a heavenly messenger in the earthly
domain?
How to visualize the mystery of the "Incarnation": the Word of God made
Flesh?
How to visualize the impregnation of a human virginal woman with the
son of God?
-
Study Slide:
Scene set within a domestic interior = the Virgin's house in Nazareth
-
Separation: heavenly angel Gabriel on one side of the composition and the
Virgin Mary on the other side
-
Heavenly flight (Gabriel) vs. earthbound Virgin
-
Virgin is shown responsive: not to Gabriel, but to God in the upper left
-
Virgin looks up toward God and responds with the statement "Here, I am the
servant of the Lord"
Written in Latin, backwards, signifying a response, directed toward God
-
Figures of the Virgin and Gabriel are in the foreground of the painting and
would have been visually accessible to the viewer
-
Emphasis on the Virgin's piety: she was interrupted while reading a prayer
book, her body is contained (arms calmly folded on her lap), she is responsive
and open to the request being made of her
-
Visual idiom is compellingly materially rich, but in terms that Florentine
viewers would have recognized:
Expensive wooden inlaid bench
Carpet of a type imported from the Eastern Mediterranean
Fur lining the Virgin's cloak "ermine" which was associated with rulers
and royalty
Finely woven curtain around the bed
Actual gold leaf used for the haloes and rays (but the crown in later)
-
Comparison: Annunciation (1340) vs Annunciation (1489-90)
Botticelli -a space in a space is created, which reflected new developments of
using convention
A more masterful storyteller
-
Location: Cestello church in Florence, but now in Uffizi Museum, Florence,
Italy
-
Artist: Botticelli
-
Patron: family for chapel
-
Medium: tempera on panel
-
Scale: figures about half life-size
-
Botticelli
Botticelli represents the Annunciation in dramatic terms, as a sacred story
unfolding in time and space. The angel's arrival from another realm is suggested
by the movement of the veil and the Virgin's response is registered in her bodily
movement
-
He divides the pictorial space into two symmetrical halves, with the crisp line of
the door frame separating the heavenly messenger from the human Mary in her
early domain
-
Linear perspective is used to reinforce this division, but also to draw the eye of
the viewer toward the place of encounter between the two beings: their hands
(Angel Gabriel's greeting gesture and the Virgin's gestural response "How can
this be?")
-
The Virgin Mary is shown to be a worthy vessel to bear the son of God -she is
designated as saintly, by her halo; she had been reading (assumedly a prayer
book) before Gabriel's arrival. She is extraordinarily beautiful and graceful in
her bodily movements -with her outer physical qualities inferring inner
spiritual qualities
-
Linear perspective is used to draw the eye back into the deepest space in the
painting, to a skillfully rendered "enclosed garden" out of doors. This is a
standard Christian symbol (known as the "hortus conclusus") used to elaborate
on Mary as a chaste Virgin, and on the fertility of her womb
-
Comparison:
Differences due to time period: c. 1340 vs 1489-90
-
Botticelli is a more masterful "story teller"
Dramatic terms: bodily movement, linear perspective, and connoted inner
spiritual qualities
-
Arguably Botticelli is a more skillful painter
-
"Canon" of Italian Renaissance Art History:
Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo
Recognition of major monuments
-
If someone to have asked a Florentine, circa 1510: what is the most important
work made by an artist in Florence?
They would have said the Annunciation from 1340
They have different methods
Efficacy -what kinds of work can this do?
The OG Annunciation was the most efficacy image (greatest ability
to have an effect)
§
-
II. The "Miraculous Image"
"Miraculous Image" -face of Virgin painted by an angel (divine artifice)
1340s -1360s -people are rushing to pray to the painting, gift, Pope assigned
special days, which helped people get to purgatory/heaven
The painting is enshrined in a tabernacle
Surrounded by gifts = "votive offerings"
-
Painters struggled with the face of the Virgin -the painter falls into a stupor and
wakes up to a shining face/an angel who has painted it
This was interpreted as God himself painting the picture, so the face itself
was not created by human
Woodcut showing God painting the Virgin's Face
This was sacred matter (fresco)
The virgin personally liked this image: Virgin operating through the city
-
Angel Gabriel from behind God with the painting
-
Still an active site of devotion, with masses said every hour
-
Reproductions
Most frequently reproduced image in Renaissance Florence; copies were made
in different sizes and media, and some were given as gifts by the Florentine
ruling Medici family
-
Interesting Questions:
-Why are some places, objects, and images considered to be "more sacred" than
others?
-How is it that supernatural powers are thought to operate in and through the
materiality of the world, particularly images?
Clearwater, Florida
-Dec. 17, 1996 Apparition
-Virgin Mary "appears" in the window
-450,000 people visited over Christmas period
-"Apparition" in the Catholic Christian tradition
1997 solvents thrown on the window effectively dissolving the images;
upper panes of glass intentionally shattered in 2004
-Catholics believed it was an appearance by the Virgin Mary through the
materiality of the glass and showed herself
Continuation of the Virgin Mary operating through images
§Not everyone accepted the claim
Notion: sights through which images manifest
Places of Conflict: power, authority, supernaturalism
What does this all have to do with "art" and "art history"?
Everything
-Across cultures, representational images are considered to be designated sites
"in and through" which supernatural forces operate
-Images perceived to be sites of sacred immanence, because of their potency,
often come under intense scrutiny and challenge. During the Protestant
Reformation in Europe, miraculous images were associated with "idolatry"
-This type of image also challenges the traditional categories that art historians
tend to work with
Site for material oppression -gifts pile up and the church gets richer
§Protestant reformation
III. "Miraculous Images" and the "Canon" of Renaissance Art
The Italian Renaissance "Canon"
-Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo
Traditional Renaissance Art History
-Privileges "quality"
-Values artistic innovations in the period like perspective, naturalisms, new
interest in classical antiquity, etc.
Naturalism -study the natural world translated into the art world
-Interested primarily in great masters and influential patrons
-Prefers masterpieces in good condition
Condition -miraculous images have lower quality because so many
people come to see it and touch it
You are to show your respect by continually beautifying the paintings
§The most important painting from Rome was studied to see the
work without the updates and there was almost nothing left in the
end
-Focuses on artists as inspired interpreters
Showing the art to the embassy in Japan -stampede happened to go see
the art
-This painting does not make it into the so-called "canon" of great works in the
Renaissance
There were over 40 highly valued miraculous images in the city of Florence in the
Renaissance
-We need to come up with new categories with which to evaluate these kinds of
images
-Acknowledge 40 to emphasize the elite commission
Different forms of viewing images and socioeconomic classes
-Virgin responding with her face and agreeing with God
Dialect
What are the characteristics that make this a highly value "miraculous image"?
Annunciation
-Foundation legend of the cult: face of the Virgin "not made by human hand" -a
"sign" from God privileging this sacred image
-A history of efficacy -safety of Florence, recovery from illness
-Visual signs of enshrinement and votive offerings
-Dialectic of intimacy and distance in viewers' experience
The Virgin is agreeing with God
-Made of more "humble" fresco
The painting is easily accessible and not exclusively for big patrons
-Formal Features:
Suggest intimacy between the viewer and sacred subjects
Suggest active agency of religious figures (animated face of Virgin)
Italian Renaissance "Canon"
-Should be studied in relation to a fuller range of representational object from the
period, like "miraculous images"
SS. Annunziata -Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo
Another miraculous image in Renaissance Florence:
-"The Madonna dei Ricci"
-Painted circa 1490, cult 1501
Story about how this particular painting acquired a reputation for being
"more sacred" than other religious works of art in Florence
Inscriptions
-"Antonio di Giovanni Rinaldeschi, a Florentine nobleman, playing at dice in the
"Tavern of the Fig", lost money and clothe, and was overcome by anger"
-"Encourages by the devil, he gathered horse manure"
-"He threw the manure in the face of the Beatified Virgin, swearing, and the fled
into the countryside"
The profane dung was said, miraculously, to have left a stain like a rose
(no longer visible) on the face of the virgin
-"Prayer addressed by Antonio Rinaldeschi to Jesus Christ: My Lord Jesus
Christ, have mercy on my soul"
-"At the seventh hour of the night, he was hanged at the window of the
Magistrate's building and buried on the feast day of Saint Mary Magdalene"
Annunciation painting becomes a "Miraculous Image"
-Miraculous image as a mediator of social experience in Renaissance
(02.08.17.) Miraculous Images in Renaissance
Sunday,(March(19,(2017 8:17(PM
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