Thursday, February 2, 2017

ch. 14 | late gothic art in italy

late medieval italy

fig. 14-1

territorial divisions:
  • rome, orvieto, assisi, etc. = lots of religious artwork
  • as you move away, more secular & diverse
altarpiece configurations:
centers of urban development:
key artists:
-nicola pisano: sculptor of relief panels
-giotto: "first renaissance painter," pursued naturalistic approach
-duccio: master of sienese school of painting
-paolo veneziano
-simone martini
-ambrogio lorenzetti
-andrea pisano
  • oculus= "eye of God"
duecento (13th century)

  • diversity of style
  • some artists worked in the maniera greca (italo-byzantine style), some in the mode of gothic france, & others in the newly revived classical naturalistic tradition
fig. 14-3
annunciation, nativity, & adoration of the shephards- nicola pisano [nicholas the pisan]
relief panel on baptistry pulpit/pisa/1259-1260
subject matter: annunciation (synoptic narrative)
background info: illiteracy rates were high -> relief summarizes importance of mary

-many individuals were known by their place of birth or adopted hometown
-format of names could also be changed whenever
kalos thanatos (a beautiful death?)/ sarcophagus/ kline (recline)/ meander motif/ register/ arcade
  • meander motif: represents new life
  • register: horizontal band

-refers to 4th century societal shift in Rome: Constantine declared Christianity as official religion
-ancient greek city of Byzantium becomes new capital of Christendom- renamed Constantinople
-style: figurative art- austere & conservative

byzantine characteristics:
  • rigid body pose
  • emphatic verticality (columnar body)
  • multiple striations (registers)
  • stoic stare
  • almond eyes
  • elongated nose/fingers
  • colors: blue & gold (heavenly realm/unique mandate)
  • flatness of forms
  • body concealment

-italians resented the avignon papacy
-conflict btwn french & italians-> election of 2 popes (1378)-> Great Schism
-increase in monastic orders-> constant religious presence
-mendicants (begging friars): renounced worldly goods, preached to large urban crowds
-rivalry btwn franciscans & dominicans
-confraternities: organizations of laypersons who dedicated themselves to strict religious observance

fig. 14-5
Saint Francis Altarpiece- Bonaventura Berlinghieri
Italy, 1235, tempera on wood
Italo-Byzantine style/maniera greca
highlights increasingly prominent role of religious orders (Great Schism)

madonna enthroned w angels- cimabue
altarpiece: 12x7
circa 1280
relience on byzantine models
gold embellishments enhance 3-dimensionality of drapery
hierarchic scale
throne: strength, balance, stability
angels stacked vertically, mary at larger scale


Trecento (14th century)

the Black death (europe, circa 1347-51)
-origin: china -> trade ships at port of sicily -> flea infested rodents
-physical ramifications: inflammation of lymph nodes (groin & armpits), black pus, rapid contagion
-social effect: fear, ostracization, isolationism, irrational behavior
-psychological effect: introversion, "memento mori" (remember, you too will die)
-effect on faith/religion: intervention of omnipotent being- mass exodus, skepticism
-long-term effect: open to humanism
-stats: 60% loss of population
  • renaissance= rebirth of art & culture
  • humanism: human values & interests distinct from religion's otherworldly values
  • scholars & artists became increasingly concerned w the natural world
fig. 14-8
madonna enthroned- giotto de bondone
tempera & gold leaf on wood
high altar
ognissanti, florence
revival of classical naturalism
figures have more dimension
angels overlapping-> more believable

  • stigmata: wounds of Christ
  • iconography: study of symbols & representations of subject matter
Christian iconography:
  • annunciation: white lilies, mary, gabriel
  • nativity: baby Christ, mary, joseph
  • pedagogy: teachings of Christ/parables
  • miracles
  • passion: crucifixion, Resurrection
  • pentecost: after he comes back
-mural painting technique
-buon fresco: (true fresco) apply permanent limeproof pigment, diluted in water, on fresh lime plaster
-one of the most durable painting techniques 
-fresco secco: (dry fresco) painting on dried lime plaster, plaster wall does not absorb pigments 

fig. 14-9
lamentation- giotto
subject matter: scenes from the life of Christ
date: 1305
medium: painting
technique: buon fresco
venue: arena chapel- family estate- padua, republic of venice
patron: enrico scrovegni
period: late gothic
 angels grieving, foreshortening
dead tree- tree of knowledge (adam & eve)
strong directional line (rock) pointing to Christ, separation of heaven & earth
slit eyes & big chins

virgin & child enthroned w saints- duccio
sienese conservatism
altarpiece, siena cathedral
tempera paint & gold leaf on wood panel
formality & symmetry derived from byzantine painting
but less rigidity & frontality, softened drapery, individualized faces
-guilds: associates of master craftspeople, apprentices, & tradespeople
-monastic orders, confraternities, & the Vatican were major art patrons
-a patron's needs/wishes were crucial

-aspiring artists started training at 7-15 yrs old
-fathers would negotiate an arrangement w a master artist
-boys served as apprentices 
-after completing apprenticeships, artists entered appropriate guilds 
-new guild-certified artists served as assistants to master artists until established reputations

International Gothic:
  • Gothic 13th & 14th cent.: images of city of God which they were privileged to build on earth
  • byzantine characteristics w excessive decorative flourishes
-pointed arches
-lux nova
-rose windows
-tri foria
-unbroken space
-exterior buttresses
-ribbed groin vaults, bright
-richly decorated w sculpture
madonna & child- paolo veneziano
1340, oil

fig. 14-14
annunciation- simone martini
over the top- gold leaf & big wings
mary's body language= reacting
dialogue in latin
multiple strands of lilies

fig. 14-17
peaceful city (siena)- lorenzetti brothers
frescoes in situ- palazzo publico, siena
circa 1338
buildings are isometric
frescoes in situ

fig. 14-18
peaceful country- lorenzetti brothers
counterpart of peaceful city
frescoes in situ- palazzo publico, siena

fig. 14-19
santa maria del fiore- arnolfo di cambio & others
the duomo (florence cathedral) & adjacent baptistry
first dome structure in thousands of years
marble veneer on facing, carries tuscan romanesque architectural tradition
mediterranean tile roofs
mixture of gothic & romanesque

baptistry doors- andrea pisano
iconography: life of john the baptist (christian pedagogy)
medium: sculpture
technique: bronze w  gold gild
culture: florence
period: late gothic/1330-1336
quatrefoil design- 4 points

fig. 14-23
palace of the doge
republic of venice
hybrid: late gothic (christian) & islamic
gothic arch & ogee arch (double-curving lines)
diamond motif (islam)
marble sheath (veneer)

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