Early Italian Painting (Art of Century)

Early Italian Painting (Art of Century)

Language: English

Pages: 200


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Oscillating between the majesty of the Greco-Byzantine tradition and the modernity predicted by Giotto, Early Italian Painting addresses the first important aesthetic movement that would lead to the Renaissance, the Italian Primitives. Trying new mediums and techniques, these revolutionary artists no longer painted frescos on walls, but created the first mobile paintings on wooden panels. The faces of the figures were painted to shock the spectator in order to emphasise the divinity of the character being represented. The bright gold leafed backgrounds were used to highlight the godliness of the subject. The elegance of both line and colour were combined to reinforce specific symbolic choices. Ultimately the Early Italian artists wished to make the invisible visible. In this magnificent book, the authors emphasise the importance that the rivalry between the Sienese and Florentine schools played in the evolution of art history. The reader will discover how the sacred began to take a more human form through these forgotten masterworks, opening a discrete but definitive door through the use of anthropomorphism, a technique that would be cherished by the Renaissance.

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of the figures struck him — in contrast to the ‘barbaric’ art of his contemporaries — as nothing less than divine. Many before him looked upon this marble wonder, but it did not speak to any of them as it spoke to him. He was the first, says Lanzi, to see the light of the work and follow it. There is an engraving after one of his bas-reliefs, a Deposition from the Cross, in Ottley’s School of Design, which should be referred to by the reader who may have not seen his works at Pisa, Florence,

the pediment, and the whole work signed UGOLINO DE SENIS ME PINXIT. Like most pictures of that time, Ugolino’s altarpiece was withdrawn from its place of honour, and stowed away. It remained unheeded for centuries in the dormitory of the convent, where Delia Valle saw it, and, having been sold for a song, found its way in fragments to the Ottley collection, which now constitute some of the eleven panels in the National Gallery in London. Others can also be found in the Cleveland Museum of Art,

this piece, which illustrates Simone’s care in rendering figures on a small scale on panel. The affectation of attitude and action so marked in larger productions is not apparent, and nothing can exceed the minuteness with which the hair outlines and the details of locks and beard are realised. The dresses, in strong primary harmonies, are of the best kind, and the colour, though slightly abraded in the flesh-tints, is admirably fused in verde, leaving still, however, a sense of flatness and

Florence, clinging firmly to time-honoured forms of composition and old technical methods of execution. His contemporaries and successors Ugolino, Segna, Simone Martini, the Lorenzetti, and Taddeo di Bartolo did no more in the fourteenth century than follow the wake which marked his track. They hardly improved the system which he galvanised into life. The Lorenzetti brothers, it is true, assumed and embodied some of the practice of the Florentines, infusing into their grand and admirable works

978-1-78042-805-5 AC Early Italian Painting 4C.qxp 7/26/2011 4:23 PM Page 3 Joseph Archer Crowe & Giovanni Battista Cavalcaselle Anna Jameson EARLY ITALIAN PAINTING AC Early Italian Painting 4C.qxp 7/29/2011 1:09 PM Page 4 AC Early Italian Painting 4C.qxp 7/26/2011 4:23 PM Page 5 Contents Introduction: Something about Pictures and Painters 7 Revival of Art in Siena – Fundamental Difference between Sienese and Florentine Art 19 Early Christianity and Art 27 Memoirs of the

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