Renaissance Art

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Renaissance Art
What was the Renaissance?
- Began around 1350 in Italy - French word that means "rebirth." - A revival of classical forms originally developed by ancient Greeks and Romans; concerned with secular lifeā€”interest in humanism and assertion of the importance of the individual (Humanists).
The top four Breakthroughs in art skills during the Renaissance:
- Oil on Canvas - Perspective - Chiaroscuro - Pyramid Configuration
New Techniques
1. Realism & Expression 2. Perspective 3. Classicism 4. Emphasis on Individualism 5. Geometrical Arrangement of Figures 6. Light & Shadowing/Softening Edges
1. Realism & Expression
i) Showing scenes as they actually appear ii) Expression is different depending on the individual and the scene Left: 'Christ Pantocrator', Byzantine Mosaic (6th century) Right: 'Christ Blessing' by Antonello da Messina (1465)
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2. Perspective
i) A graphic system that creates the illusion of depth and volume on two-dimensional surfaces Example: 'The Trinity' by Masaccio (1427)
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3. Classicism
i) Greek and Roman influence where perfect proportion is the ideal ii) Secularism: Without religious influence Humanism: Emphasizes reason and human fulfillment Example: Venus de' Medici/The Classical Pose
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4. Emphasis on Individualism

i) Highlighting specific characteristics to show how one subject is unique from another

Painting: 'The Duke & Duchess of Urbino' by Piero della Francesca (1465-1466)

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5. Geometrical Arrangement of Figures
i) The arrangement of figures to form geometric shapes Painting: 'The Dreyfus Madonna with the Pomegranate' by Leonardo da Vinci (1469)
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6. Light & Shadowing/Softening Edges
i) Chiaroscuro: The use of extreme contrast between light and dark to create a dramatic effect ii) Sfumato: The blurring or softening of sharp outlines by gradually blending one tone into another Painting: 'Ginevra de' Benci' by Leonardo da Vinci (1474-1478)
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Early Renaissance Artists
1. Masaccio (1401-1428) 2. Donatello (1386-1466) 3. Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) 4. Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) 5. Raphael Sanzio (1483-1520) 6. Michelangelo (1475-1564)
Masaccio (1401-1428)
- His frescoes are the earliest monuments of Humanism - One of the first to use perspective - All of his works are religious in natureā€”altarpieces or church frescoes Painting: Trinity (1425-1428)
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Donatello (1386-1466)
- Recaptured the central discovery of Classical sculpture - Contrapossto - Inspired by ancient visual examples Paintings: Mary Magdalene, c.1453- 1455, Wood - Emphasizes her physical and mental anguish and also her strength and determination - Recognized for the astonishing realism David, circa 1435-1440, Bronze - David is shown standing and resting his foot resting on the severed head of Goliath. - Victorious attitude
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Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510)
- Decorative linear style - Influence of Byzantine Art - Biblical Subject Matter Paintings: The Birth of Venus c. 1485 - Symbol of the coming spring - Her depiction as a nude is noteworthy in itself, given because during Renaissance period rarely were nudes ever painted mostly themes of Christianity
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Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519)
- A scientist, inventor, and an artist - Considered one of the greatest painters of the Italian Renaissance Paintings: Mona Lisa, 1506 The Last Supper, 1498, Fresco - Disciples are all displaying very human, identifiable emotions - Every single element of the painting directs one's attention straight to the midpoint of the composition, Christ's head.
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Raphael Sanzio (1483-1520)
- Expressed all qualities of High Renaissance art and the use of light and shadow Paintings: The School of Athens, 1511 - Subject matter is classical - Painting depicts philosophers from the ancient world, such as Plato, Aristotle and Socrates assembled in the center - Figures have idealized bodies, graceful gestures and a beautiful spacious environment
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Michelangelo (1475-1564)
- Architect, sculptor, painter, poet and engineer - Carved his sculptures from one block - Pieta means pity - Pyramid configuration Examples: David, marble, 1501-1504 - "Triumphant David" in that he shows him after he has already killed Goliath and his foot rests upon the giant's severed head. - Contrapposto pose
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Renaissance Portraits with a Modern Twist
Alan Macdonald (b. 1962) - His portraits are in the Renaissance style however, emphasize a sense of consumerism (the void in our lives we are trying to fill on a superficial level)
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