Link to EARLY RENAISSANCE
Link to HIGH RENAISSANCE
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THE “RENAISSANCE”

The word means "rebirth". It actually refers to the renewed interest in uncovering and rediscovering the great "classical" thinkers, writers, philosophers, artists, etc. from the Ancient World (Greece and Rome). When this term is used in the context of the "art history", it refers specifically to the rebirth in the great achievements / culture from classical antiquity.

That said, the word "Renaissance" can be used in relation to the non-Italian regions (commonly referred to as being "Northern Europe"); however, these regions did not share the same interest / obsession with classical antiquity. Instead, the artists in these non-Italian areas turned their focus towards the details in everyday life / the common, everyday world in which they lived. Call it a "renaissance" if you will, these artists revived and innovated an unprecedented manner of representing, using the medium of oil paint, the textures, colors, and settings that surrounded them.

ITALIAN RENAISSANCE

STAGES:
Giorgio Vasari describes the Renaissance as being of a pyramidal form; as time progresses, so too does art continue to develop / mature. According to Vasari, art culminates in the exceptional masterpieces created in the High Renaissance. At the apex of this "Renaissance pyramid", Vasari points namely to the individual in whom he feels represents the genius that defines the age -- that individual being the great Michelangelo.
  1. Infancy: 1200-1400 (aka Proto Renaissance, )
  2. Adolescence: 1400-1500 (aka Early Renaissance)
  3. Maturity: 1500 - 1520 (aka High Renaissance)

For the purposes of this class, I would like to simply divide the Italian Renaissance into two stages (Early and High). While the Early Renaissance artists concerned themselves with the innovation of concepts and constructs such as: linear perspective, atmospheric perspective, pyramidal compositions, solid rendering of form using light and shadow, etc. -- it is the the artists of the High Renaissance who...
  1. fully utilized / realized these ideals / concepts,
  2. perfected their own skills with the innovative medium of oil painting,
  3. and fully married / incorporated the knowledge, history, and literature of the past in a manner which communicated powerfully the voices, agendas, and sentiment of those who commissioned work from them.

EARLY RENAISSANCE

Artists of the Early Renaissance (some listed with respect to their primary region of work)...
During the Early Renaissance, it was Florence that proved to be the center for artists. Patronage derived primarily from the wealthy Medici family, but also extended from the rising prominence gained by the middle class merchants.

SETTING THE SCENE (key events, figures, historical backdrop)

  • Italy (geographical position / trade routes)
  • Sub-divisions / regions within Italy
  • Bubonic Plague
  • Great Schism (Avignon Papacy)
  • Important figures
  • Being an artist at this time
    1. Names of artists
    2. Guilds
    3. Patronage
    4. Training
  • Florence – the extreme importance of this Republic

TRANSITIONAL WORKS

  • PISANO
  • BERLINGHIERI
  • CIMABUE

REGIONS (of the Early Italian Renaissance)

PADUA
  • GIOTTO
SIENA
  • DUCCIO
  • SIMONE MARTINI
  • LORENZETTI BROTHERS (Pietro and Ambrogio)
FLORENCE
  • FRANCESCO TRAINI
  • DONATELLO
  • MASACCIO
  • BRUNELLESCHI
  • GHIBERTI
  • BOTICELLI

HIGH RENAISSANCE

The "Artists as Genius"... the notable artists of the High Renaissance...
During the High Renaissance (1500-1520), artistic leadership shifted; spreading from Florence to Rome & Venice.
  • MICHELANGELO

  • RAPHAEL

  • LEONARDO


HIGH RENAISSANCE IN VENICE

  • GIOVANNI BELLINI

  • GIORGIONE (da Castelfranco)

  • TITIAN

  • TINTORETTO

  • VERONESE

  • LORENZO LOTTO


NORTHERN RENAISSANCE

First-generation Flemish: ca. 1400-1450

Note: Northern Renaissance is synonymous with Northern Europe
  • ROBERT CAMPIN

  • JAN VAN EYCK

  • ROGIER VAN DER WEYDEN

Second-generation Flemish: ca. 1450-1500

Shared same concerns with predecessors (oil paints used for naturalism), often, although not always, of traditional subjects for installations in churches.
  • PETRUS CHRISTUS

  • DIRK BOUTS

  • HUGO VAN DER GOES


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