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  • Early Renaissance
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  • What was the Renaissance? Period following the middle ages (1450- 1550) Rebirth of classical Greece and Rome Began in Italy Moved to northern Europe
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  • Objectives During the middle ages Finding God in all things Proving pre-conceived ideas such as Reason, Truth, Faith, Beauty, etc. During the Renaissance Finding man (Homo Mensura) Promote learning / study
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  • "The Renaissance gave birth to the modern era, in that it was in this era that human beings first began to think of themselves as individuals. In the early Middle Ages, people had been happy to see themselves simply as parts of a greater whole for example, as members of a great family, trade guild, nation, or Church. This communal consciousness of the Middle Ages gradually gave way to the individual consciousness of the Renaissance." McGrath, Alister, In the Beginning, Anchor Books (2001), p.38.
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  • Humanism Pursuit of individualism Recognition that humans are creative Appreciation of art as a product of man Man of culture = Man of art (artisan) Life could be enjoyable Love of the classical past (antiquities, especially Greek and Roman)
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  • "When a mural or altarpiece came to be judged not for its pious effulgence and fitness for the spot in need of decoration, but instead for what we now call its aesthetic merit, art for art's sake was just below the horizon. Aesthetic appreciation is something more than spontaneous liking; a good eye for accurate representation is not enough; one must be able to judge and talk about style, technique, and originality." Barzun, Jacques, From Dawn to Decadence, Perennial, 2000, p70.
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  • Causes of the Renaissance Lessening of feudalism Church disrespected Nobility in chaos Growth of Middle Class through trade Fall of Constantinople Greek scholars fled to Italy Education flourishing (continuing the trend of establishing universities, such as University of Bologna, 1088; University of Modena, 1175; University of Arezzo, 1215; University of Padua, 1222; University of Naples Federico II, 1224; University of Siena, 1240) Nostalgia among the Italians to recapture the glory of the Holy Roman Empire
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  • Italian Background Major city centers Venice: Republic ruled by oligarchy, Byzantine origins Milan: Visconti and Sforza families Florence (Tuscany): Republic ruled by the Medici Papal States: Ruled by the Pope Kingdom of Naples: King of Aragon
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  • Italian Background Florence Medici'sfamily of physicians Along with other families of Italy, such as the Visconti and Sforza of Milan, the Este of Ferrara, and the Gonzaga of Mantua, Famiglia de' Medici fostered and inspired the birth of the Italian Renaissance Founding the Medici Bank. Financed wool trade Became de facto rulers of Florence
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  • Italian Background Csimo di Giovanni degli Mdici (1389 1464) Advancing arts and education Piero di Cosimo de' Medici (1416 1469) c ontinued fathers artistic support Lorenzo de Medici (1449 1492) Diplomat, politician and patron of scholars, artists, and poets. Friend of Michelangelo Rebuilt University of Pisa Continued to invite scholars to Florence
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  • Italian Background Piero de Medici (1472 1503) Forced to make military and commercial concessions to King of France Medicis forced out of the city Girolamo Savonarola (1452 1498) Dominican Friar who decried money, power Preaching vehemently against the moral corruption of much of the clergy at the time Gained power in lower class, but lost popes support Excommunicated and hung
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  • Pico della Mirandola (1463 1494) Close friend of Lorenzo Medici Brilliant and well educated Wrote a set of 900 theses to cover all knowledge Believed human learning was based on basic truths Wrote On Dignity of Man (1486)
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  • Desiderius Erasmus (1466 1536) Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, and theologian. Studied ancient languages Translated New Testament Criticized Martin Luther Free Will and Hyperaspistes In Praise of Folly (1509) Major work Written in classical style Discoursed on the foolishness and misguided pompousness of the world
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  • There are also those who think that there is nothing that they cannot obtain by relying on the magical prayers and charms thought up by some charlatan for the sake of his soul or for profit. Among the things they want are: wealth, honor, pleasure, plenty, perpetual good health, long life, a vigorous old age, and finally, a place next to Christ in heaven. However, they do not want that place until the last possible second; heavenly pleasures may come only when the pleasures of this life, hung onto with all possible tenacity, must finally depart. I can see some businessman, soldier, or judge taking one small coin from all his money and thinking that it will be proper expiation for all his perjury, lust, drunkenness, fighting, murder, fraud, lying and treachery. After doing this, he thinks he can start a new round of sinning with a new slate. Erasmus in Praise of Folly
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  • Early Renaissance Sculpture
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  • Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378 1455) Sculpture competition with Filippo Brunelleschi (1377 - 1446) Gates of Paradise
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  • Sacrifice of Isaac Panels Brunelleschi Ghiberti
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  • Donato di Niccol di Betto Bardi / Donatello (1386 1466) David Saint George Mary Magdalene
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  • Early Renaissance Architecture
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  • Filippo Brunelleschi Founded Renaissance style Simple lines Substantial walls Structural elements not hidden
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  • Filippo Brunelleschi Il Duomo Cathedrals dome (Florence)
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  • Filippo Brunelleschi Commissioned to build the cathedral dome Use unique architectural concepts Studied Pantheon Used ribs for support Structural elements have been copied on other buildings
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  • Il Duomo St. Peters St. Pauls US capital (Florence) (Rome) (London) Dome Comparison
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  • "An innovator in countless other areas [besides the building of the dome of the Cathedral in Florence,] he [Filippo Brunelleschi] had also received, in 1421, the world's first ever patent for invention...for 'some machine or kind of ship, by means of which he thinks he can easily, at any time, bring in any merchandise and load on the river Arno and on any other river or water, for less money than usual.' Until this point no patent system existed to prevent an inventor's designs from being stolen and copied by others. This is the reason why ciphers were so widely used by scientists and also why Filippo was so reluctant to share the secrets of his inventions with others... The patent for invention was designed to remedy this situation... According to the terms of the patent, any boat copying its design, and thereby violating Filippo's monopoly, would be condemned to flames." King, Ross, Brunelleschi's Dome, Penguin Books, 2000, p. 112.
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  • Filippo Brunelleschi Pazzi Palace Chapel Compare to Gothic
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  • Early Renaissance Art What was different in the Renaissance: Realism Perspective Classical (pagan) themes Geometrical arrangement of figures + mathematical analysis Light and shadowing (chiaroscuro) Softening of edges (sfumato) Backgrounds Artist able to live from commissions (given by patron of the cities)
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  • Masaccio (1401 1428) Realism and expression The Expulsion from Paradise
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  • Masaccio Perspective Tribute Money: fresco in the Brancacci Chapel in Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence Size of people diminishes with distance Use of light, shadow and drama
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  • Masaccio Perspective (cont.) The Holy Trinity with the Virgin and St. John Geometry: three- dimensionality like; the first painting using systematic linear perspective*). Inscription: What you are, I once was; what I am, you will become.
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  • Perspective
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  • "The grand innovation that made Renaissance painters certain that theirs was the only right path for art was the laws of perspective. The discovery made them as proud as the men of letters after their discovery of the true path. For some Nature had been rediscovered; for the others, civilization had been restored. Perspective is based on the fact that we have two eyes. We therefore see objects as defined by two lines of sight that converge at a distance, the painter's 'vanishing point' on the horizon. Since those two lines form an acute angle, plane geometry can show the size and place that an object at any distance must be given to the painting to make it appear as if it looks in life... Hence the statement in an early Renaissance treatise that paining consists of three parts: drawing, measurement, and color. One of the uses of color is to create 'aerial perspective.' A light blue-gray makes distant objects in the painting look hazy, as they appear to the eye owing to the thickness of the atmosphere. Combined, the two perspectives create he illusion of depth, the three- dimensional 'reality' on a flat surface." Barzun, Jacques, From


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