WHAT WAS “REBORN” IN THE RENAISSANCE? A cultural movement arose in northern Italy in the late 14 th century to challenge the central doctrines of medieval

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  • WHAT WAS REBORN IN THE RENAISSANCE?A cultural movement arose in northern Italy in the late 14th century to challenge the central doctrines of medieval scholasticism and the conventions of medieval art. Scholars began to study ancient Greek and Hebrew as well as Latin, and to emphasize the importance of the humanities.The scholastics used Aristotle to define the one correct answer to every question, but Renaissance humanists understood that ancient authorities often quarreled with each other. Artists rediscovered the ancient love of the beauty of nature and powerful techniques to depict them.

  • Dominant powers in Italy in 1494:

    Republic of VeniceRepublic of GenoaRepublic of FlorenceDuchy of MilanPapal StatesNaples & Sicily

  • Charlemagne Window, Chartres Cathedral, c. 1225:Emperor Constantine greets Charlemagne (medieval Europeans lacked a sense of history)

  • Dante (1265-1321) and his Inferno(following the teaching of scholasticism)

  • Petrarch (1304-1374), father of humanism, and his MS. of the poetry of Virgil

  • Petrarch, On His Own Ignorance andThat of Many Others (1368)[Petrarch replies to his critics, who argue for the superiority of the study of philosophy:]I have read all of Aristotles moral books. Sometimes I have become more learned through them, but not better, not so good as I ought to be. I see virtue, and all that is peculiar to vice as well, very well defined and distinguished by him and treated with penetrating insight. When I learn all this, I know a little bit more than I knew before, but mind and will remain the same as they were, and I myself remain the same. What is the use of knowing what virtue is if it is not loved when known? What is the use of knowing sin if it is not abhorred?Petrarch argued for study of the HUMANITIES, i.e., languages, rhetoric, literature, and history. His favorite author was the great orator and statesman, Cicero.

  • Pico della Mirandola(1463-1494),fluent in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic,star of the Platonic Academy of Florence (founded by Lorenzo de Medici in 1464, led by Marsilio Ficino).Pico published his Oration on the Dignity of Man in 1486

  • Raphael, The School of Athens (Vatican, 1509)

  • Plato & Aristotle


    Pioneering artists of Florence: Giotto: 1266?--1337 Masaccio: 1401--1428 Leonardo da Vinci: 1452--1519 Michelangelo Buonarotti: 1475--1564 Raphael Sanzio: 1483--1520

    Renaissance Popes:Alexander VI (Borgia): 1492-1503Julius II (the warrior pope): 1503-1513Leo X (Medici): 1513-1521

  • A medieval Madonna and Child (by Duccio, late 13th century),painted against the gold background of heaven, situated in eternity

  • Medieval art often sought to tell stories:Simone Martini, Blessed Agostino Novello Altarpiece, Siena, 1324

  • Florence: The Palazzo Vecchio and Duomo

  • The Pantheon in Rome, built 118-128 A.D.Since then nobody had built a dome in Europe.

  • Interior of the Pantheon

  • The Dome of the Cathedral of Florence (1420-36), designed by Filippo Brunelleschi

  • Giotto, The Kiss of Judas (1305)

  • Masaccio,The Trinity(1425-28):Fresco in Santa Maria Novella, Florence

  • The vanishing point:Masaccios scheme of perspective for The Trinity

  • Leonardo da Vinci, Virgin of the Rocks (ca. 1485)

  • Map of Tuscany, drawn for Cesare Borgia by Leonardo in 1502

  • Raphael(1484-1520),The Canigiani Madonna (1507)

  • Venus de Milo (Greek marble statue of Aphrodite, ca. 100 B.C.)

  • Michelangelo, David (1504):Mascot of theRepublic of Florence

  • THE RISE AND FALL OF THE REPUBLIC OF FLORENCE13th century: pro-papal Guelphs vs. pro-German Ghibellines (exile of Dante)1378: Revolt by the proletarian wool-combers to demand inclusion in the guild system.1462-92: Effective rule by the first citizen, Lorenzo de Medici, Lorenzo the Magnificent1494: Exile of Piero de Medici and restoration of the Republic1502-09: Height of Machiavellis influence (embassy to Cesare Borgia; conquest of Pisa)1511/12: Triumphant return of the Medici & exile for Machiavelli (who then wrote The Prince)1527: Medici banished again; Republic revived1537: Medici return; Florence becomes a hereditary duchy

  • Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527):Appointed secretary to the Florentine Chancery, 1498; banished by the Medici in 1512

  • The execution of Savonarola in 1498

  • Pope Alexander VI (Borgia), reigned 1492-1503

  • Cesare Borgia (1475-1507)Portrait of a Woman (Lucrezia Borgia? 1480-1519)

  • Raphael, Portrait of Pope Julius II (1511/12):The warrior pope, nearing death

  • Medal of Pope Julius II (1506), with plan for a newSt. Peters Cathedral

    *Renaissance Italy in 1500.SOURCE: Hammond's HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE WORLD, rev. edn (Maplewood, NJ, 1987), Title of Work: The Charlemagne WindowTitle of Image: 5. Constantine greets Charlemagne at ConstantinopleDate: ca. 1225Description: The Charlemagne WindowDelaporte no. 38, Deremble-Manhes no. 7SOURCE: http://images.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/i/image/image-idx?view=entry;cc=chartres;entryid=%20x-FCW007AP0501Charlemagne (centre, identified as CAROLVS, no halo) is greeted by Constantine V (crowned, right) at Constantinople (crenellations, arched openings, a tower). Constantine has his arm around Charlemagne's shoulders. To Charlemagne's left is a bareheaded young man (Maines suggests this is Roland). Above is a cloud motif, a possible reference to the Milky Way (Maines).Delaporte notes that Charlemagne wears spurs, which he suggests signify his conquest of Jerusalem. Panels 2-7, depicting Charlemagne's Crusade to Jerusalem are most likely based on Descriptio qualiter Karolus Magnus clavum et coronam Domini a Constantinopoli Asquisgrani detulerit (see Maines).Country: FranceLocation: ChartresMonument: Cathedral of Notre-Dame*Andrea del Castagno (1423-1457), "Famous Persons: Dante Allighieri" (painted around 1450).Fresco, transferred to wood, 250 x 154 cm; Galleria degli Uffizi, FlorenceThe picture shows one of the three Tuscan poets represented in the cycle.Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) is Italy's greatest poet and also one of the towering figures in western European literature. He is best known for his monumental epic poem, La commedia, later named La divina commedia (The Divine Comedy).SOURCE: http://www.wga.hu/index1.htmlBARTOLOMEO DI FRUOSINO (Florence, 1366-1441), "Inferno" (folio from illustrated MS of THE DIVINE COMEDY 1430-35).Manuscript (Ms. it. 74), 365 x 265 mm; Bibliothque Nationale, ParisThe codex in Paris contains the text of the Inferno, the first of three books of the Divine Comedy, the masterpiece of the Florentine poet Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). The codex begins with two full-page illuminations. On folio 1v Dante and Virgil stand within the doorway of Hell at the upper left and observe its nine different zones. Dante and Virgil are to wade through successive circles teeming with images of the damned. The gates of Hell appear in the middle, a scarlet row of open sarcophagi before them. Devils orchestrate the movements of the wretched souls.SOURCE: http://www.wga.hu/index1.html*Miniature portrait of Petrarch, c. 1463 Manuscript (Plut. 141. 1.); Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, FlorenceThe manuscript was copied in Siena in 1463. The decoration includes illuminated initials. The full-page portraits of Petrarch and Laura on the two pages preceding the text are not contemporary with the manuscript, they were added a few years later.Folio VIIIv contains the portrait of Petrarch.SOURCE: http://www.wga.hu/index1.htmlSIMONE MARTINI (b. 1280/85, Siena, d. 1344, Avignon), Petrarch's VIRGIL (title page), c. 1336Manuscript (S.P. Arm. 10), 295 x 200 mm; Biblioteca Ambrosiana, MilanThanks to Petrarch's sonnets we know that the poet and the painter became very good friends. Simone must undoubtedly have been influenced by the proto-Humanist cultural world of Petrarch, and we can see clearly how the manuscript illumination of Petrarch's Virgil in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan (folio 1v), with its classical and naturalistic overtones (sophisticated gestures, white cloth drapery, the delicate figures of the shepherd and the peasant), anticipates the typical style of early 15th-century French manuscript illumination.SOURCE: http://www.wga.hu/index1.htmlBy Patrick HuntFrancesco Petrarchs (1304-74) father Ser Petracco reputed to have known Dante commissioned a copy of Virgils poetry (Publius Vergilius Maro) when the poet was young and this work formed a singular part of Petrarchs peerless library. [1] This manuscript was so special to him that he had his visiting Sienese painter friend Simone Martini (1284-1344) paint the frontispiece with various scenes around 1336, while both lived in Avignon. [2] In friendship Petrarch also references Simone Martini in his Sonnet 77. This most famous painting, Petrarchs Virgil frontispiece, includes the imagined figure of Virgil himself writing: alma poetas, one of Petrarchs dear poets in Petrarchs two couplets. The connected vignettes below the figure of laurel-wreathed Virgil in Martinis frontispiece are mostly from the Georgics, including a shepherd shearing his sheep at lower right, likely alluding to Georgics 3.287-310 ff & 384-91. But it would not have been lost on the literary Petrarch how Virgil opens this passage:But meanwhile time is flying, flying beyond recallenough this for the herds; there remains the second part of my task, to tend the fleecy flocksHere is toil, hence hope for fameand well I know how hard it is to win with words a triumph herein, and thus to crown with glory a lowly theme.That this bucolic task was connected to time and the passing seasons and to Virgils task of writing comes through loud and clear. That this image is on the frontispiece must have been important to Petrarch whose literary aspirations were also tied to his perceptions and love of Virgil.Perhaps more important for this article, at the bottom left of this frontispiece is a winter scene of a rustic peasant pruning the grapevines. The bottom Latin couplet mentions, among other themes like the shepherd (in pastoribus), the fascinating phrase, archanes maronis, secrets of Maro that Petrarch felt privileged to understand.[Commentary from http://www.electrummagazine.com/2013/01/petrarchs-virgil-simone-martinis-frontispiece-examined/]*SOURCE: Ernst Cassirer and Paul Oskar Kristeller, eds, The Renaissance Philosophy of Man (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948), p. 103.*Portrait of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494), Uffizi Gallery, FlorenceSOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pico1.jpg**RAFFAELLO Sanzio(b. 1483, Urbino, d. 1520, Roma)

    The School of Athens1509Fresco, width at the base 770 cmStanza della Segnatura, Palazzi Pontifici, VaticanSOURCE: http://www.wga.hu/

    The School of Athens is a depiction of philosophy. The scene takes place in classical times, as both the architecture and the garments indicate. Figures representing each subject that must be mastered in order to hold a true philosophic debate - astronomy, geometry, arithmetic, and solid geometry - are depicted in concrete form. The arbiters of this rule, the main figures, Plato and Aristotle, are shown in the centre, engaged in such a dialogue.

    The School of Athens represents the truth acquired through reason. Raphael does not entrust his illustration to allegorical figures, as was customary in the 14th and 15th centuries. Rather, he groups the solemn figures of thinkers and philosophers together in a large, grandiose architectural framework. This framework is characterized by a high dome, a vault with lacunar ceiling and pilasters. It is probably inspired by late Roman architecture or - as most critics believe - by Bramante's project for the new St Peter's which is itself a symbol of the synthesis of pagan and Christian philosophies.

    The figures who dominate the composition do not crowd the environment, nor are they suffocated by it. Rather, they underline the breadth and depth of the architectural structures. The protagonists - Plato, represented with a white beard (some people identify this solemn old man with Leonardo da Vinci) and Aristotle - are both characterized by a precise and meaningful pose. Raphael's descriptive capacity, in contrast to that visible in the allegories of earlier painters, is such that the figures do not pay homage to, or group around the symbols of knowledge; they do not form a parade. They move, act, teach, discuss and become excited.

    The painting celebrates classical thought, but it is also dedicated to the liberal arts, symbolized by the statues of Apollo and Minerva. Grammar, Arithmetic and Music are personified by figures located in the foreground, at left. Geometry and Astronomy are personified by the figures in the foreground, at right. Behind them stand characters representing Rhetoric and Dialectic. Some of the ancient philosophers bear the features of Raphael's contemporaries. Bramante is shown as Euclid (in the foreground, at right, leaning over a tablet and holding a compass). Leonardo is, as we said, probably shown as Plato. Francesco Maria Della Rovere appears once again near Bramante, dressed in white. Michelangelo, sitting on the stairs and leaning on a block of marble, is represented as Heraclitus. A close examination of the intonaco shows that Heraclitus was the last figure painted when the fresco was completed, in 1511. The allusion to Michelangelo is probably a gesture of homage to the artist, who had recently unveiled the frescoes of the Sistine Ceiling. Raphael - at the extreme right, with a dark hat - and his friend, Sodoma, are also present (they exemplify the glorification of the fine arts and they are posed on the same level as the liberal arts).

    The fresco achieved immediate success. Its beauty and its thematic unity were universally accepted. The enthusiasm with which it was received was not marred by reservations, as was the public reaction to the Sistine Ceiling.Duccio di Buoninsegna (b. ca. 1255, Siena, d. 1319, Siena,"Maest" (1288-1300); Tempera on wood, 31,5 x 22,5 cm; Kunstmuseum, BernSOURCE: http://www.wga.hu/A feeling of tenderness permeates the radiant Madonna of Bern, where the Virgin and Child are portrayed in a loving embrace. The gesture of intimate affection is taken from Byzantine iconography, from the motif of the Glykophilousa, in which Mary, with a presentiment of the sad future, clasps the Infant Jesus urgently to her breast. A closer reference can be seen in the Madonna in Bologna on which Duccio worked as an assistant of Cimabue, but its size and the barely indicated gesture greatly reduce the sense of intimate tenderness. The typology of the throne, decorated with Cosmati-like inlays and already experimented in several variations in the window of the apse, follows the lines of Gothic architecture, while the characteristic curling edge of Mary's dress evens out into a smooth gilt border.**SIMONE MARTINI (1280?1344), Blessed Agostino, Novello Altarpiece, painted in 1324, tempera on wood; Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena.SOURCE: http://www.wga.hu/Agostino Novello was a Sicilian born in the early 13th century who became a learned lawyer, was then disil...


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