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RU / ARHS / ARH 03104 / What is the definition of proto-renaissance?

What is the definition of proto-renaissance?

What is the definition of proto-renaissance?


School: Rowan University
Department: ARHS
Course: Art History Survey II: Renaissance to Modern
Professor: Fred adelson
Term: Spring 2019
Tags: Art, ArtHistory, Proto-Renaissance, EarlyFlemishRenaissance, and EarlyItalianRenaissance
Cost: 50
Name: Art History Survey II - Exam 1 Study Guide
Description: Proto-Renaissance, Early Flemish Renaissance, and Early Italian Renaissance notes with highlighted items on what to focus on for the exam as explained in class
Uploaded: 02/21/2019
21 Pages 40 Views 2 Unlocks

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Approximately 8 images shown and identify important terms

What is the definition of proto-renaissance?

Will get approximately 3 ½ minutes for each image

Focus on:

- Artist 

- Title 

- Period/Century (style) 

- 2 Facts/ Significant remarks, No descriptions of the artwork

- Things to keep in mind 


❖ Important cities:

➢ Siena \

 > Both of these cities became the center of the Proto-Renaissance development ➢ Florence /

➢ Ravenna = Important Byzantine stronghold housing beautiful churches, Allows for the influence of the East into Italy We also discuss several other topics like What is the meaning of voting procedures?

➢ Avignon, France = In the early 1300s, the Pope moved the Vatican here All Proto-Renaissance painters used egg tempera! 

What is the meaning of cimabue?

❖ Cimabue -> Means to remove horns from oxen, Florence

➢ Virgin and Child Enthroned, ~1280 We also discuss several other topics like What is the difference between gentrification and white flight?

➢ Inspired by icon/panel paintings from the Byzantine Empire

■ Mostly used to inspire prayer

■ Brought back painting on wood panel tradition

➢ The Virgin Mary is gesturing towards Christ who has a blessing Don't forget about the age old question of What is the definition of dividends?

gesture with his hands

■ They’re symmetrically surrounded by angels and both have

golden halos

➢ Mary wear a blue outer garment > represents the heavens/sky + a

red undergarment > represents/foreshadows blood and fate of

Who paints the virgin and child enthroned?

Don't forget about the age old question of What causes ice ages?

Christ child

❖ Duccio, From Siena, had a studio with assistants Don't forget about the age old question of What is the manipulated variable?

➢ The Maesta Altarpiece or Virgin and Child in 

Majesty ~1308-1311 

➢ Painted for the cathedral in Siena Don't forget about the age old question of What type of content works best on twitter type platforms?

➢ Originally included scenes from Jesus’ and

Mary’s lives surrounding this piece

➢ Remained in the cathedral until the early

1500s, when removed the back was cut off from the

front and scenes were sold off

➢ Duccio’s signature at the bottom of the throne

is in the style of a prayer

❖ Giotto, a student of Cimabue, worked in Florence, maybe used




➢ Virgin and Child Enthroned ~1305-1310 

■ Panel painting meant as an altar decoration

■ Gives a Florentine aesthetic by creating illusions of marble

■ Differences from previous painters:

● Mary appears to wear a softer fabric

● Emphasis on 3Dimensional form > Makes Mary look plus

size compared to thin/skinny

● Mary’s head is straight and not tilted/angled

➢ Scrovegni Chapel aka “The Arena Chapel” > used to be used

as a recreational center, consecrated 1305 

■ Scrovegni family was a ‘loan shark’ type of business, so they were wealthy enough to commission Giotto

● Enrico Scrovegni (the son) commissioned Giotto

■ Giotto frescoed the interior with scenes from the lives of Jesus, Mary, and Mary’s Parents

● Fresco = applying water-based paint onto not fully dry plaster, the plaster will absorb the paint

■ The floor design has the star of David > represents Old Testament = Foundation

■ The Ressurrection of Lazarus 1305 

● Blue Background with trees > Life represented

● Christ commands Lazarus to rise from the


● Christ wear blue + red, Lazarus is wrapped up

● Figures on the right are gagging > Lazarus


■ The Kiss of Judas 1305 

● A contrast in faces > good vs. evil

● Creates atmosphere by overlapping heads

■ The Lamentation 1305 

● The moment right before Christ is placed

into the tomb

● Both humans and angels are grieving

● All the trees’ leaves are gone

● The landscape leads the eye to the subject in

the bottom left

● Mary is giving Christ a final kiss before his


❖ Martini and Memmi in Siena

➢ Annuciation and Saints altarpiece; early 1330s 

➢ Displays the Annunciation scene of Mary

➢ Combines both traditions from Siena and


■ Mocking a marble pattern on the floor

■ Uses the Byzantine portrayal of Mary

➢ Mary usually is seen having two types of


■ Recoils back in surprise

■ Holds her arms to her chest in relief or


❖ The San Giovanni Baptistry (The Saint John Baptistry)

➢ From the Middle Ages, an octagonal structure

that was considered Romanesque

➢ A rule that one couldn’t worship in the main

cathedral without being baptized

■ Florentines believed they weren’t really

Florentine without being baptized here

➢ Andrea Pisano was commissioned to create the

doors in the 1330s 

■ Cast bronze doors with 28 scenes

depicting moments in Saint John the

Baptist’s life, raised surfaces were

covered in gold leaf

■ Each scene is framed by a four lobe

design > represents Matthew, Mark,

Luke, and John > Aka The Gospels

❖ Lorenzetti, commissioned by the cathedral in Siena

➢ Was a student of Duccio

➢ Birth of the Virgin 1335 - 1342, done on wood panel

■ The subject is Saint Anne giving birth of Mary the Virgin

■ Creates the illusion of 3 Dimensionality with the 2 rooms

■ The washing of Mary in foreground > anticipates the

eventual baptism

■ Anne is ‘Giotto-like’ > voluptuous portrayal

■ One servant has a decanter of wine and a loaf of bread >

symbolism for the sacrifice of Jesus



❖ Orcagna (Andrea di Cione)

➢ Enthroned Christ With Saints, or The Strozzi 

Altarpiece, 1354 - 1357 

■ Made for a church in Florence, commissioned by

the wealthy Strozzi family as a donation

■ The subject is Christ > represents his power and

presence, ‘taking back the patriarchy’

■ Regression of the arts to a male spiritual


Early Flemish Renaissance = 1400s 

❖ Flanders = country, Flemish = culture

➢ Very wealthy nation in the 15th century through textiles and banking ➢ Flemish artists include meticulous amounts of details


■ Used linseed or walnut oil as the binder > more transparent > colors more vibrant compared to egg tempera since no egg yolk color affects it!

❖ Workshop of Robert Campin 

➢ Merode Altarpiece, 1425 -1430 

■ The last family to own this was the Merode family as a home altar

■ 3-panel painting with hinges = Triptych

● 2-panel = Diptych

● Multiple Panels = Polyptych

■ The main subject is the Enunciation

● Mary’s reading and isn’t aware of the angel’s presence, an idea he

just flew in > window open, candle extinguished, etc

● Presents Mary as an ordinary homemaker in a Flemish home

■ Avoids the use of gold and no halos > less Byzantine

■ Suggests that Mary puts down the Old Testament and picked up the New one

■ Highly polished brass kettle > represents Mary’s womb

■ Left panel = donor panel > portrait of the people who commissioned this piece

● Believed that the guard is a self-portrait

■ Right panel show Joseph with 15th-century carpenter tools

● The wood board with hole > used for wine > blood of Christ

● Mouse traps > Christ is put on Earth as a mouse trap for the devil,

very representational

❖ Jan van Eyck 

➢ The Annunciation 1434 - 1436 

■ Single panel painting believed to be a part of a triptych

or diptych

■ Illogical since the scene takes place inside a church >

Christianity doesn’t exist yet!

■ Words spoken, Mary’s are upside down so God can

read them

➢ Ghent Altarpiece, was done with his brother Hubert, ~1432 

■ Polyptych piece made for a church in Ghent

■ Jan = painting, Hubert = Framing

■ Outside = Annunciation on top, bottom figures are believed to be the donors showing great devotion and the statues are Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist

■ Inside

● Top center = God, Left = Mary, Right = Saint John

● Bottom center = lamb bleeding into a chalice, holy spirit on top, a

chorus of angels whose mouths suggest different notes

● Upper left and right = Adam and Eve after she eats the apple

(Inside) (Outside)

➢ Double Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and 

His Wife, 1434 

■ Signed and dated in Latin > ‘Jan

Van Eyck was here’

■ Represents the wedding ceremony

of this Italian fabric merchant

● Commission of the

exchange of marital vows

● Taking place in a bedroom,

Van Eyck and the viewer

are a witness to their vows!

■ Bride = closer to the bed >

domestic, Giovanni = closer to the

window > outside world/business

■ Bride’s gown is lined with fur

associated with royalty

■ Not wearing shoes = a sign of

respect toward God

■ Dog in the lower center > represents

marriage fidelity and faithfulness

■ Saint Margaret is carved into the bedpost overlooking the bed ■ The mirror is embellished with scenes from the life of Christ around it

➢ Man in a Red Turban, 1433 

■ Very likely a self-portrait since the figure is

looking out at the audience

■ Turban also suggests it’s a self- portrait

■ The frame has the description (usually don’t sign

the frame)> ‘Van Eyck made me’ and at the top

‘As best as I could do’

❖ Rogier van der Weyden 

➢ Studied with Robert Campin

➢ Deposition, 1435 - 1438 

■ Depicts taking Christ off the cross

and depositing him into the tomb

■ Skull and bone > represents the city

Golgotha > the site of the Crucifixion,

also a reference to the cross being

made from the tree that marked

Adam’s grave

■ Mary depicted as she fainted from

being overwhelmed by the death of

her son

➢ St. Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child, 1435 - 1440 

■ Depicts Mary, Christ child, and Saint Luke

the Evangelist

■ Saint Luke is drawing the Mary and the

Christ child

■ Based on Byzantine legend that Mary and

the Christ child had a miraculous

appearance with Luke so that he could then

record it and pass his authentic witness onto

his Christian followers

➢ Crucifixion with Mourning Virgin and St. 

John, 1450 - 1455 

■ Diptych but appears like one

continuous scene

■ Right = Crucifixion, Left = Mary

collapsing and Saint John the

Evangelist is aiding her

■ 1455 = Jubilee year > van der Weyden

most likely visited certain areas in Italy

and influenced with oil paints

➢ Portrait of a Lady, 1455 

■ Unidentified subject but incredibly detailed

■ Subject adverts eye contact with the audience to

show the submissive role women play in society

❖ Hugo van der Goes 

➢ Portinari Altarpiece (open)—Adoration of the Shepherds, 1474 - 1476 ■ Donor panels > left panel = husband, right panel = wife

■ Commissioned by Portinari so he could send it back to his hometown, Florence

■ Was installed in a hospital chapel in 1483> allowed Italian artists with the opportunity to see the benefits of oil paints

■ Center = Admiration of the Shepherd

● Shepherd’s responses = devotion, acceptance, and complete awe

and amazement

■ Atmospheric perspective > background becomes blue/gray

■ Everything in the foreground has meaning/ symbolism :

● Wheat > represents the body of Christ

● Violets > represents humility

● Columbine flowers > foreshadows Christ’s fate

● Doorway in background > suggesting Jesus is a descendant from

the House of David

● Iris > associated with Mary’s sorrows/ emotional suffering

● Grapes > wine > blood of Christ

❖ Hieronymous Bosch 

➢ Garden of Earthly Delights, 1505-1515 

■ Triptych that reads left to right as a story, uses atmospheric perspective ■ No one knows who commissioned it, proposed that it was possibly an alchemist

■ Left panel = Adam and Eve > Creation Scene

● Suggests the exoticness of paradise

◆ Ex. elephants, unicorns, etc

● Eve looks like she was just recently created

■ Center panel = Earthly Realm

● ‘Go Forth and Multiply’ God told Adam and Eve (haha)

● Includes both white and black figures

● Frolicking and fornicating > ‘central joys of humanity’

■ Right panel = Hell

● The only nighttime scene in the piece

● Possible ultimate message = sensual pleasures have a price

● Someone crucified on a harp, knife through ears, trapped inside a

drum, etc

● Distinguished face >> Satan? Artist?

■ Overall a bunch of wacky stuff

Early Italian Renaissance: 1400-1495 

❖ The key art center city = Florence, Italy > Wealthiest city in 15th century Europe > Such a comeback from the Black Plague

❖ Santa Maria del Fiore (known as the Duomo—House of God)

➢ Main cathedral of Florence

➢ Gothic style cathedral

❖ Saint John Baptistry wanted a new set of door > created a competition to pick the artist ➢ 7 artists entered but only 2 survived the competition

➢ All were required to have a quatrefoil and be a scene from the sacrifice of Isaac ➢ Brunelleschi, Sacrifice of Isaac (competition panel), 1401-02 

■ Angel touches Abraham’s arm

■ Animal to be sacrificed is next to Abraham

■ Issac is centered

➢ Ghiberti, Sacrifice of Isaac (competition panel), 1401-02 


■ Angel swooping in, Abraham centered

■ Isaac is looking up at the angel

■ Animal is on the far left

■ Very progressive for the committee to choose this piece >> Isaac displays contrapposto

Left = Brunelleschi Right = Ghiberti

➢ Pisano’s original doors were moved to the south entrance (now in a museum) ➢ Ghiberti doors were very similar to Pisano’s visually > except its scenes from the life of Christ

■ They were installed in 1423

❖ Orsanmichele 

➢ Originally designed as a grain hall in caution of a famine > then consecrated into a church which is located between the town hall and the cathedral

➢ Paid by the guilds in Florence = sort of like


➢ Nanni di Banco, The Four Crowned 

Martyrs, 1409-17, marble

■ Paid by the woodworkers and stone

cutters guild > represented on the


■ Di Banco died a few days after the


■ The 4 figures feel very Romanesque

>> contrapposto

■ Di Banco had a great understanding

of the use of light

■ The subject = 4 Christian sculptors

who refused to make a Pagan idol >

so they were put to death

❖ Donato di Niccolo de Betto di Bardi called Donatello 

➢ St. George, 1415-17, marble

■ Commissioned by the armors and swordsmith


● Explains the large shield > ‘defender

of Christian faith’

■ Located outside of the Orsanmichele, looking

over a sidewalk as if defending the church

■ Underneath is a relief of an important scene

of Saint George

● He killed a dragon that was harming a

Pagan city

● Pagans were sacrificing children to

appease the dragon

● Saint George was Christian though >

but still decides to save the city and

the last child which was the princess

● Saint George converts the city to Christianity

➢ Feast of Herod, 1423-27 

■ A cast bronze panel Donatello did

while working on a Baptismal

fountain in a church in Siena with


■ This is the most celebrated/popular

panel > his first bronze casting

■ Story = Saint John the Baptist was

beheaded and his head is being

presented on a platter to King Herod

● Herod is ‘disgusted’ > feigned

ignorance so he could see his

stepdaughter dance

● SHE said she would only

dance if she saw the head of Saint John who spoke out against her for something about incest

■ This is the first relief to use linear one-point perspective!

● Orthogonal = lines perpendicular to the picture plane receding in the distance to the vanishing point

● This was invented by Brunelleschi! After losing the competition, he went to Rome and became infatuated with the Pantheon and

came up with a linear one-point perspective

◆ He then goes back to Florence as an architect > joins an art

circle with Donatello and Ghiberti > how they learned it

➢ David, 1446-60 

■ One of the most prerogative sculptures

of the Italian Renaissance

■ Free-standing cast sculpture >one of the


■ Commissioned by the Medici Family >

first inference during the 1460s

■ David and Goliath story represented >

Goliath is decapitated

● David first knocked Goliath

down with a stone and slingshot

● He’s standing on Goliath’s head

with his sword down => the

battle is finished

● Laurel leaves decorate his head

=> represents a victory

■ First significant nude body sculpture

and of an adolescent boy at that!

■ David = symbol of good triumphing

over evil, defender

● Wears an ordinary hat compared to Goliath’s military helmet ■ Donatello had no previous cast bronze figure experience

■ David’s gaze is ‘looking out towards the rest of Goliath’s body’ ■ David’s foot is also stroking Goliath’s facial hair and the feathers of Goliath’s helmet is brushing against the inside of David’s leg

➢ Equestrian statue Gattamelata (means

cunning or evil cat) (Erasmo Da Narni), 1443-53, cast

bronze monument

■ Commissioned by Danara Family

in Northern city Paduan >> associated with Saint

Anthony who’s known for healing the sick

■ Saint Anthony’s internal organs

were enshrined in the cathedral and those who believe in

him will rub the containment and are miraculously


■ The equestrian figure = Erasmo

Da Narni, who was a condottiero or a military general or

a soldier for hire

■ This trained artists in the region in both figure and casting

■ Donatello never cast a horse before > must’ve done many animal studies to get it to be so accurate

■ Donatello looked back on an ancient Roman statue

● Marcus Aurelius, 176 CE, on public view until the 1800s

● Incorrectly thought to represent Constantine which prevented it from being melted down or destroyed >> Constantine was the first emperor to allow public Christian worship

➢ Mary Magdalen, 1450s 

■ Last celebrated piece for inside the

San Giovanni Baptistry

■ Made out of wood and painted

■ Represents Mary Magdalen who

was a prostitute

● She looks homeless,

emaciated, gaunt, toothless,

haggard, and wearing

basically animal skins

● She’s repenting > After

Jesus’s death she lived as a

hermit for 30 years and


■ One of Donatello’s most intense

and expressed works

● Maybe he was thinking

about his approaching death or previous sins?

■ Painted varicose veins on her legs to make her look more elderly ■ Removed from the Baptistry in 1966 > flood water was up to her waist

❖ Ghiberti, Gates of Paradise, East doors of Baptistery of San Giovanni, 1425-52 

➢ Wool merchants commission the third set of doors, Ghiberti's second

➢ The name comes from a story = Supposedly Michelangelo was so amazed he said they ‘could be the gates to paradise’

➢ There’s no quatrefoil, only 10 panels > but much larger

➢ The whole surface area is covered in gold

➢ The subjects come from the Old Testament > Adam and Eve to King Solomon > narrative scenes

➢ In 1966, the Arno River flooded over and the doors were severely damaged 

➢ Jacob and Esau panel, sons of Isaac and brothers ■ Esau = older > firstborn gets everything

by biblical traditions

■ Isaac’s wife, Rebecca, prefers Jacob

over Esau

■ Esau was a hunter > Rebecca schemes

to cook other animals for Jacob to

present to Isaac and receive the blessing

meant for Esau

■ Uses linear one point perspective

■ Rebecca mimics Donatello’s princess

from St. George and the dancing girl in

The Feast of Herod 

➢ Ghiberti includes a little ‘signature’ of himself as a bust of BOTH sets of doors 

■ Earlier set of doors > wears a turban

■ Later set of doors > no turban = gentleman

❖ Andrea del Verrocchio, David, 1470-75 

➢ Commissioned by the Medici Family to replace

Donatello’s sculpture in the courtyard

➢ Was Da Vinci’s instructor

➢ Differences to Donatello’s David >> David is clothed, the

sword is pointed out and not down, head of Goliath isn’t

being played with, more manly (boy to man)

➢ Similarities >> Contrapposto, David = adolescent, done in

cast bronze

❖ Brunelleschi 

➢ Worked as an architect and brings back all the architectural vocabulary from ancient Rome and Greece

➢ Dome of Florence Cathedral, 1417-36 

■ He built this dome on top of an

already existing building

● Rises up 30 stories above the


■ No surviving drawings of it after he


■ People thought he couldn’t do it so

the commission was broken up into 2


■ Brunelleschi had to invent equipment

to build it > ex. Pulleys

■ Compared to Medieval construction

method of trial and error,

Brunelleschi actually made drawings

and models out of wood

■ One section of the dome has a false

archave > stopped building since Michelangelo commented it ‘looked like a cage for crickets’

➢ Foundling Hospital,


■ Commissioned

by the

goldsmiths and



guilds to take

care of poor, unwanted, or orphaned children.

■ Functioned well into the 1800s

■ Brought back pendentives > changes a square floor plan into a circular one ■ The building was more horizontal, had

Corinthian columns, a prominent loggia, and

worked well with sunlight

■ Andrea della Robbia Infant in Swaddling 

Clothes, 1487 

● He was a ceramic work specialist using

terracotta clay from the Arno River

● Circular glazed terracotta relief

medallions were added to the building


➢ San Lorenzo, 1421-28, plan and interior

■ Commissioned by the Medici Family > they wanted

him to ‘modernize’ it > he completely made it over

■ Donatello is buried in the crypt of the church >

Medici Family allowed him to be buried there since

they loved his statue

■ Michelangelo will later be commissioned to add a

library and another sanctuary for more Medici tombs

■ Brunelleschi uses the typical Basilica floorplan

● Uses pendentives and Corinthian columns


● Again uses gray stone against a white wall

surface just like in the Foundling Hospital

■ Brunelleschi also studied early Christian churches made in the 300s, lots of visual similarities >> so he could’ve seen them at the same time as the Pantheon

■ Presents a return to early Christian floorplans > much more humanistic instead of spiritual gothic churches

❖ Attributed to Michelozzo di Bartolomeo,

Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, begun 1446 

➢ Palazzo = city residence home, this

was the home of the Medici Family >

very close to San Lorenzo and city hall

➢ Donatello’s David would have been

placed in this courtyard

➢ The Medici coat of arms is on the

corner of the building

➢ Michelangelo would later add on


➢ First inner courtyard >

someone would greet you

■ Michelozzo learned

quickly from Brunelleschi with arches,

Corinthian columns, etc because of the

artist circles

❖ Alberti 

➢ An architect who wrote several significantly influential treatises or theories ■ On Painting 1435 

● Wrote down the principals of one point linear perspective >>

shared with a wider audience and from this point on any artist who

wanted to be a part of the forefront NEEDED to understand linear

one point perspective

■ On Sculpture, 1440s 

● Emphasizes that sculptures need to go back to Classical thought

◆ Form, Nude, etc

■ On Architecture, 1452 but published in 1485 

● Emphasized 3 key things:

◆ The building should be sturdy

◆ It should be purposeful and functional

◆ It should uplift the user's spirits

● Also emphasized the best ideal floorplan should be based on a


Two-dimensional Early Italian Renaissance: 1400 - 1495

❖ Masaccio (‘big or ugly Tom’)

➢ Dramatically changes the course of painting in Florence > same caliber as Ghiberti, Michelangelo, and Donatello

➢ Born in 1401 and dies in 1428 = astoundingly short


➢ Trinity with the Virgin, St. John the Evangelist, and 

Donors, 1425-27/28 

■ This fresco was made a humanitarian

monument in a church

■ The inscription says “I was once what you are 

and I am what you are meant to be” above the 

skeleton at the bottom 

■ Donors are on the foreground left and right

(The Lenzi Family)

■ Christ on the cross, Mary, and Saint John the

Evangelist > represents the Holy Trinity

■ Created the illusion that you’re moving back in

space through linear one point perspective on a

flat surface!

● The architecture in the painting reminds

of Brunelleschi

■ First truly completed piece with linear one 

point perspective 

■ Uses the physical dimensions of the viewer

which makes it more convincing

● Eye level = Mary, John, and Donors

● Below = Skeleton, have to look down

● Above = Christ and God

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