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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 224 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 / Don't forget about the age old question of What is the meaning of voting procedures?

➢ Ravenna = Important Byzantine stronghold housing beautiful churches, Allows for the influence of the East into Italy

➢ 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 Who are the members of the house of representatives?

➢ 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

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?

Christ child

❖ Duccio, From Siena, had a studio with assistants

➢ The Maesta Altarpiece or Virgin and Child in 

Majesty ~1308-1311 

➢ Painted for the cathedral in Siena

➢ Originally included scenes from Jesus’ and

Mary’s lives surrounding this piece If you want to learn more check out What is the definition of common stock?

➢ 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 We also discuss several other topics like How do we measure ecological community?

size compared to thin/skinny

● Mary’s head is straight and not tilted/angled We also discuss several other topics like What is the manipulated variable?

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

■ 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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