2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:26
The Renaissance, or the Renaissance, is an amazing time that gave the world a galaxy of great and versatile masters who laid the foundations for the art of the next centuries. What is now considered a time-honoured classic was then a daring innovation. Allocate in the Renaissance quattrocento - a period that covered the XV century.
What was revived in the Renaissance? Its name is associated with a return to the aesthetics and values of antiquity. Without departing from Christianity, artists and sculptors included ancient subjects in their repertoire, and the biblical characters began to resemble ancient gods and heroes. It was a kind of rollback, a thaw after the harsh Middle Ages. These difficult centuries with religious fanaticism and intolerance carried the spirit of contempt for everything carnal and earthly. Gothic statues were dry, ascetic and not always believable, painting was little separated from icon painting.
In the Renaissance there is a return toaesthetics of the earthly, corporality, sensuality. One of its main signs was the desire for harmony. This was expressed not only in painting. One of the ideas connected with harmony and balance was the idea of versatile development. Few epochs created so many "universal people". The most striking example was Leonardo da Vinci - engineer and inventor, artist and architect, philosopher and writer, biologist and anatomist … It is difficult to enumerate the areas he touched upon. And yet, they say, the giant of the Renaissance sang excellently, played musical instruments, loved physical exercises and was distinguished by great strength. The ideas of the universal man resulted in the creation of schools where the versatile development of students was encouraged. In many ways, they became the forerunners of modern education with its breadth of coverage of the sciences.
What is Quattrocento
The term quattrocento comes from the Italian for "four hundred". This is the name of the Renaissance period, which occurred in the 15th century, thus it is associated with the 1400s.
Quattrocento is a turning point in the development of European culture. The works of this period show a sharp leap from medieval iconography, some naivety and decorativeness to the realism and liveliness of the Renaissance. Quattrocento was formed and manifested in Italy, just like the Renaissance itself, which soon began to affect other countries. Florence was the center of change. Antique images are becoming more and more widespread in the decorative painting of the Quattrocento. The same motifs pervade sculpture and architecture.
What happened before?
It is worth starting from the beginning, andprecisely from what preceded the quattrocento - trecento. This period is also referred to as the Proto-Renaissance. The main turn to the Renaissance manifested itself at this time in painting. The most prominent representative of the trecento was Giotto li Bondone. Despite the proximity of his works to the icon, they already have a volume, indicated by chiaroscuro.
In addition, this period has found vivid manifestations in the literature. The works of Petrarch, Dante, Boccaccio are imbued with a completely new spirit of humanism.
The Quattrocento Art
The three pillars of the Quattrocento can be called the artist Masaccio, the sculptor Donatello and the architect Brunelleschi. There are other creators who left an important contribution to the culture of this era.
Quattrocento painting was greatly influenced by perspective theory. However, it originated in architecture.
Paolo Uccello The idea of perspective inspired an intricate game. The artist liked to depict checkered floors, rooms full of corners. True, many of his works still bear the stamp of past traditions, they are easily confused with medieval ones.
Masaccio, on the other hand, preferred to use perspective to give the image tangibility and vitality. The real name of the artist is Tommaso di Giovanni di Simone Cassai. Masaccio, on the other hand, is a nickname with a rather derogatory suffix, meaning "big" or "clumsy." Like many creative personalities, the artist was absent-minded, somewhat detached from the world, but he was distinguished by the breadth of his soul and good disposition. The most striking of his creations are the frescoes of the chapelBrancacci, especially The Expulsion from Paradise. The figures are monumental and sculptural. They seem to be not drawn, but molded with the help of chiaroscuro.
Unfortunately, the artist passed away at only 27 years old. But the works that he managed to create speak of his creative power.
Another famous Quattrocento painter is Andrea Mantegna. In his works, one can observe the transition from medieval icon painting to anatomical figures and expressiveness of faces. He is considered the founder of painting on canvas. Some of Mantegna's works are distinguished by a very bold choice of angle - for example, in the ceiling painting, angels are visible from the bottom up. In the painting "Dead Christ" the body of the Savior is also visible from the side of the legs. To achieve expressiveness, the proportions are somewhat distorted - the feet are small compared to the head.
The most famous artist of the Quattrocento era is Sandro Botticelli. Especially the spirit of the beginning of the Renaissance is reflected in the images of Venus - "The Birth of Venus" and "Spring". The ideal of beauty of this artist is somewhat different from the female images familiar to other authors. In contrast to the strong, rounded figures based on ancient ideals, his Venus looks fragile, defenseless and mysterious. Yet it also expresses an inner spiritual power. Venus is the embodiment of love. The artist, who was part of the circle of Florentine scholars, actively used allegories and relied on the poetic programs developed in thissociety.
In sculpture, Donatello, whose real name is Donato di Nicolò di Betto Bardi, showed himself most clearly. One of the important merits of this sculptor is the revival of a free-standing round statue, separating it from architecture. The fact is that in the Middle Ages, statues most often appeared in the niches of buildings. This did not allow the viewer to view the work of art from all sides. Donatello returns to the traditions of antiquity. However, the plot chooses the biblical one and depicts David. The young shepherd, the future king, appears like an ancient victorious hero. His posture and figure are graceful. Donatello's innovation also lies in the fact that he shows the biblical hero naked. For that time, this is unheard of courage.
Another famous creation of his is a monument to the condottiere Gattamelata. Few people know that the nickname of this commander is translated as "cunning cat". The sculptor gives the statue a noticeable porter resemblance, but at the same time, his work shows a generalized image of a man of the New Age - smart, enterprising, courageous.
The motifs of antiquity also touched architecture. Only in this case, the masters took an example not from statues and frescoes, but from monumental ancient structures. Columns are becoming a popular detail. Buildings are proportionate. While a Gothic cathedral seems overwhelming, Renaissance temples and palaces are much more harmonious and can be taken in at a glance.
It was architecture that became the first area where perspective theory became popular. The most famous architect of the Quattrocento period is Filippo Brunelleschi. He developed a mathematical method for calculating the distance between objects, taking into account their proportions. This was done in order to reflect the ratio and location of these objects on a flat surface with maximum accuracy. These patterns were soon adopted by artists.
The first creation of Brunelleschi, which marked the change - the dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. It is comparable in size to the dome of the Roman Pantheon, from which many creators of this era took an example. But it relies not on a round, but on an octagonal base.
At the same time, the architect supervised the construction of the Orphanage - an orphanage. This building also adopted many antique elements such as porticos. In addition, the rejection of the Gothic aspiration upwards and the abundance of statues became innovative … Brunelleschi laid the foundation for the style characteristic of the palazzo - palaces-mansions.
Quattrocento is the time that gave the world works of art, amazing in their grace and at the same time grandeur.
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