Nicola Pisano, Annunciation, Nativity & Adoration of the Prophets, 1259 - 1260
Relief panel on the baptistery pulpit - Pisa, Italy - Marble - 2' 10" x 3' 9" - classical sculpture inspired the face types, beards, coiffures, and draperies, as well as the bulk and weight of the figures - The Madonna of the Nativity resembles lid figures on Roman sarcophagi - Mary appears twice each different sizes - The reclining Mary is the focus of the sculpture - Mary's posture and drapery are reminiscent of those of the lid figures on Etruscan and Roman sarcophagi - Scholars have been able to pin point the models of the Pulpit figures on Roman sarcohpagi in Pisa - Worked in a classical tradition
Giovanni Pisano, Annunciation, Nativity, and Adoration of the Shepherds, 1297 - 1301
This version is in striking contrast to his father's thick carving and placid, almost stolid, presentation of the religious narrative - He arranged the figures loosely and dynamically - They twist and bend in excited animation, and the spaces that open deeply between them suggest their motion - In the top left annunciation episode, the Virgin sgrinks from the angel's sudden appearance in a posture of alarm touched with humility - The swiftly tuning, sinuous draperies, the slender figures they enfold, and the general emotionalism of the scene are features not found in Nicola Pisano's interpretation - French Gothic Style - Marble - 2' 10" x 3' 4" - Relief panel on the pulpit of Sant' Andrea - Pistoia, Italy
Cimabue, Madonna Enthroned with Angels and Prophets, 1280 - 1290
12' 7" x 7' 4" - Created for the church of Santa Trinita' (Holy Trinity) in Florence, Italy - Reveals the painters reliance on Byzantine models for the composition as well as the gold background - Used gold embellishments common to Byzantine art for the folds of Madonna's robe. Which are used to enhance the three dimensionality of the drapery - Constructed a deeper space fot he Madonna and the surrounding figures to inhapit than is common (Ex. The vigin's throne, is a massive structure that Cimabue convincingly depicted as receding into space) - The overlapping bodies of the angles and half length prophets who look up or out from underneath reinforce the sense of depth - Tempera and gold leaf on wood.
Giotto Di Bondone, Madonna Entroned, 1310
Displaced the Byzantine style in Italian painting and revived the natualism of classical art - His figures have substance, dimensionality, and bulk and give the isllusion that they could throw shadows - Painted for the high altar of the Ognissanti (All Saints) church in Florence - Giotto's Madonna rests within her Gothic throne with the unshakable stability of an ancientmarble goddess - the Virgin is more weighty, queenly mother, with her breast pressing through the thin fabric of her white undergarment - Giotto aimed, before all else, to construct a figure that has substance, dimensionality, and bulk qualities suppressed in favor of a spiritual immateriality in Byzantine and Italo- Byzantine art - Giotto's Madonna Enthroned marks the end of medieval painting in Italy and the beginning of a new naturalistic approach to art - Florence, Italy - Tempera and gold leaf on wood - 10' 8" x 6' 8"
Giotto, Lamentation, 1305
Arena Chapel (Cappella Scrovegni) - Padua, Italy - Fresco - 6' 6 3/4" x 6' 3/4" - Giotto used the diagonal slpe of the rocky landscape to direct the viewer's attention toward the head of the sculpturesque figure of the dead Christ - Giotto's stately and slow moving actors present their dramas convincingly and with great restraint - In the presence of boldly foreshortened andgels, seen head on with their bodies receding into the background and darting about in hysterical grief, a congregagtion mourns over the dead body of the Savior just before its entombment - Mary cradles her son's body, while Mary Magdalene looks solemnly at the wounds in Christ's feet and Saint John the Evangelist throws his arms back dramatically - Postures and destures that might have been only rhetorical and mechanical convey, in Lamentation, a broad spectrum of grief - In Lamentation, a single event provokes an intense response - Each group within the constructed space has its own definition, and each contributes to the rhythmic order of the composition - Figures see from the back, represent an innovation in the development away from the formal Italo-Byzantine style - These figures emphasize the foreground, aiding the visual placement of the intermediate figures farther back in sapce - the light falls upon the upper surfaces of the figures and passes down to dark in their draperies, separating the volumes on from the other and pushing on to the for, the other to the rear.