ARTH 1441- Lecture 4

Sculpture during the Proto-Renaissance in Pisa Florence Baptistery Door Competition Renaissance Sculpture in Florence Architecture of the Florence Cathedral Renaissance Architecture in Florence and Mantua
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Nicolas Pisano, Pulpit of Pisa Cathedral Baptistery, Pisa
1259-1260, Marble
-Mixture of Gothic (Medieval tracery) and Classical (Roman) sculptural elements
-Humanistic (classical) culture of Southern Italy (Sicily) may have been an influence
Nicola Pisano, The Annunciation and the Nativity, Bas-relief from Pisa Cathedral Pulpit
1259-1260, marble
Ara Pacis Augustae (Emperor Augustus's Altar of Peace), Tellus (Pagan Fertility Goddess)
13-9 BC, marble
-Typical example of a Roman bas-relief
Filippo Brunelleschi, Sacrifice of Isaac, Competition Panel for East Doors, Baptistery of Florence Cathedral, Florence
1401-1402, Gilded bronze relief
Lorenzo Ghiberti, Sacrifice of Isaac, Competition Panel for East Doors, Baptistery of Florence Cathedral, Florence
1401-1402, Gilded bronze relief
Competition for East Doors Baptistery of Florence
-1401: Competition for east doors of Florence baptistery
-Sponsored by Wool Merchants' Guild
-Submissions by two finalists, Brunelleschi and Ghiberti, survive
-Old Testament iconography: Sacrifice of Isaac
-Both scenes: inserted into French Gothic quatrefoil pattern
-Different underlying aesthetic principles: Brunelleschi: more conservative, no experiments, maybe a touch of Gothic style ; Ghiberti: dram, profound understanding of classical canon of the male nude, muscularity and anatomy of body
-Right: Roman copy of Doryphoros, example of canon of classical beauty in the art of Antiquity
-Ghiberti won the competition with his proposal
-Culture of humanism favored his approach
Lorenzo Ghiberti, Gates of Paradise, East Doors, Baptistery of Florence Cathedral, Florence
1425-1452, Gilded bronze relief
-Ghiberti's completed competition doors moved to south side; second set of doors commisioned
-Michelangelo: "so beautiful... they would do well for the Gates of Paradise"
-No onger quatrefoil pattern > rectangle
-Detail, panel: "Isaac and His Sons"
-Emphasis on single-point Perspective
-Relief flattens progressively from bottom to top
-Greater sense of depth
Nanni di Banco, Four Crowned Saints, Or San Sichele, Florence
c. 1408-1414, marble
-Or San Michele: Headquarter of the guilds in Florence, but also served one time as church
-Early 14th century building with niche for statuary to be filled by guilds
-Nanni di Banco given over the commission to fill the sculptures' guild niche
-Patron saints: defied order by Emperor Diocletian to sculpt pagan idol> martyrdom
-Thorogoughly classical figure group
-Figures are free-standing, not engaged with the wall
-Engaged sculptures: Medieval convetion
-Classical drapery
-Phsiognomy of classical Sculpture
-Similar to Roman portraiture
Donatello, Saint Mark, Or San Michele, Florence
1411-1413, marble
-Another sculpture for the niches of the Or San Michele by a different artist
-Commissioned by the guild of the linen drapers
-Another example of a statue inspired by the art of Classical Antiquity:
-Drapery
-Classical convention of contrapossto (weight shift)
-Example: Kritios Boy, 490-480BC, marble (Ancient Greece)
Donatello, Feast of Herod, from the baptismal font of Siena Cathedral Siena
c. 1425, gilded bronze relief
-Fondness of perspectival rendering
-Aesthetically closer to Ghiberti
-Symmetrical rhythm, measure
-Iconography: Salome, still daning (to the right) delivers severed head of St. John the Baptist to king Herod
-Animation, emotionalism
-Classical drapery
Donatello, David
late 1420s-late 1450s, bronze
-Commission for the Palazzo Medici courtyard in Florence
-Canon of classical nudity
-Middle Ages: the Classical nude could not be represented
-Connotations pagan tradition, sin
-First free-standing classical nude figure since Antiquity
-Compare: Roman copy of an Ancient Greek sculpture of Hermes
-Interpreted in Biblical story: David, slayer of Goliath
-David treading on Goliath's head
-David also associated with the independent republic of Florence
-Classical convention of contrapposto (weight shift)
Andrea del Verrocchio, David
c. 1465-1470, bronze
-A second Medici commission
-Different approach to subject:
-No classical nude, although body contours clearly visible
-Psychological difference:
1. Donatello: introspection, quiet, classical, looking at Goliath's head
2. Verrocchi: brash, confident, self-assertive, looks at spectator
Luca della Robbia, Madonna and Child, Or San Michele, Florence
c. 1455-1460, terracotta with polychrome glaze
-Architectural ornaments in glazed terracotta
-Typical devotional images
-Here: on the Or San Michele
-Tondo (round) format
Begun by Arnolfo di Cambio, Florence Cathedral, Florence
1296
-Cathedrals since the Middle Ages symbols of civic pride of a city
-Reflect wealth and prosperity
-Di Cambrio built nave of Florence Cathedral
-Marble pattern on facade: typical feature of traditional Tuscan architecture (Tuscany=region around Florence)
-Painter Giotto di Bondone designed Campanile (bell tower) to the right in 1334
-Biggest structural problem: How to design dome (challenge to engineering skills)?
-Remained unresolved until...
Fillippo Brunelleschi, Dome of FLorence Cathedral, South View, Florence
1420-1436
-Dome crossing impossible with traditional techniques available (wooden centering, buttressing)
-Brunelleschi was the sculptor who lost in the competition over the Baptistery Door commission
-Brunelleschi's solution:
-Dome consists of ogival (pointed arch) sections with ribs
-Thing double shell for dome (first time ever that this was attempted)
-Reduction of pressure on dome's base
-Highly innovative solution and engineering feat
Fillippo Brunelleschi, Pazzi Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence
begun c. 1440
-Commission received after Cathedral dome completed
-Private commission by Pazzi family to built chapel adjacent to church of Santa Croce
-Exterior facade (loggia) NOT by Brunellechi, but later addition
-Brunelleschi's genius visible in the ground plan
-Dome is dominant feature
-Central plan with modules that follow a strictly symmetrical arrangement
-Interior according to Brunelleschi's design
-Pietra serena (serene stone) and Della Robbia terracotta decorations
-Impression of serenity, austerity
Michelozzo di Bartolommeo, Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Florence
begun 1445
-Extraordinary concentration of wealth and political power with Medici family, under Cosimo de' Medici
-Family ousted in 1430s
-Return in 1434
-Wary of overly ostentatious display of wealth
-Change of architect and design for palace in the aftermath of expulsion
-Michelozzo di Bartolommeo takes over project
-Solution: hybrid structure between palace and fortress
-Heavily rusticated facade (roughly hewn stone) on ground floor, with increasingly refined architectural detail as one moves up
-Rusticated masonry: Roman Invention
-Building concludes with heavy cornice
-Top: Example of Rusticated masonry in Roman architecture
-Bottom: Courtyard of Palazzo Medici
-Light, airy feel to it; very different from facade
-Original location of Donatello's David
-Corinthian columns
Leon Battista Alberti, Palazzo Rucellai, Florence
c. 1452-1470
-Alberti: an architectural theoretician
-Translated a treatise by Roman writer Vitruvius on architecture (De architectura)
-Palazzo Rucellai: a monument that is filled with references to classical architecture
-1st floor: Tuscan order (capitals: variant of Greek so-called Doric order)
-2nd floor: Composite order (capital: Greek Ionic volutes with Roman-style Acanthus leaves)
-3rd floor: Corinthian order
-Play with architectural traditions as symbol for cultural refinement
Leon Battista Alberti, West Facade of Santa Maria Novella, Florence
c. 1458-1470
-Church proper dates from the 13th century, Alberti designed only the facade
-Alberti's obsession: architectural symmetry, rhythm, mathematical structure, refinement
-Typically Tuscan exterior with marble-encrusted facade
-Structure completely designed according to mathematical ratios (1:1, 2:1, 1:3, 2:3, etc.)
-Another innovative feature: lateral scrolls
Leon Battista Alberti, West Facade of Sant' Andrea, Mantua
designed c. 1470
-Structure rife with Roman architectural references: Temple front merged with triumphal arch
-Rigidly symmetrical, mathematical ratios as design principles