Arthistorymakeup - Christine Castellano March 2nd 2007 Art...

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Christine Castellano March 2 nd , 2007 Art History 112 Makeup Essay #1 Although it began in the fourteenth century, the philosophical movement of humanism continued through the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Humanism is cultural movement that showcased and commemorated the achievements both of a culture and of individuals. The basis of this movement lies in Antiquity, for many Renaissance artists borrowed ideas and techniques from the artists of Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece. Several works from the Proto-Renaissance, Renaissance, High Renaissance and the Mannerism period are prime examples of humanism, and can be used to further explain the idea. Beginning with the Proto-Renaissance (also known as the pre-Renaissance, the time in which artists began to move away from Gothic/Byzantine styles and embrace new techniques and mediums), one work that stands out as early humanist would be Giotto’s masterpiece, the Arena Chapel. Giotto di Bondone was a student of Cimabue (one of the last painters to work in the Byzantine style), and as is often customary, Giotto surpassed Cimabue in terms of fame and reverence. The Arena Chapel was commissioned by Enrico Scrovegni, a man who can be described similarly to a Mafia Don of the fourteenth century. The Cappella degli Scrovegni is covered in frescoes, a medium that Giotto often worked in. A fresco is an art medium that is very difficult to create in, for the technique involves painting directly onto wet plaster and waiting for it to dry. Because plaster dries very quickly, a work must be done in small sections and there is very little room for error. Even in fresco, Giotto is able to demonstrate chiaroscuro , which is the use of dark and light shading to create a more realistic image. The overall subject of the work is the life of Mary, the virgin mother. Until this chapel was created, there had not been any narrative works. Suffice to say that this building was a huge undertaking, and is the reason it is considered to be Giotto’s masterpiece. One overwhelming feature of the chapel is the use of lapislazzuli , a very expensive stone that is ground up to make a rich blue pigment used for painting. The presence of this stone pigment is another reminder of the patron, Enrico Scrovegni’s, wealth and status in society. The movement away from the rich, deep colors of Gothic and Byzantine art is also present in each panel of the
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chapel and each section of the story (which is separated by artificial freezes and breaks). The figures are painted with more realistic colors, with more attention paid to shading
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Arthistorymakeup - Christine Castellano March 2nd 2007 Art...

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