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FINAL PAPER art history

FINAL PAPER art history - Jaydev Mistry Art History II Take...

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Jaydev Mistry Art History II- Take Home Final Exam Professor Vitali May 1, 2009 Section I: Late Gothic in the North An artist conveys his message of his experiences through his works. We, as the viewers, observe historical events through the vision of the artist. Every artist’s goal is to be modern, but at the same time, acknowledge the pioneers of art. Van Eyck’s works mainly appeared in altarpieces and prayer books, but were surprisingly modern for the times. Van Eyck was a very gifted artist who was capable of understanding aerial perspective. This involves the use of creating space with a large background. Despite the fact that he had a better knowledge of perspective, proportion, and creation of space than other contemporary northern artists, his use of it was limited. These distinct characteristics are displayed in his work, the Ghent Altarpiece . This particular work is in a triptych format, where each panel has an additional four panels, each containing its own painting. The figures in the painting, which include Adam and Eve, the Virgin Mary, and John the Baptist, are painted with a great deal of detail. We can clearly see individual strands of hair on John the Baptist’s beard. Also, we can see each jewel on the crowns and the end of the garments of God and the Virgin. Similar to Campin, Van Eyck uses symbolism. Van Eyck’s use of symbolism is not to the same extent of Campin’s. In this work, symbolism is seen as the blood coming out the chest into the cup, which symbolizes Christ. Robert Campin’s Merode Altarpiece brought him a great deal of success and respect within the art community. In doing so, he became the most prominent painter of Tournai. This work shows the Annunciation in a tryptych format that takes place inside an “everyday-looking” house. He was able to transform a religious and symbolic moment into a casual occurrence that could appear to take place regularly without any bit of awkwardness. At the time, a feat like this was unheard of. Campin managed to accomplish this by incorporating a technique known as “disguised symbolism.” This means that almost any and every object in the painting holds some sort of religious value or alternate meaning other than face value. For example the books in front of Mary symbolize the Old and New Testaments. Also, the flowers in the vase symbolize Mary’s virginity. The Merode Altarpiece is the first painting to depict symbols of this type. His technique of disguised symbolism makes him stand out from other artists of the same era.
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Section II: Early Renaissance in Italy The Renaissance represents a period of great change in culture and realization from the late 14 th century to around 1600. In various aspects such as arts, sciences, and government, Italy was a key piece for progression during the Renaissance. The Renaissance, also known as the “rebirth,” marks the transition of art into the modern world. Donatello was one artist in this era that achieved modernity well
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FINAL PAPER art history - Jaydev Mistry Art History II Take...

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