Art History 337

Fifteenth-Century Italian Renaissance Art

The List of Monuments

The Monuments List

Leone Battista Alberti. Volute
Santa Maria Novella, Florence, 15th century
Course Description
Course Requirements
Lecture Schedule
On the Paper
Web Sites and other Sources
News about Italian Renaissance Art
Vasari's Lives of the Artists
Sources for Florence


List of Monuments

On to the Second Page of the Monuments List

This is a list, sometimes with comments or notes, of works of art we have looked at and discussed in class. This list will be added to and be updated as we move through the course.

"Prelude" to the Course

Chapter One is a combination of resources to give you a basic background in a number of areas. Here is some related material:

We'll be considering techniques and aspects of art practice throughout the course. Especially important for us are drawing, fresco, tempera and oil painting, and all types of sculpture.

Vasari's Lives of the Artists
Final version of 1568, many later editions, of which this is one, slowly being posted by me. Go to Part II for the Fifteenth Century. Most of these sites also carry some bibliography, although these tend to be rather more specialized than we will need.

Part One: The Late Middle Ages

As mentioned in class, we will go over this section (Chapters 2-5) rather generally as a basis for the Quattrocento study. Part of this study will be offered by the film, The Power of the Past (to be shown in class the first Tuesday) and a summary lecture of the material. Some of this may be referred to again in passing, but it will not be a main subject and will not be specifically tested.

A Few Views

Brief Architectural Considerations

Part Two: The Quattrocento

The works and ideas we have discussed in class will be sketched here--this does not replace coming to class and taking notes--to help jog your memory.

Chapter 6: The Beginnings of Renaissance Architecture

It is sometimes rather difficult to make fully vivid the revolutionary aspects of Brunelleschi's architecture. He was certainly a promising sculptor, but nobody laments the missing works. His invention, creativity, concepts of unity in architectural design as well as the intriguing if never fully resolvable hints of interest in what we now call urban design makes him a figure who seems almost out of his time. Yet, as his resolution for the problem of the dome for the Cathedral of Florence shows, he was able to revive Medieval designs to solve a problem that seemed to call instead for a revival from the ancients.

We looked at: the Dome (here's Andrea da Firenze's 1365 prediction of what it would look like) of the Cathedral of Florence ("Il Duomo"); the Ospedale degli Innocenti (there's a photo of the porch with its columns and support rods at the lower right); the church of San Lorenzo with some time spent on the Old Sacristy, which see here. Note Brunelleschi's favorite use of pietra serena contrasted with an off-white surface, seen throughout his buildings.

I am still looking for decent photos of Sto Spirito, but here at least is the Baroque facade--you can see why they show movies here during the summer. I am not sure why the author(s) included Sta. Maria degli Angeli, which really exists only as a plan, but at least you got to see what they built in 1937. The Pazzi Chapel is a beautiful small building that resists explanation; formerly it was customary to have to slog through unreadable stuff about the Golden Section as the interpretation of the groundplan.

We will finish up with two buildings by the man who seems to have been Cosimo il Vecchio's favorite architect, Michelozzo. Here is a small Web site on the Palazzo Medici.

Chapter 7: Gothic and Renaissance in Tuscan Sculpture

There is a crowd of important sculpture projects in the earliest years of the 15th century. We begin with the first two bronze doors of the Baptistery of Florence. The earliest was by Andrea Pisano. They were begun in 1330 and completed in 1336. We look at these because Andrea set the format for the doors which in the two later doors will first be followed and then completely revised. We will look at the panels devoted to The Baptism of Christ and The Disciples visiting John in Prison.

Next we discuss the competition for the commission for the second set of doors, which took place over the period 1401 to 1403.

Then we consider Orsanmichele (also written as Or San Michele). You will soon be given a lovely handout on this outdoor sculpture gallery.

Donatello. David for the Cathedral of Florence.

Donatello. St. Mark for OrSanMichele.

Donatello. St. George for OrSanMichele. Consider also the St. George and the Dragon. (Sorry this is lopsided! Blame Dartmouth!)

Donatello. Jeremiah from the belltower, Duomo of Florence.

Donatello. Zuccone (Habakkuk, from the belltower, Duomo of Florence.

Jacopo della Quercia (with Donatello and Ghiberti as sculptors) The Baptismal font, Cathedal of Siena.

Donatello. Feast of Herod, from the Baptismal font, above.
Here's the Giotto fresco of The Miraculous Appearance of St. Francis at Arles, dating from the 1320s.

Jacopo della Quercia. The Fonte Gaia, Piazza del Campo, Siena.
The standing female figure who may be the twins' mother or foster mother, or a type of Charity.

Jacopo della Quercia. Relief sculptures for the main portal of the church of San Petronio, Bologna. (Our 7.26-7.28)

A collection of the sculpture of Jacopo della Quercia

Chapter 8

Here are the predella panels for Gentile da Fabriano's Adoration of the Magi, also known as the Strozzi Altarpiece : The Nativity ; Rest on the Flight into Egypt ; and Presentation of Christ in the Temple.

Masolino. Madonna and Child. 1423.

Masaccio, with Masolino and (later) Filippino Lippi. Brancacci Chapel, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence. Begin ca. 1424; completed in the 1480's by Lippi. Visit the Brancacci Chapel.

Masaccio. Enthroned Madonna and Child, from the Pisa Polyptych; 1426.

Masaccio. The Trinity. Santa Maria Novella, Florence. Fresco. c. 1426-1427.

On to the Second Page of the Monuments List


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