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Gothic Art Map

PART I -

Gothic Art Gothic Art Gothic Art

PART II -

PART III -

PART I

Gothic Art

Introduction

Architecture in France

Architecture in Germany

Architecture in Italy

Architecture in England

Stained Glass

Arnolfo di Cambio

Nicola Pisano

Giovanni Pisano

Andrea Pisano

Tino di Camaino

Claus Sluter

Benedetto Antelami

Giovanni di Balduccio

Jacobello Dalle Masegne

Lorenzo Maitani

Collection: Pietro Lorenzetti

Collection: Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Collection: Gentile da Fabriano

Collection: Giotto di Bondone

Taddeo Gaddi

Pucelle Jean

Giovanni da Milano

Tomasso da Modena

Altichiera da Zevio

Traini Francesco

Giovannino de' Grassi

Roberto Oderisi

Andrea da Firenze

Vitale da Bologna

Melchior Broederlam

Filippo Rusiti

Guariento d'Arpo

Tapestries: Nicolas de Bataille

Ferrer Bassa

Collection: Giusto de' Menabuoi

Henri Belechose

Pietro Cavallini

Barnaba da Modena

Collection: Simone Martini

Manuscripts: Master Boucicaut

Manuscripts: Matthew Paris

Collection: Illuminated Manuscripts

Collection: Duccio di Buonisegna

Maso di Banco

Collection: Cimabue

Master Hohenfurt

Gothic Art

Gothic Art Map

Gothic Art
Introduction Architecture in France Architecture in Germany Architecture in Italy Architecture in England Stained Glass Arnolfo di Cambio Nicola Pisano Giovanni Pisano Tino di Camaino Andrea Pisano Claus Sluter Exploration: Benedetto Antelami Giovanni di Balduccio Jacobello Dalle Masegne Corenzo Maitani Andrea da Firenze Filippo Rusiti Ferrer Bassa Pietro Cavallini Cimabue Duccio di Buonisegna Simone Martini Maso di Banco Taddeo Gaddi Giotto di Bondone Pietro Lorenzetti Ambrogio Lorenzetti Giovanni da Milano Gentile da Fabriano Pucelle Jean Altichiera da Zevio Tomasso da Modena Traini Francesco Giovannino de' Grassi Roberto Oderisi Vitale da Bologna Guariento d'Arpo Giusto de' Menabuoi Barnaba da Modena Melchior Broederlam Nicolas de Bataille Bayeux Tapestry Matthew Paris Master Boucicaut Illuminated Manuscripts Master Hohenfurt Henri Belechose

Revelations (Art of the Apocalypse) Era


(Gothic and Early Renaissance)

Exploration: Gothic

INTRODUCTION

Melchior Broederlam Altarpiece of Jacques de Baerze 1395-99

Gothic Art
(Encyclopdia Britannica)

Gothic is the term generally used to denote the style of architecture, sculpture, and painting that developed from the Romanesque during the 12th century and became predominant in Europe by the middle of the 13th century. The many variations within the style are usually distinguished by the use of chronological or geographical terms (for example, early, high, Italian, International, and late Gothic).

Early Gothic
One of the moves away from Byzantine influence took the form of a softer, more realistic style whose general characteristics survived until the middle of the 13th century. In France the style is particularly noticeable in a series of magnificent Bibles Moralisees (books of excerpts from the Bible accompanied by moral or allegorical interpretations and illustrated with scenes arranged in eight paired roundels, resembling stained glass windows) done probably for the French court c. 1230-40. In England the new style appears in numerous manuscripts--for instance, the psalter done for Westminster Abbey (British Museum, London; Royal MS. 2a XXII) and the Amesbury Psalter (c. 1240; All Souls College, Oxford). A particularly individual application of it is found in the manuscripts attributed to the chronicler Matthew Paris and in a series of illustrated manuscripts of the Apocalypse.

In Germany the graceful pictorial style did not become popular. Instead the successor to the Byzantine conventions of the 12th century was an extraordinarily twisted and angular style called the Zackenstil. In the Soest altar (c. 1230-40; now in the Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin), for example, the drapery is shaped into abrupt angular forms and often falls to a sharp point, like an icicle.

Giotto The Meeting at the Golden Gate 1303-05 Arena Chapel at Padua, Italy

High Gothic
Certain characteristics of high Gothic sculpture spread to influence painting about 125060. Probably the first place where this became evident was Paris, where Louis IX (St. Louis) was a leading patron. In an evangelary (a book containing the four Gospels) prepared for use at the Sainte-Chapelle (Louis IX's palace chapel), one can see the early Gothic pictorial style superseded quite abruptly by a drapery style incorporating the large, rather angular folds of the Joseph Master (Bibliotheque Nationale). Combined with this style was a growing emphasis on minute detail almost as an end in itself; faces, in particular, became tiny essays in virtuoso penmanship. Although details such as faces and hands continued to be described chiefly by means of line, in a subsequent development drapery and other shapes were modeled in terms of light and shade. This "discovery of light," partial and piecemeal as it was, began around 1270-80 but is particularly associated with a well-known Parisian royal illuminator called Master Honore, who was active about 1288-1300 or later. It is possible that this new use of light was stimulated by developments in Italian painting. However that may be, Italian influence emerged quite clearly in the second quarter of the 14th century, in the workshop of the Parisian artist Pucelle Jean. More than a dozen books have been associated with this artist; most show an awareness of the recent Italian discovery of perspective in the portrayal of space and some an awareness of Italian iconography. The French style was introduced fairly rapidly into England. Although Henry III apparently was not a bibliophile, various manuscripts executed for his immediate family contain echoes of the dainty and minute style of Louis IX's artists. Some large-scale paintings that demonstrate similar stylistic traits, notably the "Westminster Retable," survive in Westminster Abbey. Subsequent changes in English painting involved greater decorative elaboration. A number of large psalters, such as the Queen Mary Psalter (in the British Museum), survive from the first half of the 14th century, many of them done for East Anglian patrons and almost all laying heavy emphasis on marginal decoration. Although some books with elaborate border decorations date from as early as the 13th century, such decorations became much more lavish in the 14th. There are occasional indications of Italian influence in figure poses and compositions but nothing really comparable to that found in books from Pucelle Jean's Parisian workshop. Italian influence reached other European countries. An Italianate style of painting developed in Spain in the 14th century and, to a lesser extent, parts of Germanspeaking Europe--in Austria, for instance, paintings in the Italianate style were added around 1324-29 to make up the present Klosterneuburg altarpiece.

Jean Pucelle The Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux ca. 13241328

Italian Gothic
In the 13th century both Rome and Tuscany had flourishing pictorial traditions, and both, until the middle of the century, were strongly influenced by Byzantine art. The transitional period 1250-1300 is poorly documented. Since much of the Roman work was subsequently destroyed, evidence for what was happening in Rome must be sought outside the city. The most important location where such evidence exists is Assisi, where the upper church of St. Francis was decorated by Roman-trained fresco painters between about 1280 and 1300. InTuscany the stylistic changes are probably best revealed by Duccio di Buonisegna's"Maesta" (1308-11), formerly the high altarpiece of Siena cathedral.
Simone Martini The Road to Calvary. 1315

Duccio di Buoninsegna's "Maesta" (1308-11) As with all Gothic decorative art, the changes are in the direction of greater realism. By the end of the 13th century, painters in Rome, such as Pietro Cavallini and probably Duccio in Tuscany, had discovered, like their contemporaries in Paris, the use to which light could be put in figure modeling. The Italian painters also made sudden and unexpected advances in the manipulation of perspective to describe the space of the scenes they were painting. More than this, the best painters developed an extraordinary ability to create figures that really look as if they are communicating with each other by gesture and expression; the work of the Isaac Master in the upper church at Assisi is an especially good example.

Pietro Cavallini Crucifixion. 1308

How far the Italian tradition of painting on a large scale magnified problems such as perspective, it would be hard to say. The survival of a large-scale mural tradition certainly marks Italy off from the north. Italian mural paintings were executed with a technique involving pigment applied to, and absorbed by, lime plaster that was still fresh (hence the name of this type of painting--fresco). It was with work in this medium as much as in tempera (a substance binding powdered pigments, usually made from egg at this date) on panel that artists in Italy won their reputations. The typical subjects of fresco painting were series of biblical or hagiographic narratives. The painting of such fresco narratives (in Italian, istorie, hence "history painting") was to be regarded in the 15th century as the most important part of an artist's work by Leon Battista Alberti, an architect, painter, sculptor, and the founder of "modern" or "Renaissance" art theory. In making such claims, Alberti had in mind the work of the painterGiotto di Bondone, better known as simply Giotto, of the late 13th to early 14th century. Trained in Rome, Giotto executed his first important surviving work for the papal financier Enrico Scrovegni at the latter's family palace in Padua. The palace chapel, called the Arena Chapel (decoratedc. 1305-13;), is a masterpiece in which all the lessons of Roman mural painting were translated into a narrative sequence of great economy and expressiveness. In spite of the apparent realism of Giotto's work, however, the Byzantine past makes itself felt in the extremely strong sense of pattern and design noticeable throughout the compositions. In Tuscany somewhat similar developments took place. Duccio's altarpiece, the "Maesta," contains a large number of small narrative scenes reminiscent of Giotto's fresco paintings. The figures, which have firmly modeled faces and expressive gestures, are arranged in buildings or landscapes that convincingly enclose them. Duccio's interest in realistic space, however, was much weaker than Giotto's. AlthoughDuccio's scenes feature a variety of action and wealth of detail that, on the whole, is lacking inGiotto's early work, they do not make the same simple but dramatic impact. These conflicts are inherent in all realistic painting. In Giotto's work a shift in the balance between the two conflicting elements takes place. He completed two chapels in Santa Croce, Florence (c. 1315-30), of which one, the Bardi Chapel, is smaller but not unlike the Arena Chapel. The other, the Peruzzi Chapel, tends toward greater detail and less stability in the settings. Subsequent Florentine and Sienese painters also moved in this direction. Of the Sienese, Simone Martini was probably the most famous, since he worked outside Italy at the papal court in Avignon and was a friend of the great Italian poet Petrarch. His painting has strong suggestions of northern influence in its elegance and grace, but his care over detail is reminiscent of Duccio, and the careful structure of his setting recalls Giotto and the Roman painters. His major surviving work is now in Siena and Assisi, but some impressive remains

have been recovered at Avignon. Among other Tuscan painters were the brothers Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti, who worked for almost their entire lives in that part of Italy. Their major works are in Siena, but, again, there are important frescoes at Assisi, where, probably, it was Pietro Lorenzetti and his workshop who decorated a transept in the lower church (c. 1330). Ambrogio Lorenzetti is especially famous for an enormous landscape, illustrating the effect of good government, painted in the Palazzo Pubblico Siena (1338-39). Historically, it is the first large, realistic landscape in which Byzantine conventions were entirely discarded. It had strangely few imitators, suggesting that the process of discarding convention and using the evidence of the eye is a slow one. By the middle of the 14th century, Italian painters had achieved a unique position in Europe. They had made discoveries in the art of narrative composition that set them quite apart from painters anywhere else. Their achievements in capturing reality were not easily ignored. Many subsequent changes in northern painting consist of the adaptation of Italian compositional realism to northern purposes.

Ambrogio Lorenzetti
Life in the City. 1337-40

International Gothic
The style of European painting prevalent during the last half of the 14th century and the early years of the 15th is frequently called International Gothic. There were certainly at that time features common to European painting generally. In particular, figures were elegant and graceful, yet at the same time there was a certain artificiality about such figures, and a taste grew for realism in detail, general setting, and composition. The degree of internationalism about this phase of Gothic painting owes something to the fact that much of the most important work was executed under court patronage, and most European royal families were closely linked by marriage ties. Local idiosyncracies, however, persisted; seldom can the art of Paris, for example, be mistaken for that of Lombardy.
Paul Limbourg The Expulsion from Paradise. 1414-1416

The main European courts were those of the Holy Roman emperors (who had nominal suzerainty over central Europe and who at this time had their capital at Prague), the Visconti of Milan, the Valois of France, and the Plantagenets of England. But other sources of patronage existed--in Florence, for example, where the art of Lorenzo Ghiberti and Lorenzo Monaco merged with that of the early Renaissance. And an extraordinary number of important painters were associated about 1350-1400 with the linguistic area of Low Germany--the Low Countries and Westphalia especially--and the Rhineland. Under the Holy Roman emperor Charles IV and his son Wenceslas, Prague was the seat of a flourishing and enlightened court for about 60 years. Brought up in Paris, Charles had also traveled in Italy. Indeed, his main palace

chapel at Karlstejn Castle near Prague, which is the chief monument to Charles's patronage, had an altarpiece by an Italian painter called Tomasso da Modena. The chapel itself was decorated chiefly by a local painter called Theodoric of Prague, whose work is Italianate. A group of his panel paintings, especially the altar of Vyssi Brod (c. 1350), shows a curiously Sienese character, though he did not achieve the delicacy associated with paintings from Siena. The emphasis instead is on heavily modeled faces and thick, heavy drapery. Theodoric's style seems to have initiated the "soft style" that remained a part of German painting well into the 15th century. He certainly determined the character of Bohemian panel painting up to the outbreak of the disastrous Hussite wars (1419).

Charles IV apparently did not collect manuscripts. His ministers and courtiers, however, stimulated an important school of manuscript painting, influenced by French and Italian styles but with distinctive decorative characteristics. Two of the more important manuscripts were a missal (a book containing the office of the mass) done for the chancellor Jan of Streda (c. 1360; Prague, National Museum Library, MS. XIII. A. 12) and a huge Bible begun for Charles's son Wenceslas (1390s; Vienna, Osterreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 2759-2764). Styles similar to this Bohemian painting soon appeared elsewhere--the paintings of Master Bertram of Minden at Hamburg (c. 1380), for example. In Paris a style appeared that had some of the characteristics of Bohemian work, especially a strong emphasis on faces and facial expression. An early example, probably executed before 1364, is a portrait of John II (Louvre, Paris), which is firmly modeled in a rather Italianate manner. More important, however, is the workshop of the master of the "Parement de Narbonne" (1370s; Louvre), an altar hanging (parement) found at the Cathedral of St. Justin Narbonne. These artists, who were active c.1370-1410, worked in a very distinctive style: their figures, while graceful, have markedly heavy heads and expressive faces. That some interest in settings had developed is suggested by the care that must have been taken to render them reasonably three-dimensional. In this respect the works have much in common with earlier Italian painting. An interest in the settings of paintings was shared by panel painters such as Melchior Broederlam, who executed the Dijon altar wings (1390s; Museum of Fine Arts, Dijon). The interest quickly spread during the early 15th century to the manuscript painters, who produced a series of extremely impressive landscape and architectural settings. Especially fine are the so-called Brussels Hours (Brussels, The Belgian National Library, MS. 11060-1) and the Hours of the Marechal de Boucicaut (Jacquemart-Andr Museum, Paris). The best of the manuscript painters worked for the royal family, among whom Jean, duc de Berry, the brother of King Charles V of France, has achieved permanent fame as a patron. The most notable painters who enjoyed his patronage were Pol de Limburg and Pol's two brothers. Their illuminations are frequently reminiscent of contemporary Italian painting. The largest and most sumptuous work, the Trs Riches Heures du duc de Berry (left unfinished in 1416, Conde Museum, Chantilly, Fr.), includes calendar pictures representing each month in terms of the seasonal activities of nobility and peasants. At least one Italian artist--identified tentatively as Zebo da Firenze--was painting in Paris at this period (c. 1405). Manuscripts associated with him are usually sumptuously, if erratically, decorated. Indeed, in the matter of erratic decoration they seem to have had a baleful influence. The border decoration of Parisian manuscripts c. 1410-25, such as those of the artist called the Master of the Duke of Bedford, often seems to run wild and to lack the restraint characteristic

of Parisian painting up to this date. The most eminent Italian artist of this period was perhaps Gentile da Fabriano. Trained probably in Venice, he painted there in the Doges' Palace (first decade of the 15th century) and also at Brescia. Subsequently he moved to Florence and thence to Rome, where he died. Most of his north Italian work has been destroyed, and his style must be assessed chiefly by the work done in Tuscany, the "Adoration of the Magi" altar (1423; Uffizi, Florence). His faces and drapery tend to have a soft, rounded modeling, somewhat reminiscent of the northern "soft style." The subject matter of his painting includes detailed studies of birds, animals, and flowers.

Gentile da Fabriano The Presentation of the Child in the Temple. 1423 Musee du Louvre, Paris

His style forms an interesting contrast to that of Lorenzo Monaco in Florence, who, though equally an International Gothic artist, tended to draw figures with finer, more incisive lines. In many waysGentile's style resembles painting done at the Milanese court during this period. Many illustrated manuscripts survive, giving an impression of a transition about 1370-1410 from a strongly traditional Lombard style to something that has much in common with northern work. In particular, Michelino da Besozzo seems as court artist to have worked in a soft style similar to that of da Fabriano. Also dating from around 1400 is a distinguished group of illuminated manuscripts including the Book of Hours of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, herbals (manuals containing botanical drawings), and a famous sketchbook (c. 1395) containing a large number of drawings of animals (Bergamo, Municipal Library, VII 14) from the workshop of an earlier court artist, Giovannino de' Grassi. In England the decoration of the royal Chapel of St. Stephen's (c. 1360) was apparently, for the period, outstandingly Italianate. (Surviving fragments are in the British Museum, London.) Subsequently, however, in the Chapter House of Westminster Abbey (probably executed c. 1370) there was strong Germanic influence, which has been tentatively compared with the work of Master Bertram at Hamburg. The court style of the second half of the 14th century is best illustrated by a series of manuscripts done for members of the Bohun family and by a sumptuous missal given to Westminster Abbey by its abbot, Nicholas Litlington, in 1383-84. The work is decoratively lavish, but the figure style conveys only distant reflections of Italian painting. A great change in English manuscript painting occurred about 1400 and is associated with an artist named Herman Scheerre, who seems to have come from the region of Cologne. His figures have a rather plump softness that brings them into line with stylistic developments elsewhere; he also had a command of perspective and compositional structure lacking in the work of most previous artists in England. The style of John Siferwas, another painter active during this period, is similar, but his

page decoration is usually more lavish; he produced a series of beautiful bird studies reminiscent of Lombard work. It should be noted, however, that this sort of realistic observation had long been a feature of English work--in the 14th-century East Anglian manuscripts, for example, and in English embroidery from about 1300. In view of the number of good painters who came from the region of the Low Countries, Westphalia, and the Rhineland, it is puzzling that these areas should themselves have produced little important painting from the period about 1350-1410. Judging from the surviving works, easily the most distinguished of the painters active in this part of Europe was the Duke of Burgundy's painter, Melchior Broederlam, who lived and worked at Ypres. Other artists, such as Konrad von Soest, who executed the "Niederwildungen Altar" about 1403, seem to have reflected developments elsewhere without pioneering anything strikingly new. It was not until the 1420s that the Low Countries became the centre of intense pictorial development.

Lorenzo Monako Adoration of the Magi. 1421-22

Late Gothic
The key to much 15th-century painting in northern Europe lies in the Low Countries. The influence of Paris and Dijon decreased, partly because of the renewal of the Hundred Years' War between England and France and partly because of the removal of the Burgundian court, after the mid-1420s, from Dijon to Brussels, which subsequently became the centre of an extensive court patronage. The founder of the Flemish school of painting seems to have been Robert Campin of Tournai. The works of Campin, his pupil Rogier van der Weyden, and Jan van Eyck remained influential for the whole century. One of the most important discoveries of the period of about 1430--especially in the work of van Eyck--was the multifarious effects a painter can achieve by observing the action of light. These early Flemish artists found that light can define form, shape, and texture and that, when captured in a landscape, it can help convey a mood. Rogier van der Weyden also explored the problems of conveying emotion. A development in the rendering of the drapery--the so-called crumpled style of hard angular folds--is particularly clear in the paintings of Campin. Portraiture made dramatic progress during this period. Portraits were obviously not new; sculptors were already experimenting in the 14th century with life--and death--masks. But the brilliant use of lighting gives the portraits of Jan van Eyck, for instance, a vivid life hitherto quite unknown. A great deal of later 15th- and 16th-century Flemish painting seems to play variations on these themes. Although there were painters with distinctly individual styles, such as Hugo van der Goes, with his highly accomplished technique and somewhat contemplative depictions, Hans Memling was more typical (despite having been born in the Rhineland).

Robert Campin Nativity. 1425-1430 Musee des Beaux-Arts, Dijon

The influence of van Eyck's paintings was felt to a limited extent outside the Low Countries--for example, by Konrad Witz of Basel, Switz., by the Master of the Aix Annunciation (1442) of Aix-en-Provence, Fr., and by the Neapolitan artist Colantonio and his illustrious pupil Antonello da Messina. In the course of the century, however, the style of Rogier van der Weyden and his immediate successors, such as Dieric Bouts, became more influential, being felt in Germany, England, Spain, and Portugal. Evidence of Rogier van der Weyden's influence can be seen in the works of Hans Pleydenwurff of Nurnberg, in the wall paintings in Eton College Chapel (c. 1480), and in the paintings of NunoGonalves in Portugal. This new "international style" also influenced the great German engraver Martin Schongauer and, ultimately, the outstanding representative of the German Renaissance school of painting, Albrecht Durer. Any individualists at this time were usually painters who chose to go to the extreme of emphasizing the bizarre or the horrifying. Hugo van der Goes veered in this direction. A very different sort of extreme individuality is found in the work of the Tirolean painter and sculptorMichael Pacher. His pictorial work is so strongly marked by a concern with the structure of the composition and with effects of perspective-particularly foreshortening--that it seems clear he knew the work of Andrea Mantegna of Padua. Although virtually free of antique motifs, Pacher's painting demonstrates the growing fascination of Italian Renaissance art for northern artists. Rather different were the French painters of the 15th century. Court art revived, especially during the reign of Louis XI (146183), as exemplified by the illuminated manuscript Le Livre du coeur d'amours espris (1465; Osterreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna). The most interesting painter was probablyJean Fouquet, who, apparently early in his career, visited Italy. Italian details certainly appear in his work, but, as is evident in the Hours of Etienne Chevalier (Conde Museum, Chantilly) and the "Melun Diptych" (now divided between the Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp), he still painted within the northern tradition. The restrained and somewhat reticent character of much French painting is interestingly similar to much of the sculpture.

(Encyclopdia Britannica)

Melchior Broederlam The Dijon Altarpiece 1393-99 Musee des Beaux-Arts, Dijon

The Triumph of the City

Gothic Art

ARCHITECTURE

Architecture in France

From the middle of the 12th century, a totally new style of architecture emerged in the great cathedrals of northern France. Incorporating improved building techniques and a new perception of symbolic values, this style quickly spread throughout Europe where, in many countries, it would endure for three centuries or more. This was Gothic art, a prolonged and highly original phase in European culture.

The revolutionary new architectural styles and building techniques first used in the mid-12th century on the construction sites of the cathedrals of northern France quickly spread to England, central Europe, Italy, and Spain. In some countries this "Gothic" architecture was to rule until the beginning of the 16th century. The term "Gothic" was first coined by early Renaissance architects as a means of deriding all architecture created in a medieval style. The word itself referred to the idea of a barbaric past of the Dark Ages and, more specifically, to the "Goths" - a Germanic people who invaded Italy in the fifth century and sacked Rome. However, the term was to lose its derogatory overtones and, by the Baroque age, great architects like Borromini and, later, Guarini were quick to appreciate the technical quality and originality of form of these Gothic buildings. In the 19th century, new sensitivities to the picturesque by the English critic John Ruskin, and structural analysis by the French architect and leader of the Gothic Revival in France, Viollet-le-Duc (1814-79), led to a reappraisal of the social and religious qualities of the Middle Ages. Some 20th-century studies of Gothic art have perhaps laid too much emphasis on trends linked to the evolution of style or to geographical location. Others, like those by the art historian Erwin Panofsky and the critic Otto von Simson, have indicated links with scholastic philosophy, or with metaphysics of Neo-Platonic origin. Meanwhile, critics such as Georges Duby have upheld the importance of the role of social and religious context. In architecture, which more than the any other art category personifies Gothic culture, innovation grew out of a progressive mastery of geometry and composition. With new advances in technology, organization, and planning, building methods changed. Construction sites became efficient and economic, and the development of specialist areas, such as carving and layout, enabled work to be allocated and integrated into orderly sequences. The task of the architect became both more intellectual and more independent and names like Pierre de Montreuil (c.1200-66), Peter Parler (1333-99), and Ulrich von Esingen, came to be known. The new style, known as opus francigenum spread rapidly, as the competition between bishops to build cathedrals grew more intense, and it was consolidated by the dominance in the 13th century of the French monarchy throughout northern France. Impressed by the economical use of time and materials, the growing monastic orders - Cistercians, Franciscans, and Dominicans - adopted the Gothic style. Building plans began to circulate outside the strict confines applied by the masons, and were used by architects and patrons.

Durham Cathedral, begun 1093 view of the nave. The structure is bulky and the components are separate, but the ribs on the vaulting compartments run down the piers. For the first time a sense of structural coherence overlaid the solid mass of the supports.

FROM SAINT-DENIS TO CHARTRES


Abbot Suger, a profound mystic, became abbot of Saint-Denis, Paris, in 1122. In 1140, he inaugurated the new basilica, intended as a burial chapel for the Capetian monarchs. This was the first truly Gothic building. Although he only completed the choir aisles and west entrance block, his vision of a ring of stained glass windows expanded the precious shimmer of the altar furniture into an aesthetic of mystic light. The oldest aesthetic dictate, "all that which exists is light", "was echoed in the new edifices in the He de France, with an extraordinary use of stained-glass windows adorned with figures. The glorification of the portal, which had to be rich and light as a sign of Christ and a true door to the salvation of man, was a forerunner of the great sculptures that were to appear at the entrances of Notre-Dame in Paris and Chartres Cathedral. It is really in the shadow of these great building sites that theologians like Theodore of Chartres and William of Conches found an obvious counterpart in the logicality of the Gothic structure, with its impression of everything soaring upwards, Their speculations on creative energy, anima mundi and its other aspect,ornatus mundi, is reflected in the elaboration of detail in the varied and wonderful repertory of sculpted decoration.

Detail of the Portal Royal, Chartres Cathedral, 1145-70.

View of the mid- 13th-century interior of the basilica of Saint-Denis (1140-1281)

The Gothic Cathedrals


Notre-Dame Cathedral
NOTRE-DAME CATHEDRAL

Paris, France 1163-1258

Proceeded by a Gallo-Roman temple to Jupiter, a Christian basilica, and a Romanesque church, construction of Notre-Dame de Paris began in 1163 during the reign of Louis VII. Pope Alexander III laid the foundation stone. The idea to replace the Romanesque church occupying the site - the Cathedral of St. Etienne (founded by Childebert in 528) - was that of Bishop Maurice de Sully (who died in 1196). (Some accounts claim that there were two churches existing on the site, one to the Virgin Mary, the other to St. Stephen.) Construction was completed roughly 200 years later in about 1345. The choir was completed in 1182; the nave in 1208, and the west front and towers circa 1225-1250. A series of chapels were added to the nave during the period 1235-50, and during 1296-1330 to the apse (Pierre de Chelles and Jean Ravy). The transept crossings were build in 1250-67 by Jean de Chelles and Pierre de Montreuil (also the architect of the Sainte-Chapelle). It was essentially completed according to the original plans. The reigns of Louis XIV (end of the 17th century) and Louis XV saw significant alterations including the destruction of tombs, and stained glass. At the end of the 18th century, during the Revolution, many of the treasures of the cathedral were either destroyed or plundered. Only the great bells avoided being melted down, and the Cathedral was dedicated first to the cult of Reason, and to the cult of the Supreme being. The church interior was used as a warehouse for the storage of forage and food.

Notre-Dame, Paris, 1163-1258. Unlike most cathedrals, Notre-Dame still represents the heart of its city. After eight centuries, it remains a point of reference for French art, from its foundations built in 1163 on the site of an old temple dedicated to the Roman god Jove, to the 19th-century restoration work by Viollet-le-Duc. The portals retain some of the original sculpture. The transept was added in the 13th century The interior is dominated by the soaring vaults, the feeling of infinite space, and the austerity of the cylindrical columns in the double aisles.

Notre-Dame, Paris, 1163-1258 General view The front facade, executed somewhat later than the nave,

depicts the Last Judgment in the central portal-a common medieval subject, stories in the life of Mary in the north portal tympanum, and those in the life of her mother Anne in the south portal tympanum

Notre-Dame, Paris, 1163-1258 View of portal

Notre-Dame, Paris, 1163-1258 South tribune, from east looking, west

Notre-Dame, Paris, 1163-1258, (interior)

Notre-Dame, Paris, 1163-1258. Rose window; parapet with Virgin and Child flanked by angels

Notre-Dame, Paris, 1163-1258 Notre-Dame, Paris, 1163-1258

Notre-Dame, Paris, 1163-1258

Notre-Dame, Paris, 1163-1258

Notre-Dame, Paris, 1163-1258

Notre-Dame, Paris, 1163-1258

Notre-Dame, Paris, 1163-1258

ARCHITECTURE

Architecture in Germany

THE PARLER FAMILY


The Parlers were an important German family of masons in the 14th century. Heinrich I (b. C.1300), who trained on the site of Cologne Cathedral, built the Heiligkreuzkirche at Schwabisch-Gmuncl, where he was master mason and responsible for the late Gothic German style. One of his sons, Peter (1333-99), was a leading figure of the late Gothic European style. After his apprenticeship at Schwabisch-Gmiind with his father, he worked in Strasbourg. Cologne, and Nuremberg, before being summoned to Prague to finish the cathedral started by Matthias of Arras. Peter introduced new ideas that connected the windowed triforium arcade to the main upper windows, and developed intricate rib patterns for the vaulting. He was then employed by Charles IV in the most important Prague workshops. Peter's son Wenzel worked on Vienna Cathedral, and another family member. Heinrich III, is recorded as having worked on Milan Cathedral in 1392.

Cologne Cathedral
Cologne, Germany,
begun in 1248.

Cologne Cathedral,

begun in 1248.

Cologne Cathedral,

begun in 1248.

Cologne Cathedral,
COLOGNE CATHEDRAL

begun in 1248.

Cologne Cathedral (German: Klner Dom) is one of the most well-known architectural monuments inGermany and has been Cologne's most famous landmark for centuries. Construction of thegothic church began in the 13th century and took, with interruptions, more than 600 years. The two towers are 157m tall, the cathedral is 144m long and 86m wide. It was built on the site of a4th century Roman temple, a square edifice known as the 'oldest cathedral' and commissioned by Maternus, the first Christian bishop of Cologne. The present cathedral was built to house the relics of the Magi, brought to Cologne from Italy by Archbishop Rainald von Dassel in 1164. The foundation stone was laid on August 15, 1248, by Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden. The choir was

Cologne Cathedral,

begun in 1248.

consecrated in 1322. After this initial rapid progress, construction work gradually came to a standstill, and by the year 1560, only a torso had been built. It was only with 19th century romantic enthusiasm for the Middle Agesand the commitment of the Prussian Court that construction work resumed in 1842 with the addition of the towers and other substantial parts of the cathedral. The completion of Germany's largest cathedral was celebrated as a national event in 1880, 632 years after construction had began. The celebration was attended by Emperor Wilhelm I. In the end, the outer appearance remained faithful to the original medieval plans; however, the roof was a modernsteel construction. At its completion, the Cologne cathedral was the tallest building in the world, having taken over from the cathedral of Rouen. In 1889, it lost the title to Mole Antonelliana, the cathedral of Turin. For a small fee it is possible to climb a spiral staircase to a viewing platform about 98 metres above the ground. The cathedral suffered 14 hits byWorld War II bombs; reconstruction was completed in1956.

Cologne Cathedral,

begun in 1248.

Cologne Cathedral, begun in 1248. Interior.

Cologne Cathedral, begun in 1248.

Cologne Cathedral,

begun in 1248.

Cologne Cathedral,

begun in 1248.

Cologne Cathedral,

begun in 1248.

Cologne Cathedral,

begun in 1248.

Cologne Cathedral,

begun in 1248.

Sankt Lozenz Kirche Cathedral


Nurnberg, Bavaria, Germany

Sankt Lozenz Kirche Cathedral

Sankt Lozenz Kirche Cathedral

Sankt Lozenz Kirche Cathedral

Sankt Lozenz Kirche Cathedral

Church of Our Dear Lady


Nurnberg, Bavaria, Germany

Church of Our Dear Lady

Church of Our Dear Lady

ARCHITECTURE

Architecture in Italy

Architecture in Italy
From the start of the 12th century. Italian architecture was characterized by many different aspirations, which combined to create an architectural culture of great vitality and a striking geographical diversity. On the one hand Franco-Burgundian influences began to filter through with the foundation of Cistercian monasteries, from Chiaravalle to Fossanova, and were partially adopted by new orders, in particular the frugal Franciscans and Dominicans. Challenging these ideas was the tenacious Romanesque tradition, which was well able to cater for the needs of the new city states. This was the case in the Po Valley of northern Italy, although the church of Sant'Andrea in Vercelli and the top colonnade of the Baptistry of Parma already showed concessions to the new style from the north side of the Alps. Another important influence on Italian architecture was offered by the classical heritage, dominated by the early Christian basilicas in Rome, and in the Imperial revivals in Italy, splendidly interpreted by Frederick II of Germany (1194-1250).

who was crowned emperor of Rome in 1220. This complex combination of influences was profoundly interlinked with equally multifaceted developments in other Italian art forms, making it difficult to recognize coherent and unambiguous patterns. From a historical point of view. Gothic represented a distinct change, which counteracts the traditional understanding of an uninterrupted transition from the Romanesque to the Renaissance (epitomized by the work of Brunelleschi). By the 13th century, the Franciscan and Dominican orders, together with the Humiliati. a penitential association of the laity specific to the Po Valley, were pushing for simpler constructions and more usable space. As a result, the ceilings of nave and aisles. whether vaulted or wooden, were adjusted to reduce the differences in height between the side aisles, while the widely spaced pillars gradually diminished the excessive mix of straight and curved lines by the use of wide-diameter arches, either pointed or completely rounded. The result was a geometric architectonic image that was rationally coherent in design. The surrounding walls became a surface for the multicoloured decorations of cycles of legendary scenes, which were either painted on, as in the buildings at Assisi, or sculpted, as in the facade of Siena Cathedral. Seen from this point of view, Giotto's bell-tower in Florence represented an extraordinary return to the integrity of surface articulation. Despite the obvious French influences in the Upper church of Assisi or in San Francesco, Bologna, with its radial chapels around the choir, the Dominicans and Franciscans consciously respected civic needs and erected buildings of strong public character, as is clear in Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce in Florence. Out of this situation the image of the civic cathedral took shape: from Siena to Orvieto, Lecce, and Bologna. Milan provided an opportunity for later revisions of the French innovations, especially as regards decoration (triforia, rose-windows, spires, pinnacles). Other integrations are beautifully exemplified by the crowning of the Baptistry of Pisa and its neighbouring cemetery, the Camposanto. That these developments were closely modelled on the art of goldsmiths is evident in the two great facades of Orvieto and Siena, with the microarchitecture of ciboria (dome-shaped canopies above the high altar), pulpits, and funerary monuments - works in which artists such as Giovanni Pisano (c.1248- 1314) and Arnolfo di Cambio participated. Also characteristic of the new age was the versatility of great architects who were generally competent artists in a wide range of different fields, including draughtsmanship. Such artists include Giotto and Arnolfo di Cambio in Florence, and Giovanni Pisano in Siena. The Italian cities developed rapidly to reach economic independence and this fostered numerous new civic buildings with a versatile mixture of Gothic pinnacles, colonnaded porticos, and sculptural detail. Clustered around the central square, magnificent town halls, hospitals, and urban palazzos were built, and work continued on the cathedrals. Echoes of classical architecture, which retained vestiges of the ancient rules of proportion, was strongest in Rome. It was also seen at the court of Frederick, which in Castel del Monte interpreted Cistercian Gothic in noble, classical forms. The octagonal cathedral crossings provided a monumental example, which was to extend the geometric styles beyond the confines of the cathedral, to be applied to the fountains of city squares. It is also in the cathedrals of Pisa. Siena, and Ancona that another example of geometric order emerges: the cupola set above the transept and the body of the nave.

Baptistry of Parma (1196-1216).

Facade of Siena Cathedral, built and reworked from 1284 to 1382.

Facade of Siena Cathedral

Siena Cathedral (interior)

FRANCISCAN ARCHITECTURE
In 1228, the Basilica di San Francesco was begun in Assisi, two years after the saint's death. This long building project revealed the bitter quarrel between those who adhered strictly to St Francis's ideals of poverty - evident even in the first paintings of him in the Sacro Speco at Subiano - and those who supported the inclusion of the Franciscan phenomenon in the affairs of the Church. Unlike St Bernard, who had founded the Cistercian Order in the 12th century, St Francis had not introduced aesthetic ideals into new monastic foundations, but went about restoring small rural oratories. Otherwise, the brothers' work was purely mendicant. The building had the triple function of a burial place, a conventual church, and a papal chapel. The Lower Church, which perhaps represented the first phase, was soon followed by the more ambitious project of the Upper Church, which was rich in French Gothic elements, such as Angers cathedral and the unified space of episcopal chapels. The building itself stressed the relationship between his preaching mission, and Christ's mission, which was also emphasized in Giotto's cycle of frescos, the Life ofSt Francis, as well as by Dante in Canto XI of Paradiso in his Divine Comedy. Franciscan architecture soon gained a hold throughout Roman Catholic Europe. Favouring wide, well-lit spaces, walls were decorated with scenes from the Basilica di San Francesco, Assisi. Passion, the Nativity, the Life of the Virgin, saints, and the beatified who encouraged a life of charity. Franciscan convents and churches were prominent in the cities and it was here that many great artists worked, from Giotto to Piero della Francesca, and from Leonardo to Titian. Vying with the Dominicans, the Franciscans were philosophers and theologians, teaching in the universities and influencing the culture of the courts.

View of the Upper Church towards the apse, Basilica di San Francesco, Assisi.

Basilica di San Francesco, Assisi.

THE HARMONY OF ARCHITECTURE AND SCULPTURE


The capitals of Milan Cathedral and the Pilasters of the Angels testify to the great constant of Gothic cathedrals the close relationship between architecture and sculpture. This is not merely decoiatne, but is of great iconographic meaning. The Pilasters of the Angels, inside the portals of the transept of Strasbourg Cathedral, date from 1220 to 1225. The sculptor, who had probably worked on the site at Chartres, placed the angels inside false-niches formed by Gothic-brackets and pediments made to represent the city. This figurative tradition, widespread on the portals and facades of the cathedrals, was to find a new application in the capitals of Milan Cathedral. Completed at the end of the 14th century to designs by Giovannino De' Grassi, they were criticized by the Frenchman Jean Mignot. However, the church authorities replied that they respected proportions analogous to Vitruvian rationality, and that their decorative merit was strictly related to the iconography. The "Gallery of Saints" was transferred from the portals and facades to the pilasters, where it lined the pathway of the faithful to the altar.

Capitals in Milan Cathedral, Pilasters of the Angels

Milan Cathedral
Milan, Italy 1386-1577 Milan Cathedral, Italy, 1386-1577

Milan Cathedral

Begun in the 1380's on a site where several churches had existed earlier, the building of this cathedral was fraught with difficulties. Over a number of years several different architects and consultants (including Leonardo and Bramante) were asked to work on the design.The cathedral is white marble, over a brick core, and has a cruciform plan. One of the largest cathedrals in the world (14,000 square yards) it was designed to accommodate 40,000 worshippers. The forest of pinnacles, the tracery panels, and the rich embellishment with statuary identifies it as Late Gothic. Closer to France than most Italian cathedrals, it borrows more directly from the French "rayonnant" style.

Milan Cathedral, Italy, 1386-1577

Milan Cathedral, Italy, 1386-1577 Milan Cathedral, Italy, 1386-1577

Milan Cathedral, Italy, 1386-1577

Milan Cathedral, Italy, 1386-1577 Milan Cathedral, Italy, 1386-1577

Milan Cathedral, Italy, 1386-1577 Milan Cathedral, Italy, 1386-1577

Milan Cathedral, Italy, 1386-1577

ARCHITECTURE

Architecture in England

Christ Church Cathedral


Canterbury, England 597-15th century

Christ Church Cathedral, Canterbury, England, 597-15th century

Christ Church Cathedral, Canterbury, England, 597-15th century

Christ Church Cathedral, Canterbury, England, 597-15th century

Christ Church Cathedral, Canterbury, England, 597-15th century

Christ Church Cathedral

Founded 597 by St. Augustine. Mother Church of the Anglican Communion. Romanesque Crypt. 12th century Gothic Quire. 14th-15th century Nave. Site of Becket's Martyrdom and Shrine. Notable stained glass. The foundation of this splendid Cathedral dates back to the coming of the first archbishop, Augustine, from Rome in A.D. 597, but the earliest part of the present building is the great Romanesque crypt built circa 1100. The monastic "quire" erected on top of this at the same time was destroyed by fire in 1174, only 4 years after the murder of Thomas Becket on a dark December evening in the northwest transept, still one of the most famous places of pilgrimage in Europe. The destroyed "quire" was immediately replaced by

Christ Church Cathedral, Canterbury, England, 597-15th century

a magnificent early Gothic one, the first major expression of that architectural style in England. Its architects were the Frenchman, William of Sens and "English" William, who took his place after the Frenchman was crippled in an accident in 1178 that later proved fatal.

Christ Church Cathedral, Canterbury, England, 597-15th century

Christ Church Cathedral, Canterbury, England, 597-15th century

Christ Church Cathedral, Canterbury, England, 597-15th century

Christ Church Cathedral, Canterbury, England, 597-15th century

Saint Mary Cathedral


Salisbury, England 1220-1258

Saint Mary Cathedral

Formerly New Sarum city in Salisbury district, administrative and historic county of Wiltshire, England, at the confluence of the Rivers Avon and Wiley. It has functioned historically as the principal town of Wiltshire and is the seat of an Anglican bishop. The origins of Salisbury lie in Old Sarum, an Early Iron Age fort 1.5 miles (2.5 km) north taken over by the Romans. Underthe Saxons it became an important town, and by the 11th century it possessed a mint. The Normans built a castle on the mound, and Old Sarum became a bishopric when the see was transferred from Sherborne in 1075. The present cathedral was founded in the neighbouring valley, site of modern Salisbury, in 1220, and a new city quickly developed around it. The Black and Grey friaries were both established in the 13th century. An earthen rampart was built around the city in 1310, and

Saint Mary Cathedral, Salisbury, England, 1220-1258

soon afterward gates were added. The cloth and wool trades flourished in the Middle Ages, and the making of cutlery also became prominent. Today the city centre remains much as it was in medieval times, laid out in gridiron fashion. The cathedral and a largenumber of timber-framed buildings survive. Salisbury is a tourist and market centre. Principal occupations are cattle and poultry marketing, engineering, brewing, leatherwork, and printing.

Saint Mary Cathedral, Salisbury, England, 1220-1258

Saint Mary Cathedral, Salisbury, England, 1220-1258

Saint Mary Cathedral, Salisbury, England, 1220-1258

Saint Mary Cathedral, Salisbury, England, 1220-1258

Saint Mary Cathedral, Salisbury, England, 1220-1258

Saint Mary Cathedral, Salisbury, England, 1220-1258

Saint Mary Cathedral, Salisbury, England, 1220-1258

Saint Mary Cathedral, Salisbury, England, 1220-1258

STAINED GLASS

THE SUPREMACY OF DRAWING


Villard d'Honnecourt. a 13th-centurv architect from Picardv, created his compilation treatise "Livre de portraiture" in about 1235 to provide Gothic architects with models and examples in technical drawing. From an ornamental leaf to plans for a nave at Rheims. Villard designed geometric systems, and attempted to unveil, through drawing, the rational spirit that he saw as governing creation. This, he believed, should be adapted in the work of the artist, whether it be in the details of a capital or the span of a bridge. Architectural plans became an important part of Gothic art. Although the drawings for the bell-tower of Strasbourg Cathedral were intended to aid building work, their depiction of details of the decorative fretwork and delicately coloured statues show the pictorial and luminous effects to architecture could also aspire.

Villard d'Honnecourt, copy of the Choir of Rheims. Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris.

STAINED GLASS
The art of stained glass was an integral part of Gothic culture. At the beginning of the 13th century. Western master masons came together from far and wide to work on the construction site of Chartres Cathedral. This remains one of the few cathedral interiors that retains the original stained glass. Work in glass is an art of many disciplines. As well as its technical evolution, well documented by Theosophus and others, this medium carried rich symbolism and iconography, much of the meaning and impact of which is lost to us today. Organic forms fit well with the compartmentalized sections. For the Tree of Jesse", a popular subject first used by Abbot Suger in the Saint-Denis window, curving sections were used to contain within the branches the Kings, the Virgin, and the hierarchy of heaven. Medallions and lozenge shapes were commonly used to divide the events of the great stories of the Bible, the life of Christ, and. most enduring of all, images glorifying the Virgin, the locus of devotion, especially during the 13th century. Most striking of all was the glorious colour that streamed into places of worship all across Europe, bringing light and meaning to the promise of eternal enlightenment from heaven.

Robert Master, Madonna and Child, detail from the stained glass in the west window of York Minster.

Notre Dame de la Belle Verriere, detail from a stained-glass window in Chartres Cathedral, early 13th cenury.

Saint-Denis (Notre Dame de SaintDenis), begun 1137, -first Gothic cathedral


exterior support structures which take the weight off the walls allowing for more windows

Saint-Denis (Notre Dame de Saint-Denis), begun 1137, -first Gothic cathedral


exterior support structures which take the weight off the walls allowing for more windows, and stained glass windows-colored glass in mosaic style

Stained glass in Notre Dame Cathedral (1145-1220), Chartres (France)

Stained glass in Notre Dame Cathedral (1145-1220), Chartres (France)

Strasburg Workshop 1461 Stained glass, Walburg(Alsace), church

Strasburg Workshop 1461 Stained glass, Walburg(Alsace), church

Milan Cathedral, Italy, 1386-1577

SCULPTURE

Arnolfo di Cambio

TOMBS AND MONUMENTS


The tomb for Cardinal de Brave was created by Arnolfo di Cambio, a pupil of Nicola Pisano and collaborator of his son Giovanni, for the Church of San Domenico in Orvieto in 1282. Even in a reconstructed state, this work is obviously that of a sculptor, marking the rising social standing of artists. It also proves the importance that this micro-architecture - as seen in the tabernacle of the church of San Paolo Fuori le Mura in Rome was beginning to take on in the development of contemporary architectural language. Simplicity and geometric order were adopted in the plans for Santa Maria del Fiore (1296) and the Palazzo Vecchio (1299). Arnolfo's compositions also initiated the rising interest for funerary monuments as patronage commemoration, set in elaborate architectural relief compositions that supplanted the more conventional insets. Among the most important 13th-century examples are the arcosolia (wall tombs) in Salamanca Cathedral, where architecture, sculpture, and painting join together to express the theme of a celestial Jerusalem. Tomb of Abbot Cotta, Sant'Ambrogio, Milan, 1267.

Arnolfo di Cambio (1245-1302) Tomb of Cardinal de Braye, after 1282, marble, San Domenico, Orvieto.

Arnolfo di Cambio (1245-1302) Frieze of Mourning Acolytes, 1276, marble. Cloister of S. Giovanni Laterano, Rome.

ARNOLFO DI CAMBIO

Florentine sculptor and architect Arnolfo di Cambio (1245-1302) was greatly inspired by the heroic classical style of Nicola Pisano, who he assisted as a young man. His work also shows an awareness of the French Gothic linear values. Among the many buildings in Florence attributed to him are Santa Croce and the Palazzo Vecchio. He was master mason of the new cathedral of Florence, begun in 1296.

Arnolfo di Cambio (1245-1302) Madonna, 1296-1302, marble. Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence.

Arnolfo di Cambio (1245-1302) Madonna and Child, 1296-1302, marble. Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence. Arnolfo di Cambio (1245-1302) Monument to L. Savelli, marble, S. Maria in Aracoeli, Rome.

Arnolfo di Cambio (1245-1302) Tomb of Boniface VIII, marble, 1294-1296. Musei Vaticani, Rome.

Arnolfo di Cambio (1245-1302) The Statue of Saint Peter, early 14th century, bronze. Treasury of San Pietro, Vatican.

Arnolfo di Cambio (1245-1302)

Arnolfo di Cambio (1245-1302) Tabernacle, marble, 1283. Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome.

Assetato alla Fonte, 1281, Marble.

Arnolfo di Cambio (1245-1302) Donna alla Fonte, 1281, Marble.

Arnolfo di Cambio (1245-1302) Scriba, 1281, Marble..

Arnolfo di Cambio (1245-1302) Thirsty Woman, 1281, Marble.

Arnolfo di Cambio (1245-1302) Santa Croce, S. Croce, Firenze, Italy, 1294-1442

Arnolfo di Cambio (1245-1302) Santa Croce, S. Croce, Firenze, Italy, 1294-1442

SCULPTURE

Nicola Pisano and Giovanni Pisano

THE PULPITS OF NICOLA AND GIOVANNI PISANO As the mendicant hanciscan and Dominican orders took more and more to preaching, special liturgical sites, such as the pulpit, took on greater significance. Through the works of the great Pisano family in Siena, Pisa, and Pistoia, the pulpit became the element that best illustrates the development of Tuscan sculpture. Nicola trained in the court of Frederick II. as the transference of the Castel del Monte architectural design to his pulpits at Pisa ( 1260)) and Siena (1265) would seem to indicate. His Childboood and Passion of Christ reveal a compositional rigour and powerful relief work that are clearly classical in origin. In his work on the pulpits of the cathedrals of Pistoia (1301) and Pisa (1302). his son Giovanni heightened these Gothic tensions. An impetuous, dramatic energy, centred on the major points, such as the Cross of the Passion of Christ, invests the figures with an amazing variety of effects and creates a strong sense of tragic power.

Nicola Pisano
(122025 - 1284)

Pulpit, 1260

Marble, height cm 463. This is the first signed work by the artist comissioned for the Baptistry in 1255 and completed in 1260, Baptistry, Pisa.

Adoration of the Magi, 1260,

marble, height cm 85, details of a figure on the pulpit parapet, Baptistry, Pisa.

Annunciation, Birth of Jesus and Adoration of the Shepherds, marble, 1260, Baptistry, Pisa.

Pisano

Italian family of sculptors and architects. Originally from Apulia, Nicola Pisano settled in Pisa in the mid13th century and from there undertook commissions in the major artistic centres of Tuscany, as well as in Bologna and Perugia. His work, which combined Classical and Byzantine-Islamic traditions with Romanesque and Gothic, formed a bridge between the Mediterranean and northern Europe, bringing Tuscany into the heart of European artistic culture. He recaptured the sense of dignity of late Roman sculpture, with its realistic spatial effects, and revitalized it in the service of Christian narrative. His style continued to have an important influence on architecture, sculpture, painting and metalwork for several generations, and was spread by his school, which included Arnolfo di Cambio, to Florence, Orvieto, Rome and Naples. Nicolas son Giovanni Pisano was also active in Tuscany. He created a highly expressive and dramatic style, in which

Nicolas classicism was transformed by a more profound assimilation of Gothic art.

The Fortress, 1255-1256, marble, Baptistry, Pisa

Nicola Pisano (b c. 122025; d before 1284).

Two documents drawn up in Siena on 11 May 1266 describe Nicola as 'de Apulia; in his signed works and other documents he appears as "Pisanus". This has caused controversy over his origins, but he is now thought to have been trained in the Apulian workshops of Emperor Frederick II, perhaps those at Castel del Monte, and to have moved to Tuscany c. 1245, working on projects associated with Frederick, such as Prato Castle. This would have brought him into contact with artists and craftsmen from the Mediterranean lands and from north of the Alps, where a new figure style was emerging in the cathedral workshops of the Ile-de-France and Germany; he would also have worked alongside Cistercian builders who later went to Tuscany under Fredericks protection, to work at S Galgano Abbey, near Pisa. In the imperial workshops the representational traditions of Classical art were given new life and spiritual force, and there was concern to convey movement, emotion and the signs of age and illness. This new art was encouraged by Frederick, who favoured the fusion of Classical with Christian traditions as an instrument of policy. The lifelike features that characterize it can be seen, for example, in the Barletta bust (c. 1231; Barletta, Mus.-Pin. Com.), which is almost certainly a portrait of Frederick himself, dressed as a Roman emperor: deep wrinkles line the face and the folds of the mantle seem to flutter in the breeze. At Castel del Monte, the fragmentary Molaioli portrait head shows the marks of age and suffering and the wrinkled telamons supporting the vaults are animated by violent grimaces.

Presentation in the Temple, detail from the pulpit, 1260, marble Baptistry, Pisa

Pulpit, 1265-68, marble, Duomo, Siena.

Adoration of the Magi, relief from the pulpit, 1265-68, marble, Duomo, Siena.

The Crucifixion, (detail), marble, 1265-1268, Duomo, Siena

Apocalyptic Christ, relief from the pulpit (detail), 1265-68, marble Duomo, Siena.

The Crucifixion, marble, 1265-1268, Duomo, Siena.

Fonte Maggiore, 1278, Marble with bronze, height of the figures cm 77, Baptistry, Pisa.

Giovanni Pisano
(1245 - 1319)

Giovanni Pisano

(b Pisa, c. 124550; d Siena, before end of 1319). Son of (1) Nicola Pisano.

Giovanni Pisano is first mentioned in the contract for the pulpit of Siena Cathedral in 1265, which awarded him a higher payment (4 soldi) than Nicolas other assistants Arnolfo and Lapo (6 soldi for both). He probably worked with his father on the altar of S Jacopo (1273; destr.) in Pistoia Cathedral before beginning work on the Great Fountain, Perugia (c. 12778). Initially Giovannis work was limited to carrying out Nicolas compositions and following his models, but he soon developed a style of his own, identifiable even in the context of his fathers workshop, and he evidently enjoyed considerable autonomy on the Perugia fountain. He also benefited from contact with Arnolfo di Cambio, who was able to bring out the linear tensions inherent in Nicolas more plastic style and to emphasize the geometrical structures underlying the forms. Especially after Nicolas death, Giovanni developed an extraordinarily broad range of expression, carving figures that were solemn and contemplative or tormented and violent, often distorted and emaciated to convey emotion. His motifs were inspired variously by Nicolas severe and solemn classicism, by the agitated, dramatic sculpture of the Hellenistic and Roman traditions, and by French and German Gothic art. The inscription on Giovannis pulpit in Pisa Cathedral records that he was "endowed above all others with command of the pure art of sculpture, sculpting splendid things in stone, wood and gold".

Pulpit, 1302-10, marble, Cathedral, Pisa.

Last Judgment, marble, 1310 Cathedral, Pisa.

Pulpit, 1310, marble, Cathedral, Pisa.

Massacre of the Innocents, (detail: the pulpit), 1301, marble, Sant'Andrea, Pistoia.

Story of the Birth of Jesus, 1298-1301, marble, Sant'Andrea, Pistoia.

Plato, 1280, marble, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena.

Sibyl, 1285-1295, marble, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena.

SCULPTURE

Tino di Camaino

Sculpture
The construction sites of the great cathedrals also became the most important sculptural workshops, dedicated to the decoration of facades, spires and. above all, portals. The mid-12th-century Portal Royal of Chartres shows how closely and harmoniously the sculpted figures conformed to the disposition of the architecture, without any loss of expression or drama. Saint-Denis and Notre-Dame in Paris became prototypes for composition and iconography, which were complex and carefully worked out. Saints and episodes from the Bible, often of apocalyptic inspiration, were displayed on these great facades in coherent and hierarchical arrangements. Then, in the early 13th century, in the north and south portals at Chartres, the programme of the "heavenly kingdom" was developed as a full integration of homage and celebration, with the deep colonnaded porticos giving a full articulation to the order of Christ's Second Coming. At Rheims and Amiens, the porticos are flattened back into the modulations of the facade, and the figures stand out as personalities that show expressive gestures. The drapery folds take on an independent substance, implying a range of formal nuances and emotions that contrasts with the repetitive components of the architectural settings. By mid-century, in the transept portals of Notre Dame, this variation becomes graceful and sinuous, seen in the tympanum narratives of St Stephen and the Virgin. The compositions have become connected to the meanings of the incidents. Funerary carvings were a characteristic genre of 14th-century France. The face of thegisant (recumbent figure on the tomb) was made in the likeness of the deceased, and the pleurants (weepers) represented the mourners at the funeral. Begun by Louis IX (St Louis) in the 13th century for his own dynasty, these sculptures often imitated the tomb of Philip III, made by Pierre de Chelles and Jean d'Arras between 1298 and 1307. Towards the end of the 14th century, the elegant linear style and increasing taste for realism reached its peak withClaus Sluter (c. 1340-1405), "whose vivid and solemn realism is embodied in his dynamic works of art for the Charterhouse of Champmol. In Italy, the pulpits of Nicola Pisano (active c. 1258-1278) for the Baptistry of Pisa and Siena Cathedral already showed the transition from the Roman heritage of gravitas towards more integrated forms. In the case of his son Giovanni, these betrayed a stay in France that had liberated his expressive talent into rounded and full modelling. This was later displayed in his statues for Siena Cathedral and the pulpits for the cathedrals of Pistoia and Pisa. The Pisa school produced Giovanni di Balduccio, who inspired the sculptors of Lombardy with new ideas, and Tino di Camaino (c. 1285 1337), who brought Gothic-sculpture to southern Italy. Finally, Giotto's radical style of painting was to influence many fellow sculptors, as shown by Andrea Pisano (c. 1290-1349) in the reliefs for the door of the Baptistry in Florence and in those for the bell-tower of the cathedral. where he wascapomaestro from 1340 to 1343.

Tino di Camaino (1280-1337)


Grabmal Heinrichs VII.

Tino di Camaino (1280-1337)


Madonna and Child with Queen Sancia, Saints and Angels, c. 1335 Samuel H. Kress Collection

Tino di Camaino (1280-1337 Madonna and Child, 1317

Tino di Camaino (1280-1337)


Il vescovo Antonio Orso, Firenze, 1321

Tino di Camaino

(b Siena, c. 1280; d Naples, 1337). Italian sculptor. He led an itinerant career, working in Siena, Pisa, Florence and Naples for some of the most powerful Guelph and Ghibelline patrons of the day. The roots of his style lie in late 13th-century Siena, but during his long stay in Ghibelline Pisa it gradually grew nearer to that of Giovanni Pisano. Tinos return to Siena and the change in his political affiliation in 1315 were accompanied by a new artistic orientation, in which he drew inspiration from painting, particularly the work of Simone Martini. This period of artistic maturity extended also to his time in Florence (1318 1323/4). He was the most important and inventive sculptor of funerary monuments in Tuscany at this time, and in this capacity he was summoned to Naples by the House of Anjou, the leaders of the Guelph party in Italy. Through his influence on local sculptors, the innovations of Tuscan Gothic sculpture were spread throughout southern Italy, and his influence there was felt long after his death. His style is characterized by powerful figures in which are united an impression of substantial volume and geometric structure with a sense of grace and a rhythmic flow of form.

Tino di Camaino (1280-1337)


Tomba di Caterina d'Austria

Tino di Camaino (1280-1337) Tomba di Carlo di Calabria, 1333, Napoli-Santa Chiara Tino di Camaino (1280-1337)
Allegory of Charity

Tino di Camaino (1280-1337)

Statue of Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor, with his Counsellors, 1315 (marble)

Tino di Camaino (1280-1337) Virgin and Child upon the Seat of Wisdom, 1320

Tino di Camaino (1280-1337)


Tomba del Cardinale Petroni, Siena, 1317

Tino di Camaino (1280-1337), Monumento funebre del Cardinal Petroni, 1318

Tino di Camaino (1280-1337), tomb

Tino di Camaino (1280-1337), tomb (detail)

Tino di Camaino (1280-1337), tomb (detail)

Tino di Camaino (1280-1337) and Gagliardo Primario. Tomb of Mary of Hungary, 1325. The front of the tomb is supported by
angels and shows the portraits of the sens of Mary and Charles II Angevin rulers liked to be depicted with their descendants on their tombs

SCULPTURE

Andrea Pisano

Noah 1336 - 1343 Marble Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence, Italy

Painting 1336 - 1343 Marble Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence, Italy

Andrea Pisano

(b Pontedera, c. 1295; d ?Orvieto, 13489). He was the son of the Pisan notary Ugolino di Nino and the father of Nino Pisano and Tommaso Pisano. He was a goldsmith, sculptor and Master of the Cathedral Works in both Florence and Orvieto, a position that was not necessarily connected to the function of architect. His artistic importance derives principally from the fact that he adapted the "principles of monumental painting" developed by Giotto "to the medium of relief" (Falk 1940), and by so doing gave a decisive impetus to the development from the Gothic conception of a draped figure towards the weightiness of the Renaissance standing figure with its organically related drapery.

Ploughing 1336 - 1343 Marble Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence, Italy

Riding 1336 - 1343 Marble Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence, Italy

Sculpture 1336 - 1343 Marble Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence, Italy

The Creation of Eve 1336 - 1343 Marble Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence, Italy Santa Reparata

1336 - 1343 Marble Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence, Italy

Work of the Ancestors 1336 - 1343 Marble Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence, Italy

South Doors: Life of Saint John the Baptist 1330 Bronze Baptistry, Florence, Italy South Doors 1330 Bronze Baptistry, Florence, Italy

South Doors: Birth of the Baptist 1330 Bronze Baptistry, Florence, Italy

South Doors: Entombment of the Baptist 1330 Bronze Baptistry, Florence, Italy

South Doors: Fortitude 1330 Bronze Baptistry, Florence, Italy

South Doors: Hope 1330 Bronze Baptistry, Florence, Italy

South Doors: Naming of the Baptist 1330 Bronze Baptistry, Florence, Italy

South Doors: The Visitation 1330 Bronze Baptistry, Florence, Italy

SCULPTURE

Claus Sluter

THE CHARTERHOUSE OF CHAMPMOL


Founded as a family mausoleum by Philip the Bold in 1383. the Charterhouse of Champmol near Dijon was one of the most important religions and artistic centres of the dukedom of Burgundy during the late Gothic era. Today, the site of the destroyed charterhouse is occupied by a psychiatric hospital, but some important works still survive, such as the facade of the church and the Moses' Well, Melchior Broederlam, Flight into Egypt, side panel of an altarpiece, c 1399. Musee des Beaux-Arts, Dijon, France.

which was carved by Claus

Sluterduring the last ten years


of the 14th century. These, together with the duke's tomb and its pleurants (weepers), now housed in the Dijon Museum, are among some of the greatest European masterpieces of late Gothic naturalism. The town museum still preserves four panels, painted tor the altarpiece of Champmol, showing the Life of the Virgin by the Flemish artist Melchior Broederlam from Ypres.

Claus Sluter (1360-1406)

Claus Sluter (1360-1406)

Well of Moses 1395-1406 Musee Archeologique, Dijon

Well of Moses: Moses 1395-1406 Musee Archeologique, Dijon

Claus Sluter (1360-1406)

Claus Sluter (1360-1406)

Claus Sluter (1360-1406)

Claus Sluter (1360-1406)

Well of Moses:

Moses

Well of Moses: Prophet King David and Jeremiah.

Well of Moses: Prophets Daniel and Isaiah.

Well of Moses

Claus Sluter

(b Haarlem, c. 1360; d Dijon, 1406). Netherlandish sculptor, active in Burgundy. He formulated the 15th-century Burgundian style and strongly influenced northern Renaissance sculpture. The name Claes de Slutere van Herlam appears in the guild list of the Brussels stone-cutters and masons about 1379. After possibly training in a family workshop in Haarlem, his formal training probably took place after he arrived in Brussels. This would make a birth date of c. 1360 more probable than 1340, as has been suggested. The various changes in the spelling of Sluters name, his continued association with contemporaries in the guild list, and the influence of Brussels artists on his work, all indicate that he spent a considerable length of time there.

Well of Moses: Angel

Claus Sluter (1360-1406)

Well of Moses: Angel

Claus Sluter (1360-1406)

Claus Sluter (1360-1406) Christ.

Claus Sluter (1360-1406)

Memorial to Philip the Bold Stone, 1389-1406 Charterhouse of Champmol, Dijon

Claus Sluter (1360-1406)

Memorial to Philip the Bold Stone, 1389-1406 Charterhouse of Champmol, Dijon

Claus Sluter (1360-1406)

Tomb of Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy Marble, 1390-1406 Musee Archeologique, Dijon

Claus Sluter (1360-1406)

Tomb of Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy Marble, 1390-1406 Musee Archeologique, Dijon

Claus Sluter (1360-1406)

Tomb of Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, (detail) Marble, 1390-1406 Musee Archeologique, Dijon

SCULPTURE

Benedetto Antelami Giovanni di Balduccio Jacobello Dalle Masegne

Benedetto Antelami
Italian sculptor, Parma school (active 1170-1230)
Italian sculptor and architect. After Wiligelmo and Nicholaus, Antelami was the last of the great northern Italian sculptors working in the cities of the central Po Valley in the 12th century. Although he is referred to in the inscriptions as a sculptor, it is probable that he was also an architect, and that he belonged originally, as his name implies, to the guild of civic builders known as the Magistri Antelami, active in the region of Como. He worked mainly in Parma and its surroundings, although his influence was widespread.

King David 1210-16 Stone Cathedral, Borgo San Donnino

June c. 1200 Stone Baptistry, Parma

August c. 1200 Marble Baptistry, Parma

September c. 1200 Stone Baptistry, Parma

December c. 1200 Stone Baptistry, Parma

Deposition from the Cross 1178 Marble Duomo, Parma

Giovanni di Balduccio
Italian sculptor, active 131849

Annunciation before 1334 Marble Santa Maria del Prato, San Casciano Val di Pesa

Shrine of St Peter Martyr 1335-39 Marble S. Eustorgio, Milan

Giovanni Balducci

(b ?Pisa; fl 1317/1849). Italian sculptor. He is first documented in 1317/18 in the cathedral workshop in Pisa, where he was being paid a modest daily wage. In 1349 he was asked, while living in Milan, to take charge of the cathedral works in Pisa, but he was still resident in Milan towards the end of 1349, and he may have died there soon afterwards. His style is known from four signed works, which have formed the basis for a reconstruction of his oeuvre: the tomb of Guarniero degli Antelminelli (c. 13278) in S Francesco, Sarzana; the pulpit in S Maria del Prato in San Casciano, near Florence; the shrine of St Peter Martyr (dated 1339) in S Eustorgio, Milan; and the architrave (1347) from the main portal of S Maria di Brera, Milan (fragments in Milan, Castello Sforzesco). Giovanni developed a distinctive, slightly mannered modelling style based on that of Giovanni Pisano, but he made no attempt to adopt the latters powerful plasticity and dramatic expressiveness. Through his work in Milan, he introduced into Lombardy the formal vocabulary of Tuscan Gothic sculpture, of the kind that had been developed by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano and by such Sienese sculptors of the early 14th century as Gano di Fazio and Tino di Camaino.

Charity, c. 1330 Samuel H. Kress Collection

Madonna and Child c. 1332-1334


Relief with Saint Peter Martyr and Three Donors ca. 1340, Marble The Cloisters Collection

Jacobello Dalle Masegne


Italian sculptor (d. 1409, active in Emilia)

Jacobello dalle Masegne

Italian family of sculptors and architects. Jacobello [Giacomello; Jacobellus; Jacomelo] dalle Masegne ( fl from 1383; d after 1409) and his brother Pierpaolo dalle Masegne ( fl from 1383; d c. 1403) were the sons of Antonio dalle Masegne, a stonemason in Venice. They usually undertook and signed their major commissions together, as was the common practice in Venice for family partnerships. However, although there is no documentary evidence to prove it, it is possible to recognize their individual styles in separate sections of their collaborative works.

Altarpiece Marble Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice

Students, detail of the Tomb of Giovanni da Legnano 1383-86 Marble San Domenico, Bologna

SCULPTURE

Lorenzo Maitani

Lorenzo Maitani
Italian sculptor and architect (b. ca. 1255, Siena, d. 1330, Orvieto)

The first documentary reference to him occurs in a Sienese catasto (land registry declaration) of 1290. He was appointed universalis caput magister of Orvieto Cathedral in a contract drawn up on 16 September 1310, which required him to supervise the construction of the cathedral, as well as oversee the towns bridges and other civic structures. He spent the last two decades of his life at Orvieto, apart from a few periods of service elsewhere as an architectural consultant.

Facade of the Cathedral, Duomo, Orvieto

1310 - 1330

The Cathedral, Duomo, Orvieto

1310 - 1330
First Pillar: Stories of the Genesis (detail) 1310-30 Marble

The Cathedral, Duomo, Orvieto

1310 - 1330
First Pillar: Stories of the Genesis (detail) 1310-30 Marble

The Cathedral, Duomo, Orvieto

1310 - 1330
Fourth Pillar: The Last Judgment (detail) 1310-30 Marble

he Cathedral, Duomo, Orvieto

1310 - 1330
Fourth Pillar: The Last Judgment (detail) 1310-30 Marble

The Cathedral, Duomo, Orvieto

1310 - 1330
Second Pillar: The Messianic Phrophesies (detail) 1310-30 Marble

The Cathedral, Duomo, Orvieto

1310 - 1330
Third Pillar: Stories of the New Testament (detail) 1310-30 Marble

The Cathedral, Duomo, Orvieto

1310 - 1330
Madonna and Child Marble

PAINTING

Andrea da Firenze (Andrea di Bonaiuto)

THE DOMINICANS
The Dominican monks, Sisto and Ristoro, are traditionally credited with the planning and construction of the Church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence. The plan of the building, a Latin cross with square chapels jutting out from the east side of the transept, was used for Franciscan models. The dynamic concept differs, from the slender cross vaults to acute pointed arches separating the nave, but with a greater spatial unity. In the second half of the 14th century, Andrea di Bonaiuto painted the wonderful frescos for the adjacent Spanish Chapel, in which the picture of the Church of the Triumph of the Faith closely resembled Arnolfo di Cambio's design for the cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore. The spatial integrity of the building is already implicit in Arnolfo's plan of 1294. but the dome of the fresco model is augmented by Brunelleschi's octagonal drum that carries the dome. Another example of Dominican theology is Bonaiuto's fresco cycle showing Thomas Aquinas dominating the allegorical figures of all the liberal arts and the sciences of the theological cursus.

Santa Maria Novella, Florence.

Santa Maria Novella, Florence, interior, begun in 1279.

Andrea di Bonaiuto (1346-1379), Crucifixion, fresco, 1365-1368,


Santa Maria Novella, Florence

ANDREA DA FIRENZE(Andrea di Bonaiuto)

( fl 1346; dFlorence, after 16 May 1379). Italian painter. From January 1346 Andrea was registered in the Arte dei Medici e Speziali in Florence. The earliest paintings that can be attributed to him suggest that he must have formed a close association with the workshop of Andrea di Cione. The small portable triptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints and Angels shows the influence of Maso di Banco and of the painter of the Strozzi Chapel frescoes in the Chiostrino dei Morti, S Maria Novella, Florence.

Andrea di Bonaiuto (1346-1379), Descent of the Holy Spirit, fresco, 1365-1368,


Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Andrea di Bonaiuto (1346-1379), Descent of Christ to Limbo, fresco, 1365-1368,


Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Andrea di Bonaiuto (1346-1379), Christ Bearing the Cross to Calvary, fresco, 1365-1368,
Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Andrea di Bonaiuto (1346-1379), The Christ Militant and Triumphant, fresco, 1365-1368,
Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Andrea di Bonaiuto (1346-1379), The Christ Militant and Triumphant, fresco, 1365-1368,
Santa Maria Novella, Florence

PAINTING

Filippo Rusiti Ferrer Bassa

Painting
Gothic pictorial art interacted with architecture and displayed a surprising variety of form. With stained-glass windows artists were able to exploit the opportunity created by vast openings in the wall to fill them with light, colour, and narrative. In France, the pictorial culture of the 13th and 14th centuries is represented far more strongly by the stained-glass masters of Chartres, Bourges, and the Sainte-Chapelle than by fresco painters. Gothic painting developed its own rich style, both religious and secular, north of the Alps. A fluid linear quality typified manuscript drawing, while an increasing naturalism replaced the exaggerated Romanesque style. While only vestiges of wall paintings remain, these, along with the illuminations, reveal subject matter mainly from the Old Testament, theApocalypse, the childhood of Christ, the life of the Virgin, the Passion and the Last Judgment. Pictorial art in Italy followed a different course, emerging as altarpieces, fresco cycles, and painted crosses. The great altarpieces. which were particularly characteristic of central Italy, became progressively structured in large compositions, yet most have since been broken up and dispersed into private and museum collections. Furthermore, many of the fresco cycles have suffered irreparable over-painting and erasures throughout the years. In Spain, the principal medium for pictorial culture was the reredos, a large compartmentalized screen behind the altar, either painted or sculpted. On the Iberian peninsula, this genre attained a level of experimentation and grandiosity unknown anywhere in Europe, to the point of becoming a major architectural element. At this time, the most readily communicated art form throughout Europe was the miniature. The popularity of illustrated books grew to become an expression of the ideas and tastes of the rich and scholarly. These books typified Gothic art. which increasingly favoured naturalistic forms and miniature scenes from everyday life. The complex profile of Italian painting was dominated by a radical change that took place at the end of the 13th century in Umbria and Tuscany (Assisi, Florence, Siena); this was the arrival of a new artistic language that marked the confluence of various influences. Of these, the most significant were the Romanesque tradition of western Europe, concentrated in the Po Valley; the Byzantine, along the Adriatic and in the south; and the classical, still active, especially in Rome and the surrounding regions. The historical importance of the renewal of the figurative arts - led in painting by Giotto and Cimabue, and in sculpture by the great Pisano brothers and Arnolfo di Cambio - lies therefore not so much in the artists' rejection of the late Byzantine influence as in the richness of their realistic synthesis. The Byzantine culture had produced mosaics and painted fresco cycles of quality, as in the decoration of San Salvatore in Chora. The vibrant luminosity and the narrative style revealed in the distinctive and individual altarpieces and fresco cycles testify to a coloristic and compositional freedom far from the concepts of a mystic and divine space usually associated with the Byzantine heritage. Of great significance was the work of Il Cavallini and of Filippo Rusiti (active 1319-30), who represented the classical Roman school of the 13th century, and whose frescos and mosaics show an important link between their style and the concrete conception of reality created by Giotto in the pictorial cycle of St Francis of Assisi. With the first defeat of the Swabians in 1266. Charles I came to rule over southern Italy and strengthened the development and culture of Naples, in close relationship with the pontifical court and with the Guelph bankers of Tuscany (the Guelphs were members of a medieval Italian political party that supported the papacy against the German emperors). However, he retained the ties with the French court and Provence. These political and economic factors made for a great mobility in artistic forms, in which, in the 14th century, exceptional figures emerged.

Anonymous, Pope Nicholas Offering the Model of the Sancta Sanctorum, east wall, Sancta Sanctorum, Rome.

Filippo Rusiti
( fl c. 12971317). Italian painter and mosaicist. His only certain work is the mosaic on the faade of S Maria Maggiore, Rome, which is signed on the mandorla of Christ. He served as Kings painter in France during the reigns of Philip IV and Louis IX, receiving payments in 1304/5, 1308 (for repairs in the Grande Salle of the royal palace at Poitiers), 1309, 1316 and 1317, but none of this work survives.

Mosaics in Loggia by Filippo Rusuti, 1292-97

Ferrer Bassa
(1324-1348)

His workshop was in Calle Cucurulla, Barcelona, and commissions from a variety of patrons, mostly royal, are documented. In 1324 he was paid for painting two chapels and two crosses for the church at Sitges. Between c. 1333 and c. 1335 he illuminated a book on the Usages of Barcelona and Customs of Catalonia for Alfonso IV of Aragon, and in 1335 he was paid for an altarpiece. Further payments, in 1339 and 1340, were for two altarpieces for the chapel of the Aljafera Palace (a Moorish palace) in Saragossa. About 1340 he received a commission for an altarpiece of St Hilary for the diocese of Lleida (Sp. Lrida). In 1341 Bassa had begun work on three altarpieces for the Episcopal See at Lleida, commissioned by Ot de Montacada (c. 12901341). In 1342 Peter IV (the Ceremonious) of Aragon asked his wife, Maria of Navarre, to send him a Book of Hours illuminated by Ferrer Bassa, and in the same year the artist was also paid for a commission by Queen Constanza of Mallorca. In 1343 and 1344 he was paid for an altarpiece and other works for the chapel of the Aljafera Palace in Saragossa and for an altarpiece for the chapel of the royal palace at Barcelona. In 1344 Bassa was commissioned to decorate the S Miguel Chapel, then the cell of the abbess in the Pedralbes Monastery, Barcelona, although he only started work in 1346. He was involved in further royal commissions in 1345, including an altarpiece for the chapel of the castle at Perpignan. In 1346 Pedro asked him to send the altarpieces for the chapel of the castle at Lleida. A document of 1347 concerns the painting of an urn for the monastery of Ripoll. In 1347 and 1348 Ferrer Bassa and his son (2) Arnau Bassa received joint commissions for altarpieces from Guillem de Torrelles and the Pedralbes Monastery, as well as from other patrons.

Ferrer Bassa (1324-1348) Nativity.

Ferrer Bassa (1324-1348) Madonna and Child, detail of fresco. San Miguel Chapel, Convent of Pedralbes, Barcelona, 1345-46. Bassa's work shows the influence of Sienese culture. Employed at the Aragon court, he studied at the Papal Palace at Avignon and shared with Lorenzetti a lively naturalism. Ferrer Bassa (1324-1348) Three Women at the Tomb c. 1346 Fresco Monastery of Pedralbes, Barcelona

PAINTING

Pietro Cavallini

Pietro Cavallini
(Pietro del Cerroni)
(b c. 1240; d after c. 1330).

Italian painter and mosaicist. He was a member of the ancient Roman family of the Cerroni. He worked for most of his life in Rome and is associated chiefly with the large-scale works in fresco and mosaic that he carried out in many of the citys basilicas and churches. His importance is founded on three interrelated factors. First, his style displays a new vision of the human figure and, as he was active in Rome before Giotto, it is probable that the new style Giotto brought to Tuscan art was indebted to Cavallini. Second, he reached artistic maturity at a time when the papacy, from the reign of Nicholas III (127780) onwards, was re-establishing its presence in Rome by the institution of large-scale artistic projects, so providing artists with opportunities to produce influential work on a monumental and prominent scale; and third, he is the first medieval artist whose identity and personality are known.

Pietro Cavallini

The Apostles

Pietro Cavallini The Birth of Jesus, 1292 Sta Maria in Trastevere, Rome

Pietro Cavallini Annunciation, 1292 Sta Maria in Trastevere, Rome

IL CAVALLINI

Pietro del Cerroni, known as II Cavallini (active 1273-1321), was a Roman designer of mosaics, such as the Life of the Virgin, in Santa Maria, Trastevere, Rome, and painter of frescos, such as those in Santa Cecilia, also in Trastevere. In 1308, he worked in Naples for Charles II, and was considered to be the major exponent of artistic renewal in his time. The sense of three-dimensionality in his work and supple treatment of surfaces constitute an important break with tradition.

Pietro Cavallini Nativity, 1292 Sta Maria in Trastevere, Rome

Pietro Cavallini

The Apostles

Pietro Cavallini The Last Judgement, 1292 Sta Maria in Trastevere, Rome

Pietro Cavallini Crucifixion, 1308

PAINTING

Cimabue

See also COLLECTION:

Cimabue

THE PAINTED CRUCIFIX


The Painted Cross from the Church of San Sepolcro in Pisa (now housed in the Museo Nazionale di San Matteo), is an extraordinary example of how the Crucifixion was perceived by artists at the end of the 12th century. Christ is shown standing erect and majestic in his luminous incarnation, his eyes wide open. There is no hint of suffering, but a sense of defeating death in the very instant at which he dies. Around him, theStory of the Passion unfolds, crowded with figures and multicoloured turreted buildings. The medieval aesthetic of multiplicity leading back to unity is orchestrated here with a skilful balance of forms and colours. In contrast, a century later. Cimabue painted a Christ for Santa Croce, a work badly damaged in the Florence flood of 1966. In this. Christ's suffering eyes are closed and his bruised body is twisted, falling away from the rectangular cross in an agonized curve. The story is restricted to the grief of the Virgin and St John, the simplicity of which serves to give the work more power. A generation later, Cimabue's pupil Giotto would paint his own powerful Crucifix in Florence's Santa Maria Novella. Anonymous, Painted Cross, from the Church of San Sepolcro. Museo Nazionale dl San Matteo, Pisa.

Cimabue

(Benciviene di Pepo)

(b ?c. 1240; fl 1272; d Pisa, before 14 July 1302). Italian painter and mosaicist. His nickname means either "bull-head" or possibly one who crushes the views of others (It. cimare: top, shear, blunt), an interpretation matching the tradition in commentaries on Dante that he was not merely proud of his work but contemptuous of criticism. Filippo Villani and Vasari assigned him the name Giovanni, but this has no historical foundation. He may be considered the most dramatic of those artists influenced by contemporary Byzantine painting through which antique qualities were introduced into Italian work in the late 13th century. His interest in Classical Roman drapery techniques and in the spatial and dramatic achievements of such contemporary sculptors as Nicola Pisano, however, distinguishes him from other leading members of this movement. As a result of his influence on such younger artists as Duccio and Giotto, the forceful qualities of his work and its openness to a wide range of sources, Cimabue appears to have had a direct personal influence on the subsequent course of Florentine, Tuscan and possibly Roman painting. Cimabue, Crucifix, before 1284. Museo dell'Opera di Santa Croce, Florence.

Giovanni Cimabue (1240-1302) Crucifix 1287-1288 Museo dell'Opera di Santa Croce, Florence

CIMABUE

Cenni di Peppi, who was more usually known as Cimabue, was active between 1272 and 1302. According to Florentine tradition he started the local school; he worked in Tuscany, Rome, and Assisi. His forceful style, the break with late Byzantine linearism, and his feeling for plasticity and pathos, produced the Crucifix and the Maesta. Vasari called him the greatest of Giotto's predecessors and the first true Italian painter to make the break with the Byzantine tradition.

Crucifix Tempera on wood, 1268-1271 San Domenico, Arezzo

See also COLLECTION:

Cimabue

Cimabue
- original name Bencivieni Di Pepo, modern Italian Benvenuto Di Giuseppe painter and mosaicist, the last great Italian artist inthe Byzantine style,which had dominated early medieval painting in Italy. Among his surviving works are the frescoes of New Testament scenes in the upper church of S. Francesco, Assisi; the Sta. Trinita Madonna (c. 1290; Uffizi, Florence); and the Madonna Enthroned with St. Francis (c. 129095; lower church of S. Francesco). Cimabue's style provided the firm foundation upon which rested the art of Giotto and Duccio in the 14th century, although he was superseded in his own lifetime by these artists, both of whom he had influenced and perhaps trained. His great contemporary, Dante, recognized the importance of Cimabue and placed him at the forefront of Italian painters. Giorgio Vasari, in his Lives of the Most Eminent Italian Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (1550), begins his collection of biographies with the life of Cimabue. Art historiographers from the 14th century to the present have recognized the art and career of Cimabue as the dividing line between the old and the new traditions in western European painting. The earliest biography of Cimabue, by Vasari, states that he was born in 1240 and died in 1300. The dates can only be approximations, for it is documented that Cimabue was aliveand working in Pisa in 1302. The only other document relative to his life identifies him as a master painter and witness to a document signed in Rome in 1272. From this it can be concluded that he was born prior to 1251. Other documents indicate that he was christened Bencivieni di Pepo, or Benvenuto di Giuseppe in modern Italian. Cimabue was a nickname that through an error later became a family name. Nothing is known of his early training. Vasari's assertion thathe was apprenticed to Greek Byzantine painters living in Italy is probably an attempt to explain both the style and the sudden emergence of this genius. He was certainly influenced by the Italo-Byzantine painter Giunta Pisano and by Coppo di Marcovaldo and may have been an apprentice to Coppo. Cimabue's character may be reflected in his name, which canperhaps best be translated as bullheaded. An anonymous commentator in a work on Dante written in 133334 said that Cimabue was so proud and demanding that if others found fault with his work, or if he found something displeasing in it himself, he would destroy the work, no matter how valuable. It is perhaps significant that in the Divine Comedy Dante places Cimabue among the proud in Purgatory. And the poet refers to him to illustrate the transience of earthly fame: Cimabue thought to hold the field in painting, and now Giotto hath the cry. But pride in his own accomplishments and a high personal standard of excellence separated Cimabue from the anonymous artists of the Middle Ages. Only Cimabue's last work, the mosaic of St. John the Evangelist, in the Duomo of Pisa, is dated (130102). The large Crucifix, in S. Domenico, Arezzo, is generally accepted as his earliest work and datable before 1272. The frescoes in the upper church of S. Francesco, Assisi, were probably executed between 1288 and 1290. The period 129095 includes the large Crucifix for Sta. Croce in Florenceabout 70 percent destroyed in the floods of 1966, though restoration has been completed; the Sta. Trinita Madonna, an altarpiece now in Florence's Uffizi; and the Madonna Enthroned with St. Francis, in the lower church of S. Francesco at Assisi. Despite the small number of Cimabue's works that have survived, they fully support the reputation that the artist has acquired. In certain formal or more official commissions, such as crucifixes and large altarpieces, Cimabue adhered closely to the formal vocabulary of the Byzantine tradition. And yet he breathes new emotive content into the abstract or stylized forms. In the fresco cycle at Assisi, Cimabue found an especially receptive patron, for the art commissioned by the Franciscans from Cimabue's time on is generally characterized by a dramatic and emotive narrative. Along with the traditional stylization of the human form, Cimabue seems to have been among the first to return to a close observation of nature. In a highly formal altarpiece such as the Sta. Trinita Madonna, he introduces at the baseof the throne four prophets who are modelled through light and dark in a highly sculptural manner that seems far in advance of its date. Cimabue seems also to have been one of the first to recognize the potentialities of painted architecture, which he introduced into his scenes to give an indication of place and a heightened sense of three-dimensionality. The fresco The Four Evangelists, in the vault of the crossing of the upper church at Assisi, is sculpturally conceived, but its solidity and bulk are heightened by the crystalline city views that accompany each of the figures. The view of Rome that accompanies St. Mark, for example, is not only one of the earliest recognizable views of the city but is also one of the first in which the buildings seem solid and separated one from the other by a clearly defined space. This concern with the illusion of space and with a three-dimensional form occupying that space is rarely met with in medieval painting prior to Cimabue, but it is highly characteristic of Cimabue's leading student and rival, Giotto. In Cimabue's more formal works he follows tradition closely, but he brings to that tradition a heightened sense of drama. After him the Byzantine tradition in Italy died out, partly because it had been superseded by a new style, but also because he had exhausted all the possibilities inherent in the tradition. In his less formal works he was able to exploit agrowing interest in narrative that had been inherent in the Byzantine tradition but never fully developed. Finally, he brought to Italian painting a new awareness of space and of sculptural form. By his own personality and by his contributions to painting he merits Vasari's characterization of him as the first Florentine painter and the first painter of modern times. John R. Spencer (Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Madonna Enthroned with the Child and Two Angels Santa Maria dei Servi, Bologna

Cimabue

Virgin Enthroned with Angels 1290-1295 Musee du Louvre, Paris

The Madonna in Majesty (Maest)

1285-1286 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Madonna Enthroned with the Child and Two Angels Tempera on panel Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Madonna Enthroned with the Child, St Francis and four Angels Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi

St Peter healing the sick

PAINTING

Duccio di Buoninsegna

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Duccio di Buonisegna

THE "MAESTA" PAINTINGS

Simone Martini, Maesta, 1315, Palazzo Pubbiico Siena

Siena's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is a recurring theme in the art of the city, from the decoration on the facade of the cathedral, begun by Giovanni Pisano (1284 onwards) to the Maesta ("majesty") masterpieces of Duccio (1309) and Simone Martini (1315). The links with the historical awareness of the city, where religious and civic feelings met. are manifested in the many chronicles describing the triumphal procession that accompanied Duccio's Maesta. from his studio to the high altar of the cathedral. Painted for the victory over the Florentines at Montaperti, even recorded by Dante in his Divine Comedy, the great altarpiece shows, on one side, the Story of the New Testament and. on the other, that of the enthroned Virgin and saints. Simone Martini painted his earliest surving work, the large Maesta fresco for Siena Town Hall, with similar celebratory intentions. He magnified the elegance of line and colour with which Duccio had founded a new school of Sienese painting.

Duccio di Buoninsegna Maesta, 1309 Museo dell'Opera del Duomo Siena

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Duccio di Buonisegna

Duccio di Buoninsegna (1255-1319)


One of the greatest Italian painters of the Middle Ages and the founder of the Sienese school. In Duccio's art the formality of the Italo-Byzantine tradition, strengthened by a clearer understanding of its evolution from classical roots, is fused with the new spirituality of the Gothic style. Greatest of all his works is Maest (1311), the altarpiece of Siena cathedral.

Beginnings
There is little documented information about Duccio's life and career. In large part his life must be reconstructed from the evidence of those works that can be attributed to him with certainty, from the evidence contained in his stylistic development, and from the learning his paintings reveal. Duccio's father was from the town of Buoninsegna, near Siena, but at the time of Duccio's birth he lived in the town of Camporegio. He is first mentioned in 1278, when the treasurer of the commune of Siena commissioned him to decorate 12 strongboxes for documents. The following year he was given the task of decorating one of the wooden covers of the account books of the treasury. That Duccio was doing work more appropriate for an artisan than an artistmust not lead one to assume that even at this time he was only a beginner. It is known that services of this type were requested, both in Siena and in Florence, of already established painters. Further, the fact that he was designated as painter and was working for himself demonstrate that he was a mature and independent artist by1278. In 1280 Duccio was fined the large sum of 100 lire by the commune of Siena for some unrecorded misconduct. Thiswas the first of a considerable number of fines that the artist incurred at various times and for various reasons, and they suggest that he was of a restless and rebellious temperament. He was fined more than once for nonpayment of debts; in 1295 he was penalized for refusing to pledge allegiance to the head of the popolo party; in 1302 for not appearing for military duty; and in the same year for what appears to have been practicing sorcery. The Madonna Rucellai. On April 15, 1285, the Compagnia dei Laudesi, or singers of praise, of the Virgin Mary at the church of Sta. Maria Novella in Florence, commissioned Duccio di Buoninsegna, painter of Siena to paint a great altarpiece that was to represent the Madonna and Child together with otherfigures. For the work he was to be paid 150florins, but if the painting, which had to be a most beautiful picture and had to havea gold border, was not satisfactory, the artist would receive no reimbursement. Despite the fact that this employment contract, preserved in the State Archives of Florence, came to light in 1790 and was published in 1854, it was only in 1930 that it was indisputably determined that the document referred to the Madonna of Sta. Maria Novella, now called the Madonna Rucellai. From the time of Giorgio Vasari, a minor Florentine Renaissance painter who was the earliest, and probably the most influential, biographer of early Italian artists, this altarpiece, which was the largest yet painted, was considered to be a

masterpiece of the Florentine painter Cimabue. Vasari's attribution, whereas it was probably due in part to a desire not to deprive the Florentine school and its founder of credit for so brilliant a work, was accepted almost unanimously until the present century because of strong similarities to thework of Cimabue in the Madonna Rucellai. Some recent critics, no longer able to deny that the work is by Duccio, have concluded that he was a pupil, and in all essentials of his art even an imitator, of Cimabue. The problem of the relative influence of Cimabue upon Duccio is critically very complex. The Madonna Rucellai shows affinities with the work of Cimabue in the type of the Virgin, in the serious and robust Child, and in the faces of the six adoring angels; nevertheless, it reveals strikingly new stylistic innovations in the softness of the angels set in midair, in the elegant and subtle lines, in the first feeling of French Gothic animated sweetness and spirituality, and in the light and shade modulation of the free-flowing, clear brush strokes. There is no doubt that his knowledge of Cimabue's work was one of the components of Duccio's style at this time, but it was not the predominant, nor even the earliest influence; very probably Cimabue's influence was a late insertion into a personal style that had already evolved within the framework of the well-developed Sienese tradition. In the years between 1260 and 1280, largely due to the inspiration of its magnificent cathedral, Siena had emerged as one of the most vital centres of art in Italy. A remarkable successionof altarpieces by Sienese painters testifies to the simultaneous work of a number of artists, some of whom possessed quite distinct personalities. The variety of orientations of these painters shows that they did not work in provincial isolation but were sensitive to the diverse influences of the age, including Cimabue. Duccio certainly studied these painters and was influenced by them. Notably evident in his style are the influence of the older painter Guido da Siena with the serene dignity of his figures, permeated by lyrical tenderness and grace, in the now-fading stylized postures of the Byzantine tradition, and of the master of the St. John the Baptist Altarpiece in the Pinacoteca Nazionale of Siena, with his complex Byzantine iconography and his vivid, dense colouring. Duccio was ableto draw from sources outside Siena as well: from the combination of linear stylization and Hellenistic types that characterized the illustrations of books imported from Constantinople and also from contemporary French Gothic miniatures, with their lively tone and lyrical, animated stylizations of clothing and gesture. Duccio may also have travelled to Florence in his early years, coming into contact with Cimabue, but such an explanation is not entirely necessary to account for the formation of his style. In fact, in Duccio's only certain work prior to the Madonna Rucellai, echoes of Cimabue are even less apparent than in the Rucellai altarpiece. The conclusion that Duccio was nothing more than a follower of Cimabue at the time he painted the Madonna Rucellai is implausible and overlooks the originality, as well as the excellence, of the work. If, in fact, he was in 1285 entrusted with a work of such significance at Florence, his reputation must have already been establishedand have spread beyond the confines of his native Siena.

Later commissions
Traces of Duccio's association with Cimabue remain in the large round stained-glass window of the choir of the Siena cathedral, for which Duccio made the designs. This work was commissioned between 1287 and 1288 and is the earliest known example of stained glass produced by an Italian. Numerous documents attest to Duccio's action in Siena during the 20 years following the creation of the Madonna Rucellai. He was by now the leading painter of the city and as such executed in 1302 an altarpiece, now lost, for the altar of the chapel of the Palazzo Pubblico, the city hall. During this period, some unsigned and undocumented altarpieces appeared, and some of these are certainly Duccio's work; the most significant of these is a small altarpiece representing the Virgin enthroned with angels andcalled The Madonna of the Franciscans because of the three monks kneeling at the foot of the throne. In this work a developed Gothic style appears in the curving outlines, which give an exquisite decorative effect. The work in which the genius of Duccio unfolds in all its brilliant fullness and the one to which the

painter owes his greatest fame, however, is the Maesta, the altarpiece for the main altar of the cathedral of Siena. He was commissioned to do this work on Oct. 9, 1308, for a payment of 3,000 gold florins, the highest figure paid to an artist up to that time. On June 9, 1311, the whole populace of Siena, headed by the clergy and civil administration of the city, gathered at the artist's workshop to receive the finished masterpiece. They carried it in solemn procession to the accompaniment of drums and trumpets to the cathedral. For three days alms were distributed to the poor, and great feasts were held. Never before had the birth of a work of art been greeted with such public jubilation and never before had there been such immediate awareness that a work was truly a masterpiece and not just a reflection of the religious fervour of the people. Duccio himself was aware of the work's significance; he signed the throne of the Virgin with an invocation that was devout yet proud for the time: Holy Mother of God, grant peace to Siena, and life to Duccio because he has painted you thus. The Maesta is in the form of a large horizontal rectangle, surmounted by pinnacles, and with a narrow horizontal panel, or predella, as its base. It is painted on both sides. The entire central rectangle of the front side is a single scene showing the Madonna and Child enthroned in the middle of a heavenly court of saints and angels with the four patron saints of Siena kneeling at their feet. The back is subdivided into 26 compartments that illustrate the Passion of Christ. The front and back of the predella contain scenes of the infancy and the ministry of Jesus, and the pinnacles, crowning the entire work, represent events after the Resurrection. In all, there are 59 narrative scenes. The rigorous symmetry with which the groups of adoring figures at the sides of the Virgin are arranged in the imposing scene of the central panel is inspired by compositions of the Byzantine tradition and gives evidence of Duccio's keen architectural sensibility by its power to draw attention to the Maest as the true focal point of the cathedral's spatial and structural organization. Like elements of a living architecture, the 30 figures, through the slightest of gestures and turnings of the head, are intimatelyrelated, their positions repeated to give a feeling of intense lyrical contemplation. The consonance of feeling that arises from this contemplation gives the facial features of each a distinct, spiritual beauty, reminiscent, especially the faces of the angels, of the more idealistic creations of Hellenistic art. The Madonna, slightly larger than the other figures, seated on a magnificent and massive throne of polychrome marbles, inclines her head gently as if trying to hear the prayer of the faithful. Duccio thus succeeds in reconciling perfectly the Byzantine ideal of power and dignity with the underlying tenderness and mysticism of the Sienese spirit. The scenes in the predella, pinnacles, and back are filled with the Byzantine iconographic schemes from which Duccio finds it difficult to detach himself, and they are developed with a deeper concern for their narrative significance. The scenes are not, however, merely descriptions or chronicles. They include many touches from daily life, which provide a lyrical synthesis that harmonizes the character and gestures of the figures with their landscape and architectural surroundings.

Last years
Only scanty bits of information are available about the few years that Duccio lived after the completion of the Maesta. He had a prosperous workshop from which other works emerged, but they seem to have been executed in great part by students. His financial condition must have been quite sound because by 1304 he bought a vineyard in the neighbourhood of Siena. Nevertheless, in 1313 he was once again deep in debt. At death he was survived by his wife, Taviana, and seven children. At least two of his children, Galgano and Giorgio, were painters, but nothing is known about their work or their merits. The identity of one of his direct followers is known, his nephew Segna di Buonaventura. Enzo Carli (Encyclopaedia Britannica)

See also COLLECTION: Duccio di Buonisegna

DUCCIO DI BUONINSEGMA

Founder and most celebrated exponent of the Sienese school, Duccio (1260-1318) is famous for his Maesta, the beautiful double-sided altarpiece commissioned in 1308 for Siena Cathedral. Breaking away from Byzantine tradition, Duccio's painting displayed an exquisite sensitivity, with superb use of colour, elegant modelling, and a lively narrative.

Madonna and Child 1280

Madonna and Child 1280

Rucellai Madonna 1285 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Stained glass window, 1288 Duomo, Siena

Duccio di Buoninsegna

Maest 1280

Madonna and Child with Six Angels 1300-1305 Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria, Perugia

Gualino Madonna 1285 Galleria Sabauda, Turin

Madonna with Child and Two Angels (Crevole Madonna) 1283-1284 Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena

Madonna of the Franciscans 1300 Kunstmuseum, Basel

Triptych National Gallery, London

Polyptych 1300-1305 Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna

Triptych 1305-1308 Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, London

PAINTING

Simone Martini

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Simone Martini

PETRARCH AND SIMONE MARTINI

Petrarch The Italian poet and scholar Francesco Petrarca, known as Petrarch (1304-1374;, is seen as the first critic of modern art. A personal friend of Simone Martini, he commissioned a portrait of his beloved Laura from the Sienese master (this is now-lost, but is mentioned in one of his sonnets). A great collector of classical manuscripts, he also commissioned the artist to illuminate the frontispiece of a priceless Virgilian manuscript. While being a great judge of Gothic painting, Petrarch seems to have preferred Martini's elegant works, with their refined patterns of colour, such as those in the San Martino Chapel in the Lower Church of Assisi (c.1320). A narrative account in decorative shades, it was an intensely lyrical work, like the poetry of Petrarch's own masterpiece, Canzoniere, At this time, classical manuscripts were being recovered and Petrarch was the first to propose new standards of realism for paintings and sculptures based on criteria drawn from these classical texts. The great architect and humanist Leon Battista Alberti (1404-72) was the successor to this style, which was later seen as a critical moment in the history of art.

Simone Martini. Apotheosis of Virgil, frontispiece of the Commento a Virgilio di Servio, 1340-44. Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan.

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Simone Martini
born c. 1284, , Siena, Republic ofSiena died 1344, Avignon, Provence

important exponent of Gothic painting who did more than any other artist to spread the influence of Sienesepainting. Martini was very possibly a pupil of Duccio di Buoninsegna, from whom he probably inherited his love of harmonious, pure colours and most of his early figure types. To these he added a gracefulness of line and delicacy of interpretation that were inspired by French Gothic works that the young artist studiedin Italy. He carried to perfection the decorative line of the Gothic style and subordinated volume to the rhythm of this line. Simone's earliest documented painting is the large fresco of the Maesta in the Sala del Mappamondo of the Palazzo Pubblico, Siena. The fresco depicts the enthroned Madonna and Child with angels and saints. This painting, which is signed and dated 1315 but was retouched by Simone himself in 1321, is a free version of Duccio's Maest of 130811. But the hierarchic structure of Duccio's work has been replaced by a growing interest in illusionary perspective, and the abstract character and lack of setting ofthe earlier work has given way to concrete concepts: Simone's Virgin, crowned and splendidly attired, is a Gothic queen who holds court beneath a Gothic canopy. About 1317 the artist painted, in Naples, the highly spiritual altarpiece St. Louis of Toulouse Crowning His Brother, King

Robert of Anjou. Two years later he composed for the Church of Santa Caterina, Pisa, a colouristically magnificent Madonna polyptych. Perhaps in the middle of the 1320s he began the 10 scenes, full of chivalrous ideals, from the life of St. Martin of Tours in this saint's chapel in the lower Church of San Francesco, Assisi. His equestrian portrait (1328) representing Guidoriccio da Fogliano, general of the Sienese republic, was perhaps the first Sienese work of art that did not serve a religious purpose. It was also an important precedent for the numerous equestrian portraits of the Renaissance. On the other hand, the Annunciation triptych, painted for the Siena Cathedral, but now in the Uffizi, Florence, is deliberately unreal. Simone signed this work in 1333 with his brother-in-law, the Sienese painter Lippo Memmi, an associate for many years. The exquisite rhythm of the lines and dematerialized forms of Gabriel and Mary in the central portion of the Annunciation led a number of artists to imitation, but none of them achieved such vibrant contours and such spirited forms as did Simone in this greatmasterpiece. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Simone Martini. Death of St Martin, Lower Church, Assisi. c. 1326. Simone Martini Stained glass window 1312 St Louis Chapel, Lower Church, San Francesco

Simone Martini Stained glass window 1312 St Louis Chapel, Lower Church, San Francesco

Simone Martini Stained glass window 1312 St Louis Chapel, Lower Church, San Francesco

Simone Martini

Madonna of Mercy 1308-1310 Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna

Madonna and Child 1308-1310 Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna

Meditation 1312-1317

Miracle of Fire 1312-1317

Miraculous Mass 1312-1317

The Miracle of the Resurrected Child 1312-1317

PAINTING

Maso di Banco Taddeo Gaddi

Giotto and the Sienese Artists


The convincing three-dimensional style and illusion of space that Giotto created in his painting through the use of receding planes produced a naturalism in which dramatic themes predominated. The composition and the actions and emotions of the human figure were given full value. His work reveals an intellect open to all the factors of reality, in search of a unifying meaning. The new pictorial realism and its increasingly soft nuances of colour owed much to the support of the monastic orders of the Dominicans and Franciscans. Their attachment to city life explains the great wealth of private commissions (in such buildings as Santa Croce in Florence), which enhanced the success of the Giottesque school, and that of its leading figures: Stefano, Maso di Banco, and Taddeo Gaddi. The Gothic influences that penetrated the Giottesque tradition had already marked Sienese painting. This is evident in the refined linear and chromatic sensitivity of Duccio di Buoninsegna, who transformed Sienese painting from the Byzantine tradition to the Gothic. Due to the work of certain of its artists, Siena was launched into a fruitful exchange of ideas with French Gothic art, and, in particular, with the exiled papal court at Avignon. Such work included the refined painting of Simone Martini (c. 1284-1344), which quickly appealed to the humanistic taste of Petrarch; and the warm expressiveness of Pietro Lorenzetti (c. 1280-1348). The long survival of the Giottesque school has been interpreted as a symptom of artistic fatigue and indecision, especially in Florence. In this respect, the Black Death of 1348 is considered by some as a watershed between an age of progressive renewal and a period of pessimistic contraction.

CENNINO CENNINI AND THE GIOTTESQUE ARTISTS


Probably written in the Veneto at the end of the 13th century, Cennini's Il Libro dell'Arte is one of the last examples of medieval artistic repositories, a technical manual containing the secrets of the artist's studio and the traditions of the artisan. Moreover, Cennini, who was a pupil of Agnolo Gaddi, confirms in his praise for good fresco technique the greatness of the Giottesque school. During the 14th century, it had influenced important figures, such as Taddeo Gaddi, who painted the Life of the Virgin in the Baroncelli Chapel in Santa Croce, Florence (finished 1336), and Maso di Banco, whose Legend of St Sylvester (1341-45) is in the Bardi Chapel, also in Santa Croce. These were pupils of Giotto, who developed his artistic precepts in the 13th century. Cennini records the long and hard apprenticeship in the Florentine studios, where artists learned how to paint frescos with subtle effects of light and shadow, works that would withstand the test of time. Cennini explained how the imaginative use of line and colour helped to create a more natural realism in painting.

Maso di Banco
( fl 133550). Italian painter. He was first identified (as Maso) by Ghiberti, who claimed he was a pupil of Giotto and a great master of painting, but the issue was complicated for many centuries by Vasari, who confused Maso with an artist he called Tommaso di Stefano, nicknamed GIOTTINO. Maso di Banco is mentioned in several Florentine documents: in 1341 some of his paintings and equipment were seized against an uncompleted commission; in 1346 he joined the Arte de Medici e Speziali. Although none of the output attributed to him is signed or dated, a major fresco cycle, other more fragmentary frescoes and some panels of the 1330s and 1340s can be firmly attributed to him on stylistic grounds.

Maso Di Banco (1320-1350) Legend of St Sylvester Fresco, 1340

Taddeo Gaddi
( fl ?mid-1320s; d 1366). Son of Gaddo Gaddi. He was a pupil of Giotto and one of the most inventive and influential painters in 14th-century Florence. According to Cennini, Taddeo stayed with Giotto for 24 years. Although the exact length of their association is unverifiable, it probably ended only with the latters death in 1337. Taddeo probably occupied a still undefined but doubtless important position in Giottos workshop during the masters busy last years, but such responsibility did not prevent him undertaking work on his own as early as the 1320s.

Taddeo Gaddi (1320-1366) The Angelic Announcement to the Sheperds 1327-30 Fresco Cappella Baroncelli, Santa Croce, Florence

Taddeo Gaddi (1320-1366) Allegory of the Cross

Santa Croce, Florence

Taddeo Gaddi (1320-1366) Life of the Virgin 1328-30 Cappella Baroncelli, Santa Croce, Florence Taddeo Gaddi (1320-1366)Life of the Virgin 1328-30 Cappella Baroncelli, Santa Croce, Florence

Taddeo Gaddi (1320-1366)Life of the Virgin 1328-30 Cappella Baroncelli, Santa Croce, Florence

Taddeo Gaddi (1320-1366)Life of the Virgin 1328-30 Cappella Baroncelli, Santa Croce, Florence

Taddeo Gaddi (1320-1366) Stigmatization of St Francis Stained glass window Cappella Baroncelli, Santa Croce, Florence

Taddeo Gaddi (1320-1366) Madonna and Child Enthroned with Angels and Saints 1355 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

PAINTING

Giotto di Bondone

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Giotto
GIOTTO:" LAMENTATION OVER THE DEAD CHRIST"

The Gothic building of the Arena Chapel was erected by an important banking family, the Scrovegnis and decorated by Giotto with the Story of Mary and the Story of Jesus, a cycle that is viewed as one of the greatest masterpieces of medieval art. The Lamentation is one of numerous separate pictures that run in horizontal bands in three layers right around the sides and choir wall of the chapel. The figure of the dead Jesus, naked in Franciscan poverty, is gently laid on the ground, while the holy women tend his body, the disciples weep, and, above, the angels share in the grief of the mourners. The harsh rocky outcrop and leafless tree reinforce the sense that a superhuman tragedy is being played out on a barren Earth. There is a powerful sense of unremitting sorrow.

GIOTTO

The great Florentine artist Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337) began work in Cimabue's studio, before working in Rome and Assisi, where he produced some of his greatest masterpieces for the Franciscans. These are chracterized by a powerful sense of pictorial space. By 1300, he was famous and influential as a painter and architect throughout Europe.

Giotto Lamentation Over the Dead Christ, 1304-06, Arena Chapel, Padua, Italy

CIMABUE AND GIOTTO


"The transience of fame on the wave of reflection" the first great critical debate in the history of Italian art - appears in Dante's The Divine Comedy. This has prompted much discussion as to whether the importance of Cimabue, who freed painting from a slavish dependence on Byzantine culture, has been obscured by his pupil Giotto's rise to fame. The move towards greater realism was confirmed by Cimabue's influence on Villani, Ghiberti, and Landino, and was openly credited by Vasari, in his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters. Sculptors and Architects. He describes Cimabue as the first to abandon the "stiff Greek style" in drawing and colouring, remarkable for those times. However. Vasari writes that the decisive step was taken by Giotto, who restored the link between art and nature, first by using nature as a model and then by surpassing it. He eventually inspired whole generations of painters to become involved in the "new modern manner". In about 1400. the Florentine painter and writer Cennino Cennini wrote that "Giotto translated the art of paint from Greek to Latin."

Cimabue Madonna of the Holy Trinity, 1285-86. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Giotto Ognissanti Madonna (Madonna in Maest) c. 1310 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

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COLLECTION: Giotto

Giotto
born 126667/1276, Vespignano, near Florence [Italy] died Jan. 8, 1337, Florence

the most important Italian painter of the14th century, whoseworks point to the innovations of the Renaissance style that developed a century later. For almost seven centuries Giotto has been revered asthe father of European painting and the first of the great Italian masters. He is believed to have been apupil of the Florentine painter Cimabue and to have decorated chapels in Assisi, Rome, Padua, Florence, and Naples with frescoes and panel paintings in tempera. Because little of his life and few of his works are documented, attributions and a stylistic chronology of his paintings remain problematic and often highly speculative.

Early life
Much of Giotto's biography and artistic development must be deduced from the evidence of surviving works (a large portion of which cannot be attributed to him with certainty) and stories that originate for the most part from the late 14thcentury on. The date of Giotto's birth can be taken as either 1266/67 or 1276, and the 10 years' difference is of fundamental importance in assessing his early developmentand is crucial to the problem of the attribution of the frescoes in the Church of San Francesco, in Assisi, which, if indeed by Giotto, are his great early works. It is known that Giotto died on Jan. 8, 1337 (1336, Old Style); this was recorded at the time in the Villani chronicle. About 1373, a rhymed version of the Villani chronicle was produced by Antonio Pucci, town crier of Florence and amateur poet, in which it is stated that Giotto was 70 when he died. This fact would imply that he was born in 1266/67, and it is clear that there was 14th-century authority for the statement (possibly Giotto's original tombstone, now lost). But Giorgio Vasari, inhis important biography (1550) of Giotto, gives 1276 as the year of Giotto's birth, and it may be that he was copying oneof the two known versions of the Libro di Antonio Billi, a 16th-century collection of notes on Florentine artists. In the Codex Petrei version, a statement that Giotto was born in 1276 at Vespignano, the son of a peasant, occurs at the very end of the Life and may have been added much later, even, conceivably, from Vasari. In any case, whether Vasari or Antonio Billi first made the statement, it cannot have the same authority as that attached to Antonio Pucci, who was about 27 when Giotto died. Certainty of the date of Giotto's birth, if settled by new documents, could help to solve the problem of his work at Assisi, as well as the question of the origins of his style. Giotto has always been assumed to have been the pupil of Cimabue; two independent traditions, each differing on the particular circumstances, assert this, and it is probably correct. Furthermore, Cimabue's style was, in certain respects, so similar to Giotto's in intention that a connection seems inescapable. Cimabue was the most outstanding painter in Italy at the end of the 13th century; hetried, as no artist had before, to break through, with the power of reality and imaginative force, the stylized forms of medieval art. He did not fully succeed, but it seems almost certain that Giotto began his remarkable development with him, inspired by his strength of drawing and his ability to incorporate dramatic tension into his works. On the other hand, whatever Giotto may have learned from Cimabue, it is clear that, even more than the sculptor Nicola Pisano about 30 years earlier, he succeeded in an astonishing innovation that originated in his own geniusa true revival of classical ideals and an expression in art of the new humanity that St. Francis had in the early 13th century brought to religion. In Giotto's works human beings are the exclusive subject matter, and they act with dedicated passion their parts in thegreat Christian drama of sacrifice and redemption. By comparison, all his predecessors and most of his immediate successors painted a puppet show with lifeless mannequins tricked out in the rags of the splendid, hieratic, and impersonal art of Byzantium, which was to be entirely superseded by the urgent emotionalism of the Franciscan approach to Christianity.

The Assisi Problem


The central problem in Giotto studies, the attribution of the Assisi frescoes, may be summed up as the question whether Giotto ever painted at Assisi and, if so, what? There can be no reasonable doubt that he did work at Assisi, for a long literary tradition goes back to the Compilatio chronologica ofRiccobaldo Ferrarese, who wrote in or before 1319, when Giotto was alive and famous. Later writers down to Vasari expanded this and made it clear that Giotto's works were in the great double church of San Francesco (St. Francis). By Vasari's time, several frescoes in both upper and lower churches were attributed to Giotto, the most important being the cycle of 28 scenes from the life of St. Francis of Assisi in the nave of the upper church and the Franciscan Virtues and some other frescoes in the lower church. (Some of the frescoes in the St. Francis cycle were damaged by earthquakes that struck Assisi on Sept. 26, 1997.) Giotto Madonna and Child 1295-1300 San Giorgio alla Costa, Florence The majority of these scenes, mostly narrative, are revolutionary in their expression of reality and humanity. In these frescoes, the emphasis is on the dramatic moment of each situation, and, with details of dress and background at aminimum, the inner reality of human emotion is intensified through crucial gestures and glances. In the 19th century, however, it was observed that all these frescoes, though similar in style, could not be by the same hand, and the new trend toward skepticism of Vasari's statements led to the position that rejected all the Assisi frescoes and dated the St. Francis cycle to a period after Giotto's death. This extreme view has been generally abandoned, and, indeed, a dated picture of 1307 can be shown to derive from the St. Francis cycle. Nevertheless, many scholars prefer to accept the idea of an otherwise totally unknown Master of the St. Francis legend, on the grounds that the style of the cycle is irreconcilable with that of the later Arena Chapel frescoes in Padua, which are universally accepted as Giotto's. This involves the idea that the works referred to (in Giotto's lifetime) by Riccobaldo cannot be identified with anything now extant and must have perished centuries ago, so that the early 15th-century sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti, Vasari, and others mistakenly transferred the existing St. Francis cycle to Giotto. Five hundred years of tradition are thus written off. Still more difficult, if Giotto did not paint the St. Francis frescoes, major works of art, then they must be attributed to a painter who cannot be shown to have created anything else, whose name has disappeared without trace, although he was of the first rank, and, odder still, was formed by the combined influences of Cimabue, the Florentine sculptor Arnolfo di Cambio, and the Roman painter Pietro Cavalliniinfluences which coalesce at Assisi and may be taken as the influences that formed Giotto himself. Arising out of the fusion of Roman and Florentine influences in the Assisi frescoes, there was later a tendency to see the hand of Giotto, as a very young man, in the works of the Isaac Master, the painter of two scenes of Isaac and Esau and Jacob and Isaac in the nave above the St. Francis cycle. If this theory is accepted, it is easy to understand that Giotto, as a young man, made such a success of this commission that he was entrusted with the most important one, the official painted biography of St. Francis based on the new official biography written around 1266 by St. Bonaventura. In fact, the whole of today's mental picture of St. Francis stems largely from these frescoes. Clearly, a man born in 1276 was less likely to have received such a commission than one 10 years older, if, as was always thought, the commission was given in 1296 or soon after by Fra Giovanni di Muro, general of the Franciscans. The works in the Lower Church are generally regarded as productions ofGiotto's followers (there are, indeed, resemblances to his works at Padua), and there is real disagreement only over the Legend of St. Francis. The main strength of the non-Giotto school lies in the admittedly sharp stylistic contrasts between the St. Francis cycle and the frescoes in the Arena Chapel at Padua, especially if the Assisi frescoes were painted 1296c. 1300 and those of the Arena c. 130305; for the interval between the two cycles is too smallto allow for major stylistic developments. This argument becomes less compelling when the validity of the

dates proposed and the Roman period c. 1300 are taken into account. As already mentioned, the Assisi frescoes may have been painted before 1296 and not necessarily afterward, and the Arena frescoes are datable with certainty only in or before 1309, although probably painted c. 130506; clearly, a greater time lag between the two cycles can help to explain stylistic differences, as can the experiences that Giotto underwent in what was probably his second Roman period.

Roman period
Three principal works are attributed to Giotto in Rome. Theyare the great mosaic of Christ Walking on the Water (the Navicella), over the entrance to St. Peter's; the altarpiece painted for Cardinal Stefaneschi (Vatican Museum); and the fresco fragment of Boniface VIII Proclaiming the Jubilee, in San Giovanni in Laterano (St. John Lateran). Giotto is also known to have painted some frescoes in the choir of old St. Peter's, but these are lost. These Roman works also pose problems in attribution and criticism. The attribution of the Navicella is certain; it is known that Cardinal Stefaneschi commissioned Giotto to doit. The mosaic, however, was almost entirely remade in the 17th century except for two fragmentary heads of angels, so that old copies must be used for all stylistic deductions. The fresco fragment in San Giovanni in Laterano was cleaned in the 20th century and was tentatively reattributed to Giotto on the basis of its likeness to the Assisi frescoes, but the original attribution can be traced only as far back as the 17thcentury. The Stefaneschi Altarpiece, with its portrait of the Cardinal himself, must be one of the works commissioned by him. The fact that he commissioned Giotto to do the Navicella might suggest that this work is by Giotto as well, but the altarpiece is so poor in quality that it cannot be by Giotto's own hand. It may be observed that several works bearing Giotto's signature, notably the St. Francis of Assisi (Louvre, Paris) and the altarpieces in Bologna and Florence (Santa Croce), are generally regarded as school pieces bearing his trademark, whereas the Ognissanti Madonna, unsigned and virtually undocumented, is so superlative in quality that it is accepted as entirely by his hand. During this period Giotto may also have done the Crucifixin Santa Maria Novella and the Madonna in San Giorgio e Massimiliano dello Spirito Santo (both in Florence). These works may be possibly identifiable with works mentioned in very early sources, and if so they throw light on Giotto's early style (before 1300). It is also possible that, about 1305, Giotto went to Avignon, in France, but the evidence for this is slender.

Paduan period
There is thus no very generally agreed picture of Giotto's early development. It is some relief, therefore, to turn to the fresco cycle in the chapel in Padua known as the Arena or Scrovegni Chapel. Its name derives from the fact that it was built on the site of a Roman amphitheatre by Enrico Scrovegni, the son of a notorioususurer mentioned by Dante. The founder isshown offering a model of the church in the huge Last Judgment, which covers the whole west wall. The rest of the small, bare church is covered with frescoes in three tiers representing scenes from the lives of Joachim andAnna, the life of the Virgin, the Annunciation (on the chancel arch), and the life and Passion of Christ, concluding with Pentecost. Below these three narrative bands is a fourth containing monochrome personifications of the Virtues and Vices. The chapel was apparently founded in 1303 and consecrated on March 25, 1305. It is known that the frescoes were completed in or before 1309, and they are generally dated c. 130506, but even with several assistants it must have taken at least two years to complete so large a cycle. The frescoes are in relatively good condition, and all that has been said of Giotto's power to render the bare essentials of a setting with a few impressive and simple figures telling the story as dramatically and yet as economically as possible is usually based on the narrative power that is the fundamental characteristic of these frescoes. These dominating figures, simple and severe, similar to those in the Assisi cycle but placed in settings of more formal abstraction and rendered with more grandeur, are the quintessence of his style, and anatomy and perspective were usedor even inventedby him as adjuncts to his narrative gifts. He never attained to the skill that so often, in fact, misled the men of the 15th and 16th centuries. In the Padua frescoes the details are always significant, whereas it is a characteristic of the Assisi cycle that there occurs from time to time a delighted dwelling on details that are not absolutely essential to the story.

Santa Croce frescoes


Documents show that Giotto was in Florence in 131114 and 1320; and it was probably during these years, before going to Naples (c. 1329), that he painted frescoes in four chapels in Santa Croce belonging to the Giugni, Tosinghi-Spinelli, Bardi, and Peruzzi families. The Giugni Chapel frescoes are lost, as are all the Tosinghi-Spinelli ones, except for an Assumption over the entrance, not universally accepted as by Giotto. The Bardi and Peruzzi chapels contained cycles of St. Francis, St. John the Baptist, and St. John the Evangelist, but the frescoes were whitewashed and were not recovered until the mid-19th century, when they were damaged in the process of removing the whitewash and then heavily restored. Much thesame happened to a portrait of Dante in the Bargello, also in Florence, for which there is a traditional attribution to Giotto. Writers tended to take more or less account of theseadditions and restorations according to the view they held ofthe Assisi problem, but a prolonged cleaning and re-restoration of both chapels in the mid-20th century has demonstrated that the Bardi Chapel has few but splendid figures remaining, painted in true fresco, whereas the Peruzzi Chapel figures are now largely ghosts, since they were painted in a different technique. The older view, that the two cycles were contemporary, is no longer necessarily valid, and there is no evidence for the date of either cycle, except that both are probably later than the Arena Chapel frescoes.

Naples and the last Florentine period


In January 1330, King Robert of Naples promoted Giotto to the rank of familiar (member of the royal household), which implies that he had been in Naples for some while, possibly since 1329, and he remained there until 133233. Allthe works he executed

there have been lost, but traces of hisstyle may be distinguished in the local school. On April 12, 1334, he was appointed capomastro, or surveyor, of the Duomo in Florence and architect to the city. This was a tribute to his great fame as a painter and not on account of any special architectural knowledge. On July 19 of the same year he began the campanile, or bell tower, of the Duomo. It was later altered but is known, in part at least, from a drawing in Siena. He may have designed some of the reliefs carved by Andrea Pisano on the campanile; certainly the bronze doors of the baptistery by Andrea show clear traces of Giotto's frescoes in Santa Croce. Indeed the whole courseof painting in Tuscany was dominated by his pupils and followersby Taddeo Gaddi, Bernardo Daddi, Maso di Banco,Andrea Orcagna, and Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti in Sienabut none of these really understood all of his innovations. Giotto achieved great personal fame in his own lifetime; in the Divine Comedy, Dante says of his relation to his reputed teacher, the Florentine artist Cimabue, that Cimabue thought to hold the field in painting, but now Giotto has the cry, so that the fame of Cimabue is obscured. The mere fact that he was mentioned in Dante, whether or not in a particularly flattering context, was sufficient to establish and maintain this fame in 14th- and 15th-century Italy, and legends soon began to crystallize around his name. When, in 1550, the artist and biographer Giorgio Vasari published Le vite de' pi eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori italiani... (Lives of the Most Eminent Italian Painters, Sculptors, and Architects...), he naturally began his history of Italian art with Giotto as the man who, even more than Cimabue, broke away from the Middle Ages and ushered in the good modern manner. It was not until the Renaissance, with Masaccio and Michelangelo, that his true successors arose. Peter J. Murray (Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Giotto The Stefaneschi Triptych (verso) c. 1330 Pinacoteca, Vatican

Giotto Crucifixion 1330s Musees Municipaux, Strasbourg

Giotto di Bondone
(1266 - 1337) Italy

Madonna and Child 1297

Stigmatization of St Francis 1300 Musee du Louvre, Paris

Polyptych 1330-35 Pinacoteca, Bologna

Crucifixion 1330s Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Madonna and Child 1320-30 National Gallery of Art, Washington

St John the Evangelist 1320-25 Musee Jacquemart-Andre, Chaalis

Saint Stephen 1320-25 Museo Horne, Florence

St Lawrence 1320-25 Musee Jacquemart-Andre, Chaalis

PAINTING

Pietro Lorenzetti Ambrogio Lorenzetti

See also COLLECTION:

Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Lorenzetti Brothers
Lorenzetti - italian family of painters. Two members of this Sienese family, the brothers Pietro Lorenzetti and Ambrogio Lorenzetti, were artists. While Ghiberti regarded Ambrogio as the greatest of Sienese 14thcentury painters, he was apparently unaware of Pietros existence. Vasari, who misread the inscription on a panel of the Virgin and Child Enthroned with Angels (Florence, Uffizi) as PETRUS LAURATI DE SENIS, did not recognize Pietros connection with Ambrogio. The fraternal relationship was specified, however, in a lost inscription below frescoes on the faade of the hospital of S Maria della Scala, Siena, first recorded by Ugurieri-Azzolini: HOC OPUS FECIT PETRUS LAURENTII ET AMBROSIUS EIUS FRATER M.CCC.XXX.V. There is also evidence that the brothers borrowed tools from each other, although it is unlikely that they collaborated regularly or that they maintained a joint workshop over any lengthy period. There is no doubt that they shared artistic ideas and ambitions, not so much as a result of their family connection, but because they were both major masters and exponents of naturalism. Both painters innovations were too radical to be assimilated by their immediate followers, but they foreshadow developments in the 15th century.

See also COLLECTION: Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Pietro Lorenzetti

( fl c. 130645) Although deeply indebted to the art of Duccio and his circle and inclined to be retrospective, he was an artist of considerable originality: his naturalistic figures, influenced by sculpture, are imbued with intense emotions and set within innovative illusionistic space. Documents referring to Pietro and his works are comparatively scant. It is not certain whether he is identifiable with a Petruccio Lorenzo who, on 25 February 1306, was paid 1 lira and 10 soldi for a picture on a panel of the nine governors of Siena. Although Pietros earliest surviving works date to the second decade of the 14th century, the course of his career suggests that he was an independent master by the first decade. A single panel of the Virgin and Child (on dep. Siena, Pin. N.) from Castiglione dOrcia (Siena) is the earliest surviving work attributed to him and is technically unusual in that the image was painted on a silver ground. The composition is a modification of a type current in Duccios circle. A dismembered polyptych from SS Leonardo e Cristoforo in Monticchiello (Pienza), composed of a half-length Virgin and Child (in situ), a St Margaret (Le Mans, Mus. Tesse) and St Benedict, St Catherine of Alexandria and St Agnes (Florence, Mus. Horne), similarly dates to c. 1315.

Pietro Lorenzetti Madonna Enthroned with Angels 1340 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Pietro Lorenzetti Adoration of the Magi c. 1340 Musee du Louvre, Paris

See also:
COLLECTION: Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Ambrogio Lorenzetti
( fl c. 1317; d before May 1348) Brother of Pietro Lorenzetti. Ghiberti styled Ambrogio a most perfect and learned master. He was certainly the most inventive Sienese artist of the early 14th century. Many of his innovations in naturalism are without parallel; many of his works are characterized by iconography that is equally original. His lost Roman stories from the exterior of the Palazzo Pubblico, Siena, suggest an ability to deal with highly unusual subject matter; the lost Mappamondo, an ability to create new forms. His career is marked by periodic shifts and a constant search for innovation: works of the 1310s and 1320s display a pursuit of naturalism that recurred throughout his career; those from the early 1330s suggest that the artist was seeking to emulate the decorative effects of Simone Martini and his circle; in Ambrogios late work much of this ornament disappears, or is severely restrained, while his distinctive use of inscribed banderoles implies the desire to push content beyond the traditional pictorial means of monumental painting.

AMBROGIO LORENZETTI: "THE EFFECTS OF GOOD AND BAD GOVERNMENT IN THE COUNTRY"
Circa 1337-39, Sala del Nove. Palazzo Pitbblico, Siena This large fresco was painted by the most "Florentine" in style of the two Lorenzetti brothers, following his commission by the Republic. It is the most important secular fresco cycle of the 13th century in Italy, full of political and literary allegories. Here, we see a detail of the countryside from the right-hand side of the fresco. It shows the ''effects of good government" in the country and depicts daily routines, such as farming, fishing, and hunting. The other side of the picture, not shown, represents the city, based on Siena, which in the 12th century had waned in power yet remained one of the major artistic centres in Europe.

Ambrogio Lorenzetti, The Effects of Good and Bad Government in the Town, 1337-39. Palazzo Pubblico, Siena

Ambrogio Lorenzetti, The Effects of Good and Bad Government in the Town (detail), 1337-39. Palazzo Pubblico, Siena

Ambrogio Lorenzetti, The Effects of Good and Bad Government in the Town (detail), 1337-39. Palazzo Pubblico, Siena

THE CITY
The Effects of Good and Bad Government in the Town and in the Country (1337-39), painted by Ambrogio Lorenzetti for the Sala dei Nove in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, shows in a broad, flowing manner that which, more synthetically, is the meaning of the statue from a door in Milan, of Saint Ambrose Offering the City of Milan to the Virgin. The same urban focus of the two works one representing the point of communication between the city and the world outside, and the other representing civic responsibility has a clear symbolic meaning of the relationship between Christian virtue and orderly society. As bishop of Milan in the 14th century, St Ambrose stood out against the emperor and imposed civic moral order.

After Giovanni Balduccio, St Ambrose Offering the City of Milan to the Virgin, mid-14th century. Civic Collection of Ancient Art, Milan Ambrogio Lorenzetti, The Effects of Good and Bad Government in the Town (detail), 1337-39. Palazzo Pubblico, Siena

Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Altarpiece of St Proculus 1332 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Pietro Lorenzetti

Madonna and Child 1320 Pieve di Santa Maria, Arezzo

Man of Sorrow c. 1330 Lindenau Museum, Altenburg

Deposition c. 1325 Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi

Entombment c. 1325 Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi

Crucifixion 1320 Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi

Madonna with St Francis and St John the Evangelist 1320-25 Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi

PAINTING

Giovanni da Milano

Other Italian Schools


What emerged most clearly in the second half of the 14th century was the vitality of areas outside Tuscany, which had already been affected by Giotto and his followers, and by the progressive economic and cultural exchanges with Europe north of the Alps. Such was the case with the strongly dramatic 14th-century Bolognese art. or that of Rimini, which was more courtly and emotive. Padua and Verona, touched by the influence of Giotto and by the emergence of strong personalities and active studios, were more inclined to Gothic linearism than to Tuscan plasticity. However, they were subject to Bvzantine influences, still preeminent in the unique case of Venice. Lombardy. which from the end of the 13th century tended towards realistic detail and immediacy of expression, created one of the highest periods of International Gothic. This style was characterized by a refined, exquisite sense of grace and elegance. Working in Florence by 1350. was the great innovator Giovanni da Milano (active 1346-69). whose major surviving work is the decoration of the Rinuccini chapel in Santa Croce. The great exponent of the international Gothic style was Gentile di Fabriano (c. 1370-1427) from central Italy. He became master of the typically exquisite style that swept through Europe. The circulation of illuminated books, which had spread artistic innovations in the early Middle Ages, had now been reinforced by the more direct and radical migration of artists themselves. In Italian commercial and religious centres, the ascendancy of Giottesque painting reversed the flow. Filippo Rusuti was invited by the king of France to paint at Poitiers and at Saint-Denis in the first decades of the 14th century: a little after 1320. the great Parisian miniaturist Jean Pucelle arrived in Tuscany, where he was able to acquire a sounder mastery of the use of space to pass on to his French colleagues: and Matteo Giovannetti of Viterbo was involved in the decoration of the Papal See at Avignon, allowing Italian advances in plasticity to penetrate the linear style of Burgundy. Artists, perhaps from Naples, painted frescos in the castle of Esztergom in Hungary: Charles VI commissioned works from Tommaso da Modena for Prague and Karlstein; more than once, painters from the Venetian school took what they had learnt from Giotto and Altichiero (active 1369-84) to Austria, as in the Abbey of San Floriano and the Stefansdom in Vienna. During the 14th century, the number of medieval pilgrim trails increased and led to new destinations comparable with the established holy routes to Santiago. Rome, and Jerusalem. The construction sites of cathedrals and palaces were also meeting places where architects and builders from all over Europe could exchange ideas. In order to work in these centres, where architecture, painting, and sculpture interacted to meet the rapidly changing requirements of the buildings and their patrons, artists required a grounding in all artistic forms. Of all the arts, drawing became the unifying factor and. at the same time, an instrument of visual emancipation, by virtue of its capacity to re-explore constantly the ideal forms of real objects. Albums of drawings were compiled, few of which survive today. However, those that do survive testify to the growing need for common principles, as in the Livre de Portraiture of Villard d'Honnecourt (13th century), and to the demand for models and studies, as in the Taccuino of Giovanni De' Grassi. Alongside the artist, the figure of the commissioning patron also became more visible. Inscriptions, or tituli, placed within paintings, recorded their names, often beside those of the artists. A later innovation, however, was the inclusion actually within the painting of the donor's image, almost always shown in an attitude of devotion, and sometimes positioned to balance the composition, as in San Ludovico di Tolosa by Simone Martini, where the donor, Robert of Anjou, appears in the painting. This was one of the ways in which the artistic convention of portraiture became established.

Giovanni da Milano
( fl c. 134669). Italian painter. He is first recorded on 17 October 1346, listed as Johannes Jacobi de Commo among the foreign painters living in Florence. There follows a gap of at least 12 undocumented years until his inscription as Johannes Jacobi Guidonis de Mediolano with the Arte dei Medici e Speziali between 1358 and 1363. A tax return dated 26 December 1363 declares his ownership of land in Ripoli, Tizzana (nr Prato) and a house in the parish of S Pier Maggiore, Florence.

The Birth of the Virgin 1365 Fresco Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence

Scenes from the Life of the Virgin 1365 Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence Scenes from the Life of the Virgin 1365 Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence

Scenes from the Life of the Virgin 1365 Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence

Scenes from the Life of the Virgin 1365 Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence

Scenes from the Life of Magdalene 1365 Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence Scenes from the Life of Magdalene 1365 Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence

Scenes from the Life of Magdalene 1365 Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence

Scenes from the Life of Magdalene 1365 Rinuccini Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence

Polyptych with Madonna and Saints 1355 Civic Museum, Prato

Polyptych with Madonna and Saints 1355 Civic Museum, Prato

Polyptych with Madonna and Saints 1355 Civic Museum, Prato

Polyptych with Madonna and Saints 1355 Civic Museum, Prato

Three Pinnacles from an Altarpiece about 1364-6

Pieta 1365 Galleria del'Accademia, Florence St Francis of Assisi c. 1360 Musee du Louvre, Paris

PAINTING

Gentile da Fabriano

See also COLLECTION

Gentile da Fabriano

Gentile da Fabriano
born c. 1370, Fabriano, Papal States, Italy died 1427, Rome original name Niccolo Di Giovanni Di Massio foremost painter of centralItaly at the beginning of the 15th century, whose few surviving works are among the finest examples of the International Gothic style. An early signed work by Gentile has stylistic affinities with Lombard painting and suggests that he was trained in the Lombard school. In 1409 Gentile was commissioned to decorate the Doges' Palace inVenice with historical frescoes, which were later completed by Il Pisanello. In 141419 Gentile was in Brescia working for Pandolfo III Malatesta. His final important cycle of frescoes was begun in Rome in the Church of St. John Lateranshortly before his death. As with the frescoes in Venice, they were completed by Il Pisanello. His surviving masterpiece, the Adoration of the Magi, was completed in 1423 for the Church of Santa Trinit, in Florence. Its graceful figures are clothed in velvets and rich brocades, and the Magi are attended by Oriental retainers, who look after such exotic animals as lions and camels. Its delicate linearity and vibrant colours enhance the effect of rich exoticism. The decorativeness of its elegant, courtly style continued to influence Florentine artists throughout the century and presented a counterattraction to the austererealism introduced by Masaccio. Gentile also produced a number of Madonnas, such as the altarpiece known as the Quaratesi Polyptych (1425), which show the Mother and Child, regally clad, sitting on the ground in a garden. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Madonna with the Child 1425 Fresco Duomo, Orvieto

Gentile da Fabriano (b Fabriano, c. 1385; d Rome, before 14 Oct 1427). Italian painter and draughtsman. He was the most important Italian representative of the elaborate Late Gothic style of painting that dominated European painting around 1400. He was a consummate master of naturalistic rendering, narrative invention and detail, and ornamental refinement. He introduced a new relationship between painting and nature through the depiction of three-dimensional space and the representation of natural lighting. This relationship, established at the same time but in much more radical form by Masaccio, was central to the art of the Renaissance.

Adoration of the Magi 1423 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Coronation of the Virgin and Saints c. 1400 Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

Gentile da Fabriano

Quaratesi Altarpiece: St. Nicholas and three poor maidens 1425 Pinacoteca, Vatican

Quaratesi Altarpiece: St. Nicholas saves a storm-tossed ship 1425 Pinacoteca, Vatican

Adoration of the Magi 1423 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Adoration of the Magi (detail) 1423 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Adoration of the Magi (detail) 1423 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Adoration of the Magi (detail) 1423 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Adoration of the Magi (detail) Rest during the Flight into Egypt 1423 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

PAINTING

Pucelle Jean Altichiero da Zevio

Pucelle Jean
( fl c. 131934). French illuminator. He is a controversial figure in 14th-century manuscript painting since his individual role in works attributed to him and his circle has not yet been fully defined. The manuscripts associated with him, however, are among the most important produced in this period, displaying an innovative approach to three-dimensional space, derived from Italian painting. This is thought to have been influential in manuscript and monumental painting, applied arts and sculpture.

Jean Pucelle (French, active in Paris, ca. 13191334)

Belleville Breviary: December 1323-26 Illumination on parchment Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris

Jean Pucelle (French, active in Paris, ca. 13191334) The Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux, ca. 13241328

Altichiero da Zevio
( fl 1369; d before 10 April 1393). Italian painter, veronese scool. He was one of the most important northern Italian painters of the 14th century. His style is characterized by an interest in the depiction of space and volume and by a preference for soft colours bathed in suffused light. His narrative paintings have a solemnity and grandeur that is mitigated by the lively realism and animation of the figures, convincingly integrated into settings of architectural complexity.

Death of St Lucy 1379-84 Oratorio di San Giorgio, Padua

The Execution of Saint George c. 1380 Oratorio di San Giorgio, Padua

Virgin Being Worshipped by Members of the Cavalli Family c. 1370 Cavalli Chapel, S. Anastasia, Verona

Crucifixion 1376-79 Basilica di Sant'Antonio, Padua

Scenes from the Life of St James 1376-79 Basilica di Sant'Antonio, Padua

Scenes from the Life of St James 1376-79 Basilica di Sant'Antonio, Padua

PAINTING

Tommaso da Modena

Tommaso da Modena
(b Modena, 13256; d before 16 July 1379). Italian painter.

He was the son of a Modenese painter, Barisino Barisini ( fl 1317; d 1343), who probably taught him the craft. Tomaso was absent from Modena in 1346 and has been assumed to have continued his training in Bologna after his fathers death, probably in the workshop of Vitale da Bologna: his art shows knowledge of the subject-matter and techniques of Bolognese illumination, as well as dependence on the style and work of Vitale. Two panel paintings probably belong to this period: a small triptych (410*388 mm; Modena, Gal. & Mus. Estense) and the centre of a reliquary triptych (Bologna, Pin. N.). The little triptych is signed with a prayer to the Virgin; its date, repainted and variously interpreted, may be 1345. The subject-matter of holy hermits and martyrs and the Descent into Limbo shares the solemn tone of the prayer. The dramatic composition, the facial types and rich brushwork are strongly influenced by Vitale. The reliquary panel has three registers, the central one with three images of the Virgin: showing her pregnant and reading, feeding the Christ Child, and knitting his seamless tunic. The four elegant Virgin Martyrs below are dressed in the latest and finest fashions; such figures are frequently found in Tomasos work. The damaged St Agnes of this panel is the only example to preserve the full richness of his conception of courtly dress.

Cardinal Nicholas of Rouen 1351-52 Chapter House, San Niccol, Treviso

Saint Albert the Great

The Departure of St. Ursula 1355-58 Museo Civico, Treviso.

PAINTING

Traini Francesco Giovannino de' Grassi Roberto Oderisi

Diverging Paths
The Pisan artist Francesco Traini was au courant with the painting of Avignon. In the second half of the 14th century, the subject of death became a focus for artists. Among the works produced was the Triumph of Death, identified by some as by the same Traini. Coastal towns attracted lively exchanges of skills and artistic styles. Of particular interest was the Angevin court of Naples, where Giotto, di Bianco, and Pietro came into contact with the French style that was prominent in the royal palace. The consequences of this are most apparent in the mid-14th century in the activity of Roberto Oderisi (second half of the 14th century), splendidly attested by the decoration of the Incoronata church in Naples. His influence reached as far as Palermo, a port much engaged in the importing of every type of art. In the area around Padua, highly distinctive schools of painting, capable of great expression, joined together and expanded. This was also the case in Bologna, where the university had a continuing relationship with Paris, chiefly by way of manuscripts; this partly explains why Bolognese miniatures met with such success. Highly sensitive to the linear style from France, Vitale da Bologna (c. 1309-60) appeared in about the mid-14th century, the founder of the city's school of painting, and a figurative, intensely expressive interpreter of Gothic composition and colour. Two very different artists from Modena found their way out of the Emilia region. One was Tommaso, who was active mainly in Treviso. He had a courtly taste in painting and a keen eye for costume, which may have earned him the commissions from the court of Prague. The other was Barnaba (active 1367-83). who settled in Genoa to take commissions that still required Byzantine elements though with a hint of Paduan vitality. The courts of Padua and Verona encouraged the activity of local artists, who, drawing on the impressive landscapes by Giotto, renewed the traditional Byzantine language and achieved results of great formal elegance, as in theAngelic Hierarchies by Guariento di Arpo (active 1338-70). Giusto de' Menabuoi (c. 1330-90) moved in 1370 to Padua, where his virtuosity in depicting throngs of people in dynamic architectural settings using delicate colour was realized. Altichiero was at work here in the same decade, following Giotto's example in creating great narrative cycles, in which dense urban scenes and pictures crammed with crowds of people are set into solid spatial and compositional structures. Lombard painting of the late 13th century reveals a propensity for realism and narrative style, especially in the secular cycle at the castle of Angera. An analogy is to be found in the frescos of Matris Domini in Bergamo, in those of Sant'Abbondio in Como, and in the lively decorative illustration of the Liber Pantheon. The influence of Giotto's stay in Milan (1335-36) was first seen in the Crucifixion of San Gottardo in Milan, in the Storie Mariane in Chiaravalle, and in the abbey of the Humiliati in Viboldone, which was also visited by Giusto de' Menabuoi. In the middle of the century, Giovanni da Milano, who had previously trained in Lombardy, began working in Florence on the frescos in the Rinuccini Chapel of Santa Croce and the exquisite Pieta (1365). The meeting between Tuscan formal strength and Lombard expressiveness is documented in the hagiographic cycles of the oratories of Mocchirolo, Lentate, and Solare. It was against this background, marked by the presence of Petrarch and by the creation of the extraordinary library of Pavia, that one of the most important schools of illustration came to maturity. Works such as Guiron le Curtois,

Lancelot du Lac, and the Messale 757 were produced, as well as illustrations by Giovannino De' Grassi for Gian Galeazzo Yisconti's Book of Hours. Lombard sacred painting favoured frescos to painting on panels; altarpieces were generally sculpted in marble or wood, or were substituted by objects of gold or silver, following the more refined taste of the court. The Lombard influence was soon felt in Piedmont where, from the late 13th to the early 14th century, a strongly expressive Gallic style asserted itself, as in Sant' Antonio in Ranverso. In France, too. thanks to court patrons, first in Paris then in Burgundy, the elements of renewal in figurative culture were to be found mainly in illustrated books Although the large Parisian frescos disappeared, as in the SainteChapelle and old Louvre palace, important cycles can still be found in the Haute-Loire and at Toulouse, where the close relationship with the art of illumination can be identified, as can Italian influences. Panel painting, much of which has been lost, at least until 1380, centred on Paris, where the aesthetic ideals formulated at the time of Saint Louis IX were developed. New stimuli came from Italian aitists working in Avignon, especially towards the mid-1-tth century, and from Flemish artists based in Paris, Rouiges, and Dijon, who weie more closely involved with book illustration. Evidence of this, towards the end of the century, can be seen in the celebrated Wilton Diptych, painted in Paris for English patrons. Few frescos remain in England, and most painting is preserved in manuscript form much of it influenced by the earlier Celtic libraries and scholarict in the monasteries. In England, Matthew Paris was a monk of St Albans, a historian and prolific illustrator (active 121759). He has left evidence of lively exchanges in court and ecclesiastical circles of borth a literary and graphic kind. His restless line shows amusing, graceful figures full of activity. Another important example of English manuscript art is the Douce Apocalypse painting (late 1260s), which dramatized Revelations and pictured exuberant figures. Executed with linear confidence, they also suggest drawing from life and have a sense of volume. A rare example of English panel painting is the Retable at Westminster Abbev (mid-13th century) made at the time French and Italian artists visited the court of Henry III, bringing the sinuous line and

delicate detail of the international style. Melchior Broederlam (active 1381-1409), who painted the altarpiece of the Charterhouse of Champmol, was also influenced by book illustration. In this Charterhouse, Claus Sluter brought Burgundian sculpture to new heights of artistic expression: the Annunciation of the portal and the Muses' Well are remarkable for their strength of composition, finely drawn figures, and deep emotion. Illustration had already begun a process of international renewal, thanks to Jean Pucelle (active c.1319). who incorporated into his delicate yet dynamic linearity a formal solidity and narrative style that were of clear Italian origin. Flemish influence brought an even greater, distinctly bourgeois, realism. The Duc de Berry and Philip the Bold created two of the most refined courts in Europe, attended by great illustrators such as Hainaut and the Master of Boucicaut, who achieved extraordinary power of expression through freedom of design and intensity of colour. In the middle of the 14th century, the imperial court of Charles IV transformed Prague into a great artistic centre. In about 1340. Sienese delicacy arrived in Bohemia with the Master of the Altar of Hohenfurt. In 1357, the castle of Karlstein accommodated artists of varying tastes and backgrounds: alongside the Italian tone introduced by Tommaso da Modena. there were elements of a sharper realism in the Kreuzkapelle. Prague, too, would have a great sculptor and architect in Peter Parler, who, with a new realism, would influence the artistic vision of all Europe.

Traini Francesco
( fl 30 Aug 132115 Jan 1345). Italian painter and illuminator. He was the most accomplished Pisan artist in the second quarter of the 14th century, although his career is controversial. On 20 July and 23 August 1322 he was paid for painting the Palazzo Anziani in Pisa. On 2 December 1337 he took an apprentice, Giovanni, for a threeyear period. Documents of 12 December 1340 and 19 February 1341 deal with a dispute over a banner Traini had painted for the confraternity of the Laudi of Pisa Cathedral. Only one signed and documented work survives: the altarpiece of St Dominic (13445; Pisa, ), painted for the Dominican church of S Caterina, Pisa.

Traini Francesco
Triumph of St Thomas Aquinas c. 1340 Santa Caterina, Pisa

Traini Francesco
Triumph of Death (detail) c. 1350 Campo Santo, Pisa

Traini Francesco
Italian, Pisa, active 1321 - 1363 Christ Blessing tempera and gold on wood panel, about 1335

Traini Francesco
Virgin, Child, and Saint Anne

Giovannino de' Grassi


Italian miniaturist, Lombard school (active 1389-1398 in Lombardy)
( fl from 1380s; d 5 July 1398). Draughtsman, painter and architect. In contrast to his documented career, Giovanninos 20th-century reputation is as one of the most innovative and inventive of manuscript illuminators, despite the fact that his only documented illumination is tabulla una a grammatichi (a grammar table/tablet; 1395), made for the sevenyear-old son of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, 1st Duke of Milan. His reputation rests instead on the inscription Johininus de grassis designavit on a folio of wash drawings of animals in a sketchbook (Bergamo, Bib. Civ. A. Mai, MS. delta vii. 14, fol. 4v). Some of the late 14th-century drawings in this sketchbook are closely related to those of the PsalterHours begun for Gian Galeazzo (Florence, Bib. N. Cent., MS. Banco Rari 397 and MS. Landau Finaly 22) and completed some decades later for his son Filippo Maria. A change in the type of subsidiary decoration and variations in style show that the illumination for Giangaleazzo was undertaken in two campaigns. The two styles, however, are closely related, and a precise division between them is difficult to make. The earliest work on the manuscript, the first volume and the opening folios of the second volume, is generally attributed to Giovannino and was probably painted in the late 1380s, before he joined the payroll of the Milan Cathedral works. The light, bright colours, richly gilded with liquid and burnished gold, give the pages a scintillating appearance. Each border is of an individual design; in addition to conventional foliage, some include birds or animals and many have a resourceful incorporation of the emblems, arms, mottoes and even portraits of the owner.

Roberto Oderisi
( fl Naples, c. 133082). Italian painter. He was one of the foremost artists of 14thcentury Naples, and the only named south Italian painter active in the mid-14th century whose artistic personality can be reconstructed. He is known from a single documentary reference, when he was appointed magistrum pictorium regium by Charles III, King of Naples, on 2 February 1382, and from his signature,ROBERTUS DE ODERISIO DE NEAPOLI, on the foot of a Crucifixion from S Francesco, Eboli (Salerno, Mus. Duomo). The earliest panel paintings attributed to Oderisi include the polyptych of the Dormition and Coronation of the Virgin, with SS Nicholas, James, Julian and Anthony Abbot, executed for the Coppola family for Scala Cathedral, near Amalfi (Lombardy, priv. col.), the smaller Coronation of the Virgin (Milan, priv. col.) and the Crucifixion (Naples, Capodimonte). Associated with these paintings are some badly preserved frescoes, for example those in the cathedral at Amalfi, which appears to have been the region of Oderisis early activity. Despite being extremely rough and schematic, the style of these works reveals a thorough grounding in Tuscan figure painting that can be linked to the presence in Naples, between 1328 and 1333, of Giotto and some of his assistants , among them Maso di Banco and the so-called Master of the Vele from Assisi. The iconography of the frescoes was also clearly inspired by Tuscan works in Naples, such as the Giotto panel painted for the palatine chapel at Castel Nuovo, and the fresco of the Crucifixion by his shop in the convent of S Chiara.

Giovannino de' Grassi


Gothic letters from a model book 1390 Biblioteca Civica, Bergamo

Roberto Oderisi Coronation of the Virgin, detail from fresco, c. 1360-70. The scene may refer to the court of Joan I

Giovannino de' Grassi


Stag (from a sketch-book) 1380-90 Biblioteca Civica, Bergamo

Giovannino de' Grassi


Bergamo, Civic Library

Giovannino de' Grassi 1396

Giovannino de' Grassi 1396

PAINTING

Vitale da Bologna Guariento d'Arpo

Vitale da Bologna
(b before 1309; d between 1359 and 1361). Italian painter, Bolognese school
The earliest documentary references to Vitale concern S Francesco, Bologna, where he was paid for decorating a chapel in 1330 and where he witnessed deeds in 1334. He was probably born before 1309, since he would have been at least 25 to act as a witness. The earliest works attributed to him are the frescoes of standing saints and Abraham and the Blessed Souls (Bologna, S Martino), which show a strong Riminese influence in the cool, wine-red and olive tones and lean, high-cheeked faces. Vitales work continued to reflect Riminese iconography and features, particularly the vivid characterizations associated with Pietro da Rimini, but his style became less dependent upon these sources. He was paid for paintings in a chapel and the guests refectory of S Francesco in 1340. The Last Supper from the refectory (detached; Bologna, Pin. N.) retains the cool pinks and rows of standing saints of the S Martino frescoes, but the modelling of the figures is richer and more expressive. The long table and symmetrical architecture are inspired by Giottos frescoes in the Bardi Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence, and the radical transformation in Vitales style, which set him apart from his Bolognese contemporaries, was partly due to Giottos influence. Above all, however, his style was influenced by the Master of the Triumph of Death at Pisa. The lively gestures, the loose modelling and lime-green and vermilion palette of Bolognese illuminators, particularly the Illustratore, also began to influence Vitale. Bolognese illumination provided a repertory of genre observation that undoubtedly affected his wide range of iconographic innovations. These varied influences can be seen in the uneven but lively quality of the Crucifixion (c. 133540; Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.). Vitales work is also often compared to that of Sienese painters. There is no substantial evidence of direct influence but his use of dramatic facial types reminiscent of Pietro Lorenzetti and a decorative richness akin to Simone Martinis painting suggest that he knew their work.

Vitate (degii Equi) da Bologna St George 's Battle with the Dragon around 1350

Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna

Vitate (degii Equi) da Bologna Madonna 1345 Museo Civico d'Arte Industriale, Imola

Vitate (degii Equi) da Bologna Crucifixion

Vitate (degii Equi) da Bologna Bishop Theophilus Taking the Body of the Saint to Constantinople. begun 1351 Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna This shows an episode from the Life of St Anthony.

Guariento d'Arpo

( fl Padua, 1338; d 136770). Italian painter. He was the leading painter of his time in Padua and is first recorded there as a master in 1338. The origin of his eclectic but highly distinctive style is not to be explained in terms of the influence of an ill-defined regional Byzantinism, as posited in older accounts, but rather as an alert and discriminating synthesis of trends current in the Veneto following visits to the area by such artists as Giotto and Giovanni Pisano. Guarientos style combines elements obviously drawn from Giottos work in Padua and elsewhere with a more overtly Gothic sense of line and rhythm and a dramatic approach to narrative, occasionally verging on caricature.

Guariento d'Arpo

Angel 1354 Museo Civico, Padua

Guariento d'Arpo
Angel 1354 Museo Civico, Padua

Guariento d'Arpo
Angel 1354

Museo Civico, Padua

Guariento d'Arpo
Archangel 1350 Museo Civico, Padua

Guariento d'Arpo
Angel

1350 Museo Civico, Padua

Guariento d'Arpo
Madonna of Humility 1345

Guariento d'Arpo
Virgin and Child enthroned

Guariento d'Arpo
Coronation of the Virgin Altarpiece 1344

PAINTING

Giusto de' Menabuoi

See also COLLECTION:

Giusto de' Menabuoi

Giusto de' Menabuoi


( fl 1349c. 1390). Italian painter. He was a native of Florence, but all records of his activity and all surviving works are in or from northern Italy. Together with the Veronese painter Altichiero, and following in the wake of the native Guariento, Giusto helped establish Padua as a major centre for the development of late 14th-century painting. His work illustrates the widening stylistic gulf in the years following the Black Death between the activities of Florentine painters working in Florence and those of artists either born there or exposed to the influence of Florentine art before the mid-century, but working further north, where, after c. 1350, the most significant developments of the Giottesque legacy took place. Beyond a shared Florentine tendency to monumental form, his art increasingly diverged from the style of Orcagna and his school, and Giustos expansion of the pictorial possibilities suggested by Giotto, Maso di Banco and Taddeo Gaddi in the early decades of the century is bolder than anything attempted by the painters of late 14th-century Florence. His career may be divided into two phases: work in Lombardy, 1350s and 1360s; and from c. 1370 in Padua, where he enjoyed the patronage of the Carrara court.

The altarpiece

Madonna and Child

Scenes from the left of the polyptych

Scenes from the right of the polyptych

The martyrdom of Saint James Fresco from the chapel of S. Luca Belludi

The Coronation of the Virgin, and Other Scenes 1367

Giusto de' Menabuoi


(1320 - 1391) Italy

Fresco, 1376-1378 Baptistry, Siena

Creation of the world

Scenes from the Old Testament

The creation of Eve

Expulsion of Adam and Eve

Paradise

PAINTING

Barnaba da Modena

Barnaba da Modena
ca.1330-1386 Italian Painter

b Modena; fl 136183). Italian painter. Although a native of Modena (Emilia), he was first recorded as a Genoese citizen, hiring Tuscan assistants in 1361 and 1362. He was paid for paintings for the Palazzo Ducale, Genoa, in 1364; a Virgin and Child (1367; Frankfurt am Main, Stdel. Kstinst.), signed in Janua, is thought to be by him. His earliest certain painting is the damaged polyptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints (Genoa, Pal. Bianco), signed, unlike later works, in capital letters. Its frame awkwardly combines the light Gothic arcading of Tuscan polyptychs with the continuous contour and simple gables of Emilian design. The incongruities of figure scale, the blackish undertone to the flesh painting and the small features and tall cranium of the Child all derive from Venetian painting, while the careful modelling of Marys eyes and puckered lips show the influence of the Lorenzetti brothers and their Sienese followers. Another Virgin and Child (Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.) by Barnaba reflects Sienese painting in its rounded faces and gold-striated highlights on Marys mantle. His small Virgin and Crucifixion (Modena, Gal. & Mus. Estense) and the St Bartholomew altarpiece (Genoa, S. Bartolomeo del Fossato), with simple architectural settings, brilliant colours and delicate goldwork, are probably from the 1360s.

Virgin and Child Musee du Louvre, Paris

Madonna and Child 1370 Galleria Sabauda, Turin

Virgin and Child

Madonna and Child 1367

Virgin and Child 1360s Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Verkundigung an Maria 1361-1383 Lindenau-Museum, Gemaldesammlung

Pentecost about 1360-83

The Coronation of the Virgin; The Trinity; The Virgin and Child; The Crucifixion 1374

PAINTING

Melchior Broederlam

Melchior Broederlam
(b Ypres, c. 1355; d Ypres, c. 1411). South Netherlandish painter. Broederlams family, long-established in Ypres, provided three aldermen for the city and sided with the French Counts of Flanders against the Flemish populace. After a training that may have included contact with Jan Boudolf in Bruges before 1368 or Paris after 1370 and an extended visit to Italy, the artist became, by 1381, an official painter of the reigning count, Louis de Male (reg. 134684), painting leather chairs, pennons and banners. On 13 May 1384, directly after Louiss death, he was appointed a valet de chambre to the counts heir, Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and in 1385 was sent to live in the castle at Hesdin, Artois, in order to supervise the rebuilding of its galleries of entertainment and to paint the walls according to a plan devised by Philip himself.

The Dijon Altarpiece 1393-99 Musee des Beaux-Arts, Dijon

The Dijon Altarpiece The Annunciation (detail) 1393-99 Musee des Beaux-Arts, Dijon

The Dijon Altarpiece The Annunciation (detail) 1393-99

Musee des Beaux-Arts, Dijon

The Dijon Altarpiece The Visitation (detail) 1393-99 Musee des Beaux-Arts, Dijon

The Dijon Altarpiece The Annunciation (detail) 1393-99 Musee des Beaux-Arts, Dijon

The Dijon Altarpiece The Presentation of Christ (detail) 1393-99 Musee des Beaux-Arts, Dijon

The Dijon Altarpiece The Flight into Egypt (detail) 1393-99

The Dijon Altarpiece The Flight into Egypt (detail) 1393-99

Musee des Beaux-Arts, Dijon

Musee des Beaux-Arts, Dijon

PAINTING

Tapestries
Nicolas de Bataille

See also COLLECTION:

Bayeux Tapestry

TAPESTRIES
In the Middle Ages, tapestries were considered the most lavish form of interior decoration. They were carried between residences by the nobility and set out in churches for special festivals. The spread of the International Gothic style helped to produce the great tapestries that hung on the walls of the vast rooms of princely homes, brightening them up with tales from the courtly literature of the time. The major tapestry workshops were in France (Angers and Paris) and Flanders (Arras, Tournai, and Brussels). In the second half of the 14th century, the Duke of Anjou commissioned the great series of the Apocalypse for Angers Cathedral, designed by the miniaturist Jean Bondol and woven in the workshop of Nicolas Bataille. As well as their iconographic accuracy, these tapestries were important for the strict links of their art with miniature and contemporary painting.

Tapestry
(From Wikipedia)

Tapestry is a form of textile art. It is woven by hand on a weaving-loom. The chain thread is the carrier in which the coloured striking thread is woven. In this way, a colourful pattern or image is created. Most weavers use a naturally based chain thread made out of linen or wool. The striking threads can be made out of silk, wool, gold or silver, but can also be made out of any form of textile. Both craftsmen and artists have produced tapestries. The 'blueprints' on cartboard were made by a famous artist, while the tapestries themselves were made by the craftsmen.The term is commonly (though incorrectly) applied to embroidered items made in canvas work or needlepoint, probably because this type of embroidery mimics the woven effect.

Function
The success of the decorative tapestry can be partially explained by its portability. Kings and noblemen could transport the tapestry from one residence to another. In churches, it could be displayed on special occasions.

Iconography
The iconography of most Western tapestries goes back to written sources, the Bible and Ovid's Metamorphosesbeing two popular choices. Apart from the religious and mythological images, hunting scenes are the subject of many tapestries produced for indoor decoration.

Historical development
Tapestry has been known since at least Hellenistic times. Samples of Greek tapestry have been found preserved in the desert of Tarim Basin dating from the 3rd-2nd century BCE. Tapestry found a new stage in Europe since the early fourteenth century. The first wave of production originated from Germany and Switzerland. Over time, the market expanded to France and the Netherlands. In the 14th and 15th centuries, Arras, France was a thriving textile town. The industry specialised in fine wool tapestries which were sold to decorate palaces and castles all over Europe. Few of these tapestries survived the French Revolution as hundreds were burnt in to recover the gold thread that was often woven into them. Arras is still used to refer to a rich tapestry no matter where it was woven. By the 16th century, Flanders had become the centre of European tapestry production. By the end of the 16th century, the Northern Netherlands became the most important producers of tapestries, and Delft and Amsterdam became the most important tapestry cities.

See also COLLECTION:

Bayeux Tapestry

Nicolas de Bataille
The Apocalypse of Angers, France
1373-1387

The fourth horseman Death

The woman and the dragon

The demon of the abyss (The Destroyer)

The battle against the dragon

Apocalypse of Angers the Grand Prostitute

The woman riding the beast

The Adoration of the Beast

The Third Angel and the Lamb

Apocalypse of Angers the Woman Recoiling Her Wings

St. Michael and his angels fighting the dragon

The seven-headed beast from the sea receiving the homage of men

The second angel announces the fall of Babylon

The Angel with an Open Book The Seventh Seal

Apocalypse of Angers Fourth Trumpeter: the Eagle

Bayeux Tapestry

Artist unknown: The Bayeux Tapestry, after 1066

Propaganda on cloth

First exhibited at Bayeux Cathedral in 1077, the tapestry (0.5 x 70.34 m) marks a turning-point in European history: it tells the story of William the Conqueror's victory over the English army at Hastings in 1066. The work now hangs in the Centre Guillaume Le Conquerant, Bayeux.

In 1025, at the Council of Arras in northern France, the clergy decided to embellish their churches with decorations of a new type. Historical events and figures were to be portrayed on cloth hangings to help educate the many illiterate members of the congregation. The Bayeux Tapestry, the most famous example of this form of medieval instruction, is - as a historical document and work of art - sans pareil. Consisting of several joined lengths of linen, the hanging is 50 cm wide and 70.4 m long. The final section of the work is missing, suggesting the original may have been several metres longer. The linen ground is embroidered in eight different colours of wool. It is not known who designed the cartoons or embroidered the cloth. The latter was probably the work of nuns. All that is known for sure is when and where the hanging was first exhibited: 14 July 1077, in the newly-built cathedral at Bayeux, a small town in Normandy. The town is depicted in the detail above. In fact, it is less "depicted" than reduced, in symbolic form, to two essential features: a hill - most towns in those days were built on high ground to facilitate their defense and a large edifice, probably a church or castle. To preclude misinterpretation, occasional Latin inscriptions were added to identify scenes. To the left of the town on the hill we read: "Here William arrives at Bayeux." The narrative is framed above and below by a decorative border. Extending the entire length of the linen, these are filled with symbolic animals whose relation to the main action remains obscure. This is not always the case, however: the border under the battle scenes contains naked, mutilated corpses. Notwithstanding its reductive symbolism, the hanging contains a wealth of documentary detail: the shape of the shields, the spores worn by cavalry, raised and reinforced bow-props at the front and rear of saddles. The props provided support during battle, but they could also jeopardize the rider. William was fatally injured when the pommel of his saddle ruptured his abdomen during a fall - but that was not until 1087. William is one of two main protagonists of the narrative. The story is told from his point of view: crossing the Channel as the Duke of Normandy in 1066, he routed his English opponents at the Battle of Hastings, was crowned King of England and entered history as William the Conqueror. The sole topic of the hanging is the representation and vindication of the victory won over England. Hung at Bayeux Cathedral, it served as an official declaration, as well as a means of religious and moral indoctrination.

An oath, extracted and broken


William, the Norman duke, sits to the right of the hill of Bayeux, his power symbolized by the sword resting on his shoulder. The second protagonist, the figure standing between two shrines, is the English King Harold. In 1063 Harold was cast ashore on the coast of France and held captive there. After ransoming him, William promised Harold his daughter in marriage. Here he is shown swearing allegiance to his new liege-lord. The shrines on which his hands are laid contain relics. The significance of the oath, a ritual whose function was pivotal to contemporary society, was far from confined to the context of the Bayeux narrative. An individual was not the citizen of a state, but the vassal of a lord. Expressed in simple terms, feudal society was constructed along the lines of a pyramid: the peasants took their tenures from knights or barons; the baron was invested with estate by a count; the count received his county as a fief from the duke, while the duke himself was given land by the king. To defend the country against aggressors the monarch needed the military and financial assistance of his nobles, who, in turn, required the service of their vassals. With few exceptions, feudal obligation was established not by written contract, signed and sealed, but sworn in the form of an oath. Oaths were sworn at a ceremony, with the procedure fairly strictly defined. Kneeling, the vassal recited a set formula by which he acknowledged homage to his superior. He would then stand and swear fealty to his new lord on the Holy Bible or on the authority of a relic. Following this, the lord granted his vassal a fief in the symbolic form of a branch, a staff or a ring. The Bayeux Tapestry shows only the most important part of the ceremony: the oath sworn on the relics. This act had the force of conferring upon the church the office of official custodian. When Harold broke his oath, mounting the English throne in 1066, William sought the jurisdiction of the pope. Excommunicating the perjunous Harold, the pope placed a papal standard at William's disposal to accompany his Norman troops. William's campaign thus practically gained the status of a Holy War. Things looked rather different from Harold's point of view. In swearing allegiance to William, he had not been a free man. By paying Harold's ransom, the Norman duke had become his superior. Harold's oath had acknowledged fealty to William, but without it, he presumably could never have left Normandy and returned to England. Furthermore, an English account of the event contests that Harold's oath was sworn on a table under which relics were concealed - with Harold quite ignorant of the trap William had set for him. The previous king had promised the English throne to his cousin William. Harold knew this. He may have used his powerful allies to put pressure on the dying monarch. A contemporary chronicler cites the following dialogue: King: "It is known to you that I have taken steps to ensure my kingdom shall pass to William of Normandy after my death. Were it to pass to Harold, I do not think he would keep the peace." Harold: "Give it to me and I will look after it!" King: "Then you shall have my kingdom, but if I know William and his Normans, it will be the death of you."

To England with weapons and wine

William built a fleet and prepared it to carry his soldiers across the Channel to England. The hanging shows swords and a battle-axe being carried to the ships, a cart loaded with a row of twenty spears, helmets ranged on posts along the side of the wagon, following which three men carry suits of chain mail, the typical armour of the day. The latter consisted of connected links of thin iron covering the trunk and stretching to the elbows and knees, with slits at the front and back ensuring freedom of movement on horseback. In the centuries that followed, chain mail was replaced by solid coats of armour, the spears by heavy lances. In the eleventh century, however, soldiers were relatively lightly armed and still quite mobile. The prominence given to wine indicates its relative importance as a provision: the embroidery shows a larger and smaller barrel, as well as a leather bottle slung over one bearer's shoulder. In peacetime, wine was imported to England by merchants; it was also grown in England as far north as the Scottish borders. The most important beverage of the age, wine was cherished less as a luxury than for its nutritional value. With no effective means of storage, however, it was generally drunk when little older than a year. Beer was more perishable still, and, what was more, impossible to transport. It could therefore be drunk solely in regions where it was produced. Raising an army to conquer England proved something of a problem. Like all vassals, those bound to a duke were obliged to perform only certain clearly defined duties. William could set them smaller tasks - punitive expeditions against unruly neighbours, for example as often as he wished, provided he did not require their services for longer than a week at a time. Only once a year at the most could he call upon his vassals to undertake a longer military campaign covering larger distances, though even the duration of these expeditions was limited to 40 days. All further services were seen as voluntary, requiring additional remuneration by the duke. Fighting which took them across the Channel was considered entirely beyond the call of duty. William therefore had to use all his powers of persuasion, an undertaking whose success was undoubtedly facilitated by the pope's blessing. However, the main form of enticement at his disposal was the promise of enfeoffment: one of his followers was offered an English monastery, another a town, a third might be lured with a whole county. William had to make promises on a grand scale, for the risks to which his vassals were putting their lives and livelihood were equally great. There was no way of predicting the outcome of the fighting. Relatives were the most generous allies of all. At the time, power usually rested in the hands of an individual ruler, whose entire family profited as a result. In turn, it was in the family's best interest to support the ruler. William's brother, Bishop Odo of Bayeux, who took part in the campaign himself, provided financial backing for a hundred ships. Forbidden as a member of the clergy to wield a sword, he held a cudgel instead. William's other brother, Robert de Mortain, paid for a further 70 boats. The ships were over 20 metres long and up to five metres wide. They had no deck, but planking drawn to a curve at prow and stern; amidships was a square sail, and a tiller was attached aft on the starboard side. This was the type of boat sailed by the Vikings, a reminder that the Normans themselves were originally Northmen. During the ninth and tenth centuries the Vikings had used such craft to occupy the coastal regions of Europe, founding new states of their own in England, Southern Italy and Normandy. To help him take England, William, himself a descendent of the Vikings, exploited the expansionist designs of the ruling Norwegian king, Ha-rald Hardrada. He persuaded him to invade Northumberland, the most northerly county of today's England. The Norwegians landed and forced Harald to march north to meet them. The invading army was routed and the Norwegian king killed in the struggle.

King Harold falls in battle


Scarcely had Harold warded off the Norwegian attack when William landed south of Dover. Harold rode swiftly south, arriving with an army worn out after a hard-won battle and two forced marches. Taking up position on a ridge, he had ditches dug to thwart the Norman cavalry and waited for the onslaught. The Normans stormed the English position again and again, but could make no headway against the English shield-wall. Their principal obstacle was the English axemen, who cut down even their horses. One chronicle reports that "three horses were killed under William, one with a blow so great that the English axe, after severing his horse's head, cut deeply into the earth." Realizing the ineffectiveness of frontal attack, William used cunning instead: making a pretence of retreat, he lured the English from their position. With their powerful formation broken, the English were no match for the Normans. Two brothers of Harold, both generals in his army, were killed. One of them had pleaded in vain with Harold to leave the fighting to them; for Harold, whether under coercion or not, had sworn allegiance to William, an oath that could not be broken lightly. Harold, too, fell in battle. The inscription in the detail reproduced above left reads: "King Harold is killed." The English king is shown with an arrow piercing one eye. The hanging shows the maimed king struck down by a Norman cavalryman while attempting to extract the arrow. The cavalryman was later banished by William, according to one chronicle, for to kill a defenceless opponent constituted a breach of chivalrous conduct. In fact, such battles involved relatively little slaughter. The corpses heaped in the lower border are an exaggeration. Vassals, fighting to advance the - more or less - private interests of their feudal lords, were inclined to see their own interests best served by maintaining a certain reticence in battle. In any case, it was less worth their while to kill an enemy than take him prisoner. Prisoners could be exchanged for a ransom: the more powerful the captive, the greater the sum that could be demanded for his release. The mutual obligations agreed by vassals and their lords usually foresaw the provision of ransom, should either party fall into enemy hands. Fighting took place only at certain times. In winter, at night and in wet weather, swords remained in their sheaths. Furthermore, William's war was hardly a protracted affair: the Battle of Hastings, important as it was, was over in a day. By the evening of 14 October 1066 the last obstacle had been removed between William and London, where he was crowned on 25 December. Thus England and France began a period of common history that was to last 400 years. And since history is always the history of the victor, the Normans provided a testimony to their conquest of England in the form of the Bayeux Tapestry. Hung in the church of a bishop who rose to power in the land of the vanquished, the embroidery served both to vindicate and to advertise. No less astonishing than the quality and scope of the work is the fact that it has survived for 900 years despite the Hundred Years' War between England and France, the repeated destruction of the cathedral, the struggles between Calvinists and Catholics and the Revolution of 1789. The hanging was to serve propaganda purposes on two further occasions. Contemplating an invasion of England at the beginning of the 19th century, Napoleon had the historic tapestry brought to Paris for six months in 1803 in order to rouse "the passions and general enthusiasm of the people". While Adolf Hitler was concocting plans for an invasion, a book on the tapestry appeared under the title: "A sword thrust against England." But the Norman Duke William has remained the sole conqueror of the island kingdom.

Rose-Marie and Rainer Hagen

PAINTING

* see also Exploration:

Revelations
(Art of the Apocalypse)
*

Illuminated Manuscript
Matthew Paris Illuminated Manuscript
Handwritten book that has been decorated with gold or silver, brilliant colours, or elaborate designs or miniature pictures. Though various Islamic societies also practiced this art, Europe had the longest and probably the most highly developed tradition of illuminating manuscripts. The term "illumination" originally denoted the embellishment of the textof handwritten books with gold or, more rarely, silver, giving the impression that the page had been literally illuminated. In medieval times, when the art was at its height, specialization within scriptoria or workshops called for differentiation between those who "historiated'" (i.e., illustrated texts by relevant paintings) and those who "illuminated" (i.e., supplied the decorative work that embellished initial capital letters and often spilled into margins and borders and that almost invariably introduced gold in either leaf or powdered form). The two functions sometimes overlapped, particularly when drolleries and other irrelevancies began to populate initials and borders, and even in medieval times the distinction was often blurred. In modern times the term denotes the illustration and decoration of early manuscripts in general,whether or not with gold. In the great era of the illuminated manuscript, the art of the illuminator often played an important role in the development of art. The portability of the manuscript made ita simple means for the transmission of ideas from one region to another, and even from one period to another. On the whole, the development of painting in manuscripts paralleled the development of monumental painting. After the development of printing in Europe in the second half of the 15th century, illumination was superseded by printed illustrations.
(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Miniature painting
Also called (16th-17th century) Limning, small, finely wrought portrait executed on vellum, prepared card, copper, or ivory. The name is derived from the minium, or red lead, used by the medieval illuminators. Arising from a fusion of the separate traditions of the illuminated manuscript and the medal, miniature painting flourished from the beginningof the 16th century down to the mid-19th century. The portrait miniature, as a separate portrait enclosed in either a locket or a covered "portrait box," is most plausibly traced to Flemish illuminators such as those of the Horenbout family. The earliest datable portrait miniatures, however, are not Flemish but French, and are all believed to have been painted by Jean Clouet at the court of Francis I. Under the patronage of King Henry VIII, Lukas Horenbout painted the first portrait miniatures recorded in England. He taught the technique to Hans Holbein the Younger, who was able to put into this small-scale work all the intensity of vision and fineness of touch apparent in his easel paintings and drawings, creating masterpieces of the then-new art form that remain unsurpassed. Holbein inspired a long tradition of miniature painting in England. One of his pupils, Nicholas Hilliard, became the firstnative-born master of miniature painting in that country. He adopted the oval form, which had recently become fashionable on the continent of Europe in preference to the circular form and which remained the most popular shape until the early 19th century. Hilliard served as miniature painter to Queen Elizabeth I for more than 30 years. His chiefpupil, Isaac Oliver, was a more technically sophisticated artist who became the chief miniaturist during the reign of King James I (160325). Oliver's pupil, Samuel Cooper, earneda preeminent reputation in Europe by his presentation of character and tight, effective brushwork. Early miniaturists had painted in watercolour and gouache (opaque watercolour) on vellum or prepared paper. The technique of painting miniatures in enamel on a metal surface was introduced in France in the 17th century and perfected by Jean Petitot. About 1700 the Italian painter Rosalba Carriera introduced the use of ivory as a ground thatcould provide a luminous, glowing surface for transparent pigments and heighten their effect. This technical innovationstimulated a great revival of miniature painting in the second half of the 18th century. The chief European miniaturists of the period were Peter Adolf Hall and Niclas Lafrensen in France and Jeremiah Meyer, Richard Cosway, Ozias Humphrey, and John Smart in England. In the early 19th century, French miniaturists such as J.B. Isabey were influenced by the easel portraits of Jacques-Louis David. Miniature portraits continued to be painted in the following decades, but they remained an expensive luxury. Inexpensive black-and-white portraits in the new medium of photography made painted miniatures obsolete in the second half of the century.
(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Matthew Paris
(b c. 1200; d 1259). English chronicler and manuscript illuminator. In 1217 he became a Benedictine monk at St Albans and in 1236 succeeded Roger of Wendover as the abbeys chronicler. Although his surname, which he usually wrote Parisiensis, could suggest French origins, he was most probably an Englishman characteristically trained in both Latin and Anglo-Norman. References in his works to the University of Paris, however, raise the possibility that he had studied at one of the schools in Paris. Paris maintained a wide range of contacts with the outside world through the steady flow of documents to St Albans and through the abbeys many visitors, including Henry III and his brother, Richard of Cornwall. He attended many important royal celebrations at Westminster, Canterbury, Winchester and York, and in 1248 he was sent to Norway to reform the monastery of St Benet Holm.

Matthew Paris Execution of St Alban c.1250

Matthew Paris Map of Great Britain (d. 1259) London Codex Claud

Matthew Paris The first known volvelle was created by Benedictine monk in 1250

Matthew Paris

Matthew Paris Self portrait from a manuscript of his chronicle London, British Library

Matthew Paris Elephant from Chronica Maiora, Thirteenth Century

Matthew Paris Darlun o Chronica Majora

Matthew Paris Plato Watching Socrates Read


Matthew Paris King Offa

PAINTING

Illuminated Manuscript
Boucicaut Master

See also COLLECTION:

Illuminated Manuscripts

Boucicaut Master
( fl c. 13901430). Illuminator, active in Paris.The anonymous artist known as the Boucicaut Master is named after his work in the Book of Hours of Paris Use , which was commissioned by Jean II le Meingre de Boucicaut, Marshal (marechal ) of France (13651421).

Virgin and Child 1410

Samson and the Lion 1415

The Story of Adam and Eve 1415

Hercules Poisoned by the Shirt of Nessus

All Saints

The Suicide of Lucretia c. 1415

The Murder of Antiochus III

Death of Dido

Athaliah, Queen of Judah, Dragged from the Temple

Four men kneeling before God

A Jewish Woman Devouring Her Child during the Siege of Jerusalem

Mary Magdalene

The Massacre of the Innocents

Illuminated Manuscripts

Comments on St Paul's Letters c. 1200 Illumination on parchment Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris

Ingeborg Psalter before 1210 Illumination on parchment Musee Conde, Chantilly

Evangeliarum from Saint-Amand Abbey 1180-1200 Illumination on parchment Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp

PAINTING

Master of Hohenfurth Henri Belechose

Master of Hohenfurth
(active 1350-70 in Prague). Master of Hohenfurth (or of Vyssi Brod), Bohemian painter, so called after his main work, a large altarpiece with scenes from the life of Christ (National Gallery, Prague, c.1350) painted for the monastery of Vyssi Brod (Hohenfurth). These panels show the beginnings of the Bohemian variant of International Gothic. Another important painting from his workship, a Death of the Virgin, is in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Master of Hohenfurth
Nativity c. 1350 National Gallery, Prague

Master of Hohenfurth
The Agony in the Garden. 1350

Bellechose Henri

( fl 1415; d before 28 Jan 1445). South Netherlandish painter. He was one of the artists who came from the South Netherlands to work for the French royal family. On 23 May 1415 he succeeded Jean Malouel as court painter and Valet de Chambre to John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, in Dijon, and he may already have been connected with Malouels workshop. On 5 November 1415 Bellechose was paid for painting four small wooden pillars with angels, which were placed around the high altar of Notre-Dame, Dijon. On 19 May 1416 the duke authorized the purchase of materials for Bellechose to complete two panels, one of the Martyrdom of St Denis and another showing the Death of the Virgin, for the Charterhouse of Champmol. Bellechose also carried out decorative work, including painting banners for the Dukes castle of Talant near Dijon in 1416 and coats of arms for the funeral of John the Fearless in 1419. On 5 April 1420 Bellechose was appointed court painter to Philip the Good, successor to John the Fearless. His first known commissions were again of a decorative nature, including work for the funerals of Margaret of Bavaria, wife of John the Fearless, in 1423 and of Catherine of Burgundy, daughter of an earlier Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Bold, in 1425 and for the marriage of Philip the Goods sister Agnes of Burgundy in 1424. During these years he had eight assistants and two apprentices; travelling artists, including some from German territory, also worked in his shop on a temporary basis. Around this time he married Alixant Lebon, daughter of a Dijon notary. On 21 November 1425 Philip the Good ordered an altarpiece of the Virgin venerated by John the Fearless and Philip the Good, accompanied by SS John the Evangelist and Claude, for the chapel of the castle at Saulx-le-Duc in Burgundy. Bellechose painted three statues for the new entrance gate to the palace in Dijon in 1426. In August 1429 he received an important commission for St Michel, Dijon, to make an altarpiece with Christ and the Twelve Apostles and an antependium showing the Annunciation. Exactly a year later his name appears for the last time in the ducal accounts. The salary of the artist had decreased by two thirds since 1426 and from 1429 he was not paid at all. The fact that Philip the Good moved the centre of his administration to the Netherlands and enlisted the services of Jan van Eyck considerably diminished the prestige of Dijon and the artists who worked there. Bellechose was still alive in 1440, though absent from Dijon.

Henri Bellechose Martyrdom of St Denis 1416 Musee du Louvre, Paris

Revelations

Art of the Apocalypse

Gothic Art Map Revelations (Art of the Apocalypse)

Exploration:

Introduction Visions of the World to Come Angels of the Apocalypse The Four Horsemen and the Seven Seals The Beasts, Antichrist, and the Women Judgment Day The Devil and the Damned A New Heaven and a New Earth APPENDIX Exploration: Gothic

Era

(Gothic and Early Renaissance)

INTRODUCTION

VISIONS OF THE WORLD TO COME

Write the things which thou has seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.
Revelation 1:19
PEARLY GATES, FIRE AND BRIMSTONE, STREETS PAVED WITH GOLD. These and many other images from the Book of Revelation have infused our language and culture, becoming familiar even to those who have never read the New Testament scripture from which they come. Written in poetic and vividly detailed language, Revelation presents visions of the world to come with such conviction and such specificity that it has inspired countless artists to give form to those visions. That inspiration has yielded some of Western culture's most powerful and perplexing works of artparticularly manuscript illuminations but also frescoes, oil paintings, tapestries, stained glass, and sculpture. The Book of Revelation belongs to an ancient tradition of what is called "apocalyptic literature," in which the secrets of the world's future are said to be revealeda future in which the faithful will be rewarded and the evil will be punished, a future in which "a new heaven and a new earth" will replace the known world. Although popularly understood as denoting a world-ending disaster, in fact the word apocalypse has a far more positive origin: it comes from the Greek word apokalypsis, meaning "the lifting of a veil," or revelation. Because it promises imminent paradise for worthy believers, apocalyptic literature thrives during periods of social unrest and religious persecution. The belief in a perfected future world to be achieved by a cosmic battle between good and evil goes back to the Persian prophet Zoroaster, but it was particularly intense within Jewish and early Christian communities during the two centuries before Christ's birth and the century following it Only two of the many apocalypses written during that tumultuous period of religious and political transition were ultimately accepted into the biblical canon: Daniel, the last-written book in the Hebrew Bible (c. 169-165 b.c.), and Revelation, which quotes extensively not only from Daniel but also Ezekiel, Isaiah, and other Old Testament prophets. An apocalypse differs from a prophecy, although both convey information from a divine source. Prophecy is communicated directly to the prophet by God, who often takes visible form, as in Moses' encounter with the burning bush. An apocalyptic message is transmitted through an intermediarymost often an angel (the Greek word for angel means "messenger") and most often in the form of a dream or vision. This visual aspect of apocalypses has made such texts well suited to artistic interpretation. The Book of Revelation is so richly complexin its plot, its characters, and its languagethat it resists straightforward summary, much less any one interpretation. Saint Jerome (who translated the Bible into Latin) said of it, aptly, that "Revelation has as many mysteries as it does words." This sense of hidden meanings, of concepts to be revealed only slowly and only to believers, is at the heart of all apocalyptic writing. The text begins almost prosaically, with seven letters to Hans Burgkmair (1473-1531) Saint John the Evangelist on Patmos 1518 seven churches in the Roman province of Asia (in the western part of Asia Minor, roughly equivalent to presentday Turkey). These are written to praise those newly established Christian communities for their accomplishments but also to admonish them for their sins

and warn them against the perils of deception and temptation. The narrative then abruptly shifts to a series of violent visions. First comes the opening of seven seals on a heavenly scroll, an event that calls forth the deadly four horsemen of the apocalypse followed by three tribulations. Next appears a group of seven angels, who trumpet a series of disasters that recall the plagues suffered by the Egyptians in the Book of Exodus. Several scenes of conflict, idolatry, and persecution intervene before the appearance of another group of seven angels, who empty their vials onto the earth in order to inflict a third set of miseries. The city of Babylon (an embodiment of evil) is destroyed, and the devil is vanquishedbut only temporarily initiating a millennium of peace on earth under the reign of the returned Christ At the end of that finite era the devil is allowed to escape for one final battle before he is banished to the fiery pit The Day of Judgment dawns. The electthose who have obeyed God s willascend to heaven, or the New Jerusalem; the sinners are cast into hell's infinite torment, administered by the devil and his demons. Time ceases. Eternity begins. Church tradition has it that the author of Revelation is Saint John the Divine, the disciple "whom Jesus loved" and author of the Gospel of John. He is said to have written the Book of Revelation under divine inspiration "in the spirit"on the Aegean island of Patmos (in present-day Greece). Nowhere in Revelation does the author claim to be Saint John the Divine; he calls himself simply John. One of the conventions of apocalyptic literature is the use of a venerable pseudonym in order to lend the greatest possible credence to the message. The Book of Daniel, for example, was written in the second century b.c., but its author took the identity of the prophet Daniel, who had lived four centuries earlier. John, however, made no such attempt to inflate his own credentials. One modern scholar (J. Massyngberde Ford, The Anchor Bible: Revelation) proposes John the Baptist and his followers as the book's authors, and she asserts that parts of Revelationthose with particularly strong links to Jewish textspredate the Gospels and the establishment of the Christian church. Others have placed the most likely date of the book's creation around a.d. 95 and thus too late to have been written during the lifetime of someone from Christ's own circlealthough church tradition does have the disciple John living to the unusually old age of ninety-nine. What consensus there is seems to favor the idea that Revelation was written by an itinerant Christian prophet, of Jewish and Palestinian origins, who believed that the second coming of Christ was imminent Like the rest of the New Testament, it was written in Greek, but according to Norman Cohn (in Cosmos, Chaos, and the World to Come), the author's use of that language seems "strange and ungrammatical," as though he were more accustomed to thinking in Hebrew or Aramaic. In the early days of the church, when the contents of the New Testament were still in flux, there was vehement opposition to including the Book of Revelation. As early as 367 it appeared on the list of New Testament books established by the Greek theologian Athana-sius the Great, in Alexandria, Egypt, but its inclusion continued to be controversial in the West Not until the Council of Toledo in 633 was it officially accepted as a canonical book, to be read as part of the church service during the period from Easter to the Pentecost The council's declaration that anyone who objected to this decree was to be excommunicated indicates what fierce passions the book aroused. The ultimate acceptance of Revelation into the Catholicand later the Protestantcanon was strongly influenced by the belief that its author was indeed Saint John the Divine.

Jacobello Alberegno d.1397 Vision of St. John the Evangelist on Patmos 1360-90 Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
Central panel of the Polyptych of the Apocalypse

Whoever the author and whatever the time frame, the Book of Revelation has provided an irresistible source of imagery to artists for nearly two thousand years. It has no doubt inspired so many visual interpretations not only because of the emotional impact of its storya terrifying, exhilarating message of destruction, redemption, and the end of the worldbut also because of the eye-catching explicitness of its prose. The author created a narrative that is startlingly physical, evoking the senses of sight, hearing, taste, and touch. Colors abound. The four horsemen are mounted on white, red, black, and pale greet! steeds; the whore of Babylon "was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls" (15:7).

William Blake (1757-1827) The Four and Twenty Elders Casting their Crowns before the Divine Throne 1805

Sounds are loud and frightening. John hears "a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder" (14:2). The noise of the monstrous locusts' wings "was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle" (9:9). And the mighty angel of 10:3 "cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices." Artists invented ways to make such sounds visible, as in one of theApocalypse of Angers tapestries, in which seven bestial heads bellowing flames represent the seven thunders. Flavors and sensations are also precisely described. When John takes the little book from the angel, he is told: "Take it, and eat it up, and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey" (10:9). And when the whore of Babylon is destroyed, ten horns "shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire" (17:16).

Saint John Takes the Book from the Seventh Angel The text grapples with the metaphysical fate of the world, but does so in a singularly physical way. Even celestial beings and realms are portrayed as unquestionably corporeal, with their materials clearly identified. The seven plague angels are "clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles" (15:6). The walls of the New Jerusalem "were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald" (21:19). Equally specific are the numbers, large and small, that are cited throughout the book. The number of the individuals sealed with the mark of God is 144.00c. Seven thousand men are slain by an earthquake that destroys one-tenth of Babylon. The great red dragon has "seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads" (12:3), whereas the beast from the sea has "seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns" (13:1). Certain numbers recur with purposeful frequency. Groups of seven are the most dominant: seven churches, seven golden candlesticks, seven stars, seven Spirits of God, seven lamps, seven seals, the lamb with seven horns and seven eyes, seven angels with trumpets, the seven thunders, seven heads of the beasts, seven plague angels, and seven kings. Throughout both testaments, seven is a sacred number, symbolizing wholeness and perfection. Four, and its multiple twenty-four, also punctuates the text, which is divided into four series of seven (seven letters, seals, trumpets, and plagues). Twenty-four elders, usually interpreted as representing the twelve Old Testament prophets plus the twelve New Testament apostles, encircle the celestial throne, offering eternal praise to God. Also worshiping around the throne are the four beasts. Although these beasts are holy, the number four more often stands for the earthly, the mortal, and the imperfect. The most famous number in all of Revelation, and the one that continues to haunt the modern imagination, is 666. "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding Hans Memling (1435-1494) count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six" (13:18). One interpretation has it that 666 stands for the Roman emperor Nero, who has come to be a symbol of Antichrist Nero's name in Greek, the language of the New Testament, is Neron Kaisar, which can be represented numerically in Hebrew as 666. Later interpreters who have sought to find Antichrist in their own times have used numerology to link 666 to everyone from the thirteenth-century Pope Innocent iv and King George of England to Henry Kissinger and Ronald Wilson Reagan. Time in Revelation functions on two levels. First, there are the finite units of time cited within the book, with certain actions allotted clearly defined (and clearly metaphorical) spans. Just one hour is required for the utter destruction of Babylon. The locusts with scorpion tails torment men for five months. The woman clothed with the sun flees to the wilderness, where she is fed for "a thousand two hundred and threescore days [three and a half years]" (12:6). The devil is bound by Saint Michael and thrown into the bottomless pit for exactly one thousand years. This finite span of one millennium, when peace and prosperity are enjoyed on earth, has long dominated interpretations of Revelation, with "the millennium" coming to stand for the larger idea of the end of all time. The other chronology at work in Revelation is the one, not always consistent, that suggests when the events described will take place. Tenses vary throughout the book, with some events described in the past tense and others in the present or future. An urgent sense of

St John the Evangelist on Patmos Memling Museum, Saint Jeans Hospital, Bruges

imminence is frequently conveyed, as when Christ proclaims: "Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book" (22:7) and "the time is at hand" (22:10). But to the church at Sardis he has John write: "I will come on thee as a thiet and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee" (3:3). Whatever chronological ambiguities the text may contain, there is little doubt the author believed that the events he envisioned would take place very soon, a conviction that has been shared by believers over the course of the past two millennia. Anticipation of the imminent end of the world and the concurrent reward of the faithful has been particularly intense during periods of war, plague, natural disaster, and other cataclysms. These intensified periods of belief are reflected in the frequency with which artists have depicted apocalyptic events, based primarily on the Book of Revelation but also taking elements from Christ's comments to his disciples on the Mount of Olives (recounted in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and sometimes known as the Little Apocalypse). Perhaps because his vision was such a singular one unlike scenes from the life of Christ, which might have come from any or all of the Gospels and hence were not linked to a specific authorJohn himself frequently appears in depictions of Revelation imagery. Usually shown as an observer rather than a participant, he often stands to one side while the action proceeds. In Hans Memling's altarpiece, John sits in the foreground as his vision unfolds behind him, with a multitude of events taking place simultaneously. Note, for example, the four horseman charging diagonally across the middle ground, while the war in heaven is fought at upper right. One of the greatest expressions of apocalyptic imagery came from manuscript illuminators working in Spain after the Islamic invasion. A monk named Beatus, writing in 776 at the monastery of Liebana in Asturias, compiled a lengthy commentary on the Book of Revelation by alternating verses from the book itself with interpretations by church fathers and others. Numerous illuminated copies of Beatus's Commentary on the Apocalypse (of which twenty-six still survive, in varying states of completeness) were made from the ninth to the thirteenth century. The illustrations are startling in their use of unnatural colors, inventive forms influenced by Islamic art, and flattened space, often with multicolored striped backgrounds. Yet no matter how stylized, the images remain faithful to the text they illustrate. See, for example, nightmarish locusts from the Morgan Library's manuscript, which dutifully incorporates the breastplates, gold crowns, and scorpion tails described in the ninth chapter of Revelation.

Another surge of artistic interpretation of Revelation came during the grim days of the late Middle Ages, when the Black Death and civil wars scythed through the populations of Europe. The twelfth-century Italian monk Joachim of Fiore wrote an influential treatise on the Apocalypse, which announced that the Age of the Holy Spirit would begin around 1260, after three and a half years of rule by Antichrist. Paintings, sculpture on Gothic cathedrals, and manuscript illuminations give abundant testimony to medieval society's preoccupation with the world to come. Despite the underlying violence of the subject, there is an almost sweet delicacy to some of the apocalypse manuscripts illuminated in England and France during that period see, for example, the horseman from the Cambrai Apocalypse, with its pale colors and fine lines so unlike the bold ornamentation of the horsemen in Beatus's Commentary. In the twentieth century, haunted by wars and genocide of incomprehensible barbarity as well as by threats of nuclear meltdown, ecological catastrophe, and global plague, it is unnervinglv easy to envision contemporary counterparts to the events in Revelation. Modern artists from Wassilv Kandinsky to Howard Finster and Robert Roberg have done just that finding new and compelling ways to interpret these ancient yet all-too-relevant scenes.

ANGELS OF THE APOCALYPSE

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his

servant John: who bare record . . . of all things that he saw. Revelation 1:1-2

William Blake (1757-1827) The Angel of Revelation 1805

THE BOOK OF REVELATION BEGINS WITH AN ANGEL, AND ANGELS PLAY vital roles in much of the action. Awe-inspiring and destructiveand bearing little resemblance to the sweetly sentimental cherubs and guardian angels so *' popular todaythe formidable angels of Revelation have supernatural powers and attributes: "And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire" (10:1). For an artist's attempt to depict this godlike creature, see the background of Hans Memling's altarpiece (see below), in which every element of this description is faithfully rendered.

Hans Memling (1435-1494) St John Altarpiece Memling Museum, Saint Jeans Hospital, Bruges Some angels in Revelation use their powers to control nature: "I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree" (7:1). (In the illustration on page 21, the winds are depicted as bodiless heads whose mouths are muffled by the four angels.) Others devote themselves to the adoration of God: "And all the angels stood round about the throne . . . and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God" (7:11). But most often they are instruments of destruction. The seven trumpet angels who appear after

the opening of the seventh seal herald the second sequence of disasters: hail and fire rain down upon the earth, waters are turned to blood and poisonous wormwood, a burning mountain and a great star fall from the skies (a scene possibly inspired by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in a.d. 79), huge locusts torment those without the protecting seal of God, a death-dealing cavalry of 200 million kills one-third of mankind with fire, smoke, and brimstone. This sequence of disasters has provided potent inspiration for artists. In the image of the second trumpet in the Saint-Sever Beams (see below),

Hans Memling (1435-1494) The Archangel Michael c.1479 Wallace Collection, London

The Second Angel Blows His Trumpet, from Beatus of Liebana, Commentary on the Apocalypse ( Saint-Sever Beams)

the wavy red band at center represents the one-third of the sea turned to blood; in the tapestry version (see below), which focuses on the shipwreck, the sea seems to bleed from a wound below the shattered boat. Note how carefully the images illustrate each detail of the text, as though by finding an exact visual equivalent the artist could reveal the meaning of the words.

The Second Trumpet: The Shipwreck, from The Apocalypse of Angers, designed by LeanBondol and woven by Nicolas de Bataille, c.1373-81. Tapestry.

The seven trumpet angels are later followed by the seven plague angels, each of whom is given a golden vial filled with a specific disaster. (These vialsthe

original Greek word actually refers to a flat bowlwere portrayed by artists in shapes as narrow as test tubes or as flat as soup plates.) The emptying of the first vial inflicts painful sores on everyone who carries the mark of the beast. The contents of the second and third vials turn the seas, rivers, and fountains to blood. The miseries are multiplied with each vial until the seventh and final one is poured into the air, at which point a great voice says, "It is done." Although the seven trumpet and the seven plague angels are the angels most frequently seen in Revelation images, others have been memorably depicted. The angel standing in the sun, who appears late in the textafter Babylon has fallen and Christ has arrived on his white horsewas painted by Joseph Mallord William Turner in a luminous image (see below) that captures the rush of whirling light and space at the end of time.

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) The Angel Standing in the Sun 1846 Tate Gallery, London

Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) The Fall of the Damned 1620 Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Arnie Swekel Fallen Angel

Matthew D. Wilson Fallen Angel

Todd Lockwood Crypt Angel

THE FOUR HORSEMEN

AND THE SEVEN SEALS

And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. Revelation 6:4

EARLY IN REVELATION, JOHN OBSERVES THAT THE ENTHRONED CHRIST holds a closed book, or scroll, fastened shut by seven seals. After a "strong angel" proclaimed that no one was worthy to open the seals and read the book, John "wept much." One of the twenty-four elders consoles him with the news that Christ will open the book, at which point a lamb with seven eyes and seven horns appears, bloody with wounds sustained either in battle or from having been killed as a sacrifice. After the elders and the beasts sing his praises, the lamb opens the first seal and releases a crowned rider on a white horse.

Benjamin West (1738-1820) Death on a Pale Horse 1796 Detroit Institute of Arts

Benjamin West (1738-1820) Death on a Pale Horse 1817

Benjamin West (1738-1820)

Death on a Pale Horse 1783 London, Royal Academy of Art

Benjamin West (1738-1820) The Destruction of the Bestand the False Prophet 1804 Interpreters have proposed contradictory meanings for this first rider. Some, including Billy Graham (in Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse), have identified him with Antichrist and the devil's deceit; others have said that he represents the Messiah. In the Middle Ages, the accepted reading was that the rider represented Christ, and his white steed, the church. The next three riders have become familiar figures in art: sword-wielding War, on a red horse; Famine, carrying scales to measure prohibitively expensive food, on a black horse; and skeletal Death, on a pale (or sickly green) horse. War (see below - Henri Rousseau "War") is foppishly decked out in full armor and an emblazoned tabard. John stands at left, with the leonine holy beast who called out to him as the horseman appeared, "Come and see."

Henri Rousseau (1844-1910) War Musee d'Orsay, Paris

William Blake created an urgent image of the fourth horseman, in which every whiplash of a line contributes to the effect of speed; the angel above Death rolls heaven up like a scroll. As each of the four horsemen is released by the opening of a seal, he gallops out into the world to wreak his own variant of disaster. Once they have all been unleashed, the opening of the seals continues. The fifth reveals the souls of the martyrs who reside under the

William Blake (1757-1827) they must wait a bit longer. The opening of the sixth seal turns the moon to blood, a scene Death on a Pale Horse vividly illustrated by the Baptist preacher and "outsider" artist Howard Finster 1800
(see below), who often annotates his paintings with scripturar quotations.

altar, waiting to be avenged for their suffering; they are given white robes and told that

Howard Finster (b.1916) Find the Four Horses of the Revelation 1975

After an earthquake shakes the land, stars plummet to earth, and heaven rolls itself up, the destruction is momentarily suspended. Angels move among the people, marking the foreheads of the 144,000 "servants of God" so that they will be spared the next catastrophe. Only then is the seventh seal opened, followed by "silence in heaven about the space of half an hour" (8:1)such a short and remarkably specific interval that it gives particular immediacy to this account The seven trumpet angels appear, one of whom casts fire from the altar down upon the earth, at which point "there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake" (8:5). It is then that the angel sounds the first trumpet and the next round of disasters begins.

Roger Brown (b. 1941) The Final Arbiter 1984

THE BEASTS, ANTICHRI

ST, AND THE WOMEN


And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
Revelation 13:1

NO REVELATION IMAGERY HAS ELICITED MORE WILDLY CREATIVE VISUAL interpretation or more contradictory textual analysis than the various beasts. There are good beasts, and there are bad beasts. The good beasts holy beings also traditionally known as the four living creaturescan be traced back to the Old Testament Book of Ezekiel. The prophet sees a vision of wheels (members of the angelic hierarchy) with four faces: "They four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle" (Ezekiel 1:10;). In the fourth chapter of Revelation, where John describes one of his visions of heaven, similar figures worship at the foot of Christ's throne. The same four beasts were adapted by the early church as symbols for the evangelists: the man (metamorphosed into an angel) stands for Matthew, the lion for Mark, the ox for Luke, and the eagle for Johnthe presumed author of Revelation. According to Revelation, they (like the heavenly seraphim) each have six wings and are "full of eyes within"details that artists only rarely depicted, although the beasts themselves were

popular subjects. The bad beasts have an even older source, in ancient Near Eastern combat myths explaining the origins of the world. In those myths (also echoed in Genesis), water and aquatic monsters represent chaos, whereas the earth represents the opposing force of order. In Revelation, both the red dragon (with his seven crowned heads and ten horns) and the beast that rises from the sea (with his seven heads and ten crowned horns) originate in that earlier symbol of chaosa source later made explicit when the dragon attempts to drown the "woman clothed in the sun". She is saved only because the "earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth" (12:16). The significance of the dragon and the beast from the sea has been much debated. Within the text itself one interpretation is offered to John by an angel: the seven heads are said to represent seven mountains and seven kings; the ten horns refer to ten kings who will rule with the beast for one hour. Depicting the multiple heads has long tested the ingenuity of artists. Over the centuries, as Revelation has been read in the ever-changing light of history and politics, the possible real-life identity of the kings has shifted. Many scholars believe that John identified the beast from the sea with Nero, murderous ruler of the Roman Empire and persecutor of Christians, who committed suicide in a.d. 68 by stabbing himself in the throat. Soon after Nero's death there were widespread rumors that he had risen from the dead, and the passage in which John says, "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast" (13:3) would surely have been understood as an allusion to Nero at the time Revelation was written. Nowhere in Revelation is the name Antichrist used; it appears in the New Testament only in 1 and 2 John, although Mark also refers to "false Christs." Nonetheless, readers have long linked the beast from the sea with Antichristthe evil being who, it was believed, would help Satan rule over the world in the last days before Christ's return. He was not Satan himself but Satan's servant, although their identities often blur and merge. In the early years of Christianity, when belief in the immediate second coming of Christ was fervently espoused by his followers, the existence of an opposing Raphael (1483-1520) The Vision of Ezekiel 1518 Antichrist helped explain the delay in Christ's appearance. When portrayed as the beast from the sea, Antichrist was "like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority" (13:2). (These characteristics are taken from the four great beasts from the sea envisioned in the Book of Daniel.) But artists have also given Antichrist human formmost notably in Luca Signorelli's striking vignette of Satan and Antichrist within his Last Judgment frescoes in Orvieto Cathedral. The horned and winged devil whispers into Antichrist's ear as he preaches in the town square; notice how Antichrist's left arm looks like a continuation of the devil's own body.Nowhere in Revelation is the name Antichrist used; it appears in the New Testament only in 1 and 2 John, although Mark also refers to "false Christs." Nonetheless, readers have long linked the beast from the sea with Antichristthe evil being who, it was believed, would help Satan rule over the world in the last days before Christ's return. He was not Satan himself but Satan's servant, although their identities often blur and merge. In the early years of Christianity, when belief in the immediate second coming of Christ was fervently espoused by his followers, the existence of an opposing Antichrist helped explain the delay in Christ's appearance. When portrayed as the beast from the sea, Antichrist was "like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority" (13:2). (These characteristics are taken from the four great beasts from the sea envisioned in the Book of Daniel.) But artists have also given Antichrist human formmost notably in Luca Signorelli's striking vignette of Satan and Antichrist within his Last Judgment frescoes in Orvieto Cathedral. The horned and winged devil whispers into Antichrist's ear as he preaches in the town square; notice how Antichrist's left arm looks like a continuation of the devil's

Luca Signorelli (1450-

1523) own body. The Devil and the Antichrist, from The Last Judgment, c. 1499-1502 Fresco. Cathedral, Orvieto, Italy

Fra Angelico and Luca Signorelli The Last Judgment, c. 1499-1502 Fresco. Cathedral, Orvieto, Italy

As with the beasts, there are good women in Revelation and there are wicked ones, serving as opponents to and allies of the beasts. The woman clothed with the sun makes her first appearance at the same point (in chapter 12) as the great red dragon, and their immediate conflict symbolizes the battle between good and evil. The woman (identified by many commentators as a symbol of Israel or Jerusalem) is preparing to give birth; the dragon stands before her, ready to devour the newborn baby (symbol of Christ and the church). As soon as her child is born, he is whisked up to the safety of God's thronea sequence of events illustrated with great clarity in one of the sixty-nine tapestries from the Apocalypse of Angers.

Andrea Bonaiuti da Firenze (1343-1377) Descent of Christ to Limbo [detail] Fresco, 1365-1368 Cappella Spagnuolo, Santa Maria Novella, Florence

The Woman Who Is Going to Give Birth and the Great Dragon Wanting to Devour the Infant, from The Apocalypse of Angers, designed by LeanBondol and woven by Nicolas de Bataille, c.1373-81. Tapestry. As veneration of the Virgin Mary became more intense within the Catholic Church, particularly after the Protestant Reformation, the woman clothed with the sun became a popular symbol of Mary, who was often depicted with the "moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars" (Revelation 12:1). The moon may have links to the ancient virgin goddess Diana, symbolizing both chastity and the triumph of Christianity over paganism; the twelve stars relate to the twelve tribes of Israel and to the twelve signs of the zodiac.

William A.Blayney (1917-1986) Headed Lion-Beast with Horns Coming Ashore 1960

William A.Blayney (1917-1986) Anti-Christ on Globe 1961

In striking contrast to the celestial attributes of the woman clothed with the sun are the gaudy accoutrements of the whore of Babylonclad in purple and scarlet, gold and pearls, and riding a seven-headed, ten-horned red beast Throughout Revelation, Babylon (capital of the Chaldean Empire, known as Babel in Hebrew) serves as a standin for Rome (capital of the Roman Empire, which dominated the Western world at the time Revelation was written). An angel explains to John that the seven heads of the beast ridden by the whore equal seven mountainsthat is, the seven hills of Rome. The use of Babylon as a symbol for evil harks back to earlier apocalyptic literature, such as the Book of Daniel, which recounts the experiences of the Jews during their Babylonian exile after King Nebuchadnezzar's destruction of the First Temple in Jerusalem in 586 b.c. Babylon stood for all heathen cultures and the temptations of assimilationparticularly the pleasures of material well-beingas opposed to the rewards of the spirit and fidelity to the true faith. The fornication that the whore is said to have committed with the kings of the earth stands for spiritual rather than sexual betrayal by those who abandoned monotheism to worship the idols of other cultures, whether Babylonian or Roman. With the Reformation and the Protestants' increasingly

heated denunciations of the Catholic Church, the whore of Babylon came to be a symbol of the papacy, and Antichrist, of the pope himself. Her fall and that of Babylon, chronicled at the end of Revelation, was read by Protestants as signifying what they believed would be the inevitable collapse of the Catholic Church.

William Blake (17571827) The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun 1810

William Blake (1757-1827) The Great Red Dragon and the Beast from the Sea 1805

William Blake (1757-1827) The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun 1809

William Blake (1757-1827) The Number of the Beast Is 666 1805

JUDGMENT DAY

And J saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Revelation 20:12

AT THE HEART OF CHRISTIANITY IS THE BELIEF IN LIFE AFTER DEATH eternal bliss for the saved, eternal damnation for sinners. Resurrection and the Last Judgment are said to come at the end of time, after the thousand years of Christ's earthly rule and after the final battle with the devil during his brief postmillennium escape from the abyss. But Revelation tells of an earlier resurrection as well, when the saints who suffered martyrdom for their faith arise from the dead to rule with Christ after his second coming. Fear of an inescapable Last Judgment for all was a powerful force in regulating the behavior of believers. Wanting to provide omnipresent reminders of what was to come, the church commissioned scenes of Judgment Day in many different forms, including altar-pieces, stained glass, frescoes, manuscripts, and sculpture. A Last Judgment was traditionally positioned over the western entrance to a churchthe west being associated with the conclusion of the day and hence with the end of life and of time. The Day of Judgment begins with the physical resurrection of all those who have ever lived. The visual possibilities of this supernatural yet eminently physical process have had an understandably strong appeal for artists, from early illuminators to a provincial Vietnamese painter to the twentieth-century British artist Stanley Spencer, who foresaw the process taking place in his own village churchyard. Luca Signorelli's Last Judgment cycle at Orvieto Cathedral lavishes particular care on the representation of resurrection. The studied naturalism of his awakening figures reflects the skills oi perspective and anatomy being painstakingly mastered in the Renaissance.

Luca Signorelli (1450-1523) The Last Judgment Resurrection of the Flesh Fresco, Orvieto

Luca Signorelli (1450-1523) The Last Judgment The Damned Fresco, Orvieto

In depictions of the Last Judgment, Christ is usually portrayed as judge at the top of the picture, seated on either a throne or the arc of a rainbow (though only rarely the emerald rainbow described in Revelation). He often is flanked by the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist, who are said to plead for mercy on behalf of those being judged. The archangel Michaelwho earlier in Revelation vanquished the devil in cosmic battlenow solemnly weighs souls to determine their fitness for heaven. Satan usually lurks nearby as his demons try to tip the scales in hell's favor; particularly mischievous examples can be seen below.

Giotto (1266-1337) The Last Judgment 1306 Fresco Arena Chapel, Padua, Italy

Stefan Lochner (1400-1451) The Last Judgment 1435 Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne
THE DEVIL AND THE DAMNED

And Isaw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a

thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit. Revelation 20:1-3

THE BOOK OF REVELATION IS THE ONLY PLACE IN THE BIBLE WHERE THE devil is explicitly identified as a serpent. Tradition may link the snake in the garden of Eden with the devil, but Genesis itself makes no such connection. In fact, the devil rarely appears in the Old Testament, and when he does, it is in the guise of Satan (from the Hebrew word meaning "adversary"), who functions as an instrument of God (as when he tests Job) rather than as a rebellious being challenging God's authority.

Albrecht Durer Knight, Death and the Devil 1513


But in Revelation, the devil is a powerful foe, battling the forces of good in an attempt to take control of the world and its souls. He makes his first appearance in the book as the great red dragon we've already encountered menacing the woman clothed with the sun. The next verse notes that "his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth" (12:4)a reference to the belief that when Satan fell from heaven, he took with him the one-third of the angels (stars often symbolize angels in biblical writings) who had joined his unsuccessful revolt against God. The battle between good and evil is vividly described in Revelation as a physical struggle between the archangel Michael and the devil (embodied as either a man or a dragon). Not surprisingly, throughout the centuries this one-on-one combat has been a favorite of artists, who have relished portraying the details of the two antagonists. Michael is invariably shown prevailing, with the still-struggling devil pinned below his feet or skewered on his sword.

Raphael (1483-1520) Saint Michael Trampling the Satan 1518 Musee du Louvre, Paris

Raphael (1483-1520) Saint Michael 1505 Musee du Louvre, Paris


So despised and feared was Satan that his face was often scratched out in manuscript illuminations; see, for example, below.

Cimabue, Giotto and others Satan Swallows the Damned, from The Last Judgment 1220 Mosaic. Cupola of the Baptistery, Florence

Satan, from The Last Judgment Byzantine mosaic Late 12th century Cathedral, Torccello, Italy

Although the devil and his angels are "cast out" after Michael defeats them, this conquest does not guarantee Satan's final defeat. Having returned to earth, he wages war on all the offspring of the woman whose child he had tried to steal, then teams up with the beast from the sea to lure the populace into idolatry. After Babylon falls, an angel locks the devil in the bottomless pit, where he remains for the thousand years of Christ's earthly reign. After his release at the end of the millennium, the devil gathers his forces for the final battle. They are summarily defeated, and the devil is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, from which he can never escape. This fiery domain becomes the hell into which sinners are plunged on Judgment Daya subject savored by artists from

anonymous Byzantine artisans to Hieronymus Bosch and Peter Paul Rubens. Although Revelation says that the devil "shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever," in representations of hell it is he and his demons who become the enthusiastic tormentors. Satan, holding Antichrist on his lap in a blasphemous variant on the Madonna and Child, is the undisputed king of his flamefilled realm in the twelfth-century mosaic of hell in Torcello, Italy. The entrance to the devil's sul-furous dominion was often depicted as an animated hellmoutha grotesque and toothy portal to the infernal regions.

Rohan Hours Saint Michael 1414

Guido Reni Saint Michael Trampling the Satan

Saint Michael and the Dragon


(postcards)

A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Revelation 21:1

Last Judgment Paradise circa 1100 Mosaic, Sta. Maria Assunta, Torcello

JUST AS BABYLON FUNCTIONS AS A SYMBOLIC SITE FOR TEMPTATION AND evil, so the New Jerusalem serves as a symbol of heaven. In the vision of the | new city revealed to John by one of the angels, it is a twelvegated metropolis of vast proportions1,500 miles in length, width, and heightand constructed of the most costly materials: gold, pearls, precious stones. The descriptions of it are so detailed that they could almost be diagrammed in an architectural drawing. Medieval and Renaissance depictions of paradise can be engagingly fanciful, as in Andrea da Firenze's pastel-tinted haven filled with flowers, forests, and solicitous angels.

Andrea Bonaiuti da Firenze (1333-1392) The Church Militant and Triumphant Fresco, 1365-1368 Cappella Spagnuolo, Santa Maria Novella, Florence
The concept of heaven as a courtwhich has both judicial and royal connotationslong influenced depictions of the enthroned Christ and of Mary as Queen of Heaven.

Jacopo Robusti Tintoretto (1518-1594) Brazen Serpent 1575-1576 Scuola di San Rocco, Venice

Jacopo Robusti Tintoretto (1518-1594) Paradise 1579 Musee du Louvre, Paris

APPENDIX

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: who bare record... of all things that he saw. Revelation 1:1-2

The Sealing of the Elect. From Trinity Apocalypse, Anglo-Norman. c.1255-60. Trinity College Library, Cambrige, England

Write the things which thou has seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.

Revelation 1:19 Limbourg Brothers Saint John on Patmos Contemplating the Vision of the Lamb Entroned, the Four Beings, and the Twenty-four Elders. From Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. c.1413 Musee Conde, Chantilly, France

And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

Revelation 6:4

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. From Beatus of Liebana, Commentary on the Apocalypse. Portuguese, 1189. Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo, Lisbon, Portugal

The First Four Seals: The Four Horsemen. From Beatus of Liebana, Commentary on the Apocalypse. Spanish, 1109. The British Library, London, England

The Opening of the First Seal. From Commentary on the Apocalypse. Bruges, Belgium, 3d quarter of 15th century. The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, USA

And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, andlo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. Revelation 6:5 The Opening of the Third Seal. From Commentary on the Apocalypse. Bruges, Belgium,3d quarter of 15th century The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York

And I loked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. Revelation 6:8

Horseman of the Apocalypse Riding a Pale Horse. From Lambeth Apocalypse. English, c.1260 Lambeth Palace Library, London

Horseman of the Apocalypse on a Pale Horse Issuing from the Jaws of Hell. From Apocalypse. French, late 13th century. Lambeth Palace Library, London

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.

Revelation 6:12

The Opening of the Sixth Seal: The Earthquake. From Beatus of Liebana (d.798), Commentary of Apocalypse. Spanish, c.950. The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York

And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. Revelation 8:6

The seventh Seal: The Distribution of the Trumpets to the Seven Angels and The Altar Censed. From Apocalypse Picture Book. English, c. 1255-60 The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York

And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. Revelation 9:1 The Fifth Trumpet. From Lambertus, Liber Floridus. Flemish, c. 1448 Musee Conde, Chantilly, France

Douce Apocalypse c. 1270 Illumination on parchment Bodleian Library, Oxford

PART II

Gothic Art

Collection:

The Bayeux Tapestry

Exploration:

Revelations (Art of the Apocalypse)

Introduction Visions of the World to Come Angels of the Apocalypse The Four Horsemen and the Seven Seals The Beasts, Antichrist, and the Women Judgment Day The Devil and the Damned A New Heaven and a New Earth
APPENDIX

(Manuscripts)

Exploration:

Gothic Era (Gothic and Early Renaissance)

Collection: Bonaventura

Collection: Stefan Lochner

Collection: Starnina

Berlinghieri

Collection: Derick Baegert

Lukas Moser

Torriti Jacopo

Collection: Lippo Memmi

Frances Nicolas

Collection: Martin Schongauer

Malouel Jean

Borrassa Lluis

Collection: Israhel van Meckenem

Collection: Pisanello

Collection: Bartolome Bermejo Collection: Hans Multscher

Collection: Konrad of Soest

Collection: Fernando Gallego

Colantonio

Filippo Brunelleschi

Lluis Dalmau

Collection: Barthelemy d'Eyck

Collection: Hubert & Jan van

Collection: Bartolo di Fredi

Joos van Gent

Eyck

Collection: Masaccio

Collection: Dieric Bouts

Collection: Taddeo di Bartolo

Collection: Masolino

Marco Zoppo

Collection: Hans Holbein the Younger

Gothic Era

(Gothic and Early Renaissance)

European Painting from the 13th to the 15 th Century

Gothic Art Map


Exploration:

Revelations (Art of the Apocalypse) Era


(Gothic and Early Renaissance) Masaccio Masolino Hans Memling Rogier van der Weyden Hugo van der Goes Gerard David Antonello da Messina Piero della Francesca Pedro Berruguete M. of Westminster Altar M. of Psalter of de Lisle M. of Cologne Workshop Sassetta Jaume Huguet Nicolas Froment M. of St. Veronica M. of the Paradise Garden Limburg brothers Robert Campin Konrad Witz Starnina M. Westphalian M. of Schloss Altar M. Norwegian Derick Baegert Lukas Moser M. of Albrecht Altar Frances Nicolas Master E.S. Martin Schongauer Israhel van Meckenem Bartolome Bermejo Fernando Gallego Hans Multscher Colantonio Lluis Dalmau Barthelemy d'Eyck M. of Life of the Virgin M. of St. Bartholomew Dieric Bouts Taddeo di Bartolo Marco Zoppo Holbein the Younger Andrea Mantegna Cosme Tura Holbein the Elder M. of Book of Hours M. of Alkmaar M. Francke M. of the Gothic Art Bernat Martorell Michael Pacher Quentin Massys Nuno Goncalves Martinus Opifex Juan de Levi Saxon Workshop Lorenzo Monaco Jean Fouquet Jacopo Bellini

Exploration: Gothic

M. of the Glatz Madonna M. Theodoric Torriti Jacopo Stefan Lochner Bonaventura Berlinghieri M. Bertram of Munden M. of Kaufmann Crucifixion M. of Wittingau Lippo Memmi M. of Narbonne Parament Malouel Jean M. of Wilton Dyptych Borrassa Lluis Pisanello Konrad of Soest M. of the Ortenberg Altar Filippo Brunelleschi Joos van Gent Bartolo di Fredi Hubert & Jan van Eyck Exploration: Albrecht

Durer

Master of the Glatz Madonna Master Theodoric Torriti Jacopo

See also collection:

Stefan Lochner

The Gothic era opens a new chapter in the history of art, one which marks the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and the beginning of secular painting. In contrast to the Middle Ages, whose imagery was rooted entirely in the realms of the hereafter, the artists of the Gothic era looked to the present for their inspiration and thereby arrived at a new realism. Their discovery of a new, material world also led them to a more joyful vision of reality which placed greater emphasis upon feeling. With the development of court society and the rise of civic culture, the Gothic style blossomed. Art was infused with a new sophistication and elegance. Loving attention to detail, animated use of line, a luminous palette and a masterly technique were typical features of the new style which would quickly take Europe by storm. Gothic art reached its high point in the frescos and panel paintings of Giotto,Duccio, the Lorenzetti brothers, Simone Martini and Fra Angelico in Florence and Siena, in stained glass in France, in the altarpieces of Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden in the Netherlands, in the exquisite illuminations executed by the Limburg brothers and other miniaturists, in the panels issuing from the courts of Prague and Vienna, and in the Soft Style of the North German masters and the graceful works of Stefan Lochner.

Why "Gothic"?
Gothic was originally a term of contempt. Only much later would it emerge as the name of an epoch. It was unknown to the masters of Gothic painting. It was coined by the Italian theoreticians of the 15 th century - as a potent byword for something that needed to be quashed. Even Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) traced the style explicitly back to the Goths, in his eyes the most heinous of criminals imaginable. It was they, supposedly, who had razed the classical edifices of the Romans and killed their architects, and then filled all Italy with their accursed buildings. They brought with them a German order whose ornamentation and proportions differed drastically from those of classical antiquity. They were shunned by good artists as monstrous and barbaric. Theirs was a style which, even though it had swamped the world, was characterized not by measure and degree, but by confusion and chaos. Giorgio Vasari Painter, architect and writer Arezzo 1511- Florence1574

Spread and impact of the Gothic style

A more temperate opinion was not to be expected from Vasari, the 16th-century Florentine patriot. Although we are indebted to his biographies of famous artists of the Renaissance for their endless wealth of information, his errors of judgement continue to colour our thinking even today. In truth, there are such fundamental differences between Italy and the rest of western Europe that it is highly questionable whether Giotto (c. 1270-1337) and his followers - for Vasari the heralds of a rebirth of art in the spirit of antiquity can be subsumed under the overall heading of "Gothic". Of the thousands of paintings which have survived from this period, it is clear in all but a handful of cases from which side of the Alps their artists came. Even the terms used to describe the different phases within the era are very different, with artistic developments in Italy still being known by their century as Dugento or Due-cento, Trecento and Quattrocento. Leaving aside the phenomenon of the so-called International Gothic or International Style of c. 1400, which we shall be discussing later, the Gothic style never really took root in Italy. A hundred years later, artistic developments in the North and the South had diverged even further than before and around 1300. While the High Renaissance triumphed in the latter in the shape of Raphael (14831520) and Leonardo (14521519), the Late Gothic masters of Nuremberg, Cologne, Bruges, Antwerp, Barcelona, Burgos, Lisbon and even Paris allowed themselves to be influenced at most only superficially by the new art. On the Iberian peninsula, still closely tied to the arabesques and surface ornament of Islamic art, the Gothic style would remain dominant until well into the 16th century, and from there even gain a foothold in the new colonies. In Spain and Portugal, as partly also in England and Germany, the Gothic was so strong that it was able to absorb the forms of the Renaissance without relinquishing its own fundamental structures. In certain places where the Renaissance had never really taken hold, it was thus able, after 1600, to pass almost unnoticed into the vocabulary of the Baroque. The Gothic thereby remained the prevailing style in very different parts of Europe for well over 300 years - longer than the Romanesque before it, and considerably longer than both the Baroque which came after and the second International Style of the 20th century, the three other artistic trends which dominated all Europe and, latterly too, those overseas cultures strongly stamped by the Old World. The power it continued to house was reflected in the Gothic Revival which arose in England after the decline of the Baroque, and which spread to Germany and ultimately to the USA and even Australia.

Characteristics of Gothic painting


What makes up the Gothic style is not quite so easy to grasp in painting as it is in architecture, where pointed arches, rib vaults and multiple-rib pillars usually offer rapid points of reference. What distinguishes Gothic painting is first of all a predominance of line, be it scrolling, undulating or fractured, and ultimately an ornament tied to the plane. This calligraphic element may be seen as a fundamental constituent of the Gothic style. It is found in its purest form in the gently undulating hems of robes in French painting and sculpture towards 1300, and above all in the draperies which fall in cascades, like thickly waving locks of hair, from the bent arms of figures viewed side on. The style rapidly spread across a broad geographical area; it can be seen in Sweden and Norway by the first third of the 14th century. The rich play of draperies reaches its high point in the years around 1400. Granted a presence virtually of their own by their emphasis and size, they now frame figures viewed frontally. Draperies in the preceding Early and High Gothic periods assume again in painting as in sculpture a far greater variety of expressions. Predominant, however, are thinner, more close-fitting robes with long, parallel folds. Narrow pleats are common. In the final phase of the Gothic style, which follows a "Baroque" phase of overspilling, rounded folds, one stereotype replaces another. While robes remain lavishly cut, their folds now assume a crystalline sharpness. Analogous to the draperies, hairstyles and beards are characterized by thick, regular curls. This emphasis upon line in the Gothic figure is paralleled by a symbolic and ultimately unnatural stylization of the human body itself. The contours of even the earliest Gothic figures are lent a rhythmic sweep. Particularly characteristic of this trend are the frequently very high-waisted figures of the 14th century, whose silhouettes often trace a decidedly S-shaped curve. This love affair with line cannot be entirely divorced from another constituent of the Gothic ideal, namely the very slender, oval facial type which remains a constant throughout the entire period, regardless of all new trends and changing ideals. Such pointers can only highlight the most obvious features of an epoch; they cannot do justice to all its individual expressions. Thus within High Gothic sculpture there exists a small group of works which come extraordinarily close to the harmonious proportions of the classical human figure. In the midst of the extremely refined art of the French court in the years around 1300, there suddenly appear flat faces of strikingly broad and angular outline, which subsequently became one of the most distinctive features of Lotharingian Madonna statues. In painting, Master Theoderic (doc. from 1359-c. 1381) set himself apart from the overrefinement and stylization of the Master Hohenfurt (active c. 1350) and the Bohemian Master of the Glatz Madonna (active c. 1345) of just ten years earlier with the powerful, heavy heads of his massive, thickset saints. Here, as never before in Western art, they are people of real flesh and blood. One of his colleagues, later known as Master Bertram of

Minden (c. 13401414/15), emulated him to some degree, but overall Theoderic's excursion into powerful individualization was carried no further.

Master of the Glatz Madonna 1343-44 Berlin, Gemaldedalerie

Master Theodoric
( fl third quarter of the 14th century). Bohemian painter. The only court painter to Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor, whose work can be identified, he is first documented in 1359, when he already held the position, with a house in Hradcany, Prague. His origins and early career are obscure, though he may be the Master Theodoric who in 1348 was elected Master of the newly founded Prague Brotherhood of Painters.

Master Theodoric St Gregory Master Theodoric St Jerome 1360-65 National Gallery, Prague 1360-65 National Gallery, Prague

Circle of Master Theoderic Crucifixion c. 1370 (from the Na Slovanech Emmaus monastery, Prague) Narodni Galeri, Prague

The birth of the new style


Even more problematic than the term "Gothic" itself is the precise dating of the period to which it was posthumously applied. Its regional variations, too, demand more

specific differentiation. In contrast to what Vasari would have us believe, the Gothic style had its origins not in the Germanic north, but in France, where large numbers of classical buildings were in fact still standing in Vasari's own day. It was the intensive study of these very remains - and not some anti-classical reaction - that inspired the development of Gothic forms of ornament and a new image of man. Thus some of the most impressive examples of French cathedral sculpture owe their origins to this appraisal of antiquity decades before, towards the end of the 13th century in Rome, the painters Pietro Cavallini (c. 1240/50?-after 1330), Jacopo Torriti (active c. 1270-1300) and Filippo Rusiti (active c. 1297-1317) turned their attention to their classical heritage and thereby laid the foundations for Giotto's revolution. In St Denis, even before 1150, Abbot Suger (c. 10811151) "invented" the ribbed vault which, with its pointed arches and large windows, would lay down the ground plan for the ambulatories of Gothic cathedrals. Elsewhere, however, much remained indebted to the Romanesque style. Even as High Gothic architecture in the region around Paris entered its classical phase with the construction of Chartres at the start of the 13th century, in neighbouring countries, on the Rhine and in Spain, buildings were still springing up in the excessively ornamented style of the Late Romanesque. The new style was not embraced synchronously by all of Europe at once, but rather was adopted by different disciplines of art at different points in time. Even amongst the painters of the French court, old Byzantine traditions persisted into the 13th century. Only towards the middle of the century does a genuinely Gothic style become palpable in painting - an entire century later than in architecture. German and Italian painting, meanwhile, were being swept at the very same time by a fresh wave of Byzantine influence. On the other hand, this Late Romanesque phase bore the appearance, in Germany in particular, of a rearguard action. The more naturalistic proportions being employed in the portrayal of the human figure and its draperies by their French neighbours had not escaped the notice of the German painters. Instead of adopting this new development directly, however, they took its powerfully animated robes and stylized them in a Byzantine manner with crystalline folds, arriving at what has been aptly termed the zigzag style. This style is found in England, too, although the country's close artistic ties to France also produced more naturalistic forms.

Torriti Jacopo
( fl c. 12701300). Italian painter and mosaicist. Two mosaics in Rome are signed by him: one, on the apse of S Giovanni in Laterano, that once bore the date 1291 (or, according to some sources, 1290 or 1292); and another on the apse and triumphal arch of S Maria Maggiore, now replaced by a 19th-century restoration but at one time dated 1295 or 1296. Torriti is also known to have executed a mosaic for Arnolfo di Cambios tomb of Pope Boniface VIII (1296) in Old St Peters, Rome. Torriti was active during the same period as Cimabue and Giotto, Pietro Cavallini and Arnolfo di Cambio, but his fame has been obscured by theirs, no doubt because of his closer links with Byzantine art. He was nevertheless one of the most important artists working in Rome during the papacy of Nicholas IV (128892) and was entrusted with some of the most prestigious commissions of the day.

Torriti Jacopo The Creation of Eve 1290s Fresco Upper Church, San Francesco, Assisi

Torriti Jacopo Creation of the World 1290s Fresco Upper Church, San Francesco, Assisi

Torriti Jacopo The Construction of the Ark 1290s Fresco Upper Church, San Francesco, Assisi

Torriti Jacopo The Marriage at Cana 1290s Fresco Upper Church, San Francesco, Assisi

Torriti Jacopo Christ Crowning the Virgin 1296 Mosaic Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome

Stefan Lochner

Lochner Stefan

( fl Cologne, c. 1440? after 1453). German painter. The paintings traditionally associated with this name constitute the most significant and influential contribution to the school of Cologne, but the identity of the artist is now uncertain (though the name is retained here for convenience).

Adoration of the Child Jesus 1445 Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Madonna of the Rose Bush c. 1440 Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne

Madonna of the Rose Bush (detail) c. 1440

Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne

Altarpiece of the Patron Saints of Cologne 1440s Cathedral, Cologne

Altarpiece of the Patron Saints of Cologne (detail) Adoration of the Magi 1440s Cathedral, Cologne

Altarpiece of the Patron Saints of Cologne (detail) 1440s Cathedral, Cologne

Altarpiece of the Patron Saints of Cologne (detail) 1440s Cathedral, Cologne

The Last Judgment c. 1435 Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne

Bonaventura Berlinghieri

Berlinghieri

Italian family of painters. All three sons of Berlinghiero Berlinghieri became painters. Besides those for the best known, Bonaventura Berlinghieri, records survive concerning Barone di Berlinghiero ( fl122882), probably the oldest of the brothers, and Marco di Berlinghiero ( fl 123255), and a detailed document of 1266 records Bonaventuras stepson and apprentice, Lupardo di Benincasa (d Kingdom of Sicily, before 1258), who from c. 1249 worked independently and later moved to Sardinia. Barone is already mentioned in 1228, together with Berlinghiero and Bonaventura, in a list of Lucchese citizens. In 1243 he painted a panel for the Archdeacon of Lucca, by 1256 he had delivered a paintedCrucifix to the parish church of Casabasciana, near Lucca, and in 1282 he undertook to paint aCrucifix, a Virgin and a St Andrew for the prior of S Andrea, Lucca. More is known of Marco, from records in Lucca from the 1230s. Probably the youngest of the brothers since he is not mentioned in the document of 1228, according to Garrison (1957) he is the Marcus Pictor who in 1240 decorated a Sacramentary (London, BL, Egerton MS. 3036) for the monastery at Camaldoli, near Arezzo. Two documents of 1250 concern the decoration of a Bible (Lucca, Bib. Capitolare, MS. 1) for Alamanno, rector of the hospital of S Martino at Lucca. Marco has also been identified with the Marcus pictor de Luca who in 1255 was paid for a painting (untraced) in the chapel of the Palazzo del Podest in Bologna, and he is ascribed a fresco representing the Massacre of the Innocents (Bologna, S Sepolcro). These works reveal an artist closer to Bonaventura than to Berlinghiero.

Bonaventura Berlinghieri
Italian painter, Lucchese school ( fl 122874). Son of Berlinghiero Berlinghieri. His presence at Lucca from 1232 to 1274 is confirmed by a long series of documents, of which one (1244) records that he undertook the entire decoration (untraced) of the deceased Archdeacons room. It was to include bird and other ornamental motifs, according to the wishes of Lombardo, master of works at Lucca Cathedral.

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Bonaventura Berlinghieri
flourished 1235, 44

Italian painter from Lucca, Italy, known for his poignant and detailed scenes from the life of St. Francis on the predella (base of the altarpiece) of the Church of San Francesco at Pescia. Bonaventura was the son of the painter Berlinghiero of the Berlinghieri family of Lombardian painters. The Pescia work is one of the earliest known pictorial narratives of the saint of Assisi. Consisting of a central panel and subsidiary scenes, it shows evidence of Byzantine influence. Another work of rare charm is his St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata, to be found in the Academy at Florence. Other works attributed to Bonaventura are not well documented.

St Francis 1235 Church of San Francesco, Pescia

Madonna and Child

Madonna and Child with Saints and Crucifixion 1260-70 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Ausschnit aus Tafelbild in S. Francesco

Die Genesung von (acht) Gelahmten 1221 Ausschnitt aus Tafelbild in S. Francesco

Master Bertram of Munden


See also collection:

Bonaventura Berlinghieri

Master Bertram of Munden


(b ?Minden, fl 1367; d Hamburg, between 20 Feb 1414 and 13 May 1415). German painter, illuminator and wood-carver. His major work, the Grabow Altarpiece (Hamburg, Ksthalle), a combination of carved figures and painted scenes, is one of the high points of late 14thcentury north German art. In the many documentary references to him in Hamburg, he is referred to as painter, although he was also responsible for colouring statues. At least the designs of the sculpture of some of his altars have been attributed to him. His lively narrative style, with expressive and forceful gestures, made him one of the most influential of early German artists.

Master Bertram of Munden

Grabow Altarpiece

1383 Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Master Bertram of Munden Grabow Altarpiece 1383 Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Master Bertram of Munden Grabow Altarpiece 1383 Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Master Bertram of Munden Grabow Altarpiece 1383 Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Master Bertram of Munden Grabow Altarpiece 1383 Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Master Bertram of Munden Grabow Altarpiece 1383 Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Master Bertram of Munden Grabow Altarpiece 1383 Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Master Bertram of Munden Grabow Altarpiece 1383 Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Master Bertram of Munden Grabow Altarpiece 1383 Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Master of the Kaufmann Crucifixion

The Gothic style and Italy


The Italian works included in this volume also commence with the end of the 13th century. Although they do not fall under the heading of Gothic painting as such, they exerted an enduring influence upon the Gothic style from almost the very start and did not remain untouched in return. Their artistic starting-point was the Byzantine Empire, which began on the eastern shores of the Adriatic and which enjoyed close political and cultural links with many of Italy's cities. A series of four Madonna panels, one by the Sienese artist Duccio di Buoninsegna (c. 1255- c. 1319), two by the Florentine Cimabue (c. 1240 after 1302), and one by his compatriot Giotto, might almost have been deliberately designed to illustrate the magnitude of the development which took place within just one generation. Three of them hang in the same room in the Uffizi in Florence. In all four pictures, the Virgin is seated on an elaborate throne. In the Duccio and the earlier of the twoCimabue paintings, this tapers illogically towards the foreground; a vague attempt at the perspectival effects achieved by earlier generations - right back to classical antiquity. In the two later works, on the other hand, the throne vanishes towards the background. The three earlier thones are ornately fashioned of wood, while Giotto's throne is constructed out of costly stone. We are suddenly confronted with an entirely new vocabulary of form. Above the sides and back of the throne, Giotto deploys pointed arches, trefoil tracery, finials and crockets - the language of Gothic architecture, in other words, already in use in France for over a hundred years, but still very new to Italy. The facades of Siena and Orvieto cathedrals, built during this same period, feature very similar elements and also employ a wealth of coloured marble and costly inlay. While Giotto's throne draws upon the decorative motifs of Islamic art, its curling leaves and scrolling tendrils simultaneously anticipate the ornament which three centuries later would fill the pilasters of the Renaissance. The very similar poses adopted by the Virgin and Child in the and the earlier Cimabue suggest that both works looked back to the same Byzantine model. The later Cimabue painting adopts a similar basic format, although the Madonna is seated slightly differently. In the Duccio and both Cimabue paintings, the figures are detailed with extreme care and the folds of their robes rendered with great subtlety. The calligraphic fluency with whichDuccio drew the edges of the Virgin's cloak is underlined by the gilding. Despite their angled poses, however, with their knees bent at different heights, the three earlier Madonnas ultimately lack true physical substance. They appear to float like cutouts against their lavish backgrounds. Once again, Giotto does something entirely new. A solid body fills out the draperies; languid, delicate fingers become firm and fleshy. Where robe and body once formed an elegant unity detached from the world, so here a very earthly mother seems to have donned her costly robe purely and uncomfortably for ceremony's sake. Both feet are planted side by side firmly on the ground. In the two earliest paintings, in particular, the Virgin's face reveals the same overly wide bridge of the nose and a mouth which is much too small in relation to the almond-shaped eyes. The modelling of the face has a very graphic quality; line dominates. Thus the artist even draws in the side of the nose upon which the light falls. In Giotto this gives way to blurring shadow; a delicate gauze lies around the eyes, the forehead broadens, the veil sits higher on the head. While their closely pleated draperies reflect the ethereal remoteness of the earlier Madonnas, in Giotto both the figures and the fabrics have become heavy and solid. The Virgin's cloak falls into just a few, large folds. Although the three earlier paintings also attempt to differentiate between raised and sunken areas of fabric, the gold on and between the ridges of the red shawl draped around Duccio's infant Christ, and on the Virgin's robes in the laterCimabue, only serve to accentuate the flatness of the overall effect. Giotto, by contrast, already makes highly convincing use of light and shade, limiting gold to the no longer capriciously undulating, but largely flat hems of the Madonna's cloak. What is true of the Virgin and Child is also very much true of Giotto's angels. They are no longer surface decoration, but large, serious figures who, for all their wings, stand or kneel with their full weight on the ground. The lilies and other carefully rendered flowers in their hands also introduce, over and above their symbolic significance, a very robust, earthly element into the exalted heavenly sphere. The fact that Cimabue and Duccio had already freed themselves significantly from the dominant Byzantine style, and had arrived at a more naturalistic treatment of movement, draperies and the distribution of light and shade, is entirely obscured by the force of the revolution wrought by Giotto. His radical change of direction continues to astonish the modern viewer - how much more profoundly it must have shaken his contemporaries. Notwithstanding its Roman predecessors and the influences of antiquity and the French Gothic style, it remains one of the great acts of creation in the history of art. It was improved upon even in Giotto's own lifetime in the work of the barely less important Sienese artist, Simone Martini (c. 1280/85-1344). In comparison with Giotto's sculptural, block-like figures, with their often correspondingly stiff, awkward, even clumsy gestures, Duccio was already painting with a greater subtlety. Where Giotto portrays raw size, Duccio's figures, more heavily indebted to Byzantine tradition, exhibit greater feeling- Duccio's colours, often deeply shaded, shimmer like costly enamel. Although the early works of Simone Martini, born barely twenty years after Giotto, were still characterized by such Byzantine features as the broad bridge of the nose and draperies overlaid with gold leaf, he went on to marry Duccio's achievements both with the new physical type introduced by Giotto and with Giotto's revolutionary understanding of space

and architecture.

Simone's enormous Maesta fresco in Siena's town hall, depicting the Virgin and Child enthroned and surrounded by saints, is distinguished by a
particular elegance and beauty of line. Movements are freer, and faces highly sensitive and often very serious - are more finely modelled and strongly expressive than those of Giotto. While the bearded heads are still largely indebted toDuccio, the slender youthful heads, many of them with half-length hair curling in on itself at the bottom in line with the fashion of the day, are often more "Gothic" than Giotto's. Simone's draperies are again thinner than Giotto's, and their folds more angular. Compared with the plainness of the Florentine master, what is striking overall is the wealth of detail in both the costumes and the setting.

Simone Martini Maesta (detail)

Italy and Bohemia


The innovations pioneered by Giotto and Simone are not simply milestones within the history of Italian art. They serve to illustrate the interplay of mutual influences within non-Byzantine art as a whole, as well as the phenomenon of chronologically staggered developments. Just as Giotto andSimone had absorbed influences from France, so they in turn helped steer painting north of the Alps down entirely new avenues. Even before Giotto's death in 1337, one of the four panels making up the altarpiece for Klosterneuburg near Vienna, completed around 1331, quotes literally from the frescos which Giotto executed in 13041306 for the Arena Chapel in Padua one of the first Italian cities which travellers reached after crossing the Alps . The remaining three Klosterneuburg panels also testify to the influence of the great Florentine master in their angular faces, austere gestures and in the foreshortening and decoration of their furnishings. That their anonymous artist was nevertheless rooted in the contemporary trends of the North is demonstrated, on the other hand, by the greater animation and curvilinear silhouettes of his figures, and above all by the loose draperies with their richly undulating hems in which they are clad. A good ten years later we encounter Italian influences again, this time a little further north in Prague, Bohemia, which under Charles IV (1316-1378) became the seat of the Holy Roman Emperor and thus the political as well as the cultural capital of the entire empire. The Bohemian Master of the

Glatz Madonna and his somewhat weaker follower, the Master Hohenfurt cite Italian head types more faithfully than the Klosterneuburg artist, while the folds of their draperies continue to reflect the tastes of the North. As the Kaufmann Crucifixion demonstrates, an exquisite
palette featuring striking orange accents becomes characteristic of the Bohemian school, although it could also be seen as a reference to earlier Sienese paintings. The same might be true of the sumptuous detailing of the draperies of the Christ, donor and angels in the Glatz picture. The large panel was originally surrounded by smaller scenes from Christ's childhood, as was the convention in Italy. This was no coincidence: to underline his imperial status, Charles IV was quite blatantly seeking to compete with the leading artistic centres of his day which meant Tuscany and Paris and if possible even to surpass them.

Master of the Kaufmann Crucifixion (detail) c. 1340 Berlin, Gemaldedalerie

Italy and France


Master of the Kaufmann Crucifixion c. 1340 Berlin, Gemaldedalerie The Italian influences finding their way into the Klosterneuburg altar were also being felt strongly in Paris, where the French court was the most spoilt for artists of any in Europe. In 1309, under pressure from the French king Philip the Fair, Pope Clement V (1305-1314) moved his residence from Rome to Avignon, which was closely allied to the French crown lands. He was followed not just by cardinals and the papal court, but also by Italian artists, including for a short time possibly even Giotto himself. Simone Martini certainly spent time in Avignon. He was destined for employment at court not only by the extremely sophisticated elegance of his art, but also by the close contacts he had developed, while still in Italy, with the Anjou family, the then rulers of Naples. The panel paintings which Simone executed after 1336 are now scattered, but important fragments of his mural decorations for the palace chapel have survived in situ. As a result of conservation measures undertaken in this century, it is even possible to distinguish between the various stages of their execution. The rather damaged frescos themselves have been detached from the detailed preparatory drawings, or sinopie, underneath and these separated in turn from the original sketch, which remains in its old place. The sinopie, hidden for six hundred years, thereby reveal the delicacy and freedom of Simone's drawing more directly than the finished painting. From Avignon, the exquisite linearity and powerful, delicate colours of the Sienese artists exerted their influence not only upon the Paris court, where Pucelle Jean (active c. 13191335) drew upon them to arrive at a new plasticity and sought to achieve a uniform perspective, but also upon nearby Aragon across the Pyrenees. Even the Sienese elements of Bohemian court art may have reached Prague via Avignon rather than a more direct source - men such as the bishop who commissioned the Glatz Madonna were bound to have spent time at the papal court. Nor should we underestimate, in this context, the extent of the artistic exchanges taking place in Avignon itself. According to records, the Italians were working alongside English, Catalan and, in particular of course, French artists.

Master of Wittingau Master of the Narbonne Parament

See also collection:

Lippo Memmi

Pathways to the International Style

Even as an important basis was here being established for the extraordinarily homogeneous style that would stamp itself upon the art of western and central Europe around 1400, so in Tuscany Giotto and Simone

Martini had set standards which were almost impossible to surpass. For their contemporaries and
followers, consequently, it was a matter of consolidating what had been achieved rather than of embarking upon something new. In Siena, such important painters as Lippo Memmi (active 1317-c. 1350) and Pietro Lorenzetti (c. 1280/90-1348) further developed the art of Simone, while in Florence Taddeo Gaddi (active c. 13251366) and others embraced the legacy of Giotto. A certain artistic paralysis now set in. A contributory factor here was the outbreak in 1348/49 of the Black Death, which spread throughout Europe in just a few months and in some places carried off over half the population, including many artists Pietro Lorenzetti perhaps among them. Stagnation and increasingly empty routine would make the Italian artists only too eager to embrace the new trends of the International Gothic towards the end of the century. New impetus would eventually come from the northern centres of Paris and Prague. While the trauma of 1348 continued to be processed in many places in extremely expressive Crucifixions and Lamentations, the forerunners of the International Gothic were already formulating the new style which, around 1400, would dominate the whole of non-Byzantine Europe. At almost the same time as Theoderic was painting his monumental, melancholy saints for Karlstein castle - the crystallization-point of Charles IV's cultural, political and religious ambitions - the Prague sculptors were unveiling their quite different art, its figures more stereotypical than individual, more elegant than earthly. Their influence immediately began radiating out to neighbouring Silesia, which belonged to Bohemia, and on to Salzburg. There were enough branches of the Parler dynasty of artists alone to ensure close exchanges with the Rhineland. Characteristic features of this Prague school include Lamentations and, above all, the aptlynamed SchoneMadonnen ("Beautiful Madonnas"). Alongside their technical perfection, these latter are distinguished by the dynamic sweep of their bodies, an affected pose, faces of an almost saccharine sweetness and in particular a volume of draperies arranged with consummate skill, which tumble down the sides in rich cascades and conclude in a virtuoso sea of undulating hems. Judging by the quality, number and geographical spread of the works which followed, this aesthetic revolution must have captivated other artists of the day as far away as Italy and even distant Spain. At home, it was translated into painting by the Master of Wittingau (active c. 1380-1390), the last great artist which the Bohemian school, which flow ered for just a few decades, would produce. He underlines once again the importance of the new style not just for Bohemia, but for Europe as a whole: almost all the elements which would be central to European painting around 1400 are present in his Wittingau Altar.

Master of Wittingau The Agony in the Garden c. 1380-1390 (from the altar of the Augustinian Canons' church of St Aegidius) Narodni Galeri, Prague

Theoderic's ample figures are reduced to an almost painful thinness: extremities, faces, all are now elongated and fragile; fingers
resemble spider's legs. The slender silhouettes are clad all the more expressively in thin, generously cut robes. In a similar fashion to the sculptures mentioned above, the Christ in the Resurrection is enveloped in a cascade of folds ending in a rich swirling hem. Anecdotal details have assumed much greater importance even where, as in the case of the many birds in the Resurrection, there is little obvious justification for their inclusion in the scene. The quality of the execution struggles to match the inventiveness of the composition, however. As in the case of the Hohenfurth Altar, the paintings that have come down to us are perhaps only indirect reflections of the true, but now lost masterpieces of their day. There is another striking feature about the Wittingau Altar. As remained the convention in various regions up to the 16th century, the majestic gold ground is restricted to the interior panels, which in Wittingau are reserved again in line with convention for standing figures of saints. The narrative scenes on the altar's exterior, on the other hand, employ a red ground dotted with gold stars, which engages in a powerfully expressive interplay with the red of certain draperies. The impression made by the landscape, with its individual elements executed in such particular detail, is also intensified by the complementary colour of the background. There may have been earlier instances of this phenomenon, too, in works that are now lost. This style had its roots in the Paris court art of the years around 1300, where its forms battled against more abstract tendencies throughout the 14th century. Years before the Wittingau Altar, the Parisian Master of the Narbonne Parament (active c. 1375 um 1400) had demonstrated, in the work which gave him his name, his familiarity with the elegant flow of movement, slender silhouettes and the exuberant undulation of fabric hems.

Master of Wittingau The Resurrection c. 1380-1390 (from the altar of the Augustinian Canons' church of St Aegidius) Narodni Galeri, Prague

Master of the Narbonne Parament Paramentdoration of the Child c. 1390 (miniature from the Tres Belles Heures de Notre-Dame) Museo Civico d'Arte Antica, Turin

Master of the Narbonne Parament Entombment, Descent into Hell and Noli me tangere c. 1375 Musee du Luvre, Paris

Master of the Trebon Altarpiece Bohamian painter (active in 1380-1400) The Adoration of Jesus Before 1380 Alsova Jihoceska Galeria, Hluboka

Lippo Memmi

Lippo Memmi
Italian painter, Sienese school (b. ca. 1285, Siena, d. ca. 1361, Siena) He was the son of MEMMO DI FILIPPUCCIO, the brother of Tederigho (also spelt Federigo) Memmi and, after 1324, brother-in-law of Simone and Donato Martini, all of whom were painters. He is known through signed works, documentary references and early secondary sources. In 1317 he signed and dated a frescoed Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints (Maesta) in the Palazzo del Popolo, San Gimignano. Commissioned by the podesta, Nello di Mino de Tolomei of Siena, the work is an adaptation of Simone Martinis fresco of the Maesta in the Sala del Mappamondo of the Palazzo Pubblico, Siena. A diptych of the Virgin and Child and St John the Baptist, originally in Pisa (Berlin, Gemldegal., and New York, W. B. Golovin priv. col.), is signed and dated 1333. In the same year Lippo and Simone Martini signed and dated the altarpiece of the Annunciation (Florence, Uffizi), originally from the altar of St Ansanus in Siena Cathedral. The precise nature and extent of Lippos participation in this work are disputed by scholars. A fragmentary fresco of the Virgin and Child Enthroned with SS Peter and Paul and Two Angels (Siena, Pin. N.) from the cloister of S Domenico, Siena, once bore a signature and, perhaps, a partial date of MCCCL....In S Maria dei Servi, Siena, there is a signed but undated half-length Virgin and Child. A Virgin and Child Enthroned (Altenburg, Staatl. Lindenau-Mus.) carries what is apparently an original inscription (LIPPUS MEMMI DE SENIS ME PINXIT), but its style bears little resemblance to that of Lippo Memmis other known works. AMadonna of Mercy in Orvieto Cathedral is signed LIPPUS DE SENA, but there is much disagreement over attempts to identify this artist with Lippo Memmi.

The Virgin and Child 1330

The Virgin and Child

The Annunciation and Two Saints 1333 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Maesta 1317 Fresco Palazzo Pubblico, San Gimignano

Madonna of the Recommended 1350s Fresco Chapel of the Corporal, Duomo, Orvieto

Crucifixion Musee du Louvre, Paris

Malouel Jean Master of the Wilton Dyptych Borrassa Lluis

See also collection:

Pisanello Konrad of Soest

A uniform style throughout western Europe


In the thirty years following the completion of the Wittingau Altar, non-Byzantine painters everywhere competed in their striving towards an ever more exquisite palette and ever more fluid draperies; not without reason is the International Gothic also known as the Soft or Beautiful Style. For the first time, lovingly detailed landscapes became a major element of the composition. For the last time before the Baroque, western European painters shared the same vocabulary, the same aesthetic ideals. Even Italy, entrenched in its old traditions, eagerly embraced the new trend, to the regret of later Renaissance theoreticians of the school of Vasari; the supposedly unbroken line of development from Giotto to Michelangelo (1475 1564) is a later myth. Gentile da Fabriano (c. 1370 1427;) and Pisanello (before 1395-1455) were leading figures in both Italian and Gothic art. It is no coincidence that Milan cathedral dates from precisely this period, as a symbol of the triumph of Northern form. There are sociological reasons, too,

behind this broad-based stylistic uniformity: the ruling houses of the day were dominated by very similar courtly ideals, which were also finding their way into literature. What is so truly astonishing about this epoch is the fact that the style was practised so widely, including by many unknown and second-rate artists. But it was also embraced by some of the greatest names in Gothic painting. Apart from Gentile da Fabriano and Pisanello, these included Jean Malouel (c. 1365 1419) andMelchior Broederlam (doc. 13811409) in Paris and the Burgundian capital of Dijon, the Master of the Wilton Dyptych (doc. c. 1390-1395) in London, Lluis Borrassa (doc. from 1380-c. 1425/26) in Catalonia and, in the wealthy Hanseatic city of Dortmund, Konrad of Soest (c. 1370 after 1422), who would exert an enormous influence upon west and north German art for decades to come. All of these artists sought to place their own stamp upon the universal style.

Malouel Jean
(b ?Nijmegen c. 1365; d Dijon, 12 March 1415). North Netherlandish painter, active in Burgundy. He was the son of the heraldic artist Willem Maelwael and uncle of the Limbourg brothers. First recorded as a painter in 1382, he is then documented on 20 September 1396 for a commission to provide designs for textiles with decorative armorial bearings for Queen Isabeau of Bavaria, wife of Charles VI, for which he received payment on 27 March 1397. By 5 August 1397 he was in Dijon, where he succeeded Jean de Beaumetz as court painter and Valet de Chambre to Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. Malouel was highly paid, and his annual pension was considerably more than that of Beaumetz or of the sculptor Claus Sluter. One of the first works Malouel produced for the Duke was a painting of the Apostles with St Anthony (untraced), paid for on 11 November 1398, which the Duke is known to have kept in his private oratory. On 18 March 1398 wooden supports were purchased for Malouel to paint five large altarpieces for the Charterhouse of Champmol, outside Dijon. The subject-matter of the paintings is not specified in the document, although the dimensions of the panels are given. The Martyrdom of St Denis (Paris, Louvre) has been identified as one of these five panels, on the basis of its possible provenance and its dimensions, which correspond approximately to those given in the document. In May 1416, however, Henri Bellechose received pigments to perfect a painting of the Life of St Denis, and this document, in conjunction with the earlier one, has been interpreted to suggest that Bellechose completed a work left unfinished by Malouel. A rereading of the 1398 document and the absence of any discernible evidence of collaboration on the St Denis panel has led to its attribution to Henri Bellechose alone.

Malouel Jean Virgin and Child with Angels 1410 Gemaldegalerie, Berlin

Malouel Jean Madonna and Child c. 1410 Musee du Louvre, Paris

Malouel Jean Calvary and the Martyrdom of St Denis 1416 Musee du Louvre, Paris

Malouel Jean Lamentation for Christ 1400 Musee du Louvre, Paris

Master of the Wilton Dyptych


(doc. c. 1390-1395)

Master of the Wilton Diptych The Wilton Diptych Left: Richard II of England with his patron saints Right: Virgin and Child with Angels 1395 National Gallery, London

Borrassa Lluis
(b Girona; fl 1380; d Barcelona, between 19 Dec 1424 and 23 Feb 1425). Catalan painter. He was the second son of Guillem Borrassa ( fl 1360 96), a painter of Girona, and is first mentioned on 21 January 1380, when he received payment for the repair of a stained-glass window in Girona Cathedral. Soon afterwards he moved to Barcelona, where in 1383 he was working on an important altarpiece (untraced) for the convent of S Damian, which was paid for by King Peter IV el Ceremonioso of Aragon (reg 133687). Borrassa was already a citizen of Barcelona in 1385, and documents show clearly that his artistic gifts were soon recognized. In spite of his success, however, he maintained dual citizenship for several years and frequently returned to Girona to obtain commissions and payment for completed work; his elder brother Francesc ( fl 13991422), who inherited the family workshop, often acted as his agent or partner. Llus Borrassa evidently became the most outstanding and prolific painter in Catalonia of his time, carrying out important commissions not only in Barcelona and Girona but also in central Catalonia and in the area between Tarragona, Igualada and Vilafranca del Penedes. He exercised some influence in the area of Lleida as well, which was dominated in the first third of the 15th century by the painter Jaume Ferrer.

Borrassa Lluis St Peter is Walking on the Water 1411-13 Sant Pere, Terrasa

Borrassa Lluis Nativity 14o3-1411 Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona

Borrassa Lluis Nativity 14o3-1411 Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona

Pisanello

Pisanello (Antonio Pisano)


(b Pisa or Verona, by 1395; d ?c. Oct 1455). Italian painter, draughtsman and medallist. His richly decorative frescoes, courtly and elegant painted portraits and highly original portrait medals made him one of the most popular artists of the day. He travelled extensively and worked for several Italian courts, at Mantua, Ferrara, Pavia, Milan and Naples. Many of his paintings have been lost or damaged, making a reconstruction of his career difficult. He is now better known as a medallist.

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Pisanello
born c. 1395, Pisa [Italy] died 1455

original name Antonio Pisano Italian medalist and painter, a major exponent of the International Gothic style. His early work suggests that he was the pupil of Stefano da Zevio, a Veronese artist. (He was wrongly called Vittore by Giorgio Vasar, and only in 1907 was his personal name verified as Antonio.) Pisanello collaborated with Gentile da Fabriano on frescoes in the Doges' Palace in Venice (c. 141522) and in St. John Lateran in Rome (after 1427). After Gentile's death, Pisanello probably completed the Roman frescoes, known only through drawings, which show Gentile'sgreat influence over the young Pisanello. His only surviving frescoes are an Annunciation at the tomb of Niccol di Brenzoni in San Fermo in Verona (c. 142324) and the legend of St. George in the Pellegrini Chapel in San Anastasia, Verona (c. 143338). These works are characterized by the curvilinear design, calligraphic draperies, and decorative detail typical of the International Gothic style from which Pisanello never completely freed himself. Even a mature work such as his St. Eustace (National Gallery, London) is encrusted with rich detail that tends to work against spatial clarity. The Madonna with SS. Anthony and George (National Gallery) displays a simpler conception. It is dominated by the monumental figures of thetwo saints and the bust of the Virgin in a mandorla, or almond-shaped aureole. Pisanello's fame and his importance in court circles rested more upon his medals than upon his painting. They are thought to have resulted from his study of ancient Greek andRoman numismatic portraits. He had virtually no recent predecessors, and, with him, the art reached its highest point. His work includes the medal of the Greek emperor JohnVIII Palaeologus (1438), the wedding medal of Lionello d'Este(1444), Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta (1445), and the medal of Alfonso of Aragon (1448), generally cited as his most successful work in the genre. Most of Pisanello's painted portraits, such as the Margherita Gonzaga (c. 1438; Louvre, Paris), and Lionello d'Este (c. 1440; Accademia Carrara, Bergamo), show the sitter in profile (a convention of Pisanello's portrait medals) against a background of delicate, colourful flowers and butterflies. Pisanello's drawings have been preserved in the Codex Vallardi (Louvre, Paris). This is the only instance in which thedrawings of a 15th-century workshop have been preserved virtually intact. They are of unique value, therefore, for the study of the style and techniques of draftsmanship of the period. Pisanello uses a large variety of techniques and materials to produce masterful drawings (some coloured) of animals, plants, costume design, and perspective studies. His drawings of various views of horses are particularly well known. He was one of the first 15th-century artists to draw from life instead of adhering to the medieval tradition of copying the drawings of others. The drawings reveal Pisanello's breadth of interest and his sensitive eye. They combine delicately rendered Early Renaissance naturalism with the beauty of Late Gothic line and are one of his most important contributions to the history of art.

The Virgin and Child with Saints George and Anthony Abbot mid 1400s National Gallery, London

Madonna with a Quail 1420-22

Museo di Castelvecchio, Verona

Portrait of Leonello dEste 1441 Accademia Carrara, Bergamo

Portrait of a Princess of the House of Este 1436-38 Musee du Louvre, Paris

Saint George and the Princess of Trebizond 1436-38 Fresco Pellegrini Chapel, Sant'Anastasia, Verona

Portrait of Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg c. 1433 Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Konrad von Soest

Konrad von Soest


(b c. 1360; d after 1422). German painter. One of the most significant German painters of the late Middle Ages, he played a pivotal role in the diffusion of the International Courtly style in northern Europe. A plausible description of his life can be pieced together from his signatures on two altarpieces, from documentary and historical evidence and from stylistic considerations.

Anbetung der Heiligen Drei Konige Marienaltar ca.1420

The Death of Mary c. 1420 Marienkirche, Dortmund

Passionsaltar (Wildungen-Altar)

Gesamtansicht 1403 Parish church, Bad Wildungen

Passionsaltar (Wildungen-Altar) Gesamtansicht 1403 Parish church, Bad Wildungen

Passionsaltar (Wildungen-Altar) Gesamtansicht 1403 Parish church, Bad Wildungen

Passionsaltar (Wildungen-Altar) Gesamtansicht Annunciation 1403 Parish church, Bad Wildungen

Passionsaltar (Wildungen-Altar) Gesamtansicht Nativity Parish church, Bad Wildungen

Passionsaltar (Wildungen-Altar) Gesamtansicht Nativity 1403 Parish church, Bad Wildungen

Passionsaltar (Wildungen-Altar) Gesamtansicht 1403 Parish church, Bad Wildungen

Master of the Ortenberg Altar Filippo Brunelleschi Joos van Gent

See also collection:

Bartolo di Fredi Hubert & Jan van Eyck Masaccio Masolino Hans Memling Rogier van der Weyden Hugo van der Goes Gerard David

Antonello da Messina Piero della Francesca Pedro Berruguete

New departures in Florence and the Netherlands


It was clear by the 1420s at the latest that this rare parallelism would not be a lasting phenomenon. While the Soft Style reached its final flowering in a work such as the Ortenberg Altar admittedly accompanied by an increasing hardening and stylization of the heads - artists elsewhere had already made a sudden, apparently unexpected break with the past which, like the new departures of Suger and Giotto, would be followed by a period of consolidation and relative quiet. In Florence, Masaccio (14011428) and Masolino (1383after 1435) were laying the foundations of the art of the Renaissance, by infusing Giotto's forgotten compositional formulae with a greater realism and a previously unknown monumentality, derived in turn from a deeper study of antiquity and a closer observation of their own surroundings and the human form. The fragile bodies of the International Gothic are filled with new volume, stances become heavy, profiles broad, shadows deep. In the southern Netherlands, meanwhile, the second great centre of power in western Europe was starting to emerge. Towards the end of the 14th century, Netherlandish artists were already exerting a decisive influence upon developments in Paris, up till then the artistic capital of the North. Parallel with the new developments in Florence, the brothers Hubert (c. 13701426) and Jan van

Eyck (c. 13951441) - the most important Netherlandish artists of the age - were also turning to the
naked human body and lending it a realism unseen since antiquity. The paths they followed to the same goal were very different, however. In the case of Masaccio, it was a highly intellectual process. His image of humankind is concentrated into archetypes. He is more interested in basic form, flow of movement and volumes than in the surface of things. It was the accurate observation of such surfaces, however, which formed the foundation of Eyckian realism, but which also contained its limitations. Jan van

Eyck described the effects of movement without actually understanding them. Thanks to this same eye for
detail, however, he succeeded in lending his figures an anatomical quality whose impact was felt even in Italy. Only van Eyck discovered the dimple on Adam's hip, only he described the muscles and sinews around Adam's knee.

Master of the Ortenberg Altar


( fl after 1417). German painter. He is named after a small altarpiece from Ortenberg am Vogelsberg (after 1417; Darmstadt, Hess. Landesmus.) depicting the Virgin among Virgins on the middle panel and the Nativity and Adoration of the Magi on the inner faces of the wings. (There is an Annunciation by a later painter on the outer faces of the wings.) The subject-matter chosen for the main panelthe Virgin and her relatives, with female saintssuggests that it was destined for a convent, perhaps that of the Premonstratensian canonesses at St Maria Konradsdorf, near Ortenberg, and was perhaps commissioned to become the main altar after a fire at the convent church in 1417. Evidence for this is the inclusion of St Servatius, a cousin of the Virgin and patron saint of viticulture, which was also practised in Ortenberg. All the historical data suggest that the altar was made in Mainz. Among surviving examples of Middle Rhine panel painting in the Soft style, the Ortenberg Altar is alone of its type. It is distinctive in the courtliness of its basic attitude, inspired from western book illumination and stained glass, and in its association of the Virgins nearest female relatives with three major woman saints, Agnes, Barbara and Dorothy. In conjunction with the gold background of the painted surface, the use of silver leaf as a foil for the robes produces a metallic appearance. Two badly damaged panels from a Marian altar, a Nativity (Lezignan, Aude, parish church) and Adoration of the Magi (Aschaffenburg, Schloss Johannisburg Staatsgal.), may be early works by the same Master.

Master of the Ortenberg Altar The Holy Kindred c1425-1430 (central panel of the Ortenberg Altar)

Netherlandish empiricism went an astonishingly long way. While Jan van Eyck's contemporary, Filippo Brunelleschi (13771446), was "inventing" centralized perspective in Florence, his own pictures contain no unified vanishing point. If his spatial settings frequently seem highly "realistic", it should not be forgotten that the mathematical principles of perspective employed by the Italians strictly speaking contradict the workings of the human eye, which sooner perceives slightly curved lines as straight rather than ones which really are straight. Perspective employing a consistent vanishing point would only find its way into Netherlandish art in the second half of the 15 th century. The Netherlandish love of detail could be celebrated to its fullest in portrayals of untamed nature. Although landscapes as a whole were conceived on a less grandiose scale than in Masaccio, the natural kingdom is portrayed with a precision, technical sophistication and exquisiteness which remain unequalled today. However different in other respects, even the Italian painting of the Quattrocento regularly drew fruitful inspiration from this same source. Thus the young Raphael was not shy of siting his figures again and again within a Netherlandish natural idyll. This influence of the North upon the South nevertheless still tends to attract much less attention in the literature than the exchanges in the opposite direction. It has, however, long been known that northern works were eagerly collected south of the Alps. On closer inspection, it thus emerges that an astonishingly high proportion of the works of Hans Memling (c. 1430/401494) were destined for Italian lovers of art. Rogier

van der Weyden (c. 1400-1464) and Hugo van der Goes (c. 1440-1482) both dispatched their paintings across the Alps; Joos van Cleve (c. 14851540/41) would later send his biggest altars there. Significantly, a large work by Gerard David (c. 14601523) for Liguria even modelled itself on the layout of the Italian altarpiece. Down in the far south of Italy, Antonello da Messina (c. 14301479) became the champion of Netherlandish ideas possibly without ever having crossed the Alps. Most exciting of all within this process of

Filippo Brunellesch
Dome of the Cathedral 1420-36 Duomo, Florence

exchange are the rare personal meetings between artists, such as the work jointly executed at the court of Urbino by the Italian Piero

della Francesca (c. 1415/201492), the Flemish artist Joos van Gent (active c. 1460-1480) and the Spaniard Pedro Berruguete (c. 1450-1503?). So close and fruitful was their collaboration that trying to identify exactly who painted what
continues to cause headaches even today.

The discovery of nature and landscape


The reciprocal influences passing between North and South are illustrated particularly clearly in the backgrounds of the paintings of this era. In England, France and Germany from the final third of the 13th century to the second half of the 14th century, there was a preference for decorative, often very complicated and fussy geometric patterns. They live on even in the work of the otherwise.anything but conservative Theodoric, and continue to find echoes in the 15th and even early 16th century, not least in the ornamental gold grounds of the Cologne painters and in particular Stefan Lochner (c. 1400-1451).

Filippo Brunelleschi
Italian sculptor (b. 1377, Firenze, d. 1446, Firenze)

Filippo Brunellesch
Facade 1419-24 Ospedale degli Innocenti, Florence

Filippo Brunellesch
Loggia 1419-24 Ospedale degli Innocenti, Florence

Filippo Brunellesch
The nave of the church begun 1419 San Lorenzo, Florence

Filippo Brunellesch
Old Sacristy 1418-28 Church of San Lorenzo, Florence

Filippo Brunellesch
Interior of the church begun 1436 Santo Spirito, Florence

Filippo Brunellesch Sacrifice of Isaac 1401

Filippo Brunellesch
Crucifix

Bronze relief Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence

1412-13 Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Justus of Ghent
Giusto da Guanto; Joos van Gent; Juste de Gand; Justus van Gent Belgium ( fl c. 146080).

(Joos van Wassenhove)

South Netherlandish painter, active also in Italy. He is commonly identified with JOOS VAN WASSENHOVE, master at Ghent, who is said to have gone to Rome some time between 1469 and 1475. Many of Justuss works have been attributed to the Spaniard Pedro Berrugue te, and problems remain in this area. Justus is documented between 1473 and 1475 in Urbino, where he ran a workshop, and he was the only major Netherlandish painter working in 15th-century Italy

Joos van Gent The Crucifixion

Joos van Gent


Portrait of Aristotle. 1475

Joos van Gent


St Augustine c. 1474 Musee du Louvre, Paris

Joos van Gent


The Institution of the Eucharist 1473-75 Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino

Joos van Gent


Portrait of Solon. 1475

Gothic Era

Gothic Art Map

Bartolo di Fredi

Bartolo di Fredi
Italian painter, Sienese school (b. ca. 1330, Siena, d. ca. 1410, Siena)

Adoration of the Magi 1380s Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena

The Presentation in the Temple Musee du Louvre, Paris

Triptychon aus der Cappella delle Carceri in San Francesco zu Montalcino, rechter Flugel: Abschied Maria von den Aposteln und Tod Maria 1388

Thronende Maria mit Kind, der heiligen Katharina und einer anderen Heiligen um 1351/1400 Bild, Koln, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum

Christus am Kreuz, von Maria und zahlreichen Heiligen verehrt um 1360 Bild, Altenburg (Thuringen, Lindenau-Museum, Gemaldesammlu

The Adoration of the Shepherds Made in Siena, Italian The Adoration of the Shepherds

Seven Saints in Adoration 1367

Hubert van Eyck


*

Jan van Eyck

van Eyck
Netherlandish family of artists. The brothers Hubert van Eyck, Jan van Eyck and Lambert van Eyck were all painters; a sister, Margaret, was also identified as a painter by van Vaernewijck (1568), who recorded that she was unmarried and was buried next to Hubert in Ghent. The tradition that the family originated in Maaseick [Maeseyck], near Maastricht, seems confirmed by the dialect of Jan van Eycks motto and colour notes on his portrait drawing of a man (Dresden, Kupferstichkab.) and by his gift of vestments to a convent in Maaseick, where his daughter Lievine became a nun. The family belonged to the gentry: the armorials of Jans epitaph in St Bavos, Ghent, showed that his father or grandfather came from Brabant, perhaps near s Hertogenbosch, and married a woman from a Mosan family. It is possible that Barthelemy dEyck, court painter to King Ren I of Anjou, belonged to the same family.

Hubert van Eyck


(b c. 138590; d Ghent, 18 Sept 1426). Painter. A Magister Hubertus, pictor was paid in 1409 for panels for the church of Onze Lieve Vrouwe, Tongeren, and a Master Hubert painted a panel bequeathed by Jan de Visch van der Capelle to his daughter, a Benedictine nun near Grevelingen, in 1413; considering the rarity of this given name among painters of the time, the artist may well have been Hubert van Eyck. The

designation of Hubert as Master, his absence from guild records, the childlessness revealed in his heirs living outside Ghent and his sisters burial beside him, all suggest that he was in minor orders, perhaps attached to the abbey church of St Bavo, Ghent (Dhanens, 1980). He must have settled in Ghent by c. 1420 and shortly afterwards begun his only surviving documented work, the retable with the Adoration of the Lamb or Ghent Altarpiece, which was commissioned for St Bavos by Jodocus Vijd (d 1439) and his wife Elisabeth Borluut (d 1443); to judge from its advanced state at the time of Huberts death it must have been designed c. 1423. The following year Hubert made two designs for a picture for the town magistrates of Ghent, some of whom visited his shop in 1425. He was probably commissioned to paint the retable with a painted or carved figure of St Anthony (untraced) for the altar in the church of the Saviour, Ghent, which Robbrecht Portier and his wife endowed on 9 March 1426. This can hardly have been started, however, since the retable for St Bavos must have occupied most of his time until his death six months later. The painter was buried in St Bavos before the altar on which the retable was to stand, a sign of the patrons esteem. The tombstone is still in the cathedral museum, bereft of the brass plaque with its inscription declaring that Huberts painting had won him fame and the highest honour.

Hubert van Eyck The Three Marys at the Tomb Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Hubert van Ryck The Three Marys at the Tomb (detail) Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Hubert van Ryck The Three Marys at the Tomb (detail) Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Gothic Era

Gothic Art Map

Masaccio

Masaccio

(b San Giovanni Val dArno, 21 Dec 1401; d Rome, before late June 1428). Italian painter, florentine school. He is regarded as the founder of Italian Renaissance painting, a view established within a decade of his death. Vasari correctly perceived that Masaccio always followed as best he could in the footsteps of Brunelleschi and Donatello, even though he worked in a different medium. Among the painters of his time, he was the first to organize his compositions according to the system of linear perspective developed by Brunelleschi. He thus transposed into painting the mathematically proportioned spaces and Classical architectural vocabulary of Brunelleschis buildings, as well as the realistic anatomical structure, heavy draperies and human grandeur of Donatellos statues. He was also inspired by the paintings of Giotto and the art of antiquity. Masaccios revival of Giottos monumentality and concentration on volume was, like the writings by humanists on Florentine history, an affirmation of the greatness and enduring values of the Florentine past.

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Masaccio born Dec. 21, 1401, Castel San Giovanni [now San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy] died , autumn 1428, Rome, PapalStates byname of Tommaso Di Giovanni Di Simone Guidi important Florentine painter of the early Renaissance whose frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel of the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence (c. 1427) remained influential throughout the Renaissance. In the span of only six years, Masaccio radically transformed Florentine painting. His art eventually helped create many of the major conceptual and stylistic foundations of Western painting. Seldom has such a brief life been so important to the history of art. Early life and works Tommaso di Giovanni di Simone Guidi was born in what is now the town of San Giovanni Valdarno, in the Tuscan province of Arezzo, some 40 miles (65 km) southeast of Florence. His father was Ser Giovanni di Mone Cassai, a notary, while his mother, Monna Iacopa, was the daughter of an innkeeper. Masaccio's brother Giovanni was also an artist; called lo Scheggia (the Splinter), he is known only for several inept paintings. According to the biographer Giorgio Vasari (who is not always reliable), Tommaso himself received the nickname Masaccio (loosely translated as Big Tom, or Clumsy Tom) because of his absentmindedness about worldly affairs, carelessness abouthis personal appearance, and other heedless but good-naturedbehaviour. In the Renaissance, art was often a family enterprise passed down from father to son. It is curious, therefore, that Masaccio and his brother became painters even though none of their immediate forebears were artists. Masaccio's paternal grandfather was a maker of chests (cassoni) which were often painted. It was perhaps through his grandfather's connection with artists that he became one. One of the most tantalizing questions about Masaccio revolves around his artistic apprenticeship. Young boys, sometimes not yet in their teens, would be apprenticed to a master. They would spend several years in his workshop learning all the necessary skills involved in making many types of art. Certainly Masaccio underwent such training, but there remains no trace of where, when, or with whom he studied. This is a crucial, if unanswerable, problem for an understanding of the painter because in the Renaissance, artwas learned through imitationindividuality in the workshopwas discouraged. The apprentice would copy the master's style until it became his own. Knowing who taught Masacciowould reveal much about his artistic formation and his earliest work. From his birthdate in 1401 until Jan. 7, 1422, absolutely nothing is known about Masaccio. On the latter date he entered the Florentine Arte dei Medici e Speziali, the guild to which painters belonged. It is safe to assume that by his matriculation, he was already a fullfledged painter ready to supervise his own workshop. Where he had been between hisbirth and his 21st year remains, like so much about him, a tantalizing mystery. Masaccio's earliest extant work is a small triptych dated April 23, 1422, or about three months after he matriculated inthe Florentine

guild. This triptych, consisting of the Madonnaenthroned, two adoring angels, and saints, was painted for the Church of San Giovenale near San Giovanni Valdarno andis now in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. It displays an acute knowledge of Florentine painting, but its eclectic style, strongly influenced by Giotto and Andrea Orcagna, does not allow us to discern whether Masaccio trained in San Giovanni Valdarno or Florence before 1422. The triptych, nonetheless, is a powerfully impressive demonstration of the skill of the young, but already highly accomplished, artist. Compared to the lyrical, elegant art of Lorenzo Monaco and Gentile da Fabriano, the leading painters of the International Gothic style, Masaccio's forms are startlingly direct and massive. The triptych's tight, spare composition and the unidealized and vigorous portrayal of the plain Madonna and Child at its centre does not in the least resemble contemporary Florentine painting. The figures do, however, reveal a complete understanding of the revolutionary art of Donatello, the founder of the Florentine Renaissance sculptural style, whose early works Masaccio studied with care. Donatello's realistic sculptures taught Masaccio how to render and articulate the human body and provide it with gestural and emotional expression. After the Giovenale Triptych, Masaccio's next important work was a sizable, multi-paneled altarpiece for the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine at Pisa in 1426. This important commission demonstrates his growing reputation outside Florence. Unfortunately, the Pisa altarpiece was dismantled in the 18th century and many of its parts lost, but 13 sectionsof it have been rediscovered and identified in museums and private collections. The altarpiece's images, which include the Madonna and Child (National Gallery, London) originally at its centre, amplify the direct, realistic character of the 1422 triptych. Ensconced in a massive throne inspired by classical architecture, the Madonna is viewed from below and seems to tower over the spectator. The contrast betweenthe bright lighting on her right side and the deep shadow on her left impart an unprecedented sense of volume and depth to the figure. Originally placed beneath the Madonna, the rectangular panel depicting the Adoration of the Magi (Staatliche Museums, Berlin) is notable for its realistic figures, which include portraits, most likely those of the donor and his family. Like the Madonna and Child, the palette of the Adoration of the Magi is notable for its deep, vibrant hues so different from the prevailing pastels and other light colours found in contemporary Florentine painting. Unlike hisfellow artists, Masaccio used colour not as pleasing decorative pattern but to help impart the illusion of solidity to the painted figure. The Brancacci Chapel. Shortly after completing the Pisa Altarpiece, Masaccio began working on what was to be his masterpiecethe frescoes of the Brancacci Chapel (c. 1427) in the Florentine Church of Santa Maria del Carmine. He was commissioned to finish painting the chapel's scenes of the stories of St. Peter after Masolino (1383 1447) had abandoned the job, leaving only the vaults and several frescoes in the upper registers finished. Previously, Masaccio and Masolino were engaged in some sort of looseworking relationship. They had already collaborated on a Madonna and Child with St. Anne (Uffizi Gallery, Florence) in which the style of Masaccio, who was the younger of the two, had a profound influence on that of Masolino. It has been suggested, but never proven, that both artists were jointly commissioned to paint the Brancacci Chapel. The question of which painter executed which frescoes in the chapel posed one of the most discussed artistic problems of the 19th and 20th centuries. It is now generally thought that Masaccio was responsible for the following sections: the Expulsion of Adam and

Eve (or Expulsion from Paradise), Baptism of the Neophytes, The Tribute Money, St. Peter Enthroned, St. Peter Healing the Sick with His Shadow, St. Peter Distributing Alms, and part of the Resurrection of the Son of Theophilus. (A cleaning and restoration of the Brancacci Chapel frescoes in 198589 removed centuries of accumulated grime and revealed the frescoes' vivid original colours.) The radical differences between the two painters are seen clearly in the pendant frescoes of the Temptation of Adam and Eve by Masolino and Masaccio's Expulsion of Adam and Eve, which preface the St. Peter stories. Masolino's figures are dainty, wiry, and elegant, while Masaccio's are highly dramatic, volumetric, and expansive. The shapes of Masaccio's Adam and Eve are constructed not with line but with strongly differentiated areas of light and dark that give them a pronounced three-dimensional sense of relief. Masolino's figures appear fantastic, while Masaccio's seem to exist within the world of the spectator illuminated by natural light. The expressive movements and gestures that Masaccio gives to Adam and Eve powerfully convey their anguish at being expelled from the Garden of Eden and add apsychological dimension to the impressive physical realism of these figures. The boldness of conception and executionthe paint is applied in sweeping, form-creating bold slashesof the Expulsion of Adam and Eve marks all of Masaccio's frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel. The most famous of these is The Tribute Money, which rivals Michelangelo's David as an icon of Renaissance art. The Tribute Money, which depicts the debate between Christ and his followers about the rightness of paying tribute to earthly authorities, is populated by figures remarkable for their weight and gravity.Recalling both Donatello's sculptures and antique Roman reliefs that Masaccio saw in Florence, the figures of Christ and his apostles attain a monumentality and seriousness hitherto unknown. Massive and solemn, they are the very embodiments of human dignity and virtue so valued by Renaissance philosophers and humanists. The figures of The Tribute Money and the other frescoes inthe Brancacci Chapel are placed in settings of remarkable realism. For the first time in Florentine painting, religious drama unfolds not in some imaginary place in the past but inthe countryside of Tuscany or the city streets of Florence, with St. Peter and his followers treading the palace-lined streets of an early 15th-century city. By setting his figures in scenes of such specificity, Masaccio sanctified and elevated the observer's world. His depiction of the heroic individual in a fixed and certain place in time and space perfectly reflects humanistic thought in contemporary Florence. The scene depicted in The Tribute Money is consistently litfrom the upper right and thus harmonizes with the actual lighting of the chapel, which comes from a window on the wall to the right of the fresco. The mountain background of the fresco is convincingly rendered using aerial perspective;an illusion of depth is created by successively lightening thetones of the more distant mountains, thereby simulating the changes effected by the atmosphere on the colours of distant objects. In The Tribute Money, with its solid, anatomically convincing figures set in a clear, controlled space lit by a consistent fall of light, Masaccio decisively broke with the medieval conception of a picture as a world governed by different and arbitrary physical laws. Instead, he embraced the concept of a painting as a window behind which a continuation of the real world is to be found, with thesame laws of space, light, form, and

perspective that obtain in reality. This concept was to remain the basic idiom of Western painting for the next 450 years. The Trinity. The Trinity, a fresco in the Church of Santa Maria Novella, also embodies important contemporary influences. Painted about 1427, it was probably Masaccio's last work in Florence. It represents the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) set in a barrelvaulted hall before which kneel two donors. The deep coffered vault is depicted using anearly perfect one-point system of linear perspective, in which all the orthogonals recede to a central vanishing point.This way of depicting space may have been invented in Florence about 1410 by the architect Filippo Brunelleschi. Masaccio's Trinity is the first extant example of the systematic use of one-point perspective in a painting. One-point perspective fixes the spectator's viewpoint and determines his relation with the painted space. The architectural setting of The Trinity is derived from contemporary buildings by Brunelleschi which, in turn, were much influenced by classical Roman structures. Masaccio and Brunelleschi shared a common artistic vision that was rational, human-scaled and human-centred, and inspired by the ancient world. Influence. Documentation suggests that Masaccio left Florence for Rome, where he died about 1428. His career was lamentably short, lasting only about six years. He left neither a workshopnor any pupils to carry on his style, but his paintings, though few in number and done for patrons and locations of only middling rank, made an immediate impact on Florence, influencing an entire generation of important artists. Masaccio's weighty, dignified treatment of the human figure and his clear and orderly depiction of space, atmosphere, and light renewed the idiom of the early 14th-century Florentine painter Giotto, whose monumental art had been weakened by the succeeding generations of painters. Masaccio carried Giotto's more realistic style to its logical conclusion by utilizing contemporary advances in anatomy, chiaroscuro, and perspective. The major Florentinepainters of the mid-15th centuryFilippo Lippi, Fra Angelico, Andrea del Castagno, and Piero della Francescawere all inspired by the rationality, realism, and humanity of Masaccio's art. But his greatest impact came only 75 years after his death, when his monumental figures and sculptural use of light were newly and more fully appreciated by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael, the chief painters of the High Renaissance. Some of Michelangelo's earliest drawings, for example, are studies of figures in The Tribute Money, and through his works and those of other painters, Masaccio's art influenced the entire subsequent course of Western painting. Bruce Cole

Crucifixion c. 1426 Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples

The Madonna and Child with Saint Anne 1424

Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

San Giovenale Triptych 1422 San Pietro, Cascia di Reggello (Florence)

Madonna with Child and Angels 1426

National Gallery, London

St Jerome and St John the Baptist 1428 National Gallery, London

Profile Portrait of a Young Man 1425 National Gallery of Art, Washington

St Paul 1426 Museo Nazionale, Pisa

Plate of Nativity (Berlin Tondo) 1427-28 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Putto and a Small Dog (back side of the Berlin Tondo) 1427-28 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Medallion 1426-27 Fresco Cappella Brancacci, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence

Masolino da Panicale

Masolino da Panicale

(b Panicale, Umbria, 1383; d after 1435). Italian painter, florentine school. He is one of the pivotal figures of Florentine painting. Not only does his career span the two decades during which the basis of Renaissance painting was forged, but for a time he collaborated with its protagonist, MASACCIO, most notably in a cycle of frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel in S Maria del Carmine, Florence, a landmark in the history of European art. Paradoxically, his collaboration with Masaccio has obscured his own achievement. Vasari originated the idea that Masolino was the teacher of Masaccio, and he also attributed a number of Masolinos works to an early phase of Masaccios. Not until the 20th century was the work of the two artists convincingly distinguished. Masolinos most extensive independent fresco cycle in the Lombard town of Castiglione Olona (a work unknown to Vasari) was recovered in 1843, and a century later the fresco fragments and the sinopie of another, documented cycle were discovered in the church of S Stefano, Empoli. These have thrown further light on a career that remains enigmatic and subject to a variety of interpretations.

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Masolino da Panicale

born 1383, Panicale, near Perugia, Romagna died , probably 144047, Florence

original name Tommaso Di Cristoforo Fini painter who achieved a compromise between the International Gothic manner and the advanced early Renaissance style of his own day and who owes his prominence in the history of Florentine art not to his innovations but to his lyrical style and his unfailing artistry. Masolino came from the same district of Tuscany as his younger contemporary Masaccio (q.v.), with whom his career was closely linked. Trained in a Florentine studio, possibly that of Gherardo Starnina, he appears before 1407 to have been a member of the workshop of Lorenzo Ghiberti. His earliest works include the Madonna of Humility (Alte Pinakothek, Munich), probably painted c. 1424, and a Virgin and Child (Kunsthalle, Bremen), dated 1423. In 1424 he received payment for frescoes in S. Stefano at Empoli (in large part destroyed). The first known work to display the fundamental antithesis between the decorative late Gothic style of Masolino and themore progressive early Renaissance style of Masaccio is a Virgin and Child with St. Anne (c. 1420; Uffizi, Florence). It is thought that this work may be the result of a collaboration of the two artists. The influence on Masolino of the stronger and more decisive personality of Masaccio reached its climax in the frescoes of scenes from the life of St. Peter in the Brancacci Chapel in the Church of the Carmine in Florence. There have been many opinions about the respective shares of the two artistsin this important cycle. It is likely that the frescoes were commissioned from Masolino about 1425 and that at this time he painted some lost scenes in the upper register of thechapel walls. Thereafter he worked in Hungary, from which he returned in 1427 to undertake, jointly with Masaccio, theremaining frescoes in the chapel. By this time the balance of emphasis within the studio had shifted toward Masaccio, and Masolino was responsible for only one fresco, that of St.Peter Preaching, on the altar wall, and three scenes on the right wall, the Fall of Adam and Eve, the Healing of the Lame Man, and the Raising of Tabitha, where the perspective scheme seems to have been worked out and in part realized by Masaccio. Work on the Brancacci frescoes was abandoned in 1428, and probably at this time Masolino received the commission for afresco cycle in the Chapel of St. Catherine in S. Clemente in Rome and possibly executed his double-sided triptych for Sta. Maria Maggiore in Rome. The two central panels of this altarpiece, representing the foundation of Sta. Maria Maggiore and the Assumption of the Virgin (Museo e GallerieNazionali di Capodimonte, Naples), are among Masolino's most distinguished panel paintings. The death of Masaccio in Rome in the autumn of 1428 marks a turning point in Masolino's career, and the story of his later development is that of a progressive return to the International Gothic idiom of his youth. This is evident initially in the S. Clemente frescoes (where the space construction is once more decorative and systematized) and subsequently in a frescoed Virgin and Child in S. Fortunato at Todi (1432) andin fresco cycles in the Baptistery (completed 1435) and Collegiata at Castiglione Olona. The extensive panoramas inthe backgrounds of the Crucifixion on the altar wall in S. Clemente and the Baptism of Christ at Castiglione Olona are milestones in the history of landscape painting. With their light tonality and elegant,

rhythmical figures, the scenes by Masolino in the Baptistery and Collegiata form two of the most fascinating fresco cycles of the 15th century.

The Annunciation 1425-30 National Gallery of Art, Washington

Madonna with the Child Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Crucifixion 1428-30 Fresco San Clemente, Rome

The Philosophers of Alexandria 1428-30 Fresco San Clemente, Rome

The Martyrdom of St Catherine 1428-30

Fresco San Clemente, Rome

Memling Hans

Memling Hans
(b Seligenstadt, 143040; d Bruges, 11 Aug 1494). South Netherlandish painter of German origin. Together with Dieric Bouts I and Hugo van der Goes, he was one of the most important exponents of the new artistic developments that flourished in the southern Netherlands in the 15th century in the wake of Jan van Eyck, the Master of Flmalle and Rogier van der Weyden. Their principal innovation was to apply optic realism to devotional or mystical subjects. Although Memling lived in the turbulent period of transition from the Burgundian ruling house to that of the Habsburgs, little of this is evident in his work. His commissions were almost exclusively from rich burghers in Bruges (bankers, merchants and politicians) or churchmen and the occasional aristocrat. Often they were foreigners, especially Italians, who had political or financial connections with the town, whose central economic position was to last only a few decades longer. They had Memling paint their portraits, bust or full length, in devotional paintings or on altarpieces for their chapel in Bruges or back home. He seems not to have received official commissions (from the town council or court). An exceptional proportion of this oeuvre has survived. Besides about 20 altarpieces, often in several panels and of considerable size, there are about 15 individual paintings of the Virgin and Child, for which the side panels with figures or donor portraits are missing, another 20 paintings depicting saints or various themes from the Gospels and more than 30 portraits (some in the form of a diptych with a Virgin and Child ).

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Memling Hans
born c. 1430/35, Seligenstadt, near Frankfurt am Main died August 11, 1494, Bruges

Memling also spelled Memlinc leading Flemish painter of the Bruges school during the period of the city's political and commercial decline. The number of his imitators and followers testified to his popularity throughout Flanders. His last commission, which has been widely copied, is a Crucifixion panel from the Passion Triptych (1491). Memling, born in the region of the Middle Rhine, was apparently first schooled in the art of Cologne and then travelled to the Netherlands (c. 145560), where he probably trained in the workshop of the painter Rogier van der Weyden. He settled in Bruges (Brugge) in 1465; there he established a large shop and executed numerous altarpieces and portraits. Indeed, he was very successful in Bruges: it is known that he owned a large stone house and by 1480 was listed among the wealthiest citizens on the city tax accounts. Sometime between 1470 and 1480 Memling married Anna de Valkenaere (died 1487), who bore him three children. A number of Memling's works are signed and dated, and stillothers allow art historians to place them easily into a chronology on the basis of the patron depicted in them. Otherwise it is very difficult to discern an early, middle, and late style for the artist. His compositions and types, once established, were repeated again and again with few indications of any formal development. His Madonnas gradually become slenderer and more ethereal and self-conscious, and a greater use of Italian motifs such as putti, garlands, and sculptural detail for the settings marks the later works. His portraits, too, appear to develop from a type with a simple neutral background to those enhanced with a loggia or window view of a landscape, but these, too, may have been less a stylistic development than an adaptation of his compositions to suit the tastes of his patrons. A good example of the difficulties of dating encountered by scholars is the triptych of The Virgin and Child with Saints and Donors that Memling executed for Sir John Donne (National Gallery, London), which until recently had been dated very earlyaround 1468because it was believed that the patron commissioned the work while visiting Bruges for the wedding of Charles the Bold (duke of Burgundy) to Margaret of York and that he died the following year (1469) inthe Battle of Edgecote. It is now known that Sir John lived until 1503 and that it is probably his daughter Anne (born 1470 or later) who is portrayed as the young girl kneeling with her parents in the central panel, thus indicating that the painting was commissioned about

1475. Memling's art clearly reveals the influence of contemporaryFlemish painters. He borrowed, for example, from the compositions of Jan van Eyck, the famed founder of the Bruges school. The influence of Dirck Bouts and Hugo van der Goes can also be discerned in his worksfor example, in a number of eye-catching details such as glistening mirrors, tile floors, canopied beds, exotic hangings, and brocaded robes. Above all, Memling's art reveals a thorough knowledge of, and dependence on, compositions and figure types created by Rogier van der Weyden. In Memling's largetriptych (a painting in three panels, generally hinged together) of the Adoration of the Magi (Prado, Madrid), one of his earliest works, and in the altarpiece of 1479 for Jan Floreins (Memling-Museum, Brugge), the influence of Rogier's last masterpiece, the Columba Altarpiece (146064; Alte Pinakothek, Munich), is especially noticeable.Some scholars believe that Memling himself may have had a hand in the production of this late work while still in Rogier's studio. He also imitated Rogier's compositions in numerous representations of the half-length Madonna with the Child, often including a pendant with the donor's portrait (the Madonna and Martin van Nieuwenhove; MemlingMuseum, Brugge). Many devotional diptychs (two-panel paintings) such as this were painted in 15th-century Flanders. They consist of a portrait of the donoror patronin one panel, reverently gazing at the Madonna and Child in the other. Such paintings were for the donor's personal use in his home or travels. Most of Memling's patrons were those associated with religious houses, such as the Hospital of St. John in Bruges, and wealthy businessmen, including burghers of Bruges and foreign representatives of the Florentine Medicis and the Hanseatic League (an association of German merchants dealing abroad). For Tommaso Portinari, a Medici agent, and his wife, Memling painted portraits (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City) and an unusual altarpiece that depicts more than 22 scenes from the Passion of Christ scattered in miniature in a panoramic landscape encompassing a view of Jerusalem (Galleria Sabauda, Turin). Such an altarpiece, perhaps created for new devotional practices, became very popular at the end of the 15th century. His best known work with extensive narration is the sumptuous Shrine of St. Ursula in the Hospital of St. John. It was commissioned by twonuns, Jacosa van Dudzeele and Anna van den Moortele, who are portrayed at one end of the composition kneeling before Mary. This reliquary, completed in 1489, is in the form of a diminutive chapel with six painted panels filling the areas along the sides where stained glass would ordinarily be placed. The narrative, which is the story of Ursula and her 11,000 virgins and their trip from Cologne to Rome and back, unfolds with charm and colourful detail but with little drama or emotion. Other patrons of the same hospital commissioned Memling to paint a large altarpiece of St. John with the mystical marriage of St. Catherine to Christ as the central theme (Memling-Museum, Brugge). Elaborate narratives appear behind the patron saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist painted on the side panels, while the central piece is an impressive elaboration of the enthroned Madonna between angels and saints (including Catherine) that one finds in innumerable other devotional pieces attributed to Memling. Because Memling's work was so strongly influenced by thatof other painters, it often has been harshly dealt with by 20th-century critics. Yet in his own lifetime he was acclaimed. Recording his death, the notary of Bruges described him as the most skillful painter in the whole of Christendom. James E. Snyder

The Presentation in the Temple 1463 National Gallery of Art, Washington

Virgin and Child Enthroned with two Musical Angels 1465-67 Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City

Virgin and Child in a Landscape Collection Rotschild, Paris

Triptych of Jan Crabbe 1467-70 Museo Civico, Vicenza

Annunciation 1467-70 Groeninge Museum, Bruges

Triptych c. 1470 Museo del Prado, Madrid

Wings of a Triptych c. 1470 Museo del Prado, Madrid

Adoration of the Magi c. 1470 Museo del Prado, Madrid

Tommaso Portinari and his Wife c. 1470 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Rogier van der Weyden

van der Weyden

South Netherlandish family of painters. Active in both Tournai and Brussels, Rogier van der Weyden was one of the most renowned painters of the 15th century, though his reputation declined after the loss of important works in the 17th century and is only now being reinstated. He was probably trained by the Master of Flemalle and he also clearly knew the work of Jan van Eyck; his interests differed from theirs, however, and he became increasingly concerned with developing the emotional impact of his religious paintings. He was also an innovative and influential portrait painter. Rogier apparently established a large workshop and had many imitators, but none achieved the subtlety and expressive power of his paintings. His son Pieter van der Weyden is usually identified with the anonymous MASTER OF THE LEGEND OF ST CATHERINE, a painter active in Brussels c. 14701500. Pieters son Goswijn van der Weyden presumably trained with his father and grew up in Brussels in an artistic circle deeply imbued with the stylistic influence of his famous grandfather.

Rogier van der Weyden


(b Tournai, c. 1399; d Brussels, 18 June 1464). Rogier van der Weyden was the son of Henri de le Pasture, a cutler in Tournai, and Agns de Watreloz. His birthdate is estimated from the facts that he was stated to be 35 in April 1435 and 43 in September 1441. Before or in 1427 he married Elisabeth Goffaert (c. 140577), whose father was a prosperous shoemaker in Brussels. Rogier may have lived for a time in Brussels: his eldest child Cornelis (b 1427) was sometimes referred to as de Bruxella but was not necessarily a native of Brussels. On 5 March 1427 Rogelet de le Pasture, natif de Tournai was apprenticed to the Tournai painter Robert Campin. This Rogelet duly completed his apprenticeship in 1431 and on 1 August 1432 became a master of the Tournai guild. Despite much debate, it would appear that Rogelet was Rogier van der Weyden, though it has also been argued that in 1427 Rogier was a married man well past the normal age of apprenticeship and that Rogelet must have been a second Tournai painter of the same name. JACQUES DARET, however, was in his twenties when in 1428 he was apprenticed to Campin, and other instances can be cited of married apprentices. The political situation at Tournai in 14278 was unusual, and the guild system was not functioning normally. Van der Weyden maintained connections with Tournai and the Tournai guild of painters, which in 1464 held a funeral service in his honour. It would seem that Rogier and Rogelet were indeed the same person.

Rogier van der Weyden


born 1399/1400, Tournai, Fr. died June 18, 1464, Brussels

French Rogier De La Pasture Flemish painter who, with the possible exception of Jan van Eyck, was the most influential northern European artist of his time. Though most of his work was religious, he produced secular paintings (now lost) and some sensitive portraits. Rogier was the son of a master cutler,and his childhood must have been spent in the comfortable surroundings of the rising class of merchants and craftsmen. He may even have acquired a university education, for in 1426 he was honouredby the city as Maistre (Master) Rogier de la Pasture and began his painting career only the next year at the rather advanced age of 27. It was then, on March 5, 1427, that Rogier enrolled as an apprentice in the workshop of Robert Campin, the foremost painter in Tournai and dean of the painters' guild. Rogier remained in Campin's atelier for five years, becoming an independent master of the guild on Aug. 1, 1432. From Campin, Rogier learned the ponderous, detailed realism that characterizes his earliest paintings, and so alike, in fact, are the styles of these two masters that connoisseurs still do not agree on the attribution of certain works. But the theory that the entire sequence of paintings credited to Campin (who, like Rogier, did not sign his panels) are actually from the brush of the young Rogier cannot be maintained. Careful study of secure works by Rogier and by his colleague in Campin's workshop, Jacques Daret, permit scholars to reestablish a basic series of works by the older master and to distinguish the style of these from that of Rogier. Campin was not the only source of inspiration in Rogier's art. Jan van Eyck, the great painter from Bruges, also profoundly affected the developing artist, introducing elegance and subtle visual refinements into the bolder, Campinesque components of such early paintings by Rogier as St. Luke Painting the Virgin. Although as an apprentice Rogier must certainly have met Jan van Eyck when the latter visited Tournai in 1427, it was more likely in Bruges, where Rogier may have resided between 1432 and 1435, that he became thoroughly acquainted with van Eyck's style. By 1435, Rogier, now a mature master, settled in Brussels, the native city of his wife, Elizabeth Goffaert, whom he had married in 1426. The next year he was appointed city painter; and it was from this time that he began to use the Flemish translation of his name (van der Weyden). Rogierremained in Brussels the rest of his life, although he never completely severed his ties with Tournai. He was commissioned to paint a mural (now destroyed) for the town hall of Brussels showing famous historical examples of the administration of justice. During this same period, around 143540, he completed the celebrated panel of the Descentfrom the Cross (see ) for the chapel of the Archers' Guild of Louvain. In this deposition there is evident a tendency to reduce the setting of a scene to a shallow, shrinelike enclosure and to orchestrate a rich diversity of emotions. These devotional qualities are even more striking in Rogier's works of the 1440s such as the twin Granada-Miraflores altarpieces and the Last Judgment Polyptych in Beaune, Fr. (Htel-Dieu). In these the settings are stark, the figures are delicate Gothic types, and the action, though stilled, is exquisitely expressive. The removalof Rogier's art from concern with outward appearances and his return to medieval conventions is surprising; for it was during this decade that

Rogier's international reputation was secured and commissions increased from noblemen such as Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, and his powerful chancellor, Nicolas Rolin. Rogier may well have also been influenced by the writings of Thomas Kempis, the most popular theologian of the era, whose practical mysticism, like Rogier's painting, stressed empathetic response to episodes from the lives of Mary, Christ, and the saints. Perhaps as an extension of a journey to install the Last Judgment Altarpiece in Rolin's chapel at Beaune or possibly to obtain a plenary indulgence for his daughter Margaret, oneof Rogier's four children, who had died that year, the renowned painter visited Rome during the Jubilee of 1450. He was warmly received in Italy. Praise from the Humanist Bartolomeo Fazio and the eminent theologian Nicholas of Cusa is recorded; Rogier also received commissions from the powerful Este family of Ferrara and the Medici of Florence. He painted a portrait of Francesco d'Este (originallythought to be Leonello d'Este), and his painting of the Madonna and Child that still remains in Florence (Uffizi) bears the arms and patron saints of the Medici. While on his pilgrimage, Rogier apparently tutored Italian masters in painting with oils, a technique in which Flemish painters of the time were particularly adept. He also seems to have learned a great deal from what he viewed. Although he was primarily attracted to the conservative painters Gentile da Fabriano and Fra Angelico, whose medievalizing styles paralleled his own, Rogier was also acquainted with more progressive trends. In the St. John Altarpiece and the Seven Sacraments Triptych, executed between 1451 and 1455, shortly after Rogier's return north, his characteristic austerity is tempered by his recollection of the more robust Italian styles; and, in both, the panels are unified from a single point of view. Despite this enrichment, however, Rogier's conceptions remained essentially iconic: he pushed the figures into the foreground and isolated them from their surroundings as subjects for devotion. The last 15 years of his life brought Rogier the rewards due an internationally famous painter and exemplary citizen. He received numerous commissions, which he carried out with the assistance of a large workshop that included his own son Peter and his successor as city painter, Vranck van der Stockt, a mediocre imitator. Even before his death, however, Rogier's impact extended far beyond his immediate associates. The influence of his expressive but technically less intricate style eclipsed that of both Campin and van Eyck. Every Flemish painter of the succeeding generationPetrus Christus, Dirck Bouts, Hugo van der Goes, and Hans Memling (who may have studied in Rogier's atelier)depended on his formulations; and, during the 16th century, Rogierian ideas were transformed and revitalized by Quinten Massys and Bernard van Orley. Rogier's art was also a vehicle for transporting the Flemish style throughout Europe, and during the second half of the 15th century his influence dominated painting in France, Germany, and Spain. Nevertheless, the fame of Rogier van der Weyden quicklywaned, and no painting by him had been signed or dated. By the end of the 16th century the biographer Carel van Mander had referred mistakenly to two Rogiers in Het Schilderboek (1603; Book of Painters), and by the middle of the 19th century his fame and art had all but been forgotten. Only through a meticulous evaluation of the documents have scholars over the past century been able to reconstruct Rogier's work and to restore the reputation of one of 15th-century Flanders' leading masters. Herbert Leon Kessler

Annunciation Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

Deposition c. 1435 Museo del Prado, Madrid

St Luke Drawing a Portrait of the Madonna 1435 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

St Luke Drawing a Portrait of the Madonna (detail) 1435 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Annunciation Triptych c. 1440 Musee du Louvre, Paris (central), Galleria Sabauda, Turin (wings)

Annunciation Triptych (central) c. 1440 Musee du Louvre, Paris

Hugo van der Goes

Hugo van der Goes

(b Ghent, c. 1440; d Rode Klooster, nr Brussels, 1482).

South Netherlandish painter. In 1467 he enrolled as master in the Ghent painters guild, sponsored by Joos van Wassenhove, master painter in Ghent in 1464 after registering in Antwerp in 1460. In 1469 the two together acted as guarantors for the illuminator Sanders Bening when he became a master, and it was from Hugo that Joos borrowed money when he went to Rome. Sanders Bening was married to Kathelijn van der Goes, perhaps Hugos sister. Hugos status within the guild is further attested by the fact that he was guarantor for two other painters in 1471 and 1475, that he was one of the deans jurors in 14689 and that he himself served as dean from towards the end of 14734 to at least 18 August 1475. He was employed regularly by the town of Ghent between 1468 and 1474 for the decorative ephemera essential to the pageants of public life.

The Fall 1467-68 Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Mary Triptych c. 1478 Stadelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt

Adoration of the Shepherds c. 1480 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Adoration of the Shepherds (detail) c. 1480 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

The Lamentation of Christ 1467-68 Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Portrait of a Donor with St John the Baptist 1478-80 Walters Art Museum, Baltimore

Portrait of a Man c. 1475 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Deposition Diptych (Small Deposition, left wing) c. 1480

Deposition Diptych (Small Deposition, right wing) c. 1480 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Gerard David

Gerard David
(b Oudewater, nr Gouda, c. 1460; d Bruges, 13 Aug 1523). Netherlandish painter. He is known as the last of the Flemish Primitives. Although born in the northern Netherlands, he moved to Bruges as a young man, and most of his work expresses the impassive, unmannered, microscopically realistic approach peculiar to south Netherlandish art in the time of Jan van Eyck. David was skilled at synthesizing the art of several important south Netherlandish predecessors, adapting, for instance, the compositions of van Eyck and the technique of Hugo van der Goes. He was also influenced by Hans Memling, whose example led him to refine and polish his cruder northern Netherlandish style and to adopt the popular theme of the Virgin and Child enthroned.

Adoration of the Magi Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Adoration of the Magi c. 1500 Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

The Judgment of Cambyses (left panel) 1498 Groeninge Museum, Bruges

The Judgment of Cambyses (right panel) 1498 Groeninge Museum, Bruges

Christ Nailed to the Cross c. 1480 National Gallery, London

Deposition National Gallery, London

Antonello da Messina

Antonello da Messina
(b Messina, c. 1430; d Messina, between 14 and 25 Feb 1479). Italian painter. Southern Italian school. He was the greatest Sicilian artist of the 15th century and the only one to achieve international renown. His work combines Italianate concerns for form, structure and measured space with a south Netherlandish interest in the detailed depiction of surface and texture. Antonello is traditionally credited with the introduction into Italian art of the systematic use of oil glazing, developed in northern Europe by Jan van Eyck. His visit to Venice in 14756 enabled the technique to be disseminated there, and this had a crucial effect on the art of Giovanni Bellini and on late 15th-century Venetian painting in general. Antonello painted fashionable portraits as well as religious works, and his reputation among contemporaries must have been largely based on his skills in this field: he was instrumental in establishing a new, vital type of portraiture in Italy, again based on south Netherlandish models. He also played an important role in the development of the Venetian Renaissance altarpiece. Antonello established a workshop in Messina, in which his son JACOBELLO DANTONIO and his nephews Antonio and Pietro DE SALIBA and SALVO DANTONIO participated. In the work of these Antonelleschi, the provincial inheritance of his art can be seen.

Christ at the Column (detail) c. 1475-1479 Musee du Louvre, Paris

Crucifixion 1475 Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

San Cassiano Altar 1475-76 Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Portrait of a Man (Il Condottiere) 1475 Musee du Louvre, Paris

Crucifixion 1475 National Gallery, London

The Dead Christ Supported by an Angel 1475-78 Museo del Prado, Madrid

Piero della Francesca

Piero della Francesca


(b Borgo San Sepolcro [now Sansepolcro], c. 1415; bur Borgo San Sepolcro, 12 Oct 1492). Italian painter and theorist. His work is the embodiment of rational, calm, monumental painting in the Italian Early Renaissance, an age in which art and science were indissolubly linked through the writings of Leon Battista Alberti. Born two generations before Leonardo da Vinci, Piero was similarly interested in the scientific application of the recently discovered rules of perspective to narrative or devotional painting, especially in fresco, of which he was an imaginative master; and although he was less universally creative than Leonardo and worked in an earlier idiom, he was equally keen to experiment with painting technique. Piero was as adept at resolving problems in Euclid, whose modern rediscovery is largely due to him, as he was at creating serene, memorable figures, whose gestures are as telling and spare as those in the frescoes of Giotto or Masaccio. His tactile, gravely convincing figures are also indebted to the sculpture of Donatello, an equally attentive observer of Classical antiquity. In his best works, such as the frescoes in the Bacci Chapel in S Francesco, Arezzo, there is an ideal balance between his serene, classical compositions and the figures that inhabit them, the whole depicted in a distinctive and economical language. In his autograph works Piero was a perfectionist, creating precise, logical and light-filled images (although analysis of their perspective schemes shows that these were always subordinated to narrative effect). However, he often delegated important passages of works (e.g. the Arezzo frescoes) to an ordinary, even incompetent, assistant.

Baptism of Christ 1448-50 National Gallery, London

St Jerome and a Donor 1451 Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

The Penance of St. Jerome 1450 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

St. Julian 1455-60 Pinacoteca Comunale, Sansepolcro

Saint Mary Magdalen 1460 Duomo, Arezzo

The Flagellation c. 1455 Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino

Ideal City c. 1470 Galleria Nazionale, Urbino

Nativity c. 1470 National Gallery, London

Pedro Berruguete

Berruguete
Spanish family of artists. The painter Pedro Berruguete may have spent some time in Urbino in Italy in the late 1470s, though documentary evidence regarding this visit is confusing, and some of the Italian works attributed to him are also claimed to be by JUSTUS OF GHENT. His work was influential on painters of the Castilian school until the first quarter of the 16th century. Of Pedros five sons, Alonso Berruguete was a sculptor and painter who spent his early years in Italy. He was the most important Spanish artist of the 16th century.

Pedro Berruguete
(b Paredes de Nava, nr Palencia, c. 1450; d Paredes de Nava, c. 1500). Painter. According to some writers, he was painter to the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand II, King of Aragon, and Isabella, Queen of Castile, and to Philip the Fair (later Philip I, King of Castile, reg 1506) before his wife, Joanna the Mad, became Queen of Castile in 1504. Between 1470 and 1475 Berruguete executed the altarpiece of St Helen (Paredes de Nava, S Juan), which demonstrates his mastery of oil-painting techniques. A document of 1477, cited by Luigi Pungileoni in 1822 but no longer traceable, records the presence in Urbino of a Pietro Spagnuolo pittore, who could be Berruguete. Thought to have been in Urbino from 1475 to 1478, he may have assisted the Flemish painter Justus of Ghent in the execution of a number of works for Federigo da Montefeltro, including those for the decoration of his library and studiolo in the Palazzo Ducale in Urbino. It has been suggested that Berruguetes participation in this work was due to the influence of one of his relatives, a Dominican friar in Florence. He may, alternatively, have gone to Italy specifically to join Justus of Ghents team. Paintings sometimes attributed to Berruguete in Urbino include

some of the 28 works forming the series of Portraits of Famous Men(Urbino, Pal. Ducale; Paris, Louvre) for the studiolo, Federigo da Montefeltro, his Son Guidobaldo and Others Listening to a Discourse (London, Hampton Court, Royal Col.) and Federigo da Montefeltro and the Order of the Garter (Urbino, Pal. Ducale). In addition, the series of works depicting the Liberal Arts (Berlin, Kaiser-Friedrich Mus., destr.; London, N.G.) are sometimes attributed to him. Also while in Italy he is thought to have painted theDead Christ with Angels (Milan, Brera) and St Sebastian (Urbino, Pal. Ducale) and to have worked on Piero della Francescas Brera Altarpiece (Virgin and Child; mid-1470s; Milan, Brera), painting the hands of Federigo and perhaps his helmet.

Self-portrait Museo Lazaro Galdiano, Madrid

Virgin and Child Museo del Prado, Madrid

Holy Family 1500

Annunciation Monastery of Miraflores, Burgos

Master of the Westminster Altar Master of the Psalter of Robert de Lisle Master of Cologne Workshop Master of St. Veronica

See also collection:

Sassetta Jaume Huguet Nicolas Froment

Master of the Westminster Altar Westminster Altar, c. 1270-1290 Westminster Abbey, London

Master of the Psalter of Robert de Lisle Crucifuxion, before 1339(Psalter of Robert de Liste)

Master of St. Veronica


Active: about 1395 - about 1415 Painter, Illuminator

A painter known as the Master of Saint Veronica worked in the International style in Germany between 1395 and 1415. Known primarily for his work in panel painting, his name derives from a painting of Saint Veronica in Munich. Brilliant colors, sweet and tender facial expressions, courtly costumes, and subtle modeling were key elements of the Master's style. He was one of the most important painters in Cologne, Germany, a major artistic and ecclesiastical center during the Middle Ages.

Master of St. Veronica The Crucifixion

Master of Cologne Workshop The Baptism of Constantine c. 1335 Hohe Domkirche St Petrus und Maria, Cologne

Master of St. Veronica Saint Anthony Abbot Blessing the Animals, the Poor, and the Sick

Master of St. Veronica Calvary Hill c. 1415 Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne

Master of St. Veronica The Man of Sorrow with the Virgin and St Catherine 1400-20 Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

Master of St. Veronica Triptych (open) c. 1410 Heinz Kisters Collection, Kreuzlingen

Master of St. Veronica Triptych (open) c. 1410 Heinz Kisters Collection, Kreuzlingen

Master of St. Veronica Triptych(closed) c. 1410 Heinz Kisters Collection, Kreuzlingen

Master of St. Veronica Triptych 1400-15 Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne

Master of St. Veronica St. Veronica with the Holy Kerchief c. 1420 Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Gothic Era

Gothic Art Map

Sassetta

Sassetta
Stefano di Giovanni di Consolo

(b Siena or Cortona, c. 1400; d Siena, 1 April 1450). Italian painter and illuminator, sienese school. He was the most original painter in Siena in the 15th century. Working within the Sienese tradition, he introduced elements derived from the decorative Gothic style and the realism of such contemporary Florentine innovators as Masaccio. Most of his surviving works are panel pictures, notably those from the altarpiece painted for S Francesco, Borgo San Sepolcro.

St Jerome 1423 Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena

The Meeting of St. Anthony and St. Paul about 1440 National Gallery of Art, Washington

Death of the Heretic on the Bonfire 1423 National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

The Last Supper 1423 Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena

Miracle of the Eucharisty 1423 Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

St Thomas Inspired by the Dove of the Holy Ghost 1423 Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

St Thomas Before the Cross 1423

Pinacoteca, Vatican

Jaume Huguet

Jaume Huguet
(b Valls, c. 1415; d Barcelona, before 4 May 1492). Spanish painter. He is thought to have spent time in Saragossa in his youth (c. 143545), and he subsequently worked in Tarragona before establishing himself in Barcelona in 1448. He must, however, have had contact with painting from Barcelona before he moved there, because the centre panel of an early retable dedicated to the Virgin (Barcelona, Mus. A. Catalunya) from Vallmoll, near Tarragona, shows his awareness of the style of Bernat Martorell in the profiles of the two foreground angels, and of Llus Dalmaus Virgin of the Councillors (Barcelona, Mus. A. Catalunya) in the illusionistic painting of the Virgins jewel-trimmed garments. In other early works, such as the Annunciation and Crucifixion from a small retable (Vic, Mus. Episc.), Huguet demonstrated an interest in atmospheric perspective, but he abandoned this in his later works.

Epiphany Museu d'Historia de la Ciutat, Barcelona

The Consacration of St Augustine 1466-75 Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona

The Flagellation of Christ 1450s Musee du Louvre, Paris

The Lamentation of Christ Musee du Louvre, Paris

Gothic Era

Gothic Art Map

Nicolas Froment

Nicolas Froment
( fl c. 1460; d before 23 Dec 1484). French painter and draughtsman. Although first mentioned in Uzes (Languedoc) in 1465, he probably originated from Artois or Picardy, where he acquired his early training, subsequently working in the southern Netherlands. His first documented work, signed and dated 18 May 1461, is a triptych of the Raising of Lazarus (Florence, Uffizi). Executed on oak panels, it is distinctive for its grimacing, gesticulating figures and intense realism (e.g. the prominent fly on the tablecloth). It is painted in a style largely dependent on Rogier van der Weyden and Dieric Bouts, but also on the illuminator Loyset Liedet and other artists at the court of Burgundy whose work was of a graphic nature. The figure at the far left in the central panel may be a self-portrait of Froment. The altarpiece was commissioned by Francesco Coppini, Bishop of Terni and Papal Legate, who is depicted on the exterior of the wings praying to the Virgin. The prelate, who was recorded in the southern Netherlands in 145962, probably ordered the triptych as a political gift for Cosimo de Medici. The latter, in turn, presented the work in 14623 to the Franciscan convent of Bosco ai Frati, Mugello. To Froments period in the southern Netherlands have also been ascribed, in collaboration with Jacques Daret of Tournai, cartoons for tapestries produced in 1460 for Guillaume de Hellande, Bishop of Beauvais (Beauvais Cathedral; Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.; Paris, Mus. Cluny). Attributable to Froment and in a related style are a Mourning Virgin, a fragment on oak of a larger panel (USA, priv. col.), and a drawing with the upper part of a Transfiguration (Berlin, Kupferstichkab.).

The Burning Bush 1476 Cathedrale Saint Sauveur, Aix-en-Provence

The Burning Bush (detail) 1476 Cathedrale Saint Sauveur, Aix-en-Provence

Triptych 1461 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Triptych The Raising of Lazarus 1461 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Matheron Diptych 1474

Musee du Louvre, Paris

Triptychon vom Brennenden Dornbusch linker und rechter Flgel, Szenen: Portrat des Konig Rene von Anjou und seiner Gemahlin Jeanne de Laval 1475-1476

Master of the Paradise Garden

See Collection:

Paul, Jean & Herman Limburg


("Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry")

See also collection:

Robert Campin Konrad Witz Gherardo di Jacopo Starnina

The discovery of nature and landscape


Making an increasing appearance in the North towards the end of the 14th century are backgrounds of plants and flowers, which soon after 1400 reach an at times breath-taking magnificence. The Master of

the Paradise Garden renders each different species in loving detail. But whereas he presents the plants one by one as if in a botanical textbook, the van Eyck brothers weave them, barely twenty years
later, into an organic whole. Grasses no longer stand out palely against a dark ground, as if on a carpet. Here, at least in places, we sense the rampant, untamed growth of nature, following no human rules. The development of the portrayal of whole landscapes progressed with similar speed. While Giotto observed people and buildings with great care, the rugged, rocky hillsides of his outdoor settings remain for the most part a backdrop of secondary importance. Although he attempts to differentiate trees and plants by species, they remain something of an abbreviated representation of the riches of nature. At the hands of Simone Martini just one generation later, what was simply a foil becomes luxuriant green gardens within which (and not in front of which) the figures act out their parts. In the frescos in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, panoramas are no longer accessories, but the true protagonists. For all their stylization, they portray familiar real-life landscapes, albeit recognizable more from their architecture and embellishing details than from their barren sugar-loaf hill. WhenAmbrogio

Lorenzetti (c. 1290um 1348) painted the Effects of Good Government in the same building, also well
before the middle of the 14th century, he too chose a realistic landscape over a symbolic or allegorical setting. In a broad panorama, he shows the Tuscan hills with their fields, hedges, olive trees and vineyards. In the north, it would be over fifty years before the three brothers Paul, Jean and Herman

Limburg (active c. 1400 1415) would produce landscapes painted with the same loving attention to
detail, but often much more fantastical in character. As in the Siena frescos, the identifiable buildings within them serve specifically to reflect glory upon the patron of the work of art concerned. Thus in Siena they proclaimed the success and sphere of influence of the city, while in the Tres Riches Heures they reflected the magnificence of the properties owned by the Due de Berry, for whom the manuscript was executed. Fantastical, too, are the landscapes of Melchior Broederlam in Dijon, which usher in Early Netherlandish painting. Their architecture and rugged cliffs employ formulae which had been developed in Tuscany almost a century earlier, and which had then travelled north, for example via Klosterneuburg and Hohenfurth. Although theNativity by Robert Campin (c. 1375/80-1444), also executed for Dijon towards 1430, still employs a snaking track to draw the eye into the background, its route is now bordered by set pieces from the 15th-century viewer's world. Pollarded willows, wicker fencing, fields and contemporary buildings lead towards a distant lake. The rocky outcrop blocking the view has moved to a less obtrusive position above the stable, and appears at least a little more realistic with its patches of turf between bands of rock. At the same time, the landscape is no longer seen entirely from above, but is presented in a more accurate relationship to the figures in the foreground. A good decade would pass before Konrad Witz (c. 1400 1445) painted, in 1444, a recognizable landscape which no longer relied upon cities and castles for its identification. The following years subsequently saw the give and take relationship between South and North reversed. The stylized landscapes of the North, far removed from realism in the modern sense, were enriched by such a carefullyobserved wealth of natural detail that even Raphael was unable to resist their charms.

Master of the Paradise Garden

Master of the Paradise Garden Garden of Paradise c. 1410 Stadelsches Kunstinstitut und Stadtische Galerie, Frankfurt am Main

Upper Rhenish Master: The Little Garden of Paradise, c. 1410

"A garden inclosed is my spouse"

The painting, measuring 26.3 x 33.4cm, is approximately the size of our reproduction. The work dates from c. 1410, and is now in the Stadel, Frankfurt. It shows a detail of a past world: the sequestered corner of a garden within a castle walls. The sole function of castles at that time was to provide protection. Conflicts between nobles were far less likely to be resolved by the emperor or his courts than by attack and defence. Fighting was a part of life at every level of society. The wall in the picture shields the peaceful garden scene from a violent world. The scene is also secluded from the confusion and discomforts of everyday life: excrement on the roads, stray dogs and pigs everywhere, the stench, cramped gloom and cold of the dwellings, the constant presence of sickness and poverty. The garden idyll shows a pictorial antidote to the hardships endured by the people of the time. Gardens designed for pleasure were less common in 1410 than today. The first gardens in northern climes dated from the Roman occupation, but these disappeared with the collapse of the Roman Empire and the subsequent chaos of mass migration. With the spread of monastic life the idea of the garden again crossed the Alps, though the new horticulture was generally motivated by pragmatic rather than aesthetic considerations. Spices and medicinal herbs were grown in the cloister quadrangle, at whose centre stood a well. Part of the quadrangle was often set aside as a burial ground for the monks. Monastic herb gardens soon expanded to include vegetables and fruit. The monasteries spread northward, bringing new agricultural techniques to the rural population and awakening their sympathy for Nature. There is a famous story about Abbot Wa-lahfried, who, from 838, was head of Rei-chenau Abbey on Lake Constance: "When the seeds sprout tender shoots, Walahfried fetches fresh water in a large vessel and carefully waters the tiny shoots from the cupped palm of his hand so that the seeds are not hurt by a sudden gush of water ..." Abbot Walahfried was mainly concerned with questions of labour and harvesting. It was not until 1200 that the garden was reinvented as a place of relaxation and enjoyment. Beauty emerged as a central criterion: the visitor was to spend his time in a pleasurable manner. Albertus Magnus (c. 12001280) of Cologne, a wise and learned father of the church, was a passionate advocate of gardens, and much of his advice relating to their design is found on the present panel. Entitled The Little Garden of Paradise, it was executed some two hundred years later by an unknown Upper Rhenish master. According to the 13th-century sage, a garden should have "a raised sward, decked with pleasant flowers ... suitable for sitting ... and delightful repose". The trees were to stand well apart "for they may otherwise keep out the fresh breeze and thus impair our well-being". A "pleasure garden" should contain "a spring set in stone,... for its purity will be a source of much delectation".

A legend for every saint

The artist has filled the castle garden with holy personages. The largest figure is Mary, wearing her heavenly crown and looking down at a book. She has no throne, but sits on a cushion in front of, and therefore below, the terraced part of the lawn. Contemporary spectators attributed significance to the relative height at which a figure sat. Though Mary was the Queen of Heaven, she was also humble and modest: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord." Contemporaries of the Upper Rhenish master would have had little trouble naming the other women. They would not have identified them by their faces, however, to each of which the artist has lent the same gentle charm: small, very dark eyes, a small mouth with a spot of shadow under the lower lip. Saints and other holy persons could be identified by the objects or activities attributed to them. St. Dorothy, for example, is shown with a basket. According to legend, she was asked on her way to a martyr's death to send flowers and fruits from heaven; she prayed before her execution, and immediately a boy appeared with the divine gift - in a basket. Here, beyond the grave, she picks her cherries herself. A legend was attributed to every saint, so a painting of this kind would have been full of stories to a contemporary spectator. However, some figures may have been more difficult to identify than St. Dorothy. St. Barbara, seen here drawing water from a spring, is shown without her usual attributes: a tower and chalice. Apparently, the artist could not find a place for them in his garden scene. Those who were acquainted with her legend, however, knew that her bones could work miracles, bringing water to dried up rivers and ending droughts. In contrast to the verdant growth of the surrounding garden, the area around the well is dry and stony. A realist might infer that the grass around the well had been trodden down by the many people who came to draw water. However, a pious spectator would recognize the dry ground referred to in the legend, which the saint waters with a chained spoon to make it fertile. The woman holding the medieval string intrument, a psaltery, for the child Jesus is probably St. Catherine of Alexandria. It was said that Mary and Jesus appeared to her in a dream. Touching her finger, Jesus had told her he was wedded to her through faith. On waking, she found a ring on her finger. According to medieval belief St. Catherine was closer to Jesus than any woman but Mary, which explains the position given to her by the artist. Although the gospels make no reference to Jesus making music, medieval art often portrayed him as a musician. An illumination of c. 1300 shows him playing a violin, while an inscription reads: "Manifold joys Lord Jesus brings, to souls he is the sound of strings." Music was a sign of spiritual, or heavenly joy. The artist, unable to depict bliss by facial expression, chose a string instrument as a vehicle instead, a gesture understood by the contemporary spectator.

Red rose and white lily - flowers in praise of Mary Like the string instrument, many details of the Little Garden of Paradise stand for something other than themselves. They are the signs and symbols of a pictorial language with which the majority of people in the Middle Ages were acquainted. Very few people could read at the time; in order to spread the faith, the church therefore needed a language of pictures, or, as we might call it today, a form of non-verbal communication. Even the garden itself was a symbol, not merely the appropriate scene for a congregation of holy persons. Gardens were synonymous with paradise, presumably because of the Old Testament Garden of Eden. The unknown artist emphasizes the paradisial character of the garden by showing flowers in blossom which usually bloom in different seasons. He also avoids any sign of toil, to which Adam and Eve were condemned on their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. A paradisial scene with a wall would be interpreted as a hortus conclusus, an enclosed garden. Walls do not usually have a place in paradise, but this one symbolizes Mary's virginity, underlining the special status of "Our Blessed Lady"; for accord ing to Christian belief Mary conceived without penetration. This pictorial symbol, too, derives from the Old Testament, from an image in the Song of Solomon: "A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse ..." Various superimposed layers of imagery interlace and merge in this painting; their independence is not painstakingly defined in the way we might wish it today. Thus paradise is represented not only by the garden but also by Mary herself: like paradise, where sexuality does not exist, Mary's immaculate conception places her in a permanently paradisial state. In a paean composed by the poet Conrad of Wiirzburg, who died in 1287, Mary is "a living paradise filled with many noble flowers". The table situated in Mary's immediate proximity emphasizes, like the height at which she sits, the Queen of Heaven's modesty, her status as the "handmaid" of God's divine purpose. In practice, the stone-carved hexagonal tables found in many paintings of the time were used for picnics and board-games. Various flowers also characterise the Holy Virgin. In several parts of Germany the primrose seen at the right edge of the painting - is still known as the Himmels-schlussel, or "key to heaven"; for it was Mary who opened Man's door to heaven. The violets are another symbol of modesty, while the white lilies represent the Virgin's purity. The rose was a medieval symbol of the Holy Virgin and, indeed, of virginity in general; the branches with roses have no thorns. The flowers in this garden would make up a veritable bouquet of virtues - gathered, of course, with the female spectators of the painting in mind. These signs, allusions and symbols stand for something which eludes direct representation. Modern man has learned to distinguish clearly and coolly between the thing and the symbol. People 500 years ago saw one within the other: Mary was painted as a humble woman, an enclosed garden and a rose, her purity revered in the whiteness of the lily; thus God's history of salvation revealed itself through Nature. A painting of this kind was more than a theological treatise.

A tree stump stands for sinful humanity How a sinless Madonna could possibly spring from a humanity burdened by original sin and expelled from paradise was a subject which gave rise to much racking of brains. The artist of the Little Garden of Paradise makes a contribution to the debate in the form of a tree stump from which grow two new shoots: which is as much as to say that even an old tree can bring forth new life. To ensure spectators knew the tree stump stood for sinful humanity, the Upper Rhenish master painted a small devil next to it. To contend that devils, dead dragons or pollarded trees do not really belong in paradise would be to grant inappropriate weight to logic. The fact that the three figures near the devil and dragon are male can be ascertained from the colour of their faces, which are darker in hue than those of the women. Apart from colour, however, their faces follow the same pattern as those of the women: men and women have the same eyes, the same mouths, and even the same tapering fingers. Two of the three male figures are easily identified. The one wearing greaves and chain mail is Sir George who liberated a virginal princess from the power of a dragon. Paintings that show George doing battle with the dragon generally make the mythical beast enormous and threatening; here it is shrunk to little more than a trademark. The angel with the headdress and the beautiful wings is Michael. He it was who hurled devils into the abyss, one of whom sits, well-behaved, at his feet: dragons and devils are powerless in paradise. The identity of the standing male figure remains obscure, with no hint of the artist's intention. If we look hard enough, however, we find a black bird just behind his knees. Black is the colour of death. Perhaps the panel was painted in memory of a young man who died. Its small format suggests it was intended for a private dwelling rather than a church. The tree around which the young man's arms are clasped appears to grow from his heart - an ancient symbol of eternal life. On the other hand, it is possible that the young man was St. Oswald. In Oswald's legend a raven acts as a divine messenger, carrying away the pious man's right arm when he falls in battle against the heathens. Yet another story! The spectator of 1410 would have found the picture full of stones combining religious teaching and entertainment. As an act of veneration dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the painting itself became an object of reverence, bringing solace to the faithful. It showed a better world in store for those who left this vale of tears. The artistic quality of the painting, so fascinating to today's museum visitor, was undoubtedly admired at the time. In terms of the panel's significance as a religious work, however, it meant relatively little.

Woodpecker, goldfinch and waxwing

Bliss in the life hereafter was not the only subject of paintings like this. Besides the garden of paradise there were also Gardens of Love, celebrations of worldly happiness. These did not depict sensuality in a crude manner, but harked back to the Arcadia of heathen antiquity, itself closely related to the

idea of paradise. The effect was to show heaven on earth, so to speak. As the subject of religious art, the garden of paradise did not last more than a few decades. By the second half of the 15th century it had practically disappeared: a late blossom, embedded in a medieval language of symbols. The worldly Garden of Love, however, a more readily comprehensible topic, appeared again and again in a variety of different forms. Manet's Dejeuner sur Vherbe is a more recent example. The Garden of Love was a literary topos before it found its way into painting. The most well-known example today is Boccaccio's Decameron, written in Florence some 60 years before the Little Garden of Paradise was painted in the region of the Upper Rhine. The setting of these works is remarkably similar: the young Florentines tell each other stories in a garden "surrounded by walls", in the middle of which is a "lawn of fine grass adorned with a thousand brightly coloured flowers", where water gushes from a little fountain, "gently splashing ... into a wonderfully clear well". Here men and women did not sit apart on their best behaviour, for all who were present "strolled together, weaving the loveliest wreathes of manifold sprigs" and telling each other erotic tales. The French Romance of the Rose predates the Italian Decameron by over a century. It also sings love's joys and complaints, is set in a garden and, like Boccaccio's Decameron, was read widely in Europe by the educated elite of the day. In both books, feelings of happiness are accompanied by birdsong. In the Romance of the Rose we read: "Their song was comparable to that of the angels in heaven." And only three sentences later: "One was inclined to believe it was not birdsong at all but the voices of sea-sirens." Whether angels or sirens, divine messengers, or se-ductresses who were half beast, half human, whether Christian figures or those of antiquity, the example shows the essential ambiguity of all pictorial symbols at the time. Even spectators of a Christian garden of paradise would know that painted birds were there not only to sing God's praises. The birds in the Little Garden of Paradise are rendered accurately. Zoologists have distinguished at least ten different species: great tit, oriole, bullfinch, chaffinch, robin, woodpecker, goldfinch, wax-wing, hoopoe and blue tit. Had he been concerned solely with angelic music, the artist might have painted the birds as schematically as the faces of his saints. But he evidently wished to emphasize their variety, just as he did with the plants. He wanted to show what he saw; he wanted to be exact. The plants testify to this, with some 20 identifiable species. Exact zoological observation betrays an interest in natural science. This was new in a painting of c. 1410. While it is true that birds and flowers were frequently painted with some degree of accuracy, they had rarely been rendered with such a powerful inclination to catalogue empirical data. Medieval painting was usually dominated by religion. While this painting might appear to confirm the rule, it also illustrates a growing awareness of Nature; no longer mere adornment, the distinctive presence of a natural world is felt as strongly here as that of the holy figures. However, it was not until the next century that the first botanic gardens were created in Germany: at Leipzig in 1580, and at Heidelberg in 1597. The discovery and scientific exploration of Nature were first steps on the long road to modernity. The Little Garden of Paradise lends visibility to that phase of intellectual history. However, the beauty of the painting also resides in the harmony, evidently still attainable, between religious and realistic views of the world: two types of experience which did not appear to present the dichotomy felt by Christians in the Western world today.

Gherardo di Jacopo Starnina

Gherardo di Jacopo Starnina


(b Florence, ?c. 1360; d Florence, before Oct 1413). Italian painter, Florentine school. A pupil of Antonio Veneziano, he is first mentioned in 1387 in the records of the Compagnia di S Luca in Florence. Starnina was in Toledo in 1393, possibly with his former master, and in Valencia in 1395, 1398, 1399 and 1401. Documents indicate that he executed numerous commissions for frescoes and panel paintings in both towns, but no surviving works can be connected with certainty to these records.

Madonna and Child with Musical Angels

Saint Stephen about 1410

Thebaid c. 1410 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Musicerende engelen ca. 1408

Saint Vincent

about 1410

The Beheading of Saint Margaret? about 1409

Virgin and Child c. 1400

Adoration of the Magi

St. Nicholas of Bari c. 1422

Gothic Era

Gothic Art Map

Limbourg Paul, Jean and Herman


"Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry"

Limbourg brothers
(From Wikipedia)

The Limbourg brothers, or in Dutch Gebroeders van Limburg (Herman, Paul, and Johan; 1385..1416), were famous Dutch medieval miniaturist painters from the city of Nijmegen. They were active in the early 15th century in France. They are best known for the illuminated manuscript Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. Their grandfather called Johannes de Lymborgh probably came from Limbourg on the Meuse to Nijmegen, then the capital of the duchy of Gelre. His son Arnold was a wood carver who worked for the ducal court. Around 1385 he married Mechteld Maelwael, daughter of a well-todo family of heraldic painters. Herman (Hermant in French sources) was the eldest child (born about 1385), followed by Paul (Polleke; or Polequin in French sources: 1386 or 1387), and Johan (Johanneke; or Jacquemin, Gillequin, or Jehanequin in French sources: probably 1388). They had younger brothers Rutger and Arnold, and a sister Greta. About 1398, after their father's death, their mother sent them to her brother Johan Maelwael (Jehan Maleuel in French sources), a heraldic painter who worked for the French and Burgundian courts. Herman and Johan learned the craft of goldsmith in Paris. At the end of 1399 they returned to visit Nijmegen, but because of a war were captured in Brussel. Their mother could not pay the ransom of 55 gold escuz. The local gold smith guild started to collect the money, but eventually Philip the Bold paid the ransom for the sake of their uncle, his painter; the two boys were released in May 1400. From preserved documents it is known that in February 1402 Paul and Johan were contracted by Philip to work for four years exclusively on illuminating a bible. This may or may not have been the Bible Moralisee, Ms.fr.166 in the Bibliotheque nationale de France in Paris, which is indisputably an early work by the Limbourg brothers. Philip died in 1404, before the brothers had completed their work. Herman, Paul, and Johan later in 1404 came to work for Jean de Berry, a brother of the deceased Philip. He was an extravagant collectioner of arts and especially books. Their first assignment was to illuminate a Book of Hours, now known as the Belles Heures du Duc de Berry; it is preserved in The Cloisters of the Metropolitan Museum in New York. This work was finished in 1409 much to the satisfaction of the duke, and he assigned them to an even more ambitious project for a Book of Hours. This became the Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, which is widely regarded as the ultimate of medieval book illumination, and possibly the most valuable book in the world. It is kept as Ms.65 in the Musee Conde in Chantilly, France. Especially Paul was on good terms with the duke, and became a valet de chambre (personal servant). The duke gave him jewelry and a big house in Bourges. Paul took fancy of a young girl, Gillette la Merciere, but her parents disapproved. The duke had the girl confined, and released her only on command of the king. In 1411 Paul and Gillette married anyway, but the marriage remained childless (the girl was 12, her husband 24 at the time). In the first half of 1416, Jean de Berry and the three brothers Limbourg (all three less than 30 years old) died of unkown causes, and the Tres Riches Heures remained unfinished. An unidentified artist (possibly Barthelemy van Eyck) worked on the famous calendar miniatures in the 1440's when the book apparently was in the possession of Rene d'Anjou, and in 1485 Jean Colombe finished the work for the House of Savoy.

Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry


c. 1416 Musee Conde, Chantilly
(From Wikipedia)
The Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (or simply the Tres Riches Heures) is a very richly decorated Book of Hours (containing prayers to be said by the lay faithful at each of the canonical hours of the day) commissioned by Jean, Duc de Berry in about 1410. It is probably the most important illuminated manuscript of the 15th century, "le roi des manuscrits enlumins" ("the king of illuminated manuscripts"). The Tres Riches Heures consists of 416 pages, of which about half are full page illustrations that are among the high points of International Gothic painting in spite of their small size. There are 300 enriched capital letters. It was natural for a book of hours to contain a calendar, but the illustrations of months in the Tres Riches Heures (see the accompanying illustration showing one of the pages for "January") are exceptional and innovative in their scope, subjects, composition, and artistic and technical execution. They usually show one of the castles of the duke in the background, and are filled with details of the delights and labors of the year, from the Duke's court to his peasants, a counterpart to the prayers of the hours. Each illustration is surmounted with its appropriate hemisphere showing a solar chariot, the signs and degrees of the zodiac, and numbering the days of the month and the martyrological letters for the ecclesiastic lunar calendar.

It was illuminated (painted) sometime between 1412 and 1416 by the Limbourg brothers for their patron. The writing, illuminated capitals, border decorations, and gilding was most likely executed by other specialists who remain mostly unknown. The Limbourg brothers left the book unfinished at their (and the Duc's) death in 1416. The royal art lover (and amateur painter) Rene d'Anjou had an unidentified artist (probably Barthelemy van Eyck) work on the book in the 1440's, and Charles I, Duc de Savoie commissioned Jean Colombe to finish the paintings between 1485 and 1489. The book is currently held by the Musee Conde, Chantilly.

Astrological Man

January

February

March

April

May

Robert Campin

Robert Campin
(b c. 13759; d Tournai, 1444). South Netherlandish painter. He is first mentioned in 14056 as a painter in Tournai. As he purchased citizenship there in 1410, he may have been born elsewhere. There is evidence of some connection with Valenciennes, where the name Campin is said to have been common, but nothing certain is known of his artistic training and background.

Holy Trinity 1433-35 The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Madonna with the Child (altarpiece) 1433-35 The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Blessing Christ and Praying Virgin c. 1424 Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia

The Crucified Thief c. 1410 Stadelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt

Portrait of a Woman c. 1430 National Gallery, London

Annunciation 1420s Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

Portrait of a Man

1400-10 National Gallery, London

Portrait of a Fat Man c. 1430 Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Madrid

Witz Konrad

Witz Konrad
(b Rottweil, Wrttemberg, c. 140010; d Geneva or Basle, 14456). German painter. One of the great innovators in northern European painting, he turned away from the lyricism of the preceding generation of German painters. His sturdy, monumental figures give a strong impression of their physical presence, gestures are dignified and the colours strong and simple. Even scenes with several figures are strangely undramatic and static. The surface appearance of materials, especially metals and stone, is intensely observed and recorded with an almost naive precision. Powerful cast shadows help to define the spatial relationships between objects. His fresh approach to the natural world reflects that of the Netherlandish painters: the Master of Flmalle and the van Eycks. He need not, however, have trained in the Netherlands or in Burgundy as knowledge of their style could have been gained in Basle. He remained, however, untouched by the anecdotal quality present in their art, while Witzs pure tempera technique differs emphatically from the refined use of oil glazes that endows Netherlandish pictures with their jewel-like brilliance.

Annunciation c. 1440 Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg

King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba 1435

Staatliche Museen, Berlin

St Bartholomew c. 1435 Offentliche Kunstsammlung, Basle

Christ on the Cross 1430-33 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Saint Christopher c. 1435 Offentliche Kunstsammlung, Basle

The Miraculous Draught of Fishes 1443-44 Musee d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva

The Liberation of St Peter 1443-44 Musee d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva

Westphalian Master Master of the Schloss Tirol Altar Norwegian Master

See also collection:

Derick Baegert

The perfection of technique


Landscape was just one of the temptations drawing collectors to buy Netherlandish art and painters to imitate it. Another was the quality of execution distinguishing its panel paintings, whose standard was never to be equalled. The very wood itself was chosen with particular care. While artists in Italy generally made do with local poplar, and in Spain with pine, in the Netherlands virtually everyone opted for Baltic oak, which was shipped in from far afield. The panels were cut out of the trunk in radial wedges, like slices of cake, in order to prevent any later warping. The softer outermost layers were rejected, so as to forestall any unnecessary extra risk of attack by insects. As a further means of protection, the panels were given solid frames and only then primed, usually on both sides. The wood was thus sealed all round. As a consequence, the practice of covering the panel with a layer of material, still very common in the 14th century and seen, for example, in the earlier Soest picture, the Kaufmann Crucifixionand the Schloss Tirol Altar, could be largely dropped. On top of the primed panel, whose white ground was intended to shine through the colours laid over it and thereby heighten their luminosity, there was often then executed a detailed preliminary drawing. Only after weeks of preparation, and years even since the original tree had been felled, could painting actually begin. This, too, was an extremely laborious and lengthy process. By no means was the final colour applied straight away (alla prima). Rather, the paint was laid down in several transparent layers (glazes), moving from darker to lighter shades, allowing the underlying layers to shine through. This alone would ensure the tremendous luminosity, durability and exquisite enamel-like sheen of Early Netherlandish panel paintings. Towards the end of the century the

number of glazes was gradually reduced, and on occasions in the early 16th century, the white ground or the preliminary drawing was deliberately allowed to shine through. The paints themselves were naturally not available readymixed. Workshop duties in the late Middle Ages included not just painting, but also grinding the pigments. The degree of fineness of the powder thereby influenced the colour it produced. Thus azurire, the most commonly-used blue pigment of the day, only gave a blue effect if it was not ground too finely. A second, important blue pigment was ultramarine. While it offered a greater and more gem-like luminosity, it was obtained from lapis lazuli, which had to be imported from the Orient, from modern-day Afghanistan, and was thus more expensive than gold. Significantly, it was employed with great regularity by the first generation of Early Netherlandish artists, but only extremely sporadically by the technically less ambitious German artists of the day. Other than in Cologne or even Italy, the Netherlandish artists had almost entirely dispensed with gold, seeking instead to heighten the illusion of reality with a permanently blue sky over a white haze. Areas of gilding, whether grounds, haloes or drapery details, involved a variety of complex procedures. For example, where they were to be given an additional relief pattern by means of pouncing, in other words the hammering of small indentations into the metal, the layer of primer beneath them had to be considerably thicker. Also required was an intermediary bole ground, usually reddish in colour, to which the wafer-thin leaves of precious metal would adhere. According to the author of the best-known treatise on artist's materials of his day, the painter Cennino Cennini (c. 1370 c. 1440), pupil of a son of Taddeo Gaddi and thus a "great-grandpupil" of Giotto, one Florentine gold coin yielded a hundred sheets of gold leaf barely the size of the palm of a hand. After the leaf had been laid, it was burnished with a gemstone or a tooth in order to bring out its fascinating sheen. To avoid unnecessary expense, the inclusion of gilded areas within a painting had to be carefully planned in advance. Since the gilding was carried out first, before any actual painting began, the artist had to decide exactly where on his panel the costly material was to go. As a rule, no further gold leaf would then be applied to the remainder of the composition. Lastly, too, there was the choice of the right binding agent. Since the claim was first made by the art historians of the 16th century, Jan van Eyck has long been credited with the invention of oil painting. The reality is much more complicated. Binders containing oil were known as early as the 13th century, even if they were not yet being deployed with their later sophistication. The fact that they can be found in English and Norwegian (Norwegian Master) paintings in particular suggests that artists were already taking into account external factors such as a damp climate. On the other hand, painters in the Netherlands continued to employ egg tempera long after the van Eyck were dead, not least because some pigments failed to mix well with oily binders, which reduced their luminosity. At the same time, mixed techniques played a far greater role than is generally assumed today. Finally, artists also had to weigh up the characteristics of the individual binders and in particular the oils they employed, since some of them had major implications for the actual painting process. Oils derived from different plants and in different ways dried at different speeds, which meant that in some cases an artist might have to wait many days before the next layer of paint could be applied. This drying process could be speeded up with the help of specific substances. The artists of the late Middle Ages, and in particular artists in the Netherlands, thus worked within a time frame which, for a public which has grown up with the notion of the artist genius, is almost impossible to grasp. They possessed a detailed knowledge of natural science which, in the following generations and centuries, would increasingly become the sphere of specialist technicians and today the modern chemical industry. Simple, practical calculations were at this stage far more important than the finer points of style, content or even art theory which interest critics and viewers today. Mechanical tasks such as grinding pigments, mixing up paints or burnishing gold grounds took up a large part of their working day. It is only when we take all this into consideration that we start to appreciate why artist apprenticeships in the late Middle Ages generally lasted four years, with the apprentice simply assisting with general tasks at the beginning. Pictures of St Luke, the patron saint of artists, painting the Virgin provided numerous 15th-century artists with a welcome opportunity to portray the activities of a contemporary artist's workshop. In these we occasionally see an assistant in the background grinding paints. In the painting by Derick Baegert (c. 14401515), an angel is lending the Evangelist a hand. The techniques and training described above guaranteed the enduringly high standards and astonishing homogeneity of Early Netherlandish painting which continue to captivate the viewer today. Towards 1500, these same qualities also led it to become a major export not just to Italy, but also to Spain, Portugal and Scandinavia. Mass production, however, inevitably brought about a decline in the rigorous standards of execution which had originally made the school so popular.

Westphalian Master Trial, Crucifixion and Resurrection c. 1230-1240 (Crucifixion retable from the Wiesenkirche church in Soest) Gemaldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin

Westphalian Master (detail) Trial c. 1230-1240 (Crucifixion retable from the Wiesenkirche church in Soest) Gemaldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin

Westphalian Master THrone of Grace with Mary and St John c. 1260-1270 (From the Wiesenkirche church in Soest) Gemaldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin

Master of the Schloss Tirol Altar Nativity c. 1370-1372 Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck

Norwegian Master Antependium from the church in Odda (Hardanger) c. 1350 Historisk Museum, Bergen

Norwegian Master St Olaf Antependium 1350 Trondheim, Cathedral

Derick Baegert

Derick Baegert
(b c. 1440; d Wesel, after 1502). He worked in Wesel in the lower Rhine region, but similarities in style between Dericks works and panel paintings and book illustrations made in Utrecht indicate that he may have trained in that city. He was in Wesel by 1476 and painted a flag, probably for the town hall. From that year he is frequently mentioned in contracts, accounts and tax lists. In 1490 Dericks son Jan was already a master, which suggests he was at least 25 and consequently Derick must then have been about 50. His home in the Mathena quarter of Wesel is last mentioned in 1502.

St Luke Painting the Virgin c. 1485 Westfalisches Landesmuseum fur Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Munster

St Luke Painting the Virgin (detail) c. 1485 Westfalisches Landesmuseum fur Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Munster

St Luke Painting the Virgin (detail) c. 1485 Westfalisches Landesmuseum fur Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Munster

St Luke Painting the Virgin (detail) c. 1485 Westfalisches Landesmuseum fur Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Munster

Kalvarienberg 1470-80 Dortmunder Altar

Eidesleistung 1495

Christus voor Pilatus 1500

Beweinung Christi Munchen, Alte Pinakothek

Kalvarienberg Munchen, Alte Pinakothek

Lukas Moser Master of the Albrecht Altar Frances Nicolas

See also collection:

Master E.S. Martin Schongauer Israhel van Meckenem Bartolome Bermejo Fernando Gallego Hans Multscher

Changing motifs and artistic originality


A further consequence of the workshop system was that compositional originality played nowhere near the same role in the Netherlands as it did in later epochs or even in contemporary Italy. In the Netherlands of

the 15th century, by contrast, compositional solutions, poses and figural types which were judged to be good were handed down over more than a hundred years. Thus the Last Suppers of the period around 1500, for example, employ elements which were already present in the Last Supper which Konrad of

Soest painted for his Bad Wildung altar of 1403. Providing the richest source of all, however, was the
oeuvre of Rogier van der Weyden, whose Descent from the Cross in the Madrid Prado became the most influential painting of the Early Netherlandish school even before the van Eyck' Ghent Altar. Whereas Jan van Eyck was preoccupied above all with surfaces, Rogier van der Weyden, in this respect more Italian, was interested in structures. As if inspired by fragile marionettes, what is so surprising about Rogier's figures is their - for a Netherlandish artist - astonishingly harmonious proportions and the flexibility of their individual limbs. Whatever other changes might be made, the layout of his Descent, the pose of his Mary Magdalene and the head type of his St John would remain constants until well into the latter phase of the school. Paradoxically, it was precisely this underdeveloped capacity for free, independent observation and the corresponding perpetuation of long-established formulae from one generation to the next which, along with landscape and technique, met with interest in the South. A decisive intermediary role was played in this context by northern woodcuts and copperplate engravings, which like the paintings themselves were distinguished by their extraordinarily high standard of execution. This made them sought-after collector's items which, in contrast to panel paintings, could transport new compositional solutions smoothly and quickly over hundreds of miles. This time it was Germany which assumed a leading role. Here the genre was carried to its greatest heights by four artists in particular: Master E.S. (active c. 1450c. 1467), Martin Schongauer(c. 1435/501491), Israhel van Meckenem (active c. 1457-c. 1465/70) and Albrecht Durer(1471-1528), in whose work Raphael was also interested. Schongauer's engravings enjoyed particularly wide distribution, travelling as far as the Iberian peninsula one of them is supposed to have been coloured by none less than Michelangelo. Durer, meanwhile, would make up for his disappointment at being unable to study under Schongauer in person by becoming an avid collector of the works he left behind. Schongauer played an important intermediary role, too, having at one stage possibly been active in Rogier's workshop. The impact of his own art made itself felt in the Netherlands, where artists produced paintings which can only be described as colour versions of Schongauer's copper engravings - and this on occasions only months after the originals were first printed. The same was true in Spain, where they were similarly copied by Bartolome Bermejo(c. 1430- after 1498) and Fernando Gallego (c. 1440-c. 1507).

Standardization versus observation


The van Eyck's, and many other later Early Netherlandish artists, too, remained indebted to the Middle Ages not just in their working methods. For all the verism they achieved in individual heads, they simply replaced the broad-foreheaded faces of the period around 1400 with their own ideal of an elongated oval. One stylization thus replaced another thanks not least to Rogier, the master of the type. In other respects, too, until far into the 16th century the only corrections being made were minor adjustments, rather than fundamental changes to composition, proportion, the human figure, draperies or landscape. The innovations being pioneered south of the Alps found their way at best into subsidiary details. Even the tracery, crockets and finials of Gothic decoration remained fundamental not just to built architecture but also to goldsmiths, sculptors and painters. In complete contrast to developments in Italy, this led in most cases to an even greater proliferation of the old forms, to greater overloading rather than greater simplicity. The Netherlandish, German and Spanish artists were so immersed in the formulae of the past that, even when they adopted a Renaissance motif for a capital, frieze or gable, the composition, proportion and structure of the building or furnishing in question remained entirely beholden to the Gothic style. At the same time, and again in contrast to Italy, virtually no new pictorial genres were evolving. Although the individual portrait was becoming increasingly popular, production continued to be dominated by religious subjects.

Perpetuation of the calligraphic element


For all the brilliance of colour, for all the delights of the pictorial surface, however, supremacy continued to lie with two-dimensional line, as can be seen particularly from the few preparatory drawings that survive from the 15th century. The drawings executed directly on the panel itself, as visible today either through the fading glazes above them or with the help of infra-red light, concentrate primarily upon the detailed positioning of the draperies. Whereas heads, hands and elements of landscape are indicated for the most part with the most fleeting of strokes, the contours of drapery folds are precisely laid down and their hollows shaded with generous hatching. The only thing that changed after 1400 with the van Eyck's and Campinwas the style of these folds: softly undulating hems now gave way to sharp fissures. Whereas the painters of the International Gothic had indulged their love of line in the billowing draperies which enfolded their figures, these had now dropped flat to the ground, lying like a front garden at their wearer's feet and gridded with clearly ridged folds. The Ghent Altar Annunciation can be seen as highly typical of this trend, although it was by no means restricted to kneeling or seated figures. The two Ghent figures are typical in another respect, too. Their draperies are intended to look unstudied, but in truth nothing has been left to chance. In the case of the Virgin, the effect is achieved by the folds which fall first vertically downwards, and which then spill sharply sideways, in a slight overlapping of astonishingly smooth rectangular and trapezoidal planes. Almost more influential would be the numerous triangular forms making up the angel, who is lent additional relief by the wedgeshaped hollows in his robes. No less important than the folds themselves are the strong light and deep shadows which make them visible, and which give the draperies their powerful plasticity.

Impact of the Eyck' innovations


The style of an artist's drapery folds is thus the most reliable criterion by which to determine whether he had come under the spell of the Eyck revolution more so than broader proportions, more individual faces or the "realistic" representation of plants and other details, aspects which depend more on the individuality of the artist and the subjectivity of the viewer. The impact of the Eyck' innovations upon their contemporaries must have been enormous. When a visit to an exhibition introduces us to a previously unknown direction in art, after leaving the museum we see our surroundings through the eyes of the artist we have just been viewing. The painters who were confronted by the inventions of the van Eyck could no longer see a face, a fold, a fruit tree or a sunset in the same way as before.

Within just five years of the completion of the Ghent Altar, outstanding representatives of this new direction in art had already emerged in various parts of southwest Germany. The Magdalene Altar by Lukas Moser(c. 1390 after 1434) in Tiefenbronn carries the same 1432 date as the van Eyck own masterpiece, while the Wurzach Altar by the Ulm artist Hans Multscher (c. 1390-c. 1467) is dated 1437. The Albrecht Altar in Vienna must also have arisen around 1437, and the Rottweil artist Konrad Witz appears to have painted his great Mirror of Salvation altarpiece in Basle at about the same time. Six hundred miles further west, Nicolas Frances (c. 1434 c. 1468) had already painted the high altar for Leon cathedral before 1434. They all feature the new realism, the heavy, massive forms and the heavy draperies falling in angular folds.

Lukas Moser
( fl c. 1430). German painter. His name is known only through an inscription on the frame of the altarpiece above the altar of St Mary Magdalene in the parish church at Tiefenbronn, near Pforzheim. This altarpiece is as important to the art of German-speaking lands as van Eycks Ghent Altarpiece is to that of the Netherlands. Both were completed in 1432.

Magdalene Altar
1432

Lucas Moser Magdalene Altar 1432

Lucas Moser Magdalene Altar 1432

Lucas Moser Magdalene Altar (detail) 1432

Lucas Moser Magdalene Altar (detail) 1432

Master of the Albrecht Altar


Viennese Master, active 1430-1450

Master of the Albrecht Altar Elijah Divides the River of Jordan c. 1437 Museum des Chorherrenstifres, Klosterneuburg

Master of the Albrecht Altar Mary as Queen of the Powers c. 1437 Museum des Chorherrenstifres, Klosterneuburg

Frances Nicolas
Spanish painter (active 1424-1468 in Leon)

Nicolas Frances Mary Enters the Temple 1434 (from the high altar of Leon cathedral) Cathedral, Leon

Nicolas Frances St Jerome in his Cell 1450s National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

Nicolas Frances St Jerome in his Cell 1450s National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

Nicolas Frances Altarpiece with the Lifestory of the Virgin and St Francis or Altarpiece of La Baneza 1440s Museo del Prado, Madrid

Nicolas Frances Altarpiece with the Lifestory of the Virgin and St Francis or Altarpiece of La Baneza Scenes from the Life of St Francis 1440s Museo del Prado, Madrid

Nicolas Frances Altarpiece with the Lifestory of the Virgin and St Francis or Altarpiece of La Baneza Scenes from the Life of St Francis 1440s Museo del Prado, Madrid

Nicolas Frances Altarpiece with the Lifestory of the Virgin and St Francis or Altarpiece of La Baneza Scenes from the Life of St Francis 1440s Museo del Prado, Madrid

Nicolas Frances Altarpiece with the Lifestory of the Virgin and St Francis or Altarpiece of La Baneza Anunciacion 1440s Museo del Prado, Madrid

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Master E.S.

Master E.S.

( fl c. 14501467). German engraver and draughtsman. He is named after the initials on what are now recognized as the first known engravings with a monogram. About 318 engravings, the earliest from c. 1450, the latest dated 1466 and 1467, are attributed to him, although his work is estimated to have originally comprised about 500 engravings. Of the surviving engravings, 95 are unica; for many only two or three impressions exist. After Israhel van Meckenem, he was the most productive engraver of the 15th century.

The Baptism of Christ

Man of Sorrows between Four Angels c. 1460 Kupferstichkabinett, Dresden

The Large Virgin of Einsiedeln 1466 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

The Small Virgin of Einsiedeln 1466 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

The Smallest Virgin of Einsiedeln 1466 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Knight Playing Card c. 1450 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Letter N from the Fantastic Alphabet 1465

Maria mit den Hll. Margarethe und Katarina Kupferstich 1450-60

Martin Schongauer

Schongauer

Alsatian family of artists. They were active mainly in Colmar in the second half of the 15th century. Caspard Schongauer, a goldsmith originally from Augsburg, settled in Colmar and became a citizen of the town in 1445. Of his four sons, Georg Schongauer (d 1514) and Paul Schongauer (d Colmar, 1516) were goldsmiths like their father, whereas Martin Schongauer and Ludwig Schongauer were both painters and engravers. Georg married Apollonia, daughter of the sculptor Nicolaus Gerhaert of Leiden; he became a citizen of Basle in 1482, then of Strasbourg in 1494. Paul was a citizen of Leipzig in 1478, worked in Basle in 1489 and was listed as a citizen of Colmar in 1494.

Martin Schongauer
(b Colmar, c. 143550; d Breisach, 2 Feb 1491). Painter and engraver. A leading figure in the art of the late Middle Ages north of the Alps, he acquired during his own lifetime an influence that went far beyond the limits of the Rhine Valley. He revitalized German painting through a clever assimilation of Netherlandish art and a sense of local tradition and succeeded in combining precision and assurance of line with a strong sense of volume. From his painting of the Virgin of the Rose Bower(1473; Colmar, Dominican church), which unites refined draughtsmanship and monumentality, to his engravings, which are delicate yet convey a sense of solid form, he represents the splendid flowering of the Late Gothic style in the Upper Rhine.

The Holy Family c. 1470 Alte Pinakothek, Munich

The Holy Family 1475-80 Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Nativity c. 1480 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Madonna of the Rose Bush 1473 Saint-Martin, Colmar

Nativity and St. Anthony Musee d'Unterlinden, Colmar

The Annunciation Musee d'Unterlinden, Colmar, France

Noli me tangere

Musee d'Unterlinden, Colmar, France

The Virgin with Infant Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel, Switzerland

Madonna and Child in a Window

Portrat einer jungen Frau ca.1475-1480

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Israhel van Meckenem

Israhel Van Meckenem the Younger


(1445 - 1503) German engraver, the son of an engraver of the same name, active c. 1450-65. He was trained by his father and probably by Master E.S., whose work he copied. His oeuvre is bigger than that of any other 15thcentury engraver; he is known to have made more than 600 plates, and in some instances over a hundred prints have been preserved from each plate. Like many early engravers, he also worked as a goldsmith. Although he was a minor figure as a creative artist (much of his work consisted of copies), he is important in showing the growing popularity of engraving. He was the first artist to engrave his own features (in a double portrait together with his wife) and looks a very shrewd individual.

St. Martin dividing his cloak Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Vera icon c. 1490 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Judith with the Head of Holofernes

The Artist and his Wife Ida c. 1490 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

The Lute Player and the Harpist c. 1490

Morris Dance c. 1475

Saint George and the Dragon c. 1465/1470

The Saviour Blessing, Half Length

Christ before Herod Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Christ again before Pilate Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Christ stripped Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

artolome Bermejo

Bartolome Bermejo
(b ?Cordoba, c. 1440; d ?Barcelona, after 28 March 1495). Spanish painter. Profoundly influenced by Netherlandish painting, he adapted the oilglaze technique typical of that art to the requirements of his Spanish patrons. With his work, especially his Pieta (1490; Barcelona, Mus. Catedral), Spanish painting joined the Renaissance.

St Dominic Enthroned in Glory 1474-77 Museo del Prado, Madrid

Christ at the Tomb Supported by Two Angels 1468-74 Museo de Castillo, Perelada

Christ Leading the Patriarchs to the Paradise c. 1480 Institute of Hispanic Art, Barcelona

Crucifixion c. 1480 Parish church, Daroca

Retable of the Virgin of Montserrat c. 1485 Cathedral, Acqui Terme

Retable of the Virgin of Montserrat c. 1485 Cathedral, Acqui Terme

Pieta of Canon Luis Despl 1490 Cathedral, Barcelona

Der Tod Mariae 1460

Saint Michael triumphant over the Devil 1468

Resurrection and Descent of Christ to Limbo

Flagelacion de Santa Engracia Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao

Fernando Gallego

Fernando Gallego

(b Salamanca, fl 14681507). Spanish painter. He was active in Salamanca, at that time an important city due to its double status as episcopal see and university city, but he also worked in the regions of Leon and Extremadura, in such cities as Toro, Zamora, Ciudad Rodrigo and Plasencia. Nothing definite is known about his training, but his plastic concept of form and his interest in spatial definition link him to 15th-century Flemish painting, in particular to the style of Rogier van der Weyden and Dieric Bouts the elder. The similarities between his art and that of the latter, who was contemporary with him, point to a possible stay in the Low Countries, although he may also have trained in the circle of Jorge Ingles. Nevertheless, he was an artist of considerable individuality, defined by an excellent mastery of technique and an inventive originality, by his interest in realism and by the characterization of his figures, as well as by an expressiveness similar to that found in the work of Konrad Witz. At times he achieved in his work a dramatic intensity unrivalled in Spanish painting of the period.

Flagellation c. 1506 Museo Diocesano, Salamanca

The Martyrdom of Saint Catherine Museo del Prado, Madrid

Triptych of St Catherine Provincial Fine Arts Museum, Salamanca

Madonna of the Catholic Kings 1490-95 Museo del Prado, Madrid

Epiphany c. 1480 Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio

Pieta c. 1470 Museo del Prado, Madrid

Hans Multscher

Hans Multscher
(b Reichenhofen, Bavaria, c. 1400; d Ulm, before 13 March 1467). German sculptor. Multscher mentions his birthplace on the inscribed band, originally a predella, of the Karg altarpiece in Ulm Cathedral (1433) and on two wings of the so-called Wurzach Altar (1437) at Reichenhofen in the Allgu. The town archives of Leutkirch, written between 1405 and 1437, record that Multscher belonged to the Freien Leute auf Leutkircher Heide, a commune of free peasants who had been able to preserve their independence because they were the direct descendants of Konigsfreie, who had always been free. Under a charter of Emperor Ludwig in 1337, these men were direct subjects of the Empire and had the right of free movement to Imperial cities or other towns.

Prayer on the Mount of Olives 1437 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Christ before Pilate 1437 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Christ Carrying the Cross 1437 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Resurrection 1437 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

The Birth of Christ 1437 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Colantonio Lluis Dalmau

See also collection:

Barthelemy d'Eyck (Master of the Aix Annunciation) Master of the Life of the Virgin Master of the St. Bartholomew Altar Dieric Bouts Taddeo di Bartolo

The waves of Netherlandish influence

This picture was consolidated over the following decades as "Netherlandicizing" currents increasingly gained ground across Europe. In the 1440s, Barthelemy d'Eyck (doc. from 1444 c. 1476) produced his famous Annunciationtriptych for Aix cathedral, while in Naples Colantonio (doc. 14401465) made the new style his own. In Barcelona, Lluis Dalmau (doc. c. 14281461) set about painting, in his 1444/45 Virgin of the Councillors for Barcelona's town hall, one of the most faithful imitations of a van

Eyck anywhere to be found. In Cologne, the most densely populated city in Germany, Stefan Lochner combined Eyck formulae with clear reminiscences of the Soft Style: the
hems of the robes in his Virgin of the Rose Garden undulate like waves. Particularly striking here, as in his Darmstadt Presentation in the Temple, are the delicate, extraordinarily sophisticated harmonies of his palette. In the retrograde handling of scale in their figures, however, both panels lag far behind the van

Eyck. Pasty, doll-like faces, overly large gold haloes and gilt grounds embossed with ornate decoration
complete the picture. That Lochner was nevertheless very familiar with developments in the Netherlands can be seen from the PatronSaints of Cologne altarpiece which he painted for the chapel in Cologne town hall, and which is today housed in Cologne cathedral. The folds here are far more angular than those of the Virgin of the Rose Garden executed a few years later. The Annunciation on the altar's exterior recalls the Ghent Altar even at the level of individual motifs in the Virgin's spreading draperies. In continuing to deploy elements from the past, however, Lochner was not betraying his incompetence, but was very consciously playing with the motifs and formal canons of different styles and regions - an "un-Gothic", extremely modern approach for which in the 15th century, significantly, parallels existed only in Italy. That we are dealing not with some inferior imitator, but rather with one of the most important Late Gothic artists of all, is surely demonstrated best of all by the fame which he enjoyed for generations to come. His design solutions and nature studies were drawn upon by Schongauer, himself a master of composition, and even Rogier van der Weyden, at that point the most important representative of the Early Netherlandish school. Over half a century after Lochner's death, Albrecht Durer went to the chapel in Cologne town hall in order to admire for himself the masterpiece which still survives today. It was precisely the freedom with which Lochner created his art that ensured he would remain an isolated phenomenon, however famous. The Cologne painters of the following decades (Master of the Life of

the Virgin, Master of the St. Bartholomew Altar) would orientate themselves towards their Netherlandish contemporaries, in the first instance primarily towards Rogier's "successor", Dieric Bouts (c. 1410/20 1475). Their borrowings were thereby restricted to selected figural, drapery and
landscape forms. Their approach to composition and their techniques of preliminary drawing and execution remained entrenched in local tradition not just with regards to such obvious features as gold grounds and nimbuses. A constant "updating" of forms derived from the Netherlands can be observed in other European regions, too. The latest trends in Bruges and Antwerp were still being adopted even in distant Portugal right up to the early years of the 16th century.

Colantonio Niccolo (Antonio)

(b ?Naples, c. ?1420; d Naples, after 1460). Italian painter. A certain Cola de Neapoli is documented in Rome in 1444, but he cannot be definitely identifed with Colant onio. The main source for the reconstruction of Colantonios activity is Pietro Summontes letter of 1524 to the Venetian Marcantonio Michiel on the history of the arts in the Kingdom of Naples. Despite the small number of undisputed works, scholars unanimously assign to Colantonio a primary role in the history of Neapolitan painting in the period of Aragonese rule between 1440 and 1470. In those years Naples was the capital of a vast realm and a centre of culture and art where many international styles came together.

Colantonio St Jerome c. 1445 Museo di Capodimonte, Naples

Colantonio St. Francis consigns the Rule to his followers 1445 Museo di Capodimonte, Naples

DALMAU Lluis
Spanish painter (active 1428-61)

The earliest reference to him is in 1428, when he is called painter of the city of Valencia and is mentioned as being in the service of Alfonso V, King of Aragon. Dalmau remained in Alfonsos service for at least nine years, at times serving in a diplomatic capacity: he was sent to Castile in 1 428, and in 1431 to the south Netherlands, although the duration and purpose of the latter visit are unknown. No works done for the King are known, and the only royal payment made to him was for some minor architectural work.

Lluis Dalmau Altarpiece of the Councillors Virgin of the Councillors 1445 Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona

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Barthelemy d'Eyck
(Master of the Aix Annunciation)

Barthelemy d'Eyck
( fl 144469). Netherlandish painter, active in France. The son of Ydria Exters dAllemagne (d 1460) and the stepson of Pierre du Billant, he is first recorded on 19 February 1444 as a witness with Enguerrand Quarton in Aix-en-Provence and described as magister Bartolomeus de Ayck pictor, inhabitant of Aix. From c. 1447 he was peintre et varlet de chambre at the court of Rene I, King of Naples (reg 143842) and Duke of Anjou (reg 143480). Between 1447 and 1449 Barthelemy worked at Renes chateau of Tarascon (Bouches-du-Rhone) in a room close to the Dukes own apartments. There his activities may have included supervising fellow artists, providing designs and perhaps painting the ceiling decoration of the Royal Apartments in the east wing of the chateau (de Merindol). In 1451 Barthlemy travelled in the Dukes entourage to Guyenne, and in 1456 he was at Angers, which he visited on a number of other occasions. Existing accounts show that Barthelemy was responsible for paying painters and illuminators, purchasing materials for manuscripts and obtaining gold to be made into jewellery for Renes second wife, Joanna of Laval. The last document relating to Barthelemy is dated 26 December 1469, when he received wages for himself, three servants and three horses. The high esteem in which he was held may be deduced from Jean Pelerins third edition of his treatise De artificiali perspectiva (Toul, 1521), which ends with a French poem mentioning a Berthelemi together with Jean Fouquet, Jean Poyet and Coppin Delf. There are attempts to identify Barthelemy d'Eyck with the Master of the Aix Annunciation.

Master of the Aix Annunciation


( fl 14425). Painter active in France. He is named after a panel of the Annunciation (Aix-en-Provence, Ste Marie-Madeleine; see fig.). The painting has been connected with a series of wills executed on behalf of the draper Pierre Corpici (b ?1388; d before ?1465), an inhabitant of Aix. In the earliest surviving will, dated 9 December 1442, known only from a copy made by Henri Requin (Labande), Corpici expressed a wish to be buried in Aix Cathedral and bequeathed 100 florins to pay for an altarpiece depicting the Annunciation or the Virgin Annunciate. The painting was to have asupercelo (crowning panel) and a scabelo (predella) and bear both the Corpici arms and the sign of his shop. Although not a contract, the will is quite specific regarding the subject-matter of the altarpiece. There is no mention, however, of it being a triptych with wings nor of the name of the artist who was to execute the work. On 5 January 1443, Corpici was granted permission by the cathedral chapter to construct an altar (destr. 1618), which was located to the right of the entrance of the west choir (built c. 1285c. 1425). A further will of 14 July 1445 reiterates Corpicis desire to be buried in the cathedral; no reference is made to the altarpiece in this document, suggesting it was completed by this date. Further wills of 13 February 1449, 19 April 1458 and a final one of 8 November 1465 refer to the altar of the Annunciation, indicating that the altarpiece was installed by then. It has been suggested that the Aix Annunciation was originally a triptych, with Isaiah(Rotterdam, Mus. Boymansvan Beuningen) as the left wing, with St Mary Magdalene Kneeling on the reverse, and Jeremiah (Brussels, Mus. A. Anc.) as the right wing, with Christ on the reverse; a Still-Life with Books (Amsterdam, Rijksmus.) was originally at the top of the Isaiah panel. The association of these lateral panels has been disputed (Hochstetler-Meyer). By 1551 the Annunciation seems to have lost its crowning panel and predella, and in 1618 it was moved from the Corpici altar to the Espagnet family altar in the cathedral baptistery; it was transferred to the sacristy of Ste Marie-Madeleine between 1791 and 1818. Numerous attempts have been made to identify the artist of theAnnunciation or determine his nationality. An early attribution was to the Neapolitan Niccolo Colantonio on the basis of the resemblance to his St Jerome in his Study Removing a Thorn from the Lions Paw (Naples, Capodimonte), but this has long since been discounted. The painter of theAnnunciation was a near contemporary of the Master of Flemalle, Jan van Eyck, Stephan Lochner, Konrad Witz and Lukas Moser, and the painting bears a stylistic relationship with the work of these artists, for example with Witzs SS Catherine and Mary Magdalene in a Church (Strasbourg, Mus. Oeuvre Notre Dame) and with the Annunciation (Madrid, Prado) attributed to the Master of Flemalle, although whether the relationship is due to direct influence or common prototypes is unclear. Comparisons have also been drawn with the work of the sculptor Claus Sluter, for example hisWeepers from the tomb of Philip the Bold (Dijon, Mus. B.-A.) have been compared with the Prophetpanels. The Annunciation is stylistically conservative, and the diversity of theories as to its origins is the result of its eclectic character. Whether the painter was Netherlandish, Burgundian, Provenal or from further afield is a matter of conjecture. He has been tentatively identified with several artists including the Provenal Jean Chapus and three Flemish artists active in Provence: Guillaume Dombet, Arnoul de Cats [Arnolet de Catz] ( fl 143035) and BARTHELEMY DEYCK.

Annunciation c. 1445 Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, Aix-en-Provence

Prophet Jeremiah and Christ 1443-45 Muses Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

Holy Family 1440s Cathedral, Le Puy

Stilleven met boeken ca. 1444

Le Christ en croix

Brustbild eines Mannes 1456

De profeet Jesaja ca. 1445

Le prophete Jeremie Retable de l'annonciation d'aix 1476 Musee d'Art Ancien, Bruxelles

Livre d'Heures Morgan 1440 Pierpont Morgan Library, New York

Le Roi mort Heures de Rene d'Anjou Vers 1442-1443 British Library

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MASTER of the Life of the Virgin

MASTER of the St. Bartholomew Altar

MASTER of the Life of the Virgin


German painter (active 1460-1480)

Christ on the Cross with Mary, John and Mary Magdalene 1465-70 Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne

The Birth of Mary c. 1470 Alte Pinakothek, Munich

The Virgin of Mercy c. 1480 Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

Triptych of Canon Gerhard ter Streegen de Monte 1480-90 Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne

MASTER of the St. Bartholomew Altar


( fl Cologne, c. 14701510). Painter and illuminator, active in Germany. Although he established himself as one of the leading painters in Cologne, he also had links with Gelderland, Arnhem and Utrecht, and his style shows considerable Netherlandish influences. This has led many scholars to speculate that he originally came from the eastern Netherlands. His small oeuvre consists predominantly of religious panel paintings, although some portraits have also been attributed to him.

The Baptism of Christ 1500 National Gallery of Art, Washington

Crucifixion Altarpiece c. 1500 Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne

The Descent from the Cross 1500-05 Musee du Louvre, Paris

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Dieric Bouts

Dieric Bouts
(b Haarlem, c. 1415; d 1475). He is mentioned several times in the archives of Leuven between 1457 and his death, although his name is sometimes confused with that of Hubrecht Steurbout, another painter in Leuven. In 1468 Bouts was named official painter to the city. A century later the chronicler in Leuven, Joannes Molanus, remarked that he excelled as an innovator in depicting the countryside. Bouts was also described, by van Mander ([1603] 1604), as a founder of the Haarlem school of painting along with Albert van Ouwater and Geertgen tot Sint Jans. However, it is his representation of landscape that is still recognized as his principal contribution to 15th-century Netherlandish painting.

Ecce agnus Dei 1462-64 Alte Pinakothek, Munich

The Capture of Christ Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Christ in the House of Simon 1440s Staatliche Museen, Berlin

The Entombment c. 1450 Distemper on flax canvas, 90,2 x 74,3 cm National Gallery, London

Resurrection 1450-60 Norton Simon Museum of Art, Pasadena

The Way to Paradise (detail) 1450 Muse des Beaux-Arts, Lille

Hell 1450 Muse des Beaux-Arts, Lille

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Taddeo di Bartolo

Taddeo di Bartolo
(b Siena, ?13623; d Siena, after 28 Aug 1422). Italian painter, Sienese school. Taddeo, son of the barber Bartolo di Mino, was under 25 in 1386 when he was first recorded, painting statuettes of angels for the new choir-stalls in Siena Cathedral. In 13889 he was a counsellor to the Cathedral Works and in 1389 he was first listed as an independent painter. His earliest dated work is the polyptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints (1389; sold London, Christies, 8 Dec 1950), painted for the chapel of S Paolo at Collegarli, near San Miniato al Tedesco. The thin, elegant figures and curvilinear drapery patterns show aspects of Taddeos early style to be linked with the works of the preceding generation of Sienese painters, and, like his contemporaries, he looked back to earlier models by Simone Martini and the Lorenzetti.

Segnender Christus in Halbfigur um 1400 Lindenau-Museum, Gemaldesammlung

Die Heilige Dreifaltigkeit Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preuischer Kulturbesitz, Gemaldegalerie

Virgin and Child with St John the Baptist and St Andrew 1395 Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

Maria der Verkundigung Altarbild, Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preubischer Kulturbesitz, Gemaldegalerie

Brustbild des heiligen Dominikus um 1400 Altarbild, Altenburg, Lindenau-Museum, Gemaldesammlung

Anbetung der Konige, zu den Seiten zwei Monchsheilige 1404 Altenburg, Lindenau-Museum, Gemaldesammlung

Altarwerk nach 1405

Saint Catherine of Alexandriaca 1403

A Bishop Blessingca 1403

La Crucifixion 1403

Gothic Era

Marco Zoppo

* EXPLORATION:

Albrecht Durer
*

See also collection:

Hans Holbein the Younger Andrea Mantegna Cosme Tura Hans Holbein the Elder

The separate flowering of the German Late Gothic


While painting in broad areas of Germany had been dominated in the 1460s by fairly similar "Netherlandicizing" traits, towards the end of the 15th century artists in the south of the country increasingly began to emancipate themselves from such influences. Production flourished as private individuals and guilds competed with each other to crown all the main and subsidiary altars in their city and parish churches with al-tarpieces. Many cities saw the emergence of specialized workshops of high technical quality. Leading centres such as Vienna, Regensburg, Nuremberg, Augsburg, Ulm, Nordlin-gen, Mainz and Colmar, not to mention Basle and above all Strasburg, became magnets for artists in their own right. They no longer needed to refer back to the Netherlands, particularly since Cologne lay much closer and the focus across Europe was now shifting towards Italy. Augsburg in particular began to orient itself increasingly towards the South.

Training and workshop organization


As the nature of art production in the late Middle Ages implies, gifted apprentices could only realize their fullest potential within workshops of a correspondingly high standard and - also importantly - attracting a healthy volume of well-paying commissions. The notion of the self-taught artist was unthinkable; even in our own century, only few such artists have reached the very top. The actual artistic style of the master remained of secondary concern, however. The importance of technical skills and the structure of urban society favoured the emergence of artist dynasties. Since the possibilities of setting up a new workshop were only limited, existing businesses were passed on if at all possible from father to son. Most artists acquired their basic knowledge of materials in their father's workshop. The majority of leading painters of the day were sons either of painters, such as Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/98-1543), or of goldsmiths, such as Schongauer and Durer. Should a master die without leaving a direct heir, his workshop would usually pass, via marriage to his widow, to a particularly gifted pupil or senior journeyman an arrangement which, in an age with no state welfare system, guaranteed both parties a necessary financial security. Within artisan circles just as between ruling houses, marriages were organized with practical interests in mind - even in this regard, the contrast with the modern image of the Bohemian artist could hardly be greater. In view of all this, it is hardly surprising that the three greatest artists of their day, Schongauer, Hans

Holbein the Younger and Durer, should have grown up in the major centres of Colmar, Basle and
Nuremberg. The decision whether to join a town guild, rigid in structure but guaranteeing a secure livelihood, or to try one's luck as an itinerant artist, which carried the possibility of earning far greater sums at some courts even without a master's qualification, was one that every artist then had to make for himself. Schongauer and Durerremained faithful to the cities of their birth notwithstanding Durer's travels and occasional commissions for the aristocracy. Despite the rigidity of the guild system, around 1500 the rivalry between the prosperous centres of southern Germany led to the emergence of prominent individuals within the arts. Appreciation of personal styles was growing, as can be seen in certain regions of Italy, even if the lead was being taken by the nobility rather than the civic authorities. Fussy collectors valued originality more than did conservative city notables. Names such asMarco Zoppo (c. 14321478), Andrea Mantegna (1431 1506) and Cosme

Tura (1429/301495) stand for this new attitude towards the artist, which comes closer to the modern concept of the genius. In the Netherlands, Hugo van der Goes represents an astonishingly similar
trend.

Durer as Gothic artist


At the pinnacle of the German school stood, without a doubt, Albrecht Durer in Nuremberg. AlongsideRembrandt (16061669), Durer was probably the most important graphic artist of all time, and even in his paintings he remained ultimately a draughtsman. In the arabesque-like play of his sweeping lines and gnarled forms, he also remained the last Gothic artist - despite all his trips to Italy, all his grappling with Venetian fleshiness and southern proportion. Not without reason did he find himself confronted in Italy with the criticism that his works were "not in the Antique style" (letter to Pirckheimer, 7.2.1506) a reproach which would later also be voiced by Vasari. The extremely sophisticated portrait studies and other works byHans Holbein the Younger point more emphatically towards the new era of the Renaissance. For that reason he is absent from this book, in contrast to his father Hans Holbein the Elder (c. 1465-1524), also a brilliant technician, whose work was influenced by Italy in its motifs rather than its spirit.

Zoppo Marco
Marco d'Antonio di Ruggero
(b Cento, nr Bologna, ?1432; d Venice, ?1478). Italian painter. The earliest dated notice of Zoppo is an agreement of 24 May 1455 concerning his legal adoption by the Paduan painter Francesco Squarcione. The document indicates that at the time it was drawn up Zoppo had been living in Squarciones house for about two years and at 23 years ol d was already recognized as a painter of considerable ability. According to the agreement, Squarcione, who was childless and had recently become a widower, acknowledged Zoppo as his sole heir in return for Zoppos work in painting. The contract, however, was short-lived. By October of the same year, Zoppo had left Squarcione and was living in Venice. Two documents record the terms by which the adoption agreement was to be annulled and the arrangements drawn up not only to compensate Zoppo for work he had executed for which Squarcione had received payment, but also to cover Squarciones costs for having provided Zoppo with lodging and artists materials. Clearly Zoppo quickly discovered that the conditions placed on him by Squarcione were not to his advantage. Like other young artists who came into contact with Squarcione, most notably Andrea Mantegna, who had a similar experience in the late 1440s, Zoppo soon realized that his success as an artist rested on gaining his freedom, even though this could be achieved only by relinquishing his right s to Squarciones substantial estate.

Marco Zoppo The Dead Christ supported by Saints c. 1465

Marco Zoppo Hl. Paulus

Marco Zoppo La Vierge et l'Enfant entours de huit anges (1455)

Marco Zoppo Madonna in Halbfigur mit dem Christuskinde um 1465 Altenburg, Lindenau-Museum, Gemaldesammlung

Marco Zoppo Thronende Maria mit dem Kind und den Heiligen Johannes dem Tufer, Franziskus von Assisi, Paulus und Hieronymus 1471 Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Marco Zoppo Der heilige Hieronymus in der Landschaft Madrid, Sammlung Thyssen-Bornemisza

Marco Zoppo Der dornengekronte Christus Vaduz, Sammlungen des regierenden Frsten von Liechtenstein

Marco Zoppo Das Haupt Johannes des Taufers Pesaro, Museo Civico

Marco Zoppo Madonna and Child c. 1467

Marco Zoppo Saint Peter c. 1468

Marco Zoppo A Bishop Saint, perhaps Saint Augustine about 1468

Marco Zoppo Saint Sebastian in a rocky landscape with Saints Jerome, Anthony Abbot and Christopher c. 1475

Hans Holbein the Younger

Holbein

German family of artists. Hans Holbein, who became one of the leading painters in south Germany, was the son of Michael Holbein, a tanner, who may have settled in Augsburg from Basle, and of Anna Mair, through whom he was related to important artists working in and near Augsburg. These included his uncles Hans Mair (probably identical with the painter Mair von Landshut) and Michel Erhart, and his cousins Gregor Erhart, Paulus Erhart and Hans Daucher, all of whom were sculptors. Apparently included in Hans Holbeins workshop was his brother Sigmund Holbein (d Berne, 1540), whom Hans portrayed in a drawing (1512; London, BM). In 1501 they were together at Frankfurt am Main and in 151617 Sigmund took proceedings against his brother, who had already left Augsburg. No documented work by Sigmund Holbein survives. Hans Holbein married c. 1494, but the identity of his wife is unknown; their two sons, Ambrosius Holbein and Hans Holbein, also became artists, the latter being among the most important portrait painters in northern Europe during the Reformation.

Hans Holbein the Younger


(b Augsburg, 14978; d London, 1543). Painter, draughtsman and designer, active in Switzerland and England, son of Hans Holbein. He is best known as the most important portrait painter in England during the Reformation, although he began his career in Basle, where he worked mainly as a painter of altarpieces and designer of woodcuts. Dissatisfaction with patronage in Switzerland led him to visit England in 15268, where, through Erasmus, he met Sir Thomas More and his circle. On returning to Basle, he completed projects that he had begun before his trip to England, undertook commissions for the city authorities and produced designs for stained glass and goldsmiths work. In 1532 he returned to England, where he worked almost exclusively as a portrait painter, mainly under the patronage of King Henry VIII and his courtiers.

Portrait of the Artist's Wife c. 1517 Mauritshuis, The Hague

Portrait of Bonifacius Amerbach 1519 Kunstmuseum, Offentliche Kunstsammlung, Basle

Signboard for a Schoolmaster 1516 Offentliche Kunstsammlung, Basle

St Barbara 1516 Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Portrait of Jakob Meyer zum Hasen 1516 Kunstmuseum, ffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basle

Portrait of Dorothea Meyer, ne Kannengiesser 1516 Kunstmuseum, ffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basle

Adam and Eve 1517 Kunstmuseum, ffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basle

Portrait of Benedikt von Hertenstein 1517 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb 1521 Kunstmuseum, Offentliche Kunstsammlung, Basle

The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb (detail) 1521 Kunstmuseum, Offentliche Kunstsammlung, Basle

The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb (detail) 1521 Kunstmuseum, Offentliche Kunstsammlung, Basle

Gothic Era

Gothic Art Map

Andrea Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna
(b Isola di Carturo, nr Padua, 143031; d Mantua 13 Sept 1506). Italian painter and printmaker. He occupies a pre-eminent position among Italian artists of the 15th century. The profound enthusiasm for the civilization of ancient Rome that infuses his entire oeuvre was unprecedented in a painter. In addition to its antiquarian content, his art is characterized by brilliant compositional solutions, the bold and innovative use of perspective and foreshortening and a precise and deliberate manner of execution, an aspect that was commented upon during his lifetime. He was held in great esteem by his contemporaries for his learning and skill and, significantly, he is the only artist of the period to have left a small corpus of self-portraits: two in the Ovetari Chapel; his presumed self-portrait in the Presentation in the Temple (Berlin, Gemaldegal.); one in the Camera Picta (Mantua, Pal. Ducale) and the funerary bust in his burial chapel in S Andrea, Mantua, designed and probably executed by himself. His printmaking activity is technically advanced and of great importance, although certain aspects of the execution remain to be clarified. Due to the survival of both the Paduan and Mantuan archives Mantegna is one of the best-documented artists of the 15th century.

Death of the Virgin c. 1461

Museo del Prado, Madrid

Portrait of a Man c. 1460 National Gallery of Art, Washington

The Adoration of the Shepherds c. 1451-53 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Agony in the Garden c. 1459 National Gallery, London

Agony in the Garden (detail) c. 1459 National Gallery, Londo

San Luca Altarpiece 1453 Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

Gothic Era

Gothic Art Map

Cosme Tura

Cosme Tura
(b Ferrara, ?1430; d Ferrara, April 1495). Italian painter. He was court painter to the Este family of Ferrara from 1458 until the mid-1480s. He was the first and one of the greatest representatives of the Ferrarese school of painting, but many of his most important works, including the decoration of the library of Pico della Mirandola (146394), have been either destroyed or dismantled, and some of his large-scale altarpieces are divided between collections. His career is well recorded and provides a vivid illustration of the role and duties of a 15th-century court artist.

The Madonna of the Zodiac c. 1453 Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

Pieta 1460 Museo Correr, Venice

Madonna and Child in a Garden 1452 National Gallery of Art, Washington

Annunciation 1469 Museo del Duomo, Ferrara

Annunciation (detail) 1469 Museo del Duomo, Ferrara

Pieta 1474 Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Hans Holbein the Elder

Holbein

German family of artists. Hans Holbein, who became one of the leading painters in south Germany, was the son of Michael Holbein, a tanner, who may have settled in Augsburg from Basle, and of Anna Mair, through whom he was related to important artists working in and near Augsburg. These included his uncles Hans Mair (probably identical with the painter Mair von Landshut) and Michel Erhart, and his cousins Gregor Erhart, Paulus Erhart and Hans Daucher, all of whom were sculptors. Apparently included in Hans Holbeins workshop was his brother Sigmund Holbein (d Berne, 1540), whom Hans portrayed in a drawing (1512; London, BM). In 1501 they were together at Frankfurt am Main and in 151617 Sigmund took proceedings against his brother, who had already left Augsburg. No documented work by Sigmund Holbein survives. Hans Holbein married c. 1494, but the identity of his wife is unknown; their two sons, Ambrosius Holbein and Hans Holbein, also became artists, the latter being among the most important portrait painters in northern Europe during the Reformation.

Hans Holbein the Elder

(b Augsburg, ?146065; d 1534). Painter and draughtsman. The date of his birth has been estimated from his earliest signed painting, the Death of the Virgin (Budapest, Mus. F.A.), which is dated 148(?). His earliest surviving dated altarpiece is the St Afra Altarpiece, produced for the church of SS Ulrich and Afra, Augsburg (1490; Eichsttt, Bischof. Pal.; Basle, Kstmus.). In 1493 he was recorded, buying a house in Augsburg, as Hans Holbein the painter, citizen of Ulm; he was then working in Ulm with the sculptor Michel Erhart on the Weingartner Altarpiece, depicting scenes from the Life of the Virgin, for the chapel of the Virgin in the Benedictine monastery at Weingarten (1493; panels, Augsburg Cathedral; carvings untraced); here the style of the paintings reveals the influence of the Netherlandish style of Rogier van der Weyden. By this date, however, Holbein had already developed stylistic traits of his own: the ability to depict individual facial characteristics, the clear and symmetrical organization of his figures within the available space (here placing them within various architectural structures, which serve both to delineate the subsidiary scenes and to unify the separate panels of the altarpiece) and the use of warm, glowing colour.

Virgin and Child c. 1500 Basilica of St. Jacob, Straubing

The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian c. 1516 Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Death of the Virgin c. 1490 Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

Wings of the Kaisheim Altarpiece 1502 Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Dominikaneraltar, linker Innenflgel, untere Tafel: Darbietung des Christusknaben im Tempel 1500-1501

Portrait of Ulrich Schwarz and his Family ca.1503

Master of the Rohan Book of Hours

Master of Alkmaar Master Francke

See also collection:

Masters of the Gothic Art

The separate flowering of the German Late Gothic


While painting in broad areas of Germany had been dominated in the 1460s by fairly similar "Netherlandicizing" traits, towards the end of the 15th century artists in the south of the country increasingly began to emancipate themselves from such influences. Production flourished as private individuals and guilds competed with each other to crown all the main and subsidiary altars in their city and parish churches with al-tarpieces. Many cities saw the emergence of specialized workshops of high technical quality. Leading centres such as Vienna, Regensburg, Nuremberg, Augsburg, Ulm, Nordlin-gen, Mainz and Colmar, not to mention Basle and above all Strasburg, became magnets for artists in their own right. They no longer needed to refer back to the Netherlands, particularly since Cologne lay much closer and the focus across Europe was now shifting towards Italy. Augsburg in particular began to orient itself increasingly towards the South.

The anonymity of the Gothic artist


An artist's social standing varied considerably even between one German city and another, and in particular between the North and Italy. Just how early on the Italian painters had risen above the status of pure artisans can be seen from the fact that we know almost all the leading artists of the 14th century by name. While Vasari and other early writers on art played their part in this, they themselves lived over 200 years after Giotto and had to rely upon earlier records. They were thereby helped by signatures, which artists in the North were much slower to employ. Although isolated names are known to us from the 14th century (Theodoric, Bertram), the majority of artists including many of the most prominent remained nameless even in the final phase of Early Netherlandish painting in the early 16th century. In order to distinguish between these anonymous artists, about a century ago makeshift names were invented for them, inspired either by the characteristics or, more commonly, the subject (Master of the

Life of the Virgin), patron (Master Boucicaut), location, original location or even previous owner of
particularly important works. Even amongst museum curators, there is a tendency to choose works by known masters over those by anonymous artists something for which the works themselves give not the slightest grounds. Without the Master Boucicaut (active 14051420) or the Master of the Rohan

Book of Hours (active c. 1420-1430), the history of French painting could not be written, not that of Bohemia without the painter of the Glatz Madonna (Master of the Glatz Madonna), the Master Hohenfurt or the Master of Wittingau.

Master of the Rohan Book of Hours Lament over the Dead Christ c. 1418 Vellum Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris

Master of the Rohan Book of Hours Louis II of Anjou c. 1415 Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris

Master of Alkmaar
Netherlandish painter (active c. 1500-1515)

Master of Alkmaar Scenes from the Life of Joachim and Anna c. 1500 Frans Halsmuseum, Haarlem

Master Francke
German painter (early 15th century, active in Hamburg)

Master Francke Birth of Jesus 1424 Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Master Francke Vir Dolorum (Man of Sorrows) c. 1420

Museum der Bildenden Knste, Leipzig

Master Francke Adoration of the Magi 1424 Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Master Francke Vir Dolorum (Man of Sorrows) c. 1430 Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Bernat Martorell

See also collection:

Michael Pacher Quentin Massys (1) Massys Quentin (2)

End of the Gothic era


With the passing of the high point of Early Netherlandish painting in the 16th century, so too the age of the anonymous artist came to an end. This, coupled with the complex nature of the production process, the endurance of the workshop system and the still artisan status of the artist, suggests that the Middle Ages, at least in the North, only ended with Durer. The continuing importance of line, and the fact that paintings were essentially being commissioned for the same purposes and same places as ever, point to the same conclusion. With the advent of the Reformation and iconoclasm, however, all of this would collapse - and with it the economic foundation of the old system. When Martin Luther (1483-1546) nailed up his theses in 1517, it marked the climax of the religious unrest which had already manifested itself in the outbreak of the Hussite Wars in 1419. It especially affected the flourishing centres of the Netherlands. Whether religious reformationists were purging churches of their

visible excrescences and aberrations, or whether they were attacking worldliness and love of luxury -art was always amongst the first in the line of fire. The situation was compounded by the greed of certain rulers, such as Henry VIII (1491 1547), who coveted the treasures previously held by the Church. Artists were hit harder by the religious upheavals than any other secular profession. In England, Germany and the Netherlands in particular, there was a rapid decline in both production and artistic standards. The chain of compositional solutions and figural types, technical formulae and practical skills which had been handed down through the generations, was abruptly broken. For the artists concerned, this release from old constraints was synonymous with the loss of the basis of their existence. Having previously worked predominantly upon commission, they were now exposed to the tough rules of the free market. Business records confirm that the secular genres of painting, first and foremost the portrait, failed to compensate for this loss of trade. Other than after similar crises in the past, new departures were rare. Artistic activity was now significantly scaled down and found a niche only amongst the patrician classes in a few towns and cities, and above all in the ever more powerful courts of the nobility. Thus the innovative impulses of the 16th century outside Italy are associated, not without good reason, with the Fontainebleau of Francois I (1494-1547) and, subsequently, with the Prague of Rudolf II (1552-1612). It is a bitter irony that painters people with a religious sensibility which went beyond the average at times even played an active part in destroying sacred works of art, and through their positions in civic guilds were involved in the "cleansing" of churches and thus the sealing of their own fate. On the other hand, in view of the radical changes being wrought by Mantegna,Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo, it may also be said that the Late Gothic traditions of the North had already had their day. Art aside, the era marked the final parting from the Middle Ages in other respects, too. In 1492 Christopher Columbus (14511506) reached America, and in that same year the last Jews and Muslims were driven out of Spain marking the end of a thousand years of tolerance and of scholarly exchange between East and West, as the age seemingly so dark to modern eyes had also stood for. In the long term, paradoxically, Luther's action also led to lesser diversity all over western, northern and southern Europe, nations began to assume solid shape. As they expanded outwards, inquisitions and Protestant rigorism internally were placing ever tighter restrictions upon the freedom of the individual. Thus Henry VIII in England, Francois I in France, Charles V (1500-1558) in Germany and Spain, and later his son Philip II (15271598) laid the basis for the absolutism of the 17 th century.

What survived?
Within just a few months of the Reformation, in many European countries the medieval paintings that had hung for centuries in churches, monasteries and even private homes had been all but destroyed. In England, the sculpture and above all panel paintings, frescos and stained glass of the Middle Ages were almost entirely lost thanks to the "reforms" of Henry VIII. Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) later completed the work of destruction. The standard of the few works that remain make the loss all the more painful, since in their less graceful linearity and their drawing, which tends towards caricature they fall clearly short of the French art to which they are closely related. The picture was equally bleak in the Switzerland of John Calvin (1509-1564). In France, after the Huguenots, the Baroque and the Revolution, the situation as regards panel painting looked little better, although some patient detective work reveals that far more works have survived than is generally known. In the Netherlands, by far the larger part of medieval church art fell victim to the iconoclasts of the early 16th century not just in the overwhelmingly Protestant north, the modern-day Kingdom of the Netherlands, but also in Flanders, Brabant and Hainaut in today's Belgium. Hungary's reserves of medieval art, which the surviving fragments suggest were once so rich, were decimated under Turkish rule. In Bohemia, the art produced around 1350 at the imperial court at Prague, then the most flourishing art centre in northern Europe, had already been largely destroyed by the Hussites within a hundred years. Germany's regions and cities were affected by the Reformation to widely varying degrees. The Upper Rhine and Lake Constance area was another flourishing artistic centre to meet with widespread devastation. Some works survived, only to fall victim to the ravages of later wars as in the case of the rich treasures of the Palatinate, savagely attacked by Louis XIV (1638-1715). In some areas churches suffered the loss of virtually all their works of art, while in others they escaped remarkably unscathed - often, paradoxically, in Protestant areas, where the all-powerful influence of the Baroque was felt less strongly than in Catholic regions. Assisting their survival was the fact that, even though the earlier practice of commissioning and donating an altarpiece had largely fallen out of fashion in Protestant times, people were too reverent or simply too lazy to clear out the old works of art. The volume of surviving works is particularly healthy in Italy despite the impact of the Baroque and despite the ravages and plunderings of foreign armies, from Charles V to Napoleon I (1769-1821). An astonishing amount has also survived in Spain and again because of, rather than despite the Reformation - in Scandinavia. Christianity had only recently arrived in Scandinavia, and had brought with it a high demand for church art, which could often only be satisfied by imports. While there was no shortage of funds to pay for such art, thanks to wool production, trade and raiding activities in Scandinavia and to ore mining in Spain, it was not always possible for imported paintings conceived for a less sophisticated public, let alone the works produced by local artists, to compete with works from the leading European centres of art. Popular in Spain were enormous retablo walls extending the full height of the eastern nave. In some cases these were only dismantled in our own century and thereby satisfied the demand for new acquisitions, in particular amongst North American museums, for decades! Even the poorer quality works on the fringes of Europe frequently allow us to draw meaningful conclusions about what has been lost from the centre, however. Thus the development of English painting can virtually only be reconstructed via its reception in Norway, with which England maintained very close maritime trading links. These peripheral regions often offer thematically very unusual paintings for which no parallels survive in the centre. It would nevertheless be wrong to expect the native artists of such "fringe" countries to be no more than second-rate. Thus the Catalan Bernat Martorell (active from 14271452) is a figure of European stature. His Christ and the Samaritan Woman goes beyond all boundaries of time and place to form one of most successful solutions for this subject ever found. The Alps are a case apart. Waves of both iconoclastic destruction and radical innovation often passed over their inaccessible valleys and conservative inhabitants without a trace. South Tyrol alone offers a quite extraordinary wealth of murals dating from pre-Carolingian times to the Late Gothic era and beyond, many of them of very high artistic quality. In the shape of Michael Pacher (c. 1435-1498), it brought forth one of the central figures of the late Middle Ages. Even his work, however, derives its fascination from its geographical context, namely a region sandwiched between North and South, in which the influences of the two major artistic trends dividing the West are combined in a highly complex fashion. Thus no region of Europe, however far off the beaten track, has preserved its full complement of medieval art. Even without external catastrophes, wars and iconoclasm, the ravages of countless fires, natural wear and tear, incompetent attempts at restoration or simply industrious woodworms have all taken their toll. Even private collections were not always able to provide a safe haven. The Thirty Years' War (1618 1648) scattered, devastated or utterly destroyed not just cities and landscapes, but also some of Europe's greatest collections of art, including the treasures of Emperor Rudolf II, taken from Prague to Sweden. The Whitehall Fire of 1698 left an irreper-able hole in the collections of the English royal family; Holbein the Younger's masterpiece, Henry VIII's Family, was just one of the

many works destroyed. The fire that ravaged the Alcazar in Madrid over Christmas 1734 engulfed 537 paintings, and thereby one third of the royal collections. As an indirect consequence of the Franco-Prussian War, countless art treasures went down with the Tuileries wing of the Louvre in 1871. In the same war, Prussian troops bombarded Strasburg Library, while in the First World War, the cultural history of the European continent was permanently impoverished by the loss of Louvain University Library. The archives at Tournai were also reduced to ashes, and with these three libraries not just theirIlluminated Manuscripts and thus many works of art themselves, but also the last possibility of shedding more light on the lives of such important artists as Gerhaerts, Campin and Rogier van der Weyden. At the start of this century in Berlin, Richard von Kaufmann's precious collection of Early Netherlandish art was destroyed by fire. In 1945, 400 paintings from the Berliner Galerie disappeared perhaps for ever, including works central to the Gothic era. Even though we at least have photographs of them, they have vanished from the public eye. Such documented cases aside, it is impossible to offer any serious estimate of just how much art is no longer with us. But we can gain a sense of the scale of the loss when we remember that the biggest churches in the Late Middle Ages could contain up to a hundred altars. Many of them would have carried altarpieces, which even in the Middle Ages would have been periodically replaced in line with changing fashions. A similar picture emerges from the written documents of the period, which again have survived only in a very fragmentary state, and which record the names of countless artists of whom not a single work has survived. In view of all these factors, taken across Europe as a whole, the percentage of medieval works that has come down to us must be infinitesimal, certainly under 10% and probably under 5%. To what extent the fraction that has survived is representative of the original whole is another question altogether. There are indications that Netherlandish masterpieces had a considerably higher chance of being saved for posterity. Alongside the Ghent Altar and Rogier's Descent from the Cross, a number of other works have survived which were already being written about and enthusiastically copied in their own day. Of the paintings mentioned in the inventories of Margaret of Austria (14801530), probably the most important collector of the early 16th century north of the Alps, a relatively large number are also still extant. The same is true of many of the medieval works which appear in the large Flemish gallery paintings of the 17th century. We know that an altar by Quentin

Massys (1465/661530) was expressly spared destruction because of its artistic quality, and elsewhere, too, private individuals, clerics and collectors must
have stepped in to protect the works of art they loved. Even the greed of the Spanish governors occasionally proved a blessing, albeit not always in the long term. A number of major works have survived in the form of copies or more or less faithful reproductions, such as Rogier van der Weyden's Justice panels, which succumbed to French bombardment along with Brussels town hall in 1695, and the wings of Hugo van der Goes' Monforte Altar. Even if it cannot always be so well documented elsewhere as in the field of Early Netherlandish painting, it is naturally to be hoped that in other regions, too, it was the more mundane art that was lost, while the celebrated masterpieces were looked after.

Martorell Bernat

(b Sant Celoni; fl 1427; d Barcelona, between 13 and 23 Dec 1452). Catalan painter. The name Master of S Jorge was coined by Bertaux to refer to the painter of the altarpiece of St George (Chicago, IL, A. Inst.; Paris, Louvre). This was the most spectacular of a group of works attributed to an anonymous artist who was recognized as one of the finest Catalan painters of the 14th and 15th centuries. His works made a transition between those of Llus Borrass and Jaume Huguet, and it was thought that he could be identified with Bernat Martorell, the painter recorded as most in demand in Catalonia between 1427 and 1452. The identification was finally proved by the publication in 1938 (Duran i Sanpere) of the contract for the Pbol altarpiece of St Peter Enthroned (Girona, Mus. Dioc.).

Bernat Martorell The Nativity (detail) 1440s Collection Lippmann, Berlin

Bernat Martorell Saint George Killing the Dragon 1430-35 Art Institute of Chicago, ChicagoS

Bernat Martorell The Legend of Saint George: The Flagellation Musee du Louvre, Paris.

Bernat Martorell The Legend of Saint George: The Saint Dragged through the City Musee du Louvre, Paris

Bernat Martorell The Legend of Saint George: The Saint Decapitated Musee du Louvre, Paris

Bernat Martorell Saint Peter Altar 1437-1442 Museu Diocesa de Girona

Bernat Martorell Saint Peter Altar (detail) 1437-1442 Museu Diocesa de Girona

Bernat Martorell Saint Peter Altar (detail) 1437-1442 Museu Diocesa de Girona

Bernat Martorell Saint Peter Altar (detail) 1437-1442 Museu Diocesa de Girona

Bernat Martorell Christ and the Samaritan Woman at Jacob's Well 1445-52 Santa Creu Cathedral, Barcelona

Bernat Martorell Altarpiece of Saint Vincent Around 1435-40

Bernat Martorell Altarpiece of the Saints John 1434-1435

Gothic Era

Gothic Art Map

Michael Pacher

Michael Pacher
( fl Tyrol, 1462; d between 7 July and 24 Aug 1498). German or Austrian painter and sculptor. He successfully fused his southern German cultural and artistic inheritance with the technical and stylistic innovations made by major artists in Padua, in the Veneto.

St Lawrence Distributing the Alms 1465-70 Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Annunciation 1465-70 Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Altarpiece of the Church Fathers c. 1483 Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Altarpiece of the Church Fathers c. 1483 Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Altarpiece of the Church Fathers c. 1483 Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Altarpiece of the Church Fathers: Vision of St Sigisbert c. 1483 Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Altarpiece of the Church Fathers: St Augustine Liberating a Prisoner c. 1483 Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Quentin Massys

See also collection:

Quentin Massys

Virgin and Child Mauritshuis, The Hague

St Anne Altarpiece 1507-08 Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

St Anne Altarpiece (central panel) 1507-08 Oil on wood, 224,5 x 219 cm Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

St Anne Altarpiece (detail) 1507-08 Muses Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

St Anne Altarpiece (left wing) 1507-08 Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

St Anne Altarpiece (right wing, detail) 1507-08 Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

St Anne Altarpiece (closed) 1507-08 Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

Nuno Goncalves Martinus Opifex Juan de Levi Master of the Lower Saxon Workshop

See also collection:

Lorenzo Monaco Jean Fouquet


Jean Fouquet - Miniatures from the "Book of Hours of Etienne Chevalier"

Jacopo Bellini

A broad range of characters


The book embraces a wide variety of artists: great innovators whose enormous powers of invention pointed the development of art in a whole new direction, such as Giotto, Simone Martini, Pisanello, Nuno

Goncalves and Lorenzo Monaco, the Master Boucicaut, Jan van Eyck and Hugo van der Goes; individualists who arrived at highly original and perfect solutions within existing trends, such as Borrassa Lluis,Pisanello, the Master of the Rohan Book of Hours, the Master of the St. Bartholomew Altar,Bernat Martorell and Stefan Lochner; singular, often particularly delightful characters such as Martinus Opifex in Bavaria (doc. 1440-1456) and Juan de Levi in
Aragon (doc. 1388-1410); and countless great masters who stand largely outside all trends, such as Theodoric, Barthelemy d'Eyck and Jean Fouquet(c. 1414/20 c. 1480), and whose influence was limited to a small sphere simply by the fact that they were working either for elite circles or in a geographically remote place. What is so astonishing, in view of the thousands of paintings by different hands and the thousands of artists mentioned in records, is just how few great individuals actually shape the epoch at the end of the day.

Subjects of Gothic art


An overview of Gothic painting will inevitably be dominated by religious, and specifically Christian, art not just because the term Gothic was originally associated with French cathedrals, but because the Christian faith infused, at least outwardly, many areas of life and above all death in every stratum of society that could afford art. In almost every culture in the history of humankind, the incomprehensible power of death has prompted people to spend more on the apotheosis of their own person or that of a dear one, and on the hope of a life after death, than on any other genre of art. Even more importantly, the paintings that resulted have survived longer than the decorative artefacts with which they brightened up their daily lives. Many apparently "ordinary" altarpieces were intended by their donors to help ensure the salvation of their souls. The great scholar Nicholas of Cusa (14011464) was not the only one to have himself buried directly in front of the altarpiece which he commissioned(Master of the Life of the Virgin). As over a hundred years earlier in the Glatz Madonna (Master of the Glatz Madonna), the inclusion of his portrait as a figure in prayer ensured that he would be perpetuated for ever in the act of devout worship. Secular painting concentrated upon the decoration of civic spaces and, increasingly towards the end of the Gothic era, upon the portrait, at first solely those of rulers, but subsequently also the private portrait. Even inIlluminated Manuscripts, non-religious illustrations remained in the minority. Alongside high art, which was only accessible to a very small section of society, there were undoubtedly other forms of art circulating amongst a much wider public. Considerably fewer of these have survived into the present, however, and the ones that have are much less differentiated in style. This not only makes it harder to date them, but makes it almost impossible to use them as a basis upon which to trace the development of Gothic art. Works of art which were not destined solely for the uppermost echelons of society are represented within these pages in the guise of some of the wall and panel paintings from Scandinavia and Spain.

Panel painting and altarpiece


In view of this concentration upon religious art, it follows that the majority of the works described here are altarpieces. Most are panel paintings, in other words paintings on wood, a medium employed since the late 12th century and in some places still in use even in Baroque times. At first they were hung as an antependium in front of the altar table, while the priest stood behind it and celebrated facing the congregation -a custom which was reinstated after the Second Vatican Council of the years 19621965. In the 13th century, following alterations to the liturgy still not fully explained or perhaps simply in line with changing tastes, the painted panels increasingly migrated up and onto the altar table, where they stood at the rear as a retabulum. This implies that the priest must now have been leading the service with his back to the congregation. Within the altarpiece genre as a whole, a distinction may be made between the simple panel, or pala, which was the convention in Italy, and altars with as a rule, folding wings, as are found above all north of the Alps and the Pyrenees. These triptychs were only opened out on high days and holidays. The excitement of this moment was heightened for the faithful by the particularly opulent painting of their interiors, usually involving lavish quantities of gold. We occasionally find altars with double sets of wings, which can thus be displayed in three different ways. This concept of opening out may in part derive both from the idea and the physical shape of the containers used to house relics. The play, evident in the rigid Soest altarpiece (Westphalian Master), upon the silhouette of a triptych is one of the proofs that the folding altar was familiar by the 13th century, even if the majority known to us today only date from the following century. In Italy and Spain, on the other hand, rigid structures remained overwhelmingly, if not exclusively, the norm, although this did not necessarily preclude them from employing more than one section. Panels of different sizes were combined into larger superstructures, which in Spain and Portugal could extend to fill virtually the entire space behind the altar right up to the ceiling and out to the side walls. Like triptychs in the North, they frequently incorporated sculptures at their centre. These were elaborately painted in techniques similar to those employed for the panels, and were often admired even more greatly than the paintings themselves. It is clear even from this brief overview that the Gothic panel painting needs to be considered in its original context, namely inside a church, on an altar table, perhaps topped by further panels and even, in some cases, accompanied by holy relics and a donor's tomb. In their relief patterning and lavish use of gold leaf, the earliest examples of such paintings offer parallels with works executed by goldsmiths, such as caskets made to house the bones of saints venerated at the altar. The new genre of paintings destined for collectors and galleries was one that only began to emerge right at the end of the Gothic era. It would subsequently remain the norm until the gradual dissolution of the traditional forms of art in the 20th century.

Goncalves Nuno

( fl 14501491). Portuguese painter. His work may be said to have initiated the Renaissance in Portuguese painting. He is first named in a document of 1450, when Afonso V (reg 143881) appointed him court painter. In 1470 a payment to him is recorded for an altarpiece painted for the chapel of the Palcio Real, Sintra, which, given the dedication of the chapel, probably represented the Pentecost (untraced). A document of 1471 states that Gonalves replaced the painter Joo Eanes ( fl from 1454) as Pintor das Obras da Cidade de Lisboa (Painter of works for the city of Lisbon)

Nuno Goncalves Archbishop panel Altarpiece of Saint Vincent 1460s Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon

Nuno Goncalves Archbishop panel Altarpiece of Saint Vincent 1460s Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon

Nuno Goncalves Archbishop panel Altarpiece of Saint Vincent 1460s Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon

Nuno Goncalves Archbishop panel Altarpiece of Saint Vincent 1460s Nuno Goncalves Archbishop panel Altarpiece of Saint Vincent 1460s Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon Nuno Goncalves Archbishop panel Altarpiece of Saint Vincent 1460s Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon

Martinus "opifex"
( fl 1440; d Regensburg, ?1456). Illuminator, active in Germany. Most scholars, except Ziegler (1988), place at the beginning of his career his contribution, dated 1440, to a manuscript (before 144066; 295*210 mm; Munich, Bayer. Staatsbib., Cgm. 3974) executed at various workshops. A man uscript with the text of Thomas von Cantimprs De natura rerum and extracts from Ibn Butlans Tacuinum sanitatis (c. 1445; 455*325 mm; Granada, Bib. U., MS. C.67) also belongs to thi s early phase. From 1446 to 1449 Martinus is known to have been active at the court of Frederick III in Vienna. To this period belong a Golden Legend (1446 7; 540*360 mm; Vienna, sterreich. Nbib., Cod. 326) and a Breviary (14478; 530*365 mm; Vienna, sterreich. Nbib., Cod. 1767), which were both executed for Frederick III in collaboration with three other court illuminators and their workshops. In early 1451 Martinus opifex is attested in Regensburg.

Martinus "opifex"

Martinus "opifex" "Here the Greeks sail for Troy" 1456 (miniature from the Trojan War by Guido de Columnis)

Martinus "opifex" "Here the Greeks sail for Troy" 1456 (miniature from the Trojan War by Guido de Columnis)

Juan de Levi

(b Saragossa; fl 13881410). Spanish painter. He belonged to a family of converted Jews and was the nephew and pupil of the painter Guilln de Levi. He painted the altarpiece of SS Laurence, Catherine and Prudence, commissioned by the brother prelates Fernando and Pedro Prez Calvillo for their sepulchral chapel, founded in 1376, in Tarazona Cathedral (Saragossa). The altarpiece was finished by 1403, when it was mentioned as a model in a contract that commissioned Juan de Levi to supply a retable for S Jaime, Montalban (untraced). Other documents record that he executed works in Huesca, Saragossa and Teruel, but none of these survives. The altarpiece in Tarazona Cathedral, Juans only surviving authenticated work, is one of the most beautiful examples of late 14th -century Aragonese art. It is painted in an expressive and elegant style, and shows great narrative ability. It indicates a development from an Italianizing Gothic style, of Sienese origin, towards a more international manner that incorporated elements derived from the work of north European masters.

Juan de Levi Peter Recognizes the Risen Christ on the Lake Shore c. 1400 Museu Diocesa, Vic

Canvas paintings
Paintings on a textile backing ate similarly only found in larger numbers as from around 1500. Over the following years they would become increasingly widespread, not least because of the lower costs involved. The use of less durable paint materials and a less thorough preparation of the ground meant they deteriorated easily. They were also treated with less care, since their value was considered to be lower. It was precisely this perception of canvas as having a lower worth that meant it was selected only rarely before 1500 for important works of art. The potential of the new medium only began to be recognized by painters such as Durer. Unfortunately, many such paintings have suffered irreparable damage even in recent times as a result of inappropriate treatment. Specifically, canvases do not tolerate the protective coatings of varnish which have been applied, often thoughtlessly, in the modern museums of the 19th and 20th century.

Wall painting
In Italian art from Giotto to Raphael, wall painting is at least as important as panel painting. In contrast to the murals surviving in smaller numbers in the North, in which the pigments bound in oil or egg tempera were generally applied directly on top of a dry ground, artists in Italy mostly employed the true fresco technique. Fresco means fresh: the pictures were painted on plaster that was still damp, in sections which had to be completed at one stretch, with only gold accents and a few other colours being added later. The possibility for corrections was only limited, and thus the painting of vast surfaces such as those confronting Andrea da

Firenze (doc. from 1343- after 1377) in Santa Maria Novella - the mural he painted was executed in 156 different sections - demanded very precise preliminary
studies and a highly efficient and concentrated organization of labour. Outside Italy and the Alps, however, the frescoed interior of Wienhausen monastery church from the years around 1355 and the few other remnants which survive can only hint at the role which murals played in the North. Facade paintings such as those still visible in a number of southern German and Alpine regions must also have commanded a more prominent presence in daily life than devotional panels.

Stained Glass and Illuminated Manuscripts


To restrict this study to the genres of wall and panel painting would be to do an injustice to the very artists who stood at their fore. From Simone

Martini to Bernat Martorell and Jan van Eyck, all also turned their hand to designs for stained-glass windows, tapestries, and the illumination of manuscripts. Following the destruction of so many altarpieces, in many regions stained glass and manuscript illuminations remain the only witnesses to
artistic developments. Manuscripts also have the advantage of facing a much lower risk of subsequent deliberate damage, overpainting, restoration or fading, so that as a rule they convey the artist's original intentions much more directly than panel paintings or murals. Alongside a number of miniatures, the present volume also includes examples of stained glass and unusual paintings such as the Hildesheim ceiling(Master of the Lower Saxon Workshop).

Master of the Lower Saxon Workshop


(active c. 1230-1240)

Master of the Lower Saxon Workshop Jesse c. 1240 (from the ceiling of St Michael's Hildesheim) St Michael's, Hildesheim

Master of the Lower Saxon Workshop The Fall c. 1240 (from the ceiling of St Michael's Hildesheim) St Michael's, Hildesheim

Everyday art
Finally, it must be remembered that medieval painters were employed in another, important sphere of art of which practically nothing survives. Even in the accounts of the leading Gothic masters, more receipts have survived which refer to the painting of banners, standards, steeple balls, festival decorations and the like than for the production of art works in the modern sense. The raising, off Stockholm, of the warship Wasa, built a century after the end of the Gothic era, has given us an insight into the numbers of woodcarvers and painters who would have been employed on "artefacts" of this type. In those days there were hundreds of such ships, albeit only a few of such magnificence. In order to appreciate the significance of such decorative art for the aesthetic of the Middle Ages, we need only consider the impact upon our own daily lives of film sets and design, and how much more strongly these affect us than the works of contemporary artists. Pop artists such as Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg andJasper Johns have not been the only ones to reflect this everyday aesthetic; although the impermanent art forms of the Middle Ages are almost entirely lost, the miniatures by the Master Boucicaut and theLimburg suggest that their influence was already strong. Bearing all these factors in mind, the scattered remains that are brought together within these pages can nevertheless offer a colourful and many-sided picture of the Gothic age in art.

(Robert Suckale) (Matthias Weniger)

Lorenzo Monaco

Lorenzo Monaco
(b ?137075; d ?Florence, ?142530). Italian painter, illuminator and draughtsman. His name means Lorenzo the Monk, and he was a member of the Camaldolese Order. His mystical and contemplative works, distinguished by their sinuous line and radiant, high-keyed colour, represent the culmination of the Late Gothic style in Florence. He is remembered principally for his paintings on panel and in illuminated manuscripts, but he also worked to a limited extent in fresco, and a few drawings have also survived. His altarpiece of the Coronation of the Virgin (1414; Florence, Uffizi), painted for his own monastery, is a virtuoso display of the exquisite craftsmanship and

brilliant colour of late medieval art.

Diptych: St Jerome c. 1420 Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Diptych: Madonna of Humility c. 1420 Thorvaldsens Museum, Copenhagen

Adoration of the Magi c. 1422 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Coronation of the Virgin and Adoring Saints c. 1414 National Gallery, London

Coronation of the Virgin c. 1414 National Gallery, London

The Coronation of the Virgin 1414 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Jean Fouquet

Jean Fouquet
(b Tours, c. 141520; d Tours, before 8 Nov 1481). French painter and illuminator. He is regarded as the most important French painter of the 15th century and was responsible for introducing Italian Renaissance elements into French painting. Little is known of his life, and, apart from a signed self-portrait medallion (Paris, Louvre), his only authenticated work is the Antiquites judaques (Paris, Bib. N., MS. fr. 247). A corpus of works by Fouquet has therefore been established on the basis of stylistic criteria, but its exact chronology is uncertain.

Self-portrait 1450 Musee du Louvre, Paris

Estienne Chevalier with St Stephen c. 1450 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Portrait of Guillaume Jouvenel des Ursins c. 1455 Musee du Louvre, Paris

Portrait of Charles VII of France c. 1445 Musee du Louvre, Paris

Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels c. 1450 Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels c. 1450 Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

Pieta c. 1445 Parish Church, Nouans-le-Fontaines

Portrait of the Ferrara Court Jester Gonella c. 1442 Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.

Portrait of an Ecclesiastic metalpoint and black chalk on white paper Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Jacopo Bellini

Jacopo Bellini
(b Venice, c. 1400; d Venice, between 26 Aug 1470 and 25 Nov 1471). Painter and draughtsman. His surviving work consists of some 20 paintingsmostly small-scale, intimate devotional picturesand nearly 300 drawings, contained in two volumes (Paris, Louvre; London, BM). The drawings constitute a unique oeuvre for a 15th-century artist, both in regard to their number and their nature; most of them are finished, independent compositions. Most of Jacopos large-scale picture cycles and important commissioned works have been destroyed. Known only through documentary evidence and contemporary sources, they are an indication of the high esteem in which he was held both in Venice and beyond.

Madonna with Child c. 1465 Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles

Madonna and Child 1450 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Madonna and Child 1448 Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

Madonna and Child Blessing c. 1455 Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

Christus im Grabe Verona, Musei Civici di Verona

Kreuzigung Museo Correr e Quadreria Correr

Saint Anthony Abbot and Saint Bernardino of Siena 1459

Madonna and Child