Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Medici


Found a Video on the Medici:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Martyrdom of St. Lawrence, Bronzino

Title: The Martyrdom of St. Lawrence
Artist: Bronzino (
Date: 1565 - 9
Location: San Lorenzo, Florence

  • Exemplary of academic styles
  • Cosimo had instituted the Florentine Academy
  • Art begins to move away from craft to a theoretical production of art
  • The art is no longer about the narrative, but 'art for art's sake'
  • Florentine artists are encouraged to build on each other's achievements
  • moves away from conventions and begins exploring art
  • motifs similar to Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel
  • Uses "quotations" from various sources
  • gratituous use of nudity
  • emphasis on inventiveness
  • the subject is not the focus as everyone in the painting appears to be unaware of the grave situation
  • the bodies are on display, onlookers are unconcerened
  • demonstrates the elevated status of artists in Cosimo's time

By tradition, Lawrence was sentenced at San Lorenzo in Miranda, martyred at San Lorenzo in Panisperna, and buried in the Via Tiburtina in the Catacomb of Cyriaca by Hippolytus and Justinus, a presbyter. Tradition holds that Lawrence was burned or "grilled" to death, hence his association with the gridiron. Tradition also holds that Lawrence joked about their cooking him enough to eat while he was burning on the gridiron, hence his patronage of cooks and chefs. One of the early sources for the martyrdom of Saint Lawrence was the description by Aurelius Prudentius Clemens in his Peristephanon, Hymn II.

Constantine I is said to have built a small oratory in honour of the martyr, which was a station on the itineraries of the graves of the Roman martyrs by the 7th century. Pope Damasus I rebuilt or repaired the church, now known as San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, while the minor basilica of San Lorenzo in Panisperna was built over the place of his martyrdom. The gridiron of the martyrdom was placed by Pope Paschal II in the church of San Lorenzo in Lucina.

Crossing of the Red Sea, Angolo Bronzino

Title: Crossing of the Red Sea
Artist: Bronzino
Location: Chapel of Eleonara da Toledo, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence
Date: 1540
Commissioner: Eleonora of Toledo

Eleonora of Toledo
  • Came from Naples, which was taken over by the Spanish
  • Viceroy runs Naples until 19th Century
  • Eleonara is the daughter of the Viceroy of Spain
  • Marraige to Cosimo is a sign of the Medici mixing with European royalty and gaining more political power
  • Brings a lot of wealth + status to the marriage
  • When Cosimo moved to the Palazzo Vecchio to show his power, Eleonora lives in Prior's Apartments
Crossing of the Red Sea:
  • Refer's to Michelangelo's Moses
  • The Hand is seen as the source of the command - ref. Sistine Chapel
  • Depicts an act that pre-figues Christ's victory and death
  • Idea of Hebrew exile is linked to the idea of Medici exile
  • God help's Israelites - it is God's will that the Medici have returned
  • Pregnant lady signifies fertility and the Golden Age of the Medici
  • Shows off Bronzino's attention to classical sculpture and modern art and shows a focus on artistic rather than emotional content
  • The people do not look like they are 'fleeing'
  • Egyptian horses look artificial - bright colors flatten everything out
  • The Biblical scene is depicted with the use of large figures which, seen from very near, gives the impression of an icy splendour, corroborated by the vivid colours. Some of the figures are clearly inspired by Michelangelo or Pontormo, as well as by the ancient statue sculpture. In particular, the foreground man on the left is a reproduction of the bronze Idolino (now in the Archaeological museum of Florence).

Chapel of Eleonara da Toledo, Angolo Bronzino

Title: Chapel of Eleonara da Toledo
Artist: Bronzino
Location: Palazzo Vecchio, Florence
Date: 1540

Shows the life of Moses
Ref. to the Sistine Chapel
Moses presented as an ideal ruler - apt to Medici and papal offices in Rome

Vestibule, Michelangelo

Title: Vestibule(Ricetto)
Artist: Michelangelo
Location: Laurentian Library, San Lorenzo, Florence
Date : 1523 - 9
Commissioner: Clement VII

  • When Clement VII was made pope - he wanted to leave his imprint on Florence
  • the library was built in the Chruch
  • It housed Medici books + manuscripts that were collected over the 15th Century
  • Provided a study space
  • Books were expensive - cost more than a fresco
  • Donation of books showed their wealth
  • Example of a trend of private collection to public good like a modern library
  • culture can now be more accessible - it is a humanist enterprise to be shared
  • Pietra Serena used throughout - Serene environment
  • originally planned with a glass cieling- allusion to Sistine Chapel + alllows natural light to enter the room
  • coloums in recessions of walls
  • reverse corners
  • large staircase takes up space - lateral staircases connect with the main
  • one stair poised as a seat
  • central staircase comes out in rounded forms - rippling water - coming down rather than going up - affects climbers state of mind
  • unfinished - later completed on his design.

Tomb of Lorenzo with Dawn and Dusk, Michelangelo

Title: Tomb of Lorenzo with Dawn & Dusk
Artist: Michelangelo
Location: Medici Chapel, San Lorenzo, Florence
Date: 1519 - 34

  • Diurnal references - to classical past
  • references to classical past? supposed to be River God at the bottom
  • balance - precarious position
  • idea of time and immortality - linked to Golden Age of the Medici
  • Structure of dome is a reference to sainthood
  • genders were assgined to dawn and dusk based on Italian nouns - juxtaposed symmetry in arrangement
  • Lorenzo in a contemplative gesture
  • different compositions adopted to make a "good" artwork

Duke Giuliano with Day and Night, Michelangelo

Title: Duke Giuliano with Day and Night
Artist: Michelangelo
Location: Medici Chapel, San Lorenzo, Florence
Date: 1519 - 34

  • contracted bodies
  • Night and Day are presented with symbols on them
  • Night with owl and mask
  • Michelangelo puts his own face on the mask and makes it identifiable, but the Medici are idealised - reflects Michelangelo's disgust at Medici taking power
  • masks are supposed to disguise faces , but his reveals his face - mannerist architecture - mannerism with style
  • Guiliano is alert

New Sacristy, Michelangelo

Title: New Sacristy
Artist: Michelangelo
Location: San Lorenzo, Florence
Date: 1519 - 34

Made when Leo X comes to Florence to make claims for the Medici family

Leo X has his cousin Giulio (Clement VII) '
- burial place for Lorenzo the Magnficent and murdered brother Giuliano
- and their namesakes Lorenzo II, Duke of Urbino and Giulio (Duke of Nemero)
Made to mimic the old Sacristy
Pietra Serena - gray-blue store is used, means serene stone
Tombs of the 2 young dukes are opposite each other
Triumphal arch structure with 3 parts to it
paragone tradition: compiles a space that encompasses scultpure, painting and archtecture
playing with architecture - different forms compete with each other
Niche individuals - rep of 2 dukes - both look to central tomb - stress family connection

Entombment, Cravaggio

Title: Entombment
Artist: Cravaggio
Location: Vittrici Chapel, Church of Santa Maria in Vallicel, Rome
Date: 1603 -04

  • Focus on naturalism with greusome details like the dirt on the toes
  • viewer in the pit, diagonal set up by marble
  • angular juxtaposition of bodies
  • extreme light and dark - one focus of light

Deposition, Fiorentino

Title: Deposition
Artist: Rosso Fiorentino
Location: Chapel of Compangia della Croce di Giorno, San Francesco, Volterra
Date: 1521

  • Fiorentino - red-headed Florentine
  • pet-monkey often disrupts work
  • compagnia devoted to true cross
  • chapel is dedicated to the cross and virgin mary
  • changed previous alterpieces for being too explorative
  • precarious poses, crisp skies
  • focus on drapery and light
  • creates angular composition - bodies, drapery ladder ,mary and christ
  • figures inconsistent in scale
  • Christ is shown as serene
  • Compare to Dead Christ by same artist

Entombment, Pontormo

Title: Entombment
Artist: Jacopo Pontormo
Location: Capponi Chapel, Santa Felicita, Florence
Date: 1525 - 28

  • Vertical format gives it a more devotional look
  • less linked to the narrative
  • not situated anywhere
  • style is mannerist - describes a style which focuses on grace to the point of artifice, elongated forms - dismissal of proportions, light,pastel colours - beauty for its own sake - elegant figures, skilled painiting
  • style as a socio-political tool
  • Values classical art
  • Grace becomes an ideal in painting
  • meditative composition - subject - eucharist
  • Draws viewer into the painting with pastels
  • floating figures in background

Entombment, Raphael

Artist: Raphael
Commsioner: Atlanta Baglioni of Perugia
Location: Family Chapel in San Francesco al Prato, Now in Borghese Gallery

  • Alberti advocates the istoria of painting
    - recalling a momentuous event
  • ingeino : skill of artist vs. intellectual content
  • not fit into stable altarpieces
  • conventions had forced artists to become static
  • shown between lamentation and entombment
  • self-consicous b/c it references history paintings and aesthetic ideals moving toward gallery paintings
  • Circular movement - internal movement in compostion
  • copying a Roman sarcophagus that copies Meleager
  • Direct reference to pagan assertions of competition with ancients
  • Meleager was named by Alberti as the ispiration for history painting
  • Atlanta was Meleager's mother and meleager died - symbolic separation of mother and son (Nargos)
  • Theme of rupture
  • Prep. drawings show gradual shift from tradition
  • movement away from iconic use in art to art as iconic in itself
  • art praised as collectable and becomes a tourist attractions
  • concept of artist as genius
  • taken off altar and moved to Borghese gallery and rome
  • Shift in art as a devotional tool to just art for art's sake
Compare to Michelangelo's Entombment and Titian's Entombment

Marriage of the Virgin, Raphael

Title: Marriage of the Virgin
Artist: Raphael
Date: 1504

The Marriage of the Virgin is a painting by the Italian High Renaissance master Raphael, 1504. It is houshed in the Pinacoteca di Brera of Milan.

The panel (signed and dated: RAPHAEL URBINAS MDIIII) was commissioned by the Albizzini family for the chapel of St Joseph in the church of S. Francesco of the Minorities at Città di Castello, in Umbria. In 1798 the town was forced to donate the painting to General Giuseppe Lechi, a Napoleonic army officer, who sold it to the Milanese art dealer, Sannazzari. Sannazzari bequeathed it to the main hospital of Milan in 1804. Two years later it was acquired by the Academy of Fine Arts and was then exhibited at the Brera.

Critics believe the painting to be inspired by two compositions by Perugino: the celebrated Christ Delivering the Keys to St. Peter from the fresco cycle in the Sistine Chapel and a panel containing the Marriage of the Virgin now in the Museum of Caën.

The object of a vandal's attack some years ago, the signed and dated Marriage is a particularly beloved painting by Raphael, one of the unqualified favourites of the Renaissance. In it, Raphael makes the transition from a highly skilled but devoted follower of Perugino in the local Umbrian manner, to an artist who represents the epitome of the Renaissance. This painting was executed immediately before Raphael's trip to Florence where he experienced firsthand the sculpture of Donatello as well as the art of his most famous older contemporaries, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. The figures, with their small oval heads upon which tiny features are applied, seem to come directly from his teacher's idiom.

By painting his name and the date, 1504, in the frieze of the temple in the distance, Raphael abandoned anonymity and confidently announced himself as the creator of the work. The main figures stand in the foreground: Joseph is solemnly placing the ring on the Virgin's finger, and holding the flowering staff, the symbol that he is the chosen one, in his left hand. His wooden staff has blossomed, while those of the other suitors have remained dry. Two of the suitors, disappointed, are breaking their staffs.

The polygonal temple in the style of Bramante establishes and dominates the structure of this composition, determining the arrangement of the foreground group and of the other figures. In keeping with the perspective recession shown in the pavement and in the angles of the portico, the figures diminish proportionately in size. The temple in fact is the centre of a radial system composed of the steps, portico, buttresses and drum, and extended by the pavement. In the doorway looking through the building and the arcade framing the sky on either side, there is the suggestion that the radiating system continues on the other side, away from the spectator.

Caught at the culminating moment of the ceremony, the group attending the wedding also repeats the circular rhythm of the composition. The three principal figures and two members of the party are set in the foreground, while the others are arranged in depth, moving progressively farther away from the central axis. This axis, marked by the ring Joseph is about to put on the Virgin's finger, divides the paved surface and the temple into two symmetrical parts. A tawny gold tonality prevails in the colour scheme, with passages of pale ivory, yellow, blue-green, dark brown and bright red. The shining forms appear to be immersed in a crystalline atmosphere, whose essence is the light blue sky.

The structure of Raphael's painting, which includes figures in the foreground and a centralized building in the background, can certainly be compared to the two Perugino paintings. But Raphael's painting features a well developed circular composition, while that of Perugino is developed horizontally, in a way still characteristic of the Quattrocento. The structure of the figure group and of the large polygonal building clearly distinguish Raphael's painting from that of his master. The space is more open in Raphael's composition, indicating a command of perspective which is superior to Perugino's.

Raphael, Marriage of the Virgin, 1504-Rapheal born in Rubino born to Giovanni Santi who was also artist

-worked under perugino

-styles at beginning were so similar hard to know what is his or Perugino

–Rapheal Marriage of the Virgin -one of first painting by Alvitzzini family -in chapel of saint joseph alterpiece

-Raphael dependant on Perugino work so it resembles Christ giving keys to st Peter.

-exact nature is like the christ one as well artificial looking ideal city views.

-sky is cloudless in monotone colour in red pink and greens. was commissioned by the Albizzini family for the chapel of St Joseph in the church of S. Francesco of the Minorities at Città di Castello, in Umbria.

Christ Giving the Keys to St. Peter, Pietro Perugino

Title: Christ Giving the Keys to St. Peter
Artist: Pietro Perugino
Date: 1481 -2
Location: Sistine Chapel, Rome

Pietro Perugino, Crucifixion with the Virgin and Sts John, Jerome and Mary Magdalene, 1482-5, probably intended for S. Domenico, San Gimignano

Title:Crucifixion with the Virgin and St.s John, Jerome and Mary Magdalene
Artist: Pietro Perugino
Location: S. Domencio, San Gimignano
Current Location: National Gallery, Washingtion
Date:1482 - 5

Last Judgment, Michelangelo

Title: Last Judgement
Artist: Michelangelo
Location: Sistine Chapel, Rome
Date: 1534 -41

The Last Judgment is a fresco by Michelangelo on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. It took four years to complete. Michelangelo began working on it three decades after finishing the ceiling of the chapel.

The work is massive and spans the entire wall behind the altar of the Sistine Chapel. It was executed from 1537 to 1541. The Last Judgment is a depiction of the second coming of Christ and the apocalypse. The souls of humans rise and descend to their fates, as judged by Christ surrounded by his saints.

The Last Judgment was an object of a heavy dispute between Cardinal Carafa and Michelangelo: the artist was accused of immorality and intolerable obscenity, having depicted naked figures, with genitals in evidence, inside the most important church of Christianity, so a censorship campaign (known as the "Fig-Leaf Campaign") was organized by Carafa and Monsignor Sernini (Mantua's ambassador) to remove the frescoes. When the Pope's own Master of Ceremonies, Biagio da Cesena, said "it was mostly disgraceful that in so sacred a place there should have been depicted all those nude figures, exposing themselves so shamefully," and that it was no work for a papal chapel but rather "for the public baths and taverns," Michelangelo worked the Cesena's face into the scene as Minos, judge of the underworld (far bottom-right corner of the painting) with Donkey ears {i.e.foolishness} while his nudity is covered by a coiled snake. It is said that when Cesena complained to the Pope, the pontiff responded that his jurisdiction did not extend to hell, so the portrait would have to remain.

The genitalia in the fresco were later covered by the artist Daniele da Volterra, whom history remembers by the derogatory nickname "Il Braghettone" ("the breeches-painter"). In the painting, Michelangelo does a self portrait depicting himself as St. Bartholomew after he had been flayed (skinned alive). This is reflective of the feelings of contempt Michelangelo had for being commissioned to paint "The Last Judgement".[1] The figure of St. Bartholomew depicts the satirist and erotic writer Pietro Aretino who had tried to extort a valuable drawing from Michelangelo. He holds the painter's flayed skin as a symbol of attempted victimization.

Fire in the Borgo, Raphael

Title: Fire in the Borgo
Artist: Raphael
Location: Stanza dell'Incendio, Vatican Palace
Date: 1514

  • Commissioned under Leo IX who ruled in 9th Centtury
  • in front of St. Peter's
  • Pope arm and miraculously cedes fire
  • Narrative takes focus away from the pope
  • Narrative 'doesnt make sense in perspective
Bodies on display, Reference to classical architecture - columnar orders, focus on art for arts sake

Liberation of St. Peter, Raphael

Title: Liberation of St. Peter
Artist: Raphael
Location: Stanza d'Eliodoro
Date: 1512

  • Peter was arrested by Herod and imprisoned. The night before the trial, he is released by an angel despite being charged
  • 3 aspects of narrative depicted at once
  1. Peter Asleep - angel appears
  2. Sneaking away
  3. light awakens guard too late
  • different light sources used supernatural light and the light of the moon
  • armor reflects moonlight
  • St. Peter : papal figure --> Julius II's pre-pope job as Cardinal of San Pietro en Viencoli
  • St. Peter in chains: ref to previous past.

Raphael, Expulsion of Heliodorus (1512), Stanza d’Eliodoro

Title: Expulsion of Heliodorus
Artist: Raphael
Location: Stanza d'Eliodoro
Date: 1512

  • Room takes its name from a single fresco
  • Theme of divine intervention - overseen by pope or other saintly figure
  • King ordered Heliodorus to confiscate the treasures of Jerusalem
  • Booty confiscated by 2 horsemen who beat him
  • apparitions re-appear to heal Heliodorus and make him believe in sacred temple
  • parallel to wealth of church
  • Julius observes the whole scene
  • Priest praying saves Heliodorus
  • Rapahel's perspective and proportions are skewed
  • Horsement become the focus of the image - focus moves from church to the narrative
  • New technique is used --> chiaroscuro - light/dark contrast

Parnassus, Raphael

Title: Parnassus
Artist: Raphael
Location: Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican Palace, Rome
Date: 1508 - 11

  • personifies poetry
  • contemporary + ancient cultures meet on parnassus
  • Parnassus is an ancient mountain in Greece
    where Appollo and the muses provide inspiration
  • Natural setting, but a fictional space is still created - Look at Sappho's feet
  • contemporary figures - Dante (Divine Comedy) depicted with Virgil ( link of past and present)
  • Petrarch - starting figure of humanism
  • contrapposto near frame shows Michelangelo's influence on Raphael

Disputa, Raphael

Title: Disputa
Artist: Raphael
Location Stanza Della Segnatura, Vatican Palace, Rome
Date: 1508 - 11

  • Fresco depicting religion
  • Shows theologians debating "true presence" in Eucharist
  • painted just before the reformation - special significance
  • Representatives of the 4 doctors of the church are present - (Sts Gregory, Jerome, Ambrose and Augustin) around actual altar
  • Important saints and biblical figures on top
  • Raphael repeats architectural motifs
    - circular cloud structure
  • colored motif, round mandolla, circular wafer, halo around dove (holy spirit)
  • Pope Sixtus IV
  • Julius II is inscribed in altar frontal
  • Saintly figure - St. Peter - papal offices
  • No actual architecture only clouds -
  • - church is above the individuals who make it up
  • - pope is christ's ruler on earth
  • -church is not physical

School of Athens, Raphael

Title: School of Athens
Artist: Raphael
Location: Stanza Della Segnatura, Vatican Palace
Date: 1508 - 11

  • Julius II commissions papal apartments
  • based on 4 main bodies of human knowledge
    : philosophy, Religion, Poetry and Law
  • architectural, circular frame - emphasis on faux archtecture
  • manipulation of space to create a fictional space for the viewer
  • Great minds of the past in dsicussion
  • focus on Aristotle and Plato
  • Plato points up - ideal is unattainable
  • Aristotle poitns down - emperical knowledge
  • Euclid (Bramante) describing geometry
  • Zoraster - sphere - depicted with Raphael's features
  • Pompeii - globe
  • Refers to Bramante's idea of St. Peter's Heraclitus = Michelangelo; Plato = Leonardo
  • space = a temple of learning
  • movement + gestures indicate that knowledge is about movement
  • uses contemporaries to depict past shows - revival of classical ideals (under Julius II's reign)
  • Artists depicted - art is an intellectual practice

Ignudi, Michelangelo

Title: Ignudi
Artist: Michelangelo
Location: Sistine Chapel Cieling, Vatican, Rome
Date: 1508 - 12

  • ignudi - why are they nude ?
  • marginal figures that intrude on compositions
  • made prominent by drapery
  • literary sources use male nudes to refer to a golden age
  • oak and acorns present - commissioned by a Rovere pope
  • Oak tree = Golden age - reference to Julius II - ties in with paradise in Old testament and christ) Rome under Julius is in a golden age

Libyan Sibyl, Michelangelo

Title: Libyan Sibyl
Artist: Michelangelo
Location: Sistine Chapel cieling, Vatican, Rome
Date: 1508 - 12

  • Frame is an important part of paintings
  • works with main subjects in several points
  • Libyan sibyl opens book at separation of light and darkness
  • The Christian Deccacord was in ciruclation
    - Vijero draws parallels between old and new testaments
  • sibyl's predict the coming of christ
  • connections btw old and new - likeness of God into Sibyl's book
  • The Word is key to Christianity - book - prophesizing christ - word made flesh
  • Sibyl looks down at altar (mass) - connections btw the body and word
  • mimics other forms of art (architecture, bronze and marble) paragone tradition
  • saluting own ability to do various kinds of art - shows his dexterity
  • play on perspective
  • drapery - contrasted body