Italian Painters

Cimabue and the Gotic art

The term “Gotic” traces back its origins in the Renaissance period. Its meaning “barbaric” has a negative acceptation, as it is intended to destroy classical traditions, opposing Renaissance to Middle Age.

The period in which Gotic art developed saw the establishment of the empire and of national monarchies. The maximum representative in painting was Cimabue. One of his most important works is the antique painting Crucifix of San Domenico preserved in Arezzo.

Dramatic images of grief and death and typical Bizantine style elements, like the golden background, are the main elements. In his later work, Maestà the concept of paradisiac light is represented, with a golden sky from which the throne of the Virgin Mary emerges. In the Crucifix of Santa Croce, one of its latest works, we can find less violent images.

Giotto

Pupil of Cimabue, Giotto is the precursor of Renaissance theories, introducing in his paintings a new vitality and becoming a model for the 14th century artists.

His paintings lend sacred characters expressivity in a natural background. His antique paintings and his frescos, Madonna in Maestà, Santo Stefano and frescos inspired by life of San Francesco in the Basilica of Assisi and in the Cappella Scrovegni in Padova marked a line of demarcation in the History of Art.

Duccio di Boninsegna

Duccio di Boninsegna was one of the most important Sienese painters. Madonna Rucellai, Maestà and Christ accused by Farisees are among his main works.

Byzantine elements were used in a new version by Duccio di Boninsegna, in order to obtain juxtaposition of colors and extreme refinement in the use of line.

Simone Martini

Simone Martini’s frescos of a Maestà show the transposition of real into ideal and his most important work was the Annunciation.

Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti

The most important work of Pietro Lorenzetti is Nativity of the Virgin, with great attention to details; Ambrogio Lorenzetti decorated the Public Palace Sala dei Nove in Siena with his frescos Allegories of the good and bad government.

Baroque Painters

A new style emerged in Europe between 1600 and 1750: Baroque, a fascinating and complex art expressed in brilliant, sumptuous works. The term baroque had first a negative acceptation.

Among the most important representatives of Baroque painting was Caravaggio with his works like the Baccus and The child with fruit. The precursor was, however, Annibale Carracci, at the end of the 1500.

quadro antico caravaggio

The Fleming painter Rubens works reflects an idea of fluidity in an atmosphere of splendor, like in The rape of Leucippo’s Daughters and Love garden.

 

Vermeer (1632-75) with The girl with a pearl earring or Home view in Delf, Rembrandt (1606-1669) with Philosophy in meditation or Dinner in Emmaus, were the most famous Dutch baroque painters.

Energy, movement, intensity are the main baroque elements. Characters of paintings are well defined, not stereotyped, but natural and expressive

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