Quattrocento, Florence School of the XV century...


In the era of Quattrocento, the formation process in Italy XV century. a new culture and a new worldview was unusually intense, but precisely because it was not completed in this period, the fifteenth century is full of creative freedom, bold daring, worship of human individuality. This is truly an age of humanism. In addition, it is an era full of faith in the boundless power of reason, the era of intellectualism and empiricism: the perception of reality is tested by experience, experiment, controlled by the mind. Hence the spirit of order and measure, so characteristic of the art of the Renaissance. Geometry, mathematics, anatomy, the doctrine of the proportions of the human body are of great importance to artists; then they begin to carefully study the structure of man. In the XV century. Italian artists have solved the problem of a straightforward perspective, which is already ripe in the art of Trecento.

In the formation of secular culture XV century. An enormous role was played by Antiquity. Quattrocento demonstrates direct links with her culture of the Renaissance. In Florence, the Platonic Academy is founded, the Laurentian library contains the richest collection of ancient manuscripts. The first art museums appear, filled with statues, fragments of antique architecture, marbles, coins, ceramics. Ancient Rome is restored. Before the amazed Europe, the beauty of the afflicted Laocoon, the beautiful Apollo (Belvedere) and Venus (the Medicine) will soon appear.

We must not forget, however, that the influence of Antiquity is layered on the centuries-old and lasting traditions of the Middle Ages, on Christian art. Pagan and Christian scenes are intertwined, transformed, reporting a specifically complex character to the culture of the Renaissance. Quattrocento draws its subjects and images from both Holy Scripture, and from ancient mythology, knightly legends, from the artist's own observations of the current of the momentary life. As Pavel Muratov once wrote poetically, "for them the history of Esther, and the history of Griselda, and the history of Eurydice took place in the same country. There live beautiful birds, dragons, oriental sages, nymphs, ancient heroes and magical beasts, and this country is simply a fairy tale country. " But it is in Quattrocento that the aesthetics of Renaissance art, the type of Renaissance culture, is formed.

Florentine School of the XV century

It was Florence that played the role of playing the "first violin" in Quattrocento. The city, based on the lands of the oldest Villanova culture, then the Etruscans, in the 4th century. adopted the Christianity (488-th year is dated to his famous baptistery), from the XII century. a rich commune town that has left its mark on the art of Trecento with the sculptures of the Pisano family and the genius of Dante and Giotto, Florence becomes the main center of Renaissance culture in the era of Quattrocento. Since 1434 the power in Florence passes to Cosimo de 'Medici (Cosimo the Elder, 1389-1464), the founder of the bankers' dynasty of the Dukes-Maecenas by the origin of the healers (not without reason in their coat of arms there is an image of three pills). The "age of medical culture" began with them.

In the architecture of Italy only in the XV century. The features of the new style begin to appear. Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446) completed in 1434 a giant dome of the Florentine Cathedral, in general the Gothic building laid back in 1295 by Arnolfo di Cambio (in 1334 Giotto erects a series of Campanile - bell tower at 32 m high). The lantern of the octahedral dome (its diameter is 43 m - no less than the Roman Pantheon), which still prevails in the panorama of the city, has ancient pilasters with semicircular arches on which the lantern overlap.

Arnolfo di Cambio, Filippo Brunelleschi. Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence (with the bell tower of Giotto). Detail

Pazzi Chapel at the Church of Santa Croce, built by Brunelleschi between 1430 and 1443, rectangular in plan, with six Corinthian columns on the facade, a cornice on paired pilasters, a portico crowned by a spherical dome, pesetas with features of constructive clarity, antique simplicity , harmony and proportionality, which becomes characteristic of the whole Renaissance art. These features were even more clearly manifested in secular architecture, for example in the building of the Educational House in Florence ("Ospidalo degli Innocenti"), also built by Brunelleschi, in which the gallery of the first floor, passing on the second floor into a smooth wall with a cornice and windows, served a sample for the entire architecture of the Renaissance.

Quattrocento created its own image of the secular city palace (palazzo): as a rule, it is a three-story, serpent-like character due to the clutch of rough-hewn stones, especially emphasizing the first floor, but at the same time clear and precise in its construction. These are the Palazzo Pitta, the construction of which was started in 1469 according to the project of Leon Battista Albert; built earlier than Michellozo da Bartolomeo Palazzo Medici (Riccardi); created under the project of Albergi Palazzo Rucellai. The clearness of the storey division, rustic, the big role of the pilasters, the twin windows, the underlined cornice are the characteristic features of these palaces. Further, this mud, modified, found development on Roman and Venetian soil. Turning to the use of the ancient heritage, to the order system, Renaissance architecture was a new stage in architecture. In the secular architecture of the palazzo is characterized by a combination of external serf inaccessibility and power with the inner atmosphere of the comfort of early Italian villas.

In church architecture it is necessary to note one more feature: the facing of the facades of churches appears and is campaigned with multicolored marble, which makes the facade "striped" - a characteristic feature of the Italian Quattrocento, and it was formed primarily in Florence.

The year of the birth of the new sculpture of Quattrocento can be considered 1401, when the craft organization of merchants announced a competition for the sculpture decoration of the doors of the Baptistery of the Florence Cathedral. Of the three doors of the baptistery, one was already adorned in the 1430s. sculptural reliefs by Andrea Pisano (circa 1290-1348 or 1349). It was necessary to issue two more. The competition was attended by such masters as the architect Brunelleschi, Jacopo della Quercia (circa 1374-1438), Lorenzo Ghiberti (1381 - 1455), etc. The contest did not reveal the winner. It was only recognized that the samples of Brunelleschi and Ghiberti far surpass the samples of the other contestants, and they were offered to work on the same level in the future. Brunelleschi refused such an offer, and the order was completely transferred to Ghiberti. Lorenzo Ghiberti, famous in art and as a theorist, author of three books "Comments", created complex multi-figured compositions on biblical subjects that unfold on a landscape and architectural background. In the manner of performance there are many Gothic influences. The art of Ghiberti in spirit is aristocratic-refined, full of external effects, which was more to the taste of the customer than the democratic, manly art of della Quercia.

The sculptor, who fell into the art for many centuries to solve many problems of European plastics - round sculpture, monument, equestrian monument - was Donato di Niccolo di Betto Bardi , known in art history as Donatello (1386? -1466). Donatello's creative path was very difficult. In his art there are also Gothic reminiscences, as, for example, in the figure of the marble "David" (the early work of the sculptor).

In the figure of the Apostle Mark created for the Florentine church Op-San Michele (1410s), Donatello solves the problem of putting a human figure into growth according to the laws of plastics, developed back in ancient times by Polyclett, but consigned to oblivion In the Middle Age. The apostle is leaning on his right leg, his left leg is pushed back and bent at the knee, only slightly supporting the balance of the figure. This movement is emphasized by folds of a cloak, falling along the right foot, and a complex pattern of flexible lines of these folds, scattered on the left leg. For another niche of the same building, but the order of the gunsmith's shop Donatello performed the statue of "St. George" (1415-1417), embodying the already clearly expressed ideal of the early Renaissance: a sense of self-awareness and confidence in this vividly individual image is emphasized by the free, calm pose of a figure resembling a column that brings "St. George" with the best examples of Greek sculpture of the period of high classics. It is "not the humanized god of antiquity, but a deified man of a new era" (N. N. Punin).

The realistic beginning of Donatello's art was fully expressed in the images of the prophets for the bell tower of Giotto (1416-1430), which he executed from specific individuals, which made these images, in fact, portraits of contemporaries. He was engaged in Donatello and a special portrait. One of the first portrait busts typical of the Renaissance is rightly considered to be the "Portrait of Niccolo Udzano", a politician of Florence of those years, executed by Donatello in terracotta.

Donatello's trip in 1432 from Brunelleschi to Rome, the study of ancient monuments there inspired him for a number of works, pagan in spirit, close in shape to antique plastic, such as the marble angels on the singing platform of the Florence Cathedral. A complex combination of ancient influences (in the interpretation of forms, folds of clothes) and high-religious, deeply religious mood is a relief "Annunciation" from the church of Santa Croce in Florence.

Donatello. David. Florence, National Bargello Museum

In the bronze David (1430-ies.) Donatello again returns to the ancient traditions, but already late Greek classics. A simple shepherd, the conqueror of giant Goliath, who saved the inhabitants of Judea from the yoke of the Philistines and who later became king, David was one of the favorite images of Renaissance art. Donatello portrayed him as very young, perfectly beautiful, like the Praxitelian Hermes.

But Donatello was not afraid to introduce such a household detail, like a shepherd's hat - a sign of his simple origin.

Donatello also owns the honor of creating the first monumental monument in the Renaissance. In the years 1443-1453. in Padua he casts the equestrian statue of the condottier Erasmo di Guy, nicknamed Gattamelata ("variegated cat"). A wide, free modeling of the form creates a monumental image of the commander, the head of the mercenary troops, the condottier with the marshal's staff in his arm, clad in armor, but with a naked head (executed by the way, with a mask and therefore expressively-portrait) on a heavy, majestic horse. The horse's left front leg rests on the core. Like the rider on horseback, it is simple, clear and rigid pedestal. The image of Gattamelata, undoubtedly, is executed under the influence of ancient spatial decisions, primarily the image of Marcus Aurelius.

The monument of Gattamelata stands on the square in front of the Padua cathedral of St. Anthony, the reliefs of the altar which was also performed by Donatello (1445-1450). Using the best traditions of Middle Ages art, having studied antique plastic, Donatello came to his own decisions, to images of deep humanity and realism, which explains his enormous influence on all subsequent European sculpture. No wonder he was named one of the three "fathers of the Renaissance" along with Brunelleschi and Masaccio.

Donatello. Statue of Condottier Gattamelatta. Padua

Donatello's most famous pupil is Andrea Verrocchio (1436-1488), who was also a painter (as a painter he is better known for being a teacher of Leonardo). Verrocchio was inspired by the same subjects as Donatello. But the bronze David Verrocchio, performed at the end of the Florentine Quatrocento, is more refined, elegant, the modeling of its form is extremely detailed. All this makes the sculpture less monumental than the image of Donatello. For the Venetian square near the church of San Giovanni, Paolo Verocchio performed the equestrian monument of condottier Colleoni. In the pose of the rider, in the prancing step the horse has some theatricality. The profile of a high pedestal designed so that the silhouette of the rider was clearly read against the sky, in the middle of a small square surrounded by tall houses, is combined. The features of sophistication in Verrocchio fully correspond to the aristocratic taste that characterized Florence in the late fifteenth century, although, of course, thanks to the talent of Verrocchio, there is both majesty and the integrity of the monumental image in his monument. Verocchio's Colloquium is not so much the image of a certain person as a generalized type of military commander, head of mercenary troops, condottier, characteristic for that epoch.

Andrea Verrocchio. Statue of Condottiere Colleoni. Venice

The leading role in Florentine Quattrocento painting fell to the artist Tommaso di Giovanni di Simone Cassay Guidi , known as Masaccio (1401-1428). It can be said that Masaccio solved those pressing problems of pictorial art that Giotto had put up a century earlier. Already in two main scenes of painting in the Brancacci chapel of the Florentine church of Santa Maria del Carmine - Submit ( Il tributo ) and Elimination of Adam and Eve from Heaven Masaccio showed himself as an artist, for whom it was clear how to place figures in space, how to connect them with each other and with the landscape, what are the laws of the anatomy of the human body. Masaccio's scenes are full of drama, life's truth. In Exile from Heaven Adam covered his face with shame with shame. Eve sobs, throwing her head in despair. In the scene Submit three themes are united at once: Christ with the disciples at the gates of the city, stopped by the tax collector, is the central composition; Peter, at the behest of Christ, catches fish to get out of it the coin needed for payment (didrahmu, or stati, hence the other name of the fresco - "Miracle with the statue"), - the composition on the left; the scene of paying the tax to the collector is the scene to the right. The very principle of combining three scenes on one plane is still archaic, but the way these scenes are written - taking into account the linear and aerial perspective - was a genuine revelation for both the contemporaries of Mazaccio and all subsequent masters.

Masaccio was the first to solve Quattrocento's main questions - the problems of linear and aerial perspective. Into the distance hills and trees leave, forming a natural environment in which the heroes are and with which the figures are organically connected. Naturally, there is a central group in the landscape - Jesus and his disciples. Between the figures, it creates an air environment. Masaccio was not afraid to communicate the portrait traits of a group of Christ's disciples in the center: in the right extreme figure contemporaries saw Masaccio himself, in the person to the left of Christ they saw a resemblance to Donatello. The light was also natural: it corresponded to the real light falling from the right side of the chapel.

Masaccio frescoes from the moment of their appearance contributed to the fact that the church of Santa Maria del Carmine turned into a kind of academy where generations of artists studied, right up to Michelangelo, who was undoubtedly influenced by Masaccio. The ability to connect Masaccio in a single action of the figure and the landscape, dramatically and at the same time it is quite natural to convey the life of nature and people - this is the great merit of the painter, which determined his place in art. And it is all the more surprising that Masaccio lived in the world for a little over a quarter of a century.

Masaccio. A miracle with an statue. Florence, the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine, the Brancacci Chapel

The whole generation of artists following Masaccio worked out the problems of perspective, movement and anatomy of the human body, so they got the name of perspectiveists and analysts in science. These are such painters as Paolo Uccello (1397-1475), Andrea del Castagno (circa 1421-1457), Umbrian painter Domenico Veneziano (until 1410-1461).

There was among the Florentine artists and more archaic trend, expressing conservative tastes. Some of these artists were monks, so in the history of art they were called monastic. One of the most famous among them was Fra (ie brother - monk's appeal to a monk) Giovanni Beato Angelico da Fiesole (Fra Angelico, 1387-1455). And although he was a monk of the gloomy Dominican order, there is nothing stern, ascetic in his art. The images of his Madonna, written in medieval traditions, often on a gold background, are full of lyricism, peace and contemplation, and the landscape backgrounds are permeated with an enlightened sense of cheerfulness, characteristic of the Renaissance. This feeling is further strengthened in the work of the pupil of Beato Angelico Bsnotzo Gozzoli (1420-1498), for example in his famous fresco the Palazzo Medici (Riccardi), the "Procession of the Magi", in whose composition he introduced the image of the family of the ruler of Florence, Cosimo de 'Medici.

thematic pictures

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