His curiosity is noted in his sketchbooks dealing with subjects of geology, zoology, anatomy, hydraulics, mechanics and so much more. Leonardo states himself that his scientific investigations made him a better painter. Leonardo believed in reality in an absolute sense is inaccessible and humans can know it only through its changing images. This making sense because he also believed that the eyes, were the most important organs with sight being the more essential function. With eyes, individuals can grasp reality most directly and profoundly.
Leonardo’s most recognized paintings in this era were Madonna of the Rocks, Madonna and Child with Saint Anne and the Infant Saint John, Vitruvian Man, Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. From the Madonna of the Rocks painting, Leonardo, presented the figures in a pyramidal grouping where they also share the same environment. This created a unified atmospheric setting that was taught by his scientific curiosity that created a new medium of oil painting. His robust style is shown in the Last Supper as well as the Mona Lisa, which is arguably the most famous painting in the world.
Using chiaroscuro and atmospheric perspective in most of his art work this portrait is a prime example of sfumato (misty-haziness). The Mona Lisa has received tons of attention because of many reasons. One, being the controversy of who is actually in the painting and two, the fact that the woman is looking directly at the viewer. This is something this time period is not used to seeing, especially a secular painting. A painter strongly influenced by Perugino, Leonardo and others was Raphael. Raphael was sent to work by Julius II.
Raphael’s style was all about foreshortening and of the perspective system he learned from Perugino. Some of Raphael’s greatest works included, Madonna in the Meadow, Marriage of the Virgin, Philosophy (School of Athens), Pope Leo X with Cardinals Giulio de’ Medici and Luigi de’ Rossi, Baldassare Castiglione and Galatea. Raphael painted so many things under the Pope and the Medici family, which brought him much success in his life. Raphael’s paintings were much brighter and bolder than Leonardo’s which I enjoy the intense detail of his paintings.
His figures communicate moods that reflect their beliefs, and the artist’s placement of the figures tied these moods together. It is shown best in his painting of Philosophy, School of Athens. One of my favorites from Raphael is Galatea. Instead of showing more biblical paintings this one was representing classical mythology. Which was rarely used to make paintings for. Michelangelo was an artist, architect, poet, engineer and a sculptor. Although, he is most famous for painting the Sistine chapel frescos, his sculpting was very prominent and shares the divine power to “make man. He believed the image the artist’s hand produces must come from the idea in the artists mind.
That artist found their ideas in the natural world, reflecting on the absolute idea, beauty. Michelangelo reflected his ideas off of a great philosophical man named, Plato. He broke from measurements and absolute proportions to show symbolic meaning in his sculptures. This is how he broke away from Da Vinci and others, he believed that the concept of right to a self-expression relied only on the artist’s own judgment.
Some of his pieces included: Pieta, David, Moses, Bound Slave (Rebellious Slave), Tomb of Giuliano De’ Medici and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. During the time of the Sistine Chapel being painted the “counter-reformation” was being created. The tension between the catholic faith and the protestant faith. From the tension of religious life in this time period created Michelangelo’s Last Judgment painting. Michelangelo was very talented and also did some Architecture work for Saint Peters, Rome, as well as a court yard for Paul III. Some other notable people during the 1500’s included Andrea Palladio.
He was greatly influenced by Renaissance philosophers and artists, and was made architectural advisor to the Vatican in 1570. His great architectural works include Villa Foscari, Teatro Olimpico, and Palazzo Chiericati, all located in Italy. Venetian Painting began in the 16th Century and derived from the distinct style from Rome and Florence to create soft-colored light on figures and landscapes. One great artist that began the High-Renaissance painting style in Venice was Giovanni Bellini. Influenced greatly by Antonello da Messina, a Sicilian born painter.
He encountered Flemish painting and mastered using mixed oil. As a result Bellini used a mixture of oil and tempera and created a sensual coloristic manner that dominated for the rest of the century. Known for his Madonna paintings and others he used his style to teach other great artists like Titian and Giorgione. Giorgione, although short-lived he created The Tempest, which focused on lyrical and sensual inspired poetry to be conveyed in his paintings. Among Bellini’s death in 1516, the Republic of Venice named Titian as its official painter.
Influenced greatly by Giorgione and his master Bellini, One of his most noted pieces of art was at first believed to be Bellini’s but once known it was Titian he took over the Venetian painting style. He was a colorist and a master of the oil medium that casted a mood of tranquil and dreaminess over the entire painting. Some of his art work included: Pastoral Symphony, Assumption of the Virgin, Madonna of the Pesaro Family, Meeting of Bacchus and Ariadne, Isabella d’Este and Venus of Urbino. Titan’s late work was brought on by him thinking of his death and started creating a memorial for his tomb, like Michelangelo, called Pieta.
During this time canvas’s very being introduced and it was painted on a canvas creating a thick Impasto. In the 1520’s emerged Mannerism. Where paintings were know centered on style and representation. Mannerism revealed itself to have imbalanced compositions and unusual complexities. Showing random space and unusual presentations of traditional themes. The artists in this style era included: Pontormo, Parmigianino, Bronzino and Sofonisba Anguissola. The most noted out of all of these artists would have to be Parmigianino.
He began a painter in his teens and quickly became the favorite painter in Rome. His works include the self-portrait in a convex mirror and his best work Madonna with the Long Neck. Displaying elegance in the mannerist fashion and Madonna with a distorted long neck. Bronzino also conveyed the mannerist style very well in his controversial painting of Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time. The meaning of the painting was overall ambiguous and was left with the viewer to decide what happens. The first female in this chapter that is actually noted for her talents is Sofonisba Anguissola.
She introduced a new kind of group portrait where the subjects are often engaged in activities causing an informality in the painting but still leaving the charm for people to see. The style switches up again in the 16th century combining the High Renaissance Venetian ideas but also incorporating many elements in the mannerist style. The artists shown in this era were Tintoretto, Veronese and Correggio. Along with sculptures by Benvenuto Cellini and Giovanni Da Bologna and some architecture by Romano which he depicted all of a mannerist style.
Tintoretto claimed he was a student of Titian and he aspired to combine Titian’s color with Michelangelo’s drawing but historians believed he conveyed a remarkable Venetian representation of Mannerism. In his painting of the Last Supper, he shows dramatic power, depth of spiritual vision and the glowing use of the Venetian style of colors. Among him was Veronese. While Tintoretto showed drama and deep perspectives, Veronese specialized in pageantry painted in beautiful color set in majestic classical architecture.
Both artists painted on huge canvases as large as 20-30 feet high or even more. Another painter that had his own personal style between all of these was Correggio. His painting of the Assumption of the Virgin captured one of the most illusionistic ceiling paintings I’ve ever seen in my life. He was around long before Veronese and was a teacher of Parmigianino and didn’t receive all the attention he should have gotten back then. It’s only until the 17th century that Baroque painters appreciate what he accomplished.