Cimabue, known as Cenni di Pepo or Cenni di Pepi, was a Florentine painter and designer of mosaics. Although heavily influenced by Byzantine models, Cimabue is generally regarded as one of the first great Italian painters to break from the Italo-Byzantine style, according to Italian painter and historian Giorgio Vasari, Cimabue was the teacher of Giotto, the first great artist of the Italian Proto-Renaissance. However, many scholars today tend to discount Vasaris claim, citing earlier sources which suggest this was not the case, little is known about Cimabues early life. One source that recounts his career is Giorgio Vasaris Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and he was born in Florence and died in Pisa. Hayden Maginnis speculates he could have trained in Florence under masters culturally connected to Byzantine art, many scholars today discount Vasaris claim that he had Giotto as his pupil, citing earlier sources which suggest this was not the case. Cimabues Christ is bent and the clothes have the golden striations introduced by Coppo di Marcovaldo, around 1272 Cimabue is documented as being present in Rome, and a little he made another Crucifix for the Florentine church of Santa Croce.
In the same period, Cimabue painted the Maestà, originally displayed in the church of San Francesco at Pisa and this work established a style which was followed subsequently by numerous artists, including Duccio di Buoninsegna in his Rucellai Madonna, as well as Giotto. A workshop painting, perhaps assignable to a period, is the Maestà with Saints Francis. During the pontificate of Pope Nicholas IV, the first Franciscan pope, at Assisi, in the transept of the Lower Basilica of San Francesco, he created a fresco named Madonna with Child Enthroned, Four Angels and St Francis. The left portion of this fresco is lost, but it may have shown St Anthony of Padua, Cimabue was subsequently commissioned to decorate the apse and the transept of the Upper Basilica of Assisi, in the same period of time that Roman artists were decorating the nave. The cycle he created there comprises scenes from the Gospels, the lives of the Virgin Mary, St Peter and these paintings are now in poor condition due to the oxidation of the brighter colors which the artist used.
The Maestà of Santa Trinità, dated to c, 1290–1300, which was originally painted for the church of Santa Trinità in Florence, is now in the Uffizi Gallery. The softer expression of the characters suggests that it was influenced by Giotto, Cimabue spent the last period of his life,1301 to 1302, in Pisa. There he was commissioned to finish a mosaic of Christ Enthroned, originally begun by Maestro Francesco, Cimabue was to create the part of the mosaic depicting St John the Evangelist, which remains the sole surviving work documented as being by the artist. Cimabue died around the year 1302. he would destroy the work. His nickname, Cenni di Pepo, translates as ‘bull-head’, but possibly as ‘one who crushes the views of others’, from the Latin word cimare, meaning top and blunt. The conclusion for the meaning is drawn from similar commentaries on Dante. History has long regarded Cimabue as the last of an era that was overshadowed by the Italian Renaissance, in painting Cimabue thought he held the field but now its Giotto has the cry, so that the others fame is dimmed
Finding in the Temple
The Finding in the Temple, called Christ among the Doctors or the Disputation, was an episode in the early life of Jesus depicted in the Gospel of Luke. It is the event of the childhood of Jesus mentioned in a Gospel. The episode is described in Luke 2, 41-52, Jesus at the age of twelve accompanies Mary, Joseph and a large group of their relatives and friends to Jerusalem on pilgrimage, following the custom of the feast - that is, Passover. On the day of their return, Jesus lingered in the Temple and Joseph headed back home and after a day of travel realised Jesus was missing, so they returned to Jerusalem, finding Jesus three days later. He was found in The Temple in discussion with the elders and they were amazed at his learning, especially given his young age. When admonished by Mary, Jesus replied, Why did you seek Me, did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business. The story was elaborated in literature, such as the apocryphal 2nd-century Infancy Gospel of Thomas. The losing of Jesus is the third of the Seven Sorrows of Mary, and this event is frequently shown in art, and was a common component in cycles of the Life of the Virgin as well as the Life of Christ.
In early Christian depictions, Jesus is usually shown in the center, seated on a dais surrounded by the elders. The gesture usually made by Jesus, pointing to his upraised thumb and these depictions derive from classical compositions of professors of philosophy or rhetoric with their students, and are similar to medieval depictions of contemporary university lectures. This composition can appear until as late as Ingres and beyond, from the Early Medieval period the moment shown is usually assimilated to the finding itself, by the inclusion of, initially and Joseph as well, usually at the left of the scene. Typically and the doctors, intent on their discussions, have not noticed them yet, from the 12th century Jesus is often seated in a large throne-like chair, sometimes holding a book or scroll. From the High Renaissance onwards, many painters showed a close-up of the scene, with Jesus closely surrounded by gesticulating scholars, as in Dürers version of the subject. Seven Sorrows of Mary G.
Schiller, Iconography of Christian Art, Vol. I,1971, Lund Humphries, London, pp. 124–5 & figs, ISBN 0-85331-270-2
Ugolino di Nerio
Ugolino di Nerio was an Italian painter active in his native city of Siena and in Florence between the years 1317 and 1327. He was a follower of Duccio di Buoninsegna, from whose Maestà some of his scenes are clearly derived. He was a master who contributed to the spread of Sienese painting in Florence by earning commissions to paint in the two main basilicas there, Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce. Nerio was born around 1280 in Siena to a family of painters and his father as well as his siblings and Muccio, were artists. His only known signed work is his altarpiece for the altar of Saint Croce. The signature is now lost but was recorded by Vasari, the work was moved from the main altar in 1566 to make way for a ciborium designed by Vasari. Today the panels are scattered in museums around the world. The National Gallery in London has eleven, studies of this work have resulted in putative reconstructions. Ugolino di Nerio emerged as an independent master around 1315 and his early paintings like the Madonna Contini Bonaccossi in the Pitti Palace, are painted in a style drawn from that of Duccio.
From about 1320 a distinct mature style emerges and elegant and his choice of brighter colours was perhaps influenced by Simone Martini. Evidence of di Nerio’s fondness for painting pious subject matter can be seen in his depictions of Mary Magdalene and Louis of Toulouse. Both of these paintings utilize the rich and vibrant colors that he was known for using, the altarpiece for Santa Croce was the most important commission in a series of works that the Franciscans entrusted to him. At least eight polyptychs have survived in parts, other important polyptychs are in the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Clark Art Institute, Massachusetts. His best-known Madonna is in the Chiesa della Misericordia, San Casciano in Val di Pesa, according to Vasari he died in Siena. In, National Gallery Catalogues, Catalogue of the Earlier Italian Schools, Clark Art Institute, An altarpiece painted by the artist
Pietro Lorenzetti was an Italian painter, active between c.1306 and 1345. Together with his younger brother Ambrogio, he introduced naturalism into Sienese art, in their artistry and experiments with three-dimensional and spatial arrangements, the brothers foreshadowed the art of the Renaissance. That the men were brothers was unknown to Vasari because he misread Pietros surname on a painting in Pistoias church of San Francesco as Laurati, thus the kinship between the artists was missed. Pietro worked in Assisi, Pistoia and Siena and his work suggests the influence of Duccio and Giovanni Pisano. According to Vasari, it was Pietros frescoes that adorned the facade of Sienas Ospedale della Scala that first bought him to the attention of his contemporaries. Unfortunately, the frescoes – now believed to be the work of both Lorenzetti brothers – were destroyed in 1720 and subsequently whitewashed over, many of his religious works may still be seen in churches and museums in the Tuscan towns of Arezzo and Siena.
Although Lorenzettis integration of frame and painted architecture in the Nativity of the Virgin is usually thought to be unique, it is evident in the frescoes of Assisi some decades earlier. One probable conclusion can be made that he did not read Latin as there was documentation of a translator being paid in association with his work on The Birth of the Virgin. The narrative influence of Giottos frescoes in the Bardi and Peruzzi Chapels in Santa Croce, Sienese iconography, generally more mystical and fantastic than that of the more naturalistic Florentines, sometimes resembles a modern surrealist landscape. The gilded three-story altarpiece, the Arezzo Polyptych, was commissioned in 1320 by bishop Guido Tarlati for the Santa Maria della Pieve in Arezzo. At its centre is the Madonna and child, flanked by John the Evangelist, John the Baptist, Saint Matthew, the rich colours, graceful lines, decorative detail, and supple figures, endow the piece with a vivacity rare in contemporary Sienese art.
The polyptych is Lorenzettis first dated work and one of four with verifiable documentation including the Carmelite Altarpiece, the Uffizi Madonna. “The dating has allowed scholars to identify with precision a specific stage of the painters activity, perhaps Lorenzettis most ambitious work is the Passion fresco cycle in the left transept of the Lower Church of San Francesco in Assisi. The conditions for the execution of the frescoes would have been difficult as very little natural light would be available and the lower church would be near darkness. The exact time line of the frescoes is in question, some believed the cycle was painted in sections over several years as the style had some similarities to Lorenzettis Carmelite Altarpiece. The reasons are varied, from painting only in the dry season to the skirmishes in the area at the time. The more recent technical and stylistic evidence presented by Maginnis poses strong arguments that Lorenzettis Passion Cycle was completed in one campaign between the years 1316 or 1317 and 1319.
Believed to be one of his earliest works is the Madonna and Child with Saint Francis and John the Baptist, according to Maginnis the “finest and most complete realization of the ambition to conjoin real and painted space was left to Pietro Lorenzetti, working in the left transept
Siena Cathedral is a medieval church in Siena, dedicated from its earliest days as a Roman Catholic Marian church, and now dedicated to the Assumption of Mary. Previously the episcopal seat of the Diocese of Siena, from the 15th century the Archdiocese of Siena, the cathedral itself was originally designed and completed between 1215 and 1263 on the site of an earlier structure. It has the form of a Latin cross with a slightly projecting transept, a dome, the dome rises from a hexagonal base with supporting columns. The lantern atop the dome was added by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the nave is separated from the two aisles by semicircular arches. The exterior and interior are constructed of white and greenish-black marble in alternating stripes and white are the symbolic colors of Siena, etiologically linked to black and white horses of the legendary citys founders and Aschius. The origins of the first structure are obscure and shrouded in legend, there was a 9th-century church with bishops palace at the present location.
In December 1058 a synod was held in this resulting in the election of pope Nicholas II. In 1196 the cathedral masons’ guild, the Opera di Santa Maria, was put in charge of the construction of a new cathedral. Works were started with the north - south transept and it was planned to add the main, larger body of the cathedral later, by 1215 there were already daily masses said in the new church. There are records from 1226 onwards of the transport of black and white marble, probably for the construction of the façade, the vaults and the transept were constructed in 1259-1260. In 1259 Manuello di Ranieri and his son Parri carved some wooden choir stalls, in 1264, Rosso Padellaio was paid for the copper sphere on top of the dome. A second massive addition of the body of the cathedral was planned in 1339. It would have more than doubled the size of the structure by means of a new nave. The construction was begun under the direction of Giovanni di Agostino, construction was halted by the Black Death in 1348.
Basic errors in the construction were already evident by then, the outer walls, remains of this extension, can now be seen to the south of the Duomo. The floor of the nave now serves as a parking lot and museum, though unfinished, the remains are testament to Sienese power, ambition. Underneath the choir of the Duomo, a narthex containing important late 13th-century frescoes was found, the frescoes depict scenes from the Old Testament and the life of Christ. This was part of the entrance of an earlier church, but when the baptistry was built, this under-church was filled with rubble
The Uffizi Gallery is a prominent art museum located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria in central Florence, region of Tuscany, Italy. The building of Uffizi complex was begun by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I de Medici so as to accommodate the offices of the Florentine magistrates, hence the name uffizi, the construction was continued by Alfonso Parigi and Bernardo Buontalenti and completed in 1581. The niches in the piers that alternate with columns filled with sculptures of artists in the 19th century. The Uffizi brought together under one roof the administrative offices, the Tribunal and the Archivio di Stato, the state archive. He commissioned from the architect Buontalenti the design of the Tribuna degli Uffizi that collected a series of masterpieces in one room, over the years, more sections of the palace were recruited to exhibit paintings and sculpture collected or commissioned by the Medici. The gallery had been open to visitors by request since the sixteenth century, because of its huge collection, some of its works have in the past been transferred to other museums in Florence—for example, some famous statues to the Bargello. A project was finished in 2006 to expand the exhibition space some 6,000 metres² to almost 13,000 metres².
On 27 May 1993, a car exploded in Via dei Georgofili and damaged parts of the palace. The most severe damage was to the Niobe room and classical sculptures and neoclassical interior, the identity of the bomber or bombers are unknown, although it was almost certainly attributable to the Sicilian Mafia who were engaged in a period of terrorism at that time. Today, the Uffizi is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Florence, in high season, waiting times can be up to five hours. In early August 2007, Florence experienced a heavy rainstorm, the Gallery was partially flooded, with water leaking through the ceiling, and the visitors had to be evacuated. There was a more significant flood in 1966 which damaged most of the art collections in Florence severely. Here is a selection from the collection, The collection contains some ancient sculptures, such as the Arrotino. Collections of the Uffizi Official website Uffizi – Google Art Project
National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art, and its attached Sculpture Garden, is a national art museum in Washington, D. C. located on the National Mall, between 3rd and 9th Streets, at Constitution Avenue NW. Open to the public and free of charge, the museum was established in 1937 for the American people by a joint resolution of the United States Congress. Andrew W. Mellon donated an art collection and funds for construction. The Gallery often presents temporary special exhibitions spanning the world and the history of art and it is one of the largest museums in North America. In 1930 Mellon formed the A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, when quizzed by Abbot, he explained that the project was in the hands of the Trust and that its decisions were partly dependent on the attitude of the Government towards the gift. Designed by architect John Russell Pope, the new structure was completed and accepted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on behalf of the American people on March 17,1941. Neither Mellon nor Pope lived to see the completed, both died in late August 1937, only two months after excavation had begun.
At the time of its inception it was the largest marble structure in the world, as anticipated by Mellon, the creation of the National Gallery encouraged the donation of other substantial art collections by a number of private donors. The Gallerys East Building was constructed in the 1970s on much of the land left over from the original congressional joint resolution. It was funded by Mellons children Paul Mellon and Ailsa Mellon Bruce, designed by famed architect I. M. Pei, the contemporary structure was completed in 1978 and was opened on June 1 of that year by President Jimmy Carter. The new building was built to house the Museums collection of paintings, sculptures. The design received a National Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects in 1981, the final addition to the complex is the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Completed and opened to the public on May 23,1999, the National Gallery of Art is supported through a private-public partnership. The United States federal government provides funds, through annual appropriations, to support the museums operations, all artwork, as well as special programs, are provided through private donations and funds.
The museum is not part of the Smithsonian Institution, noted directors of the National Gallery have included David E. Finley, Jr. John Walker, and J. Carter Brown. Rusty Powell III is the current director, entry to both buildings of the National Gallery of Art is free of charge. From Monday through Saturday, the museum is open from 10 a. m. –5 p. m. it is open from 11 –6 p. m. on Sundays and it is closed on December 25 and January 1. The museum comprises two buildings, the West Building and the East Building linked by an underground passage
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena, the historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nations most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008, Siena is famous for its cuisine, museums, medieval cityscape and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year. Siena, like other Tuscan hill towns, was first settled in the time of the Etruscans when it was inhabited by a called the Saina. A Roman town called Saena Julia was founded at the site in the time of the Emperor Augustus, the first document mentioning it dates from AD70. Some archaeologists assert that Siena was controlled for a period by a Gaulish tribe called the Senones, according to local legend, Siena was founded by Senius and Aschius, two sons of Remus and thus nephews of Romulus, after whom Rome was named. Supposedly after their fathers murder by Romulus, they fled Rome, taking them the statue of the she-wolf suckling the infants.
Additionally they rode white and black horses, giving rise to the Balzana, some claim the name Siena derives from Senius. Other etymologies derive the name from the Etruscan family name Saina, Siena did not prosper under Roman rule. It was not sited near any major roads and lacked opportunities for trade and its insular status meant that Christianity did not penetrate until the 4th century AD, and it was not until the Lombards invaded Siena and the surrounding territory that it knew prosperity. Siena prospered as a trading post, and the constant streams of pilgrims passing to, the oldest aristocratic families in Siena date their line to the Lombards surrender in 774 to Charlemagne. This ultimately resulted in the creation of the Republic of Siena, the Republic existed for over four hundred years, from the late 11th century until the year 1555. During the golden age of Siena before the Black Death in 1348, in the Italian War of 1551–59, the republic was defeated by the rival Duchy of Florence in alliance with the Spanish crown.
After 18 months of resistance, Siena surrendered to Spain on 17 April 1555, the new Spanish King Felipe II, owing huge sums to the Medici, ceded it to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, to which it belonged until the unification of Italy in the 19th century. A Republican government of 700 Sienese families in Montalcino resisted until 1559, the picturesque city remains an important cultural centre, especially for humanist disciplines. The city lies at 322 m above sea level, the Siena Cathedral, begun in the 12th century, is a masterpiece of Italian Romanesque-Gothic architecture. Its main façade was completed in 1380, the original plan called for an ambitiously massive basilica, the largest in the world, with, as was customary, an east-west nave. However, the scarcity of funds, in due to war and plague, truncated the project
Gothic art was a style of medieval art that developed in Northern France out of Romanesque art in the 12th century AD, led by the concurrent development of Gothic architecture. It spread to all of Western Europe, and much of Southern and Central Europe, in the late 14th century, the sophisticated court style of International Gothic developed, which continued to evolve until the late 15th century. In many areas, especially Germany, Late Gothic art continued well into the 16th century, primary media in the Gothic period included sculpture, panel painting, stained glass and illuminated manuscripts. The earliest Gothic art was monumental sculpture, on the walls of Cathedrals, Christian art was often typological in nature, showing the stories of the New Testament and the Old Testament side by side. Increased literacy and a body of secular vernacular literature encouraged the representation of secular themes in art. Gothic art emerged in Île-de-France, France, in the early 12th century at the Abbey Church of St Denis built by Abbot Suger, monastic orders, especially the Cistercians and the Carthusians, were important builders who disseminated the style and developed distinctive variants of it across Europe.
Gothic art was often typological in nature, reflecting a belief that the events of the Old Testament pre-figured those of the New and New Testament scenes were shown side by side in works like the Speculum Humanae Salvationis, and the decoration of churches. The Gothic period coincided with a resurgence in Marian devotion. Images of the Virgin Mary developed from the Byzantine hieratic types, through the Coronation of the Virgin, to human and initimate types. Artists like Giotto, Fra Angelico and Pietro Lorenzetti in Italy, and Early Netherlandish painting, brought realism, Western artists, and their patrons, became much more confident in innovative iconography, and much more originality is seen, although copied formulae were still used by most artists. Even in Last Judgements Christ was now usually shown exposing his chest to show the wounds of his Passion, the word Gothic for art was initially used as a synonym for Barbaric, and was therefore used pejoratively. Its critics saw this type of Medieval art as unrefined and too remote from the aesthetic proportions, Renaissance authors believed that the Sack of Rome by the Gothic tribes in 410 had triggered the demise of the Classical world and all the values they held dear.
Gothic art was criticized by French authors such as Boileau, La Bruyère, before becoming a recognized form of art. Molière would famously comment on Gothic, The besotted taste of Gothic monuments, These odious monsters of ignorant centuries, in its beginning, Gothic art was initially called French work, thus attesting the priority of France in the creation of this style. Painting in a style that can be called Gothic did not appear until about 1200, or nearly 50 years after the origins of Gothic architecture and sculpture. Then figures become more animated in pose and facial expression, tend to be smaller in relation to the background of scenes, and are arranged more freely in the pictorial space, where there is room. This transition occurs first in England and France around 1200, in Germany around 1220, painting during the Gothic period was practiced in four primary media, panel paintings, manuscript illumination and stained glass. Frescoes continued to be used as the pictorial narrative craft on church walls in southern Europe as a continuation of early Christian
Segna di Bonaventura
Segna di Bonaventura, known as Segna de Bonaventura, and as Segna di Buonaventura, was an Italian painter of the Sienese School. He was active from about 1298 to 1331, in 1306 he painted a panel for the office of the Biccherna in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena. In 1317 he painted a panel for the convent of Lecceto. In 1319 he repaired a figure of the Virgin in the Palazzo Pubblico, in 1321 he painted a panel for the Palazzo Pubblico. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri, “Census of 14th-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections”, Harvard University Press, Italian Paintings and Central Italian Schools, a collection catalog containing information about Bonaventura and his works
A panel painting is a painting made on a flat panel made of wood, either a single piece, or a number of pieces joined together. Panel painting is very old, it was a very prestigious medium in Greece and Rome, a series of 6th century BC painted tablets from Pitsa represent the oldest surviving Greek panel paintings. Most classical Greek paintings that were famous in their day seem to have been of a size comparable to modern works - perhaps up to a half-length portrait size. We can only attempt to imagine what these looked like from some detailed literary descriptions, the Severan Tondo, from Egypt is one of the handful of non-funerary Graeco-Roman specimens to survive. Encaustic and tempera are the two used in antiquity. Encaustic largely ceased to be used after the early Byzantine icons, the earliest forms of panel painting were dossals, altar fronts and crucifixes. All were painted with images, commonly the Christ or the Virgin, with the saints appropriate to the dedication of the church. Donor portraits including members of the family are often shown.
Painted panels for altars are most numerous in Spain, especially Catalonia, the 13th and 14th centuries in Italy were a great period of panel painting, mostly altarpieces or other religious works. However, it is estimated that of all the paintings produced there,99.9 percent have been lost. The vast majority of Early Netherlandish paintings are on panel, and these include most of the earliest portraits, such as those by Jan van Eyck, and some other secular scenes. However, one of the earliest surviving oils on canvas is a French Madonna with angels of about 1410 in the Gemäldegalerie, which is very early indeed for oil painting also. By the 15th century with the wealth of Europe, and the appearance of humanism. Secular art opened the way to the creation of chests, painted beds, birth trays, many such works are now detached and hung framed on walls in museums. Many double-sided wings of altarpieces have been sawn into two one-sided panels, canvas took over from panel in Italy by the first half of the 16th century, a change led by Mantegna and the artists of Venice.
His panels are of notoriously complicated construction, containing as many as seventeen pieces of wood, for smaller cabinet paintings, copper sheets were another rival support, from the end of the 16th century, used by many artists including Adam Elsheimer. Many Dutch painters of the Golden Age used panel for their small works, by the 18th century it had become unusual to paint on panel, except for small works to be inset into furniture, and the like. But, for example, The National Gallery in London has two Goya portraits on panel, many other painting traditions painted, and still paint, on wood, but the term is usually only used to refer to the Western tradition described above