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Art History 201 Midterm 1 Study Guide

Hubert & Jan Van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, completed 1432


Father is in the center, virgin and st john, singing angels, Adam and
eve, Christian nights, pilgrims, tons of worshipers, all paying tribute
to god
Celebration of Christian religion, where naturalism is the environment
in which this takes place in Flanders
God, the holy father, is ruler of heaven and earth, is wearing the finest
wool, decked out with pearls, diamonds and rubies, he is giving a
blessing; he is totally naturalistic here it is a human god to someone
who we can approach; we can imagine kneeling before him
Angels are descending and are all paying tribute to the lamb of god
and chalice
The landscape is showing distance and showing recession with blue;
this is an idealized Flanders; everything is perfect
Adam and eve and side panels in narrow niches because they need to
be redeems, they are nude and are ashamed of their nakedness, they
are elongated and there is deep darkness; they cast shadows but show
the occupy a 3d space and is brought to life, Adam is stepping out of
space and has been given life again
Jan Van Eyck, Arnolfini Portrait, 1434
Arnolifinis are wearing Flanders produced wool and are about to be married
Lots of symbolism
Van Eyck places is name on the back wall
Additionally in the mirror you can see the backside of the family, but you can also
see him painting
He emphasizes real objective because he was their to tough them
Robert Campin, Merode Altarpiece 1425 - 26
Center panel is annunciation, left is the patron panel and the right is joseph
Light explodes from virgins drapes, the bench receded into space in a
suggestive way, a window into reality, but has to negotiate with the demands
of 2 dimensionality
Artists have yet to invent perspective, for instance the table is tilted up
Joseph is oblivious to narrative and is a carpenter ( he became a saint much
later)
Joseph busily at work using his tools and is most likely building mouse trap,
can be symbolic of catching the devil
Can see though the shutters that this is not taking place in a divine sphere,
but in the urban area of Flanders
Lots of symbolism in the center panel the white lily symbolizes virginity and
purity; a small holy ghost is zooming though the window
Looks like it can be lived in by the wealthy who could afford it

The Fall of Man, Albrecht Durer, 1504, Northern Renaissance


Around the time 1500, there was a general affirmation that man is a measure of all
things the transcendent and the everyday
This was a print you could actually purchase & was available to the general public
Adam and Eve are Strong characters and the scene takes place in a forest; the
garden of Eden
This is the moment before the fall where humankind is celebrated
It appeals to the totality of our interests
It signifies the transition of the divine to the mortal in which Adam and Eve become
aware of human limitations
Self Portrait, Albrecht Durer, 1500, Northern Renaissance
Represents the icon of a renaissance artist
It is a pyramid, which represents stability
Art has the power to depict divinity that will shape humankind
Directly engages with the viewer, showing we rely upon the power of the artist to
articulate a new reality

Isenheim Altarpiece, Mathias Grunewald, 1510-1515


Affirms the power of suffering and overcoming it; emphasized
Christ suffering on the Cross
Set up in a hospital to put looking upon by people who have a
terrible disease; eternal life id a possibility for people feeling stone
death
Strong emotional response from the other figures
Counterfoil to the Ghent Altarpiece
Main drama is the agonizing death of Christ through the hand
contortions
The inside shows otherworldly devilish creature enticing us with
music as well as a brilliant ascension of Christ as a divine holy
figure
Netherlandish Proverbs, Peter Bruegel, 1559, Northern Renaissance
There are about 100 parables in the piece, such as dont cry over spilled sugar
Located in a fair townscape
We apprehend things in its totality and we should realize our actions come with
consequence
We are free to read as much or as little as we wish

David, Donatello, 1420-1460, Italian Renaissance


Youthful David conquering Goliath on a moment of triumph after beating all odds
He hardly looks powerful, this is one of the first full nude sculptures since Roman antiquity
Weight is shifted showing erotic pleasure arrived from conquering
The face is covered so we dont really get a sense of his personality, which means emphasis
is shifted to that of the body
This body is relatively feminine with the protruding stomach region
Sculpted from bronze, which creates strong highlights on the body, therefore giving it more
emphasis
Small 5 sculpture meant to be placed in a private garden

Dead Christ, Andrea Mantegna, 1501, Northern Renaissance


We are looking at him from the foot of the bed; the figure is foreshortened
and is not exact perspective, if it were, the feet would be much larger
We travel of the body which is materially present
Divinity is moving from conceptual to physical
Perspective establishes relationship given rational space
The drapery over the corpse enhances the drama and shows us there is a
real human body inhabiting it
Emotionality is shown by the mourners looking over the dead Christ

The Birth of Venus, Sandro Botticelli, 1485


Celebration or erotic creativity, everything is fruitful
Strong emphasis on the human body
Everything is in motion for example the shell zipping through the
water, this helps convey a sense of visual poetry

Revels what it means to be all too human


Venus is on a Shell being blown to the island of Cyprus and is about
to be clothed
Shifting of weight is similar to that of antiquity also these are Greek
gods which show a revival of antiquity
Creation of Adam, Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo, 1508-12
No one knows the actual meaning all of the panels are a mixture
of old and new testament biblical stories
There are two realms, God the father is moving through space
towards Adam the creation
The painting is handling similarly to his sculpture with strong
musculature
The extended fingers create tension between the two; leaves the
viewer wondering what the result of Gods action will be
This touch will give life to Adam as well as life to all of mankind
Passage of the Divine spark
The female close to god may either be Eve awaiting her creation
or Mary
David, Michelangelo, 1501, Italian renaissance
It was a commission for the cathedral of Florence, therefore it was meant to be a
public piece of art; it was enormous in size
It was made as a type of creative engagement piece in which the viewer is meant to
walk around the sculpture to interpret it in its entirety
A body in anticipation and at ease yet somewhat tense
This is before the fight with Goliath, David is thinking about what he is going to do
Head and hands are large in proportion because the viewer is observing it from below
He is in isolation, which relates to human embodiment of the mind
We can see his facial features, such as a furrowed brow
Strong musculature and almost has the body of one of god-like figures from antiquity,
body of an ideal resilient man

The Last Supper, Leonardo Da Vinci, 1495


Currently in a poor condition due to a combination of oil paint
mixed with tempura paint of a wet surface; which has caused the
painting to flake
Monastery dining hall in which Jesus is going to be betrayed right
after supper by Judas; the scene is contained
Jesus is announcing this and everyone is pointing fingers at each
other making accusations
It is as if structures of man have made him even more holy; for
instance the three windows act as a halo above him and allow us
to make him the main focus
This is a psychological chain of events and the painting is set up
so that we are a part of the dinner
The three walls make this painting act like a triptych
Jesus instituting the Eucharist, the bread and wine that will
become his blood and body

The School of Athens, Raphael, 1509-1511


References to palaces in the Vatican itself
Religion dependent on philosophy
Two figures Plato (pointing to heaven) next to Aristotle (pointing towards earth)
Two worlds philosophy of heaven on the left and philosophy of earth on the right;
together create wisdom
Raphael placed himself into the painting at the bottom right
Painting to guide the pope to make the right decisions
Similar in ways to Michelangelos Sistine Chapel; physical power and dramatic
grouping of figures
The architecture frames the occurrence and the arches allow emphasis to be placed
on Aristotle and Plato (similar to Leonardos Last Supper)
Humanist Classical thinking is being combined with that of the Church
Raphael includes himself to show that artists are on par with the great intellectuals

Giorgione with Titan, Pastoral Symphony, 1508


Visual display is a type of poetic for the eyes
Lady at fountain pouring water in, another naked lady playing flute, two clothed him
gazing at each other, where are they?
He wants us to be swept away by the aura it has, he avoids precision
Avoid brilliant color
Lacks clarity; the women could possibly Muses ancient female divinities who inspire
the arts
Forms rendered in a soft chiaroscuro technique; soft and blending into the background

Venus of Urbino, Titian, 1538


One of the first times we dont have a mythical creature to display of riches of
being human
She is just enticing us; an icon of a painting itself appealing use through the eye
She is on an elongated diagonal
Curtain is background, dark colors makes us focus on whiteness of body, ends to
reinforce placement of the hand
Contrast between fold of sheets and the smoothness of the figure
Caress the figure with our eyes, instead of cupid we have a lap dog, service is the
background going to storage perhaps to bring her clothing
All nature is artificial (potted plant) except for the human body

Venus Cupid Folly & Time, Bronzino, 1546


Figures are too white
Venus has taken her sons arrow which has given her passion for her son; forbidden
eroticism
Time is taking back the coving, revealing the scene
Moderation is too rational and controlled, mannerists wanted to appeal to our most
excessive fantasies
Artist is no longer the illustrator of a patrons will, but one free to create the most
powerful moving images; the artist is able to triumph over all
Moral may be that folly and pleasure blind one to the jealousy and fraud of sensual
love, which time is revealing
Elongated figures and bright blue background to place emphasis on what is occurring
in the foreground

The Calling of St Mathew, Caravaggio, 1600


Introduction to the baroque art a belief in art as a type of emotional address
He introduces theater in art, drama
Could be anywhere, the here and now, wanted to introduce religion into our here
Core set of values no longer accessed to the elite, but accessible to any ordinary
person
Caravaggio was always wanted by the police, but his talent was no longer in
question
Environment we could identify with, we dont see a clarity we would see to expect
Light falls right on middle incidental figure
Christs body is in the back hidden by another character reaching over to call the
tax collector
Hand pointed out like Adam reaching out in Michelangelos Sistine chapel
Mathew is completely unaware; unveiling through time of emotional awareness
Lots of diagonals and dark and light to create emotion and increase the drama that is
taking place
Things are struck instantly making them more theatrical
Source of light is unknown no even emanating from the Christ figure
We are stumbling across an event that could happen multiple times in multiple places

The Entombment of Christ, Carravagio, 1603


Christ figure is hardly one of admiration, a weighty corpse, struggling with weight of the
dead body, not enlightened
Most dramatic is where we stand, we are in the crypt about to be dumped upon with the
corpse of the savior
Emotional reality, we anticipate the next motion, casting body into arms, it is a narrative
through times, it is an enfolding story
No longer bright colors, but exaggerated light and dark colors to create emotion

Velazquez, Las Meninas (The Maids of Honor), 1650


The princess is being posed to us in front of the mirror
There is a mirror in the back which reflects the king and queen
We have an intimate portrait of royalty, informal yet powerful at the same time
Two canvases where do the realities exist, where is the presence of the king
Paint is thick and vibrates the paint itself is a record as a type of motion from the brush
to the canvas, you can see all the brush strokes
The are several viewpoints throughout the painting, which make the viewer become more
engaged
It can be presumed as an expression of personal ambition for Velazquez, a claim for
nobility and power of the artist
Strong contrasts of light and dark resemble that of Caravaggio
David, Bernini, 1623
Wanted a David that is more dynamic, more baroque
Sculpture in motion in white marble, figure is about to unleash, the stone is about to be released,
the narrative is at its emotional peak
Muscles strained to the upmost as if this is it
Furrowed brow, mouth shows concentration
Michelangelos is thinking things through while this is motion; anticipation vs action
Shows our motion is allows us to see emotion in the figure

Rubens, Elevation of the Cross, 1600


-Agitation made visible, it is in motion to suggest emotional turmoil
-Christ is being pulled up, a strong diagonal
-Everything about it is to be unstable to suggest motion
-Look at the horse turning into our arena; whereas the rider points to Christ,
all the figures are contorted
-Very much like Caravaggio, we are looking at the painting from below
-Highlights a brilliant light, falling on Christs body and on the shoulder of
the man holding him up
-It comes from his careful study of antiquity
-Uses antiquity for irrationality and contortion
-Laocoon and sons inspired him to show strength of man ; antiquity inspired

Rembrandt, Blinding of Samson, 1636


-Beginning of career
-His lover Delilah betrays Samson the great Israelite
-Insight and blindness combined here
-It takes place in a cave in darkness; we see a brilliant contrast between the
philistines who is about to plunge into the eyes on a bound Samson
- Light doesnt pick up the blind element; instead it highlights the knife, which is
the anticipation of the event
-it isnt a celebration of the disgusting but it helps use prepare for the next step
that is about to unfold
-Slashing diagonal that follows the blade

Rembrandt, The Company of Frans Banning Coq, 1642


-Middle of Rembrandts career
-A yearly parade to show distinction, this scene is getting ready for the
parade
-This is not orderly; he is showing us the creative chaos of preparation
-A type of naturalism at play; there are multiple attentions
-Compared to School of Athens, where everything is in order and contained,
whereas here everything is tracing in and out
-Light is shown irrationally, some things are highlighted while others should
be
-Light is forgone to help show emotionality

Vermeer, The allegory of painting, 1670-75


-Curtains are pulled back for us and we are the spectator
-Girl is standing for her portrait ready to be painted
-We have a recognizable interior, could be his own house and the same properties of his other
paintings