Πέμπτη, 29 Δεκεμβρίου 2011

Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494)

                                                                   portrait of a young man

Born in 1449, Domenico di Tommaso Bigordi was called Ghirlandaio because his goldsmith father specialized in creating gold and silver garlands (ghirlande). Though presumably trained in his father's profession, Ghirlandaio worked under Alesso Baldovinetti, according to Vasari. And he may also have assisted Andrea del Verrocchio, as his early panel paintings and frescoes clearly betray that master's influence. In temperament and approach, however, Ghirlandaio differed from both of his putative painting teachers.  Ghirlandaio simplified their painstakingly realistic styles into one more suitable for fresco. The artist was, in fact, primarily active in that medium, creating extensive fresco cycles in Rome (Sistine Chapel, 1481-1482) and elsewhere. His most notable Florentine cycles are in the Sassetti chapel in Santa Trinità (1483-1485) and in the choir, patronized by the Tornabuoni family, in Santa Maria Novella (1486-1490). To complete such vast undertakings Ghirlandaio employed a highly organized workshop, which included not only his brothers Davide and Benedetto but also his brother-in-law Sebastiano Mainardi, and even the young Michelangelo. Taken together, Ghirlandaio's frescoes, with their numerous portraits of members of the leading aristocratic families, provide a unique panorama of contemporary Florentine life. The artist died in 1494, leaving a son, Ridolfo, also a painter. 

                                                                       St. Jerome in his Study

                                                               The Virgin and The Child


                                                   St John the Evangelist on the Island of Patmos


                                                                 Adoration of the Magi

                                                              Last Supper (1480)

                                                               An Old Man and His Grandson                                                     

                                                          Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni

source : http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/bio/g/ghirland/domenico/biograph.html

Art & Poetry artaumonde.blogspot.com

Πέμπτη, 1 Δεκεμβρίου 2011

Jean Fouquet (1420-1480)

 He was born at Tours and is known to have been in Rome between 1443 and 1447, when he painted a portrait, now lost, of Pope Eugenius IV. Much has been made of this Italian journey, the influence of which can be detected in the perspective essays and Classical architecture of his subsequent works, but the strongly sculptural character of his painting, which was deeply rooted in his native tradition, did not succumb to Italian influence.
On his return from Italy Fouquet entered the service of the French court. His first patron was Étienne Chevalier, the royal secretary and lord treasurer, for whom he produced a Book of Hours (1450-60). The Virgin in this work, at Antwerp, is rumored to be a portrait of Agnes Sorel, Charles VII's mistress, whom Chevalier had also loved. It was not until 1475 that Fouquet became Royal Painter (to Louis XI), but in the previous year he was asked to prepare designs for the king's tomb, and he must have been the leading court artist for many years.
Whether he worked on miniatures or on a larger scale in panel paintings, Fouquet's art had the same monumental character. His figures are modeled in broad planes defined by lines of magnificent purity. He was essentially a draftsman, and it was his drawing that imparted to his compositions their balance and clarity. His sculptural sense of form went with a cool and detached temperament, and in his finest works the combination creates a deeply impressive gravity.


                                                      Portrait of Charles VII of France


                                                     Étienne Chevalier with St Stephen

                                                             The Building of a Cathedral

                                                              Caesar Crossing the Rubicon

Miniatures from the Book of Hours of Étienne Chevalier

During the Hundred Years' War against the English and beyond, French kings from Charles VII (1422-61) to François I (1515-47) had their court in the Loire valley. It was there that they built many of their finest residences. Jean Fouquet worked there, presumably after having done his apprenticeship as a miniaturist in Paris. A journey he undertook to Rome provided him with further inspiration, which he incorporated into his illustrations with great ingenuity. Most significant are the miniatures for the Book of Hours for Étienne Chevalier, secretary and treasurer to Charles VII. Here we see landscapes typical of the early Italian Renaissance, along with depictions of palaces and castles typical of the Limburg brothers or the Parisian School.
Forty of the magnificent miniatures of Étienne Chevalier's Book of Hours are now treasured possessions of the Museum of Chantilly.

                                                           Job and his False Comforters

                                                     Étienne Chevalier and His Patron Saint

                                                         The Coronation of the Virgin

                                                          The Enthronement of the Virgin

                                                       The Madonna before the Cathedral

source: http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/f/fouquet/index.html

Art & Poetry artaumonde.blogspot.com

Δευτέρα, 31 Οκτωβρίου 2011

Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806)

As charming and witty as his paintings, Jean-Honoré Fragonard was one of the most prolific artists of his time, producing more than 550 works during his career.
 Serving as an apprentice to Chardin and Boucher, two of the premier Rococo artists he won the Prix de Rome and attended the French Academy. Fragonard's work came with a high pedigree and prestige and as one of the last artists of the Rococo, his name is almost synonymous with this frivolous, erotic, and decadent movement.
 Reputedly one of the most prolific painters of the 18th century, if not of all time, Fragonard had a feverish output of varied subject matter. From portraits to scenes of pastoral, erotic, or domestic appeal he covered a wide range of themes.
Fragonard's work is easily recognizable due to the lightness and frivolity of the subject matter, the deft touch of the brushwork, and the soft, carefree lighting schemes.
Leading the same charmed life depicted in his paintings of the aristocracy in pre-Revolutionary France, Jean-Honoré Fragonard's name is synonymous with the French Rococo. Focusing on frivolity and the transient nature of beauty and pleasure, the Rococo under Fragonard is a perfectly preserved era.
 Achieving commercial success for much of his life, with no shortage of A-list patrons, Fragonard's career was sadly put on hold by the Revolution. One of the most prolific painters of all time, his work remains a testament to the hedonistic legacy of the ancién-regime.

                                                                     a young girl reading

                                                                    the stolen kiss

                                                                       the love letter

                                                                        interior scene

                                             Psyche showing her sisters her gifts from Cupid

                                                                             the bolt

                                                                      a young scholar

                                                                        music lesson

                                                  Jeroboam offering sacrifice to the idol

source : http://www.artble.com/artists/jean-honore_fragonard

Art & Poetry artaumonde.blogspot.com

Παρασκευή, 19 Αυγούστου 2011

Pinturicchio (1454-1513)

Bernardino di Betto (Benedetto), Italian painter called II Pinturicchio, was, like Perugino, a native of the district around Perugia and consequently open to the artistic currents common to the Umbrian region. His training and early career are completely unknown; even his date of birth is a matter of speculation. Usually considered to have been born around 1454 on the basis of ambiguous data given by Vasari, he was more likely born a few years later. He was thought by his contemporaries to have been a pupil of Perugino and to have had a share in Perugino's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel in the early 1480s.
Critics have also assigned to him several paintings of a series depicting events in the life of St Bernardino of Siena (Pinacoteca, Perugia), firmly datable to around 1473. This attribution is impossible on chronological grounds if the correct date of his birth is about 1460. The first actual notice for Pinturicchio is his inscription in the painters' guild in Perugia in 1481. There is another Perugian notice of 1481 concerning a work no longer extant. In the following year he received payments for a lunette in the Palazzo dei Priori in Perugia, his first securely datable work, although it is modest and uninformative stylistically. The important frescoes for the Bufalini family in the Roman church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli are not documented, but may date from the late 1480s. They were produced for an Umbrian patron from Citta di Castello and depict scenes from the life of St Bernardino. Only with the decorations of the so-called Borgia apartments in the Vatican Palace, made for the Borgia Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503) soon after the Pope took office and probably finished by 1495, do we have another firmly dated work. In 1492 Pinturicchio was frescoing in the Cathedral of Orvieto (works no longer extant), where he was active over the next few years. By the 1490s, then, his life and work are more thoroughly traceable. In 1501 he frescoed the Baglioni Chapel in Santa Maria Maggiore in his native town of Spello; in that year he also held political office in Perugia. By 1502 Pinturicchio had obtained the commission to fresco the Piccolomini Library, a large appendage to the Sienese Cathedral. The actual painting took place between 1505 and 1507. There are a few surviving easel paintings by Pinturicchio in various museums like The Crucifixion in the Borghese Gallery, Rome. In Siena - where he finally settled, married, had children, and died - he had other important commissions for the Cathedral, for the Church of San Francesco, and for Pandolfo Petrucci, the chief citizen of the city. Throughout his life, Pinturicchio was never recorded in Florence.
Although we might easily assume a brief trip or trips there, a sympathy for the progressive art occurring in the Tuscan capital is completely absent from his work. In this respect, he is unlike other leading Umbrian painters, such as Piero della Francesca, Perugino, Signorelli, and Raphael, who were open to such influences.

                                                                  The annunciation

                                                          The mystical marriage of St.Catherine

                                                              The return of Odysseus

                                                              adoration of the Christ Child

                                                                    four enthroned Sibyls

                                                                death of St.Bernadine

source : http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/p/pinturic/index.html

Art & Poetry artaumonde.blogspot.com 

Τρίτη, 21 Ιουνίου 2011

Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506)


Mantegna, Andrea ,  one of the foremost north Italian painters of the 15th century. A master of perspective and foreshortening, he made important contributions to the compositional techniques of Renaissance painting.
Born (probably at Isola di Carturo, between Vicenza and Padua) in 1431, Mantegna became the apprentice and adopted son of the painter Francesco Squarcione of Padua. He developed a passionate interest in classical antiquity. The influence of both ancient Roman sculpture and the contemporary sculptor Donatello are clearly evident in Mantegna's rendering of the human figure. His human forms were distinguished for their solidity, expressiveness, and anatomical correctness.
Mantegna's principal works in Padua were religious. His first great success was a series of frescoes on the lives of St. James and St. Christopher in the Ovetari Chapel of the Church of the Eremitani (1456; badly damaged in World War II). In 1459 Mantegna went to Mantua to become court painter to the ruling Gonzaga family and accordingly turned from religious to secular and allegorical subjects. His masterpiece was a series of frescoes (1465-74) for the Camera degli Sposi (“bridal chamber”) of the Palazzo Ducale. In these works, he carried the art of illusionistic perspective to new limits. His figures depicting the court were not simply applied to the wall like flat portraits but appeared to be taking part in realistic scenes, as if the walls had disappeared. The illusion is carried over onto the ceiling, which appears to be open to the sky, with servants, a peacock, and cherubs leaning over a railing. This was the prototype of illusionistic ceiling painting and was to become an important element of baroque and rococo art.
One of the key artistic figures of the second half of the 15th century, Mantegna was the dominant influence on north Italian painting for 50 years. It was also through him that German artists, notably Albrecht Dόrer, were made aware of the artistic discoveries of the Italian Renaissance. He died in Mantua on September 13, 1506.

                                                                               ceiling Oculus

                                                                           St. Sebastian


                                                                      Madonna of victory


                                                                     presentation in the temple

                                                              lamentation over the dead Christ

                                                                         inscription with Putti

                                                                    the court of Conzaga

                                                                    San Zeno polyptych

source : http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/m/mantegna/index.html

Art & Poetry artaumonde.blogspot.com