martes, 22 de enero de 2008

Renaissance Painting

It is influenced by the Humanism, the same as the rest of the Arts. In some authors’ opinion, the beginnings of this painting are the Flemish painters such as Van Eyck and Italian painters such as Masaccio.

· Supports:
Wall painting continued being used in Italy. In Venice, due to the mosaic tradition, it tended to lose importance and they began painting on canvas for conservation reasons.
Canvas became common but wood continued being the most used support. Polyptics were frequently produced in Europe and in Spain, while in Italy it was more common an altarpiece of just one level.

· Techniques:
Italian painters maintained the use of the fresco.
Book illumination was loosing importance due to the apparition of printed books.
From the last decades of 15th century, the engraving on wood and later on copper became common to reproduce and expand painted works. Some watercolours belong to this period too.
The drawing acquired more importance and was not considered any longer as a secondary job linked to painted works.
The most revolutionary element was the substitution of the temple by the oil. This new technique had been developed by Van Eyck and was spreading to the rest of Europe.

· Subjects:

Religious paintings were important and almost exclusive in some Northern countries and in Spain. New saints or new ways of portraying the traditional ones were introduced as a reflection of the worries of the time. It is frequent to find saints devoted to the studies, for instance.

In Italy mythological subjects were taken from the classical authors or from their contemporary.

History was other subject and the description of the conflicts between cities led to the development of war subjects.

Portrait was developed.
Landscape, without being a subject in itself, gained more importance in the paintings, especially in Venice and in Flanders.

· Composition:
The space was organised through lineal and atmospheric perspective.
In the painting organization, the centre is more important than the periphery. Symmetry was commonly used. Sometimes the images are organised depending of simple shapes (circumference, pyramid).
For the background traditional motives were used (half point vaults, sarcophagus) or architectures that were modelled following the Roman tradition.

· Drawing, colour and brushstroke:
Gold was eliminated progressively. Light colours tended to disappear from strategic point of the painting. The palette was diversified. In general, it is light, even when some painters experiment with unusual lighten effects such as storms or nights broken by lights.
The use of oil paining made it possible the introduction of more delicate nuances, especially in landscape and flesh depiction. In addition to this, it made possible the creation of effects such as bright, transparency and luminosity.
The sfumato technique gave the opportunity of unifying the image with the surrounds instead of delining its contour.

· Images:
A new realism inspired the faces’ depiction, particularly in Flemish painting. The painters made an effort to diversify the characters: bodies should be convenient thanks to their simility to real images.
At the same time, and mainly in Italy, there is a worry about idealization that affected specially the nudes, inspiring the use of some cannons. These new models were inspired in classical images.
The normalization of beauty resulted in the apparition of some stereotypes that were considered their antagonists. Ridiculous images, sometimes close to caricatures, were created in this period.

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