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Equestrian Statue of Gattamelata
Sculpture by Italian early Renaissance artist Donatello, dating from 1453, located in the Piazza del Santo in Padua, Italy, today. It portrays the Renaissance condottiero Erasmo da Narni, known as "Gattamelata", who served mostly under the Republic of Venice, which ruled Padua at the time.
The Equestrian statue of Gattamelata is a sharp departure from earlier, post-Classical equestrian statues, such as the Gothic Bamberg Horseman (c. 1230s). While the Bamberg Horseman depicts a German emperor, it lacks the dimension, power, and naturalism of Gattamelata. While that rider is also in fairly realistic proportion to his horse, he lacks the strength of Gattamelata. The latter is portrayed as a real man, his armor a badge of status; this ruler, however, appears almost deflated, lost in the carefully sculpted drapery that covers him. His power is derived solely from his crown, reflecting the differences that Renaissance individualism produced: here, position – the crown – is what matters, whereas in Gattamelata, it is the individual and his character that matter.

A comparison between the sculpture and that of Marcus Aurelius' equestrian statue shows how closely Donatello looked to classical art and its themes. In this depiction of Marcus Aurelius, the emperor dwarfs his horse, dominating it by size. However, the emperor also has a facial expression of dominance and determination. Marcus Aurelius’s horse is dressed up, and, while the emperor himself is clad in robes, not armor, he appears both the political and military leader. The attention to the horse’s musculature and movement and the realistic depiction of the emperor (forgiving his size) are mirrored in Gattamelata. Also similar is the feeling of grandeur, authority, and power both portraits exude.

Another element that Donatello took from ancient sculpture is the trick of adding a support (a sphere) under the raised front leg of the horse, which appears also in the lost Regisole of Pavia, a bronze equestrian statue from either the late Western Roman Empire, the Ostrogothic Kingdom or the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna. In this sculpture a standing dog was used to carry the load under the horseshoe.
Statues  Italy  Padua  Renaissance  Art  History  Horses 
4 weeks ago by dbourn
Risen Christ (Michelangelo, Santa Maria sopra Minerva)
The Risen Christ, Cristo della Minerva in Italian, also known as Christ the Redeemer or Christ Carrying the Cross, is a marble sculpture by the Italy High Renaissance master Michelangelo, finished in 1521. It is in the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome, to the left of the main altar.

The work was commissioned in June 1514, by the Roman patrician Metello Vari, who stipulated only that the nude standing figure would have the Cross in his arms, but left the composition entirely to Michelangelo.[1] Michelangelo was working on a first version of this statue in his studio in Macello dei Corvi around 1515, but abandoned it in roughed-out condition when he discovered a black vein in the white marble, remarked upon by Vari in a letter, and later by Ulisse Aldrovandi.[2] A new version was hurriedly substituted in 1519-1520 to fulfil the terms of the contract. Michelangelo worked on it in Florence, and the move to Rome and final touches were entrusted to an apprentice, Pietro Urbano; the latter, however, damaged the work and had to be quickly replaced by Federico Frizzi at the suggestion of Sebastiano del Piombo.
Religion  Roma  Statues  Michelangelo  Queer  Christ  Santa  Maria  Sopra  Minerva  Italy  Arts  Renaissance 
4 weeks ago by dbourn
Saint George and the Dragon (Notke)
Saint George and the Dragon (Swedish: Sankt Göran och draken) is a late medieval wooden sculpture depicting the legend of Saint George and the Dragon, located in Storkyrkan in Stockholm, Sweden. It is attributed to Bernt Notke and was commissioned by the Swedish regent Sten Sture the Elder. It was inaugurated in 1489. It has been described as an artistic high point in the artistic production of Bernt Notke.
Stockholm  Sweden  Renaissance  Sculpture  Art  St.  George  Dragon 
4 weeks ago by dbourn
Northern California Renaissance Faire
Held annually in September and October in Hollister
Renaissance  Festivals  Hollister 
february 2019 by dbourn
Un libro [gratuito] racconta gli africani dell’Europa rinascimentale
Il libro è anche un ottimo prequel a Project Diaspora, di Omar Diop – ve ne avevamo già parlato – in cui l’artista senegalese reinterpreta e approfondisce attraverso la fotografia il ruolo di illustri personaggi africani della storia europea tra il XV e XIX secolo.
Africa  Blacks  Europe  Race  Racial  Formation  Arts  Renaissance  Italian 
january 2018 by dbourn
Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe
Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe invites visitors to explore the varied roles and societal contributions of Africans and their descendents in Renaissance Europe as revealed in compelling paintings, drawings, sculpture, and printed books of the period. The story of the
Renaissance with its renewed focus on the individual is often told, but this project seeks a different perspective, to understand the period in terms of individuals of African ancestry, whom we encounter in arresting portrayals from life, testifying to the Renaissance adage that portraiture magically makes the absent present. We begin with slaves, moving up the social ladder to farmers, artisans, aristocrats, scholars, diplomats, and rulers from different parts of the African continent. While many individuals can be identified, the names of most slaves and freed men and women are lost. Recognizing the traces of their existence in the art of the time and, where possible, their achievements is one way of restoring their identities.
Africa  Blacks  Race  Racial  Formation  Racism  Renaissance  Italy  Arts  Baltimore  Museums  Walters  Art  Gallery 
january 2018 by dbourn
Painter Artemisia Gentileschi
Gentileschi was a female painter in a time when it was very largely unheard of for a woman to be an artist. She managed to get the opportunity for training and eventual employment because her father, Orazio, was already a well established master painter who was very adamant that she get artistic training. He apparently saw a high degree of skill in some artwork she did as a hobby in childhood. He was very supportive of her and encouraged her to resist the “traditional attitude and psychological submission to brainwashing and the jealousy of her obvious talents.”

Gentileschi became extremely well known in her time for painting female figures from the Bible and their suffering. For example, the one seen above depicts the story from the Book of Daniel. Susanna is bathing in her garden when two elders began to spy on her in the nude. As she finishes they stop her and tell her that they will tell everyone that they saw her have an affair with a young man (she’s married so this is an offense punishable by death) unless she has sex with them. She refuses, they tell their tale, and she is going to be put to death when the protagonist of the book (Daniel) stops them.

So that painting above? That was her first major painting. She was SEVENTEEN-YEARS-OLD. For context, here is a painting of the same story by Alessandro Allori made just four years earlier in 1606: Wowwwww. That does not look like a woman being threatened with a choice between death or rape. So imagine 17 year old Artemisia trying to approach painting the scene of a woman being assaulted. And she paints what is seen in the x-ray above. A woman in horrifying, grotesque anguish with what appears to be a knife poised in her clenched hand. Damn that shit is real. Who wants to guess that she was advised by, perhaps her father or others, to tone it down. Women can’t look that grotesque. Sexual assault can’t be depicted as that horrifying. And women definitely can’t be seen as having the potential to fight back. Certainly not in artwork. Women need to be soft. They need to wilt from their captors but still look pretty and be a damsel in distress. So she changed it.

What’s interesting to note is that she eventually painted and stuck with some of her own, less traditional depictions of women. However, that is more interesting with some context.

(Warning for reference to rape, torture, and images of paintings which show violence and blood.)

So, Gentileschi’s story continues in the very next year, 1611, when her father hires Agostino Tassi, an artist, to privately tutor her. It was in this time when Tassi raped her. He then proceeded to promise that he would marry her. He pointed out that if it got out that she had lost her virginity to a man she wasn’t going to marry then it would ruin her. Using this, he emotionally manipulated her into continuing a sexual relationship with him. However, he then proceeded to marry someone else. Horrified at this turn of events she went to her father. Orazio was having none of this shit and took Tassi to court. At that time, rape wasn’t technically an offense to warrant a trial, but the fact that he had taken her virginity (and therefore technically “damaged Orazio’s property”. ugh.) meant that the trial went along. It lasted for 7 months. During this time, to prove the truth of her words, Artemisia was given invasive gynecological examinations and was even questioned while being subjected to torture via thumb screws. It was also discovered during the trial that Tassi was planning to kill his current wife, have an affair with her sister, and steal a number of Orazio’s paintings. Tassi was found guilty and was given a prison sentence of…. ONE. YEAR……. Which he never even served because the verdict was annulled.

During this time and a bit after (1611-1612), Artemisia painted her most famous work of Judith Slaying Holofernes. This bible story involved Holofernes, an Assyrian general, leading troops to invade and destroy Bethulia, the home of Judith. Judith decides to deal with this issue by coming to him, flirting with him to get his guard down, and then plying him with food and lots of wine. When he passed out, Judith and her handmaiden took his sword and cut his head off. Issue averted. The subject was a very popular one for art at the time. Here is a version of the scene painted in 1598-99 by Carivaggio, whom was a great stylistic influence on Artemisia:
Artemisia  Gentileschi  Italy  Renaissance  Arts  Artists  Painting  Feminisms 
december 2017 by dbourn
Cut Circle
Cut Circle presents “gravity-defying” performances of Renaissance polyphony. Our bold, confident singing is informed by deep knowledge of the music’s twists and turns, as well as cutting-edge research that relies on primary documents to unlock questions of performance practice. As a non-profit organization we give concerts and lecture-recitals, organize workshops, and publish recordings for students, scholars, and general audiences alike. The ensemble has performed at venues throughout the United States and in Europe, with recent festival appearances at Musica Sacra (Maastricht, The Netherlands) and Laus Polyphoniae (Antwerp, Belgium).
Cut  Circle  Music  Renaissance  Harvard 
april 2017 by dbourn
Ronald G. Witt, Who Gave the Renaissance a New Birthdate, Dies at 84
The “traditional book culture,” as he put it in “The Two Latin Cultures,” one nourished in cathedrals and monasteries, began to rely on classical models in teaching grammar. At the same time, the lay practitioners of public speech — the lawyers and notaries who composed speeches and public letters for political officials — continued to consult medieval manuals of rhetoric.

The two cultures did not proceed in succession, with literary humanism superseding the medieval, scholastic world of the law, he argued. Rather, he said, they coexisted and eventually intertwined.

Turning his attention to historical and literary developments in the city-state of Padua in the 13th century, Professor Witt, in “‘In the Footsteps of the Ancients,’” pushed the birth of humanism back more than 50 years from its traditional date in the mid-14th century.

Going back even further in time, he argued that the humanist project of the Paduan poets Lovato dei Lovati and Albertino Mussato could not be understood without reference to literary changes of a century or more before them. By this reckoning, Petrarch, far from being the founding father of humanism, belonged to its third generation.
Renaissance  Italy  Petrarch  Humanism  History  Firenze 
april 2017 by dbourn

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