leonardos last supper and raphaels school of athens have in common.
Unlike some artists, Leonardo did not believe in improving on or idealizing nature. He believed that the true artist became a mirror of nature. To this end, he also believed that all classes of natural things should be observed — the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly. Part of his belief was a response to what he saw as the increasing conventionalization of nature in paintings of the early Renaissance as artists developed “formulae” for depicting living things (not entirely surprising since most artists at the time were basing their observations of nature on classical sculpture). Leonardo’s interest in science related to his goal of returning reality to nature and to his belief that painting was the “granddaughter” of nature.
The Madonna and Child with St. Anne is just one example of Leonardo’s increasing use of a “pyramidal” composition or grouping of figures. The tendency to cluster figures together, depicting them in physically connected groups, is an important change from the paintings of the earlier 15th century and will be very important for artists such as Raphael and later developments in the 16th century. Overall, we might note that Leonardo was not the only one to do this. Raphael, Michelangelo and other 16th century artists began to think in terms of unified compositions rather than just the arrangement of figures in space, making this one of the important differences between 15th century Italian painting and the developments which we see in the 16th century.
This most famous of paintings depicts a woman, dressed in fine fabrics of soft autumnal colors, in three quarters view, as she looks at the viewer with the hint of an enigmatic smirk. She sits in a chair, resting her arms on an armrest visible in the shadowed foreground, and is framed by a dramatic landscape of jagged mountain peaks, rock pinnacles, lakes descending in steep winding river canyons, and serpentine roads. The woman appears self-possessed, her presence resonant with a calm serenity. Because she is a woman of ordinary status, unattached to any political, historical, or religious importance, she has garnered a level of unparalleled cultural fascination with the mystery behind her legendary smile.
This painting shows the Virgin Mary with child versions of Christ and John the Baptist in an Italian landscape. The facial expressions and body language, conveyed with a fluid and precise naturalism, are both remarkably human and spiritually expressive. The Virgin’s gaze, as her right arm reaches out to touch John comfortingly on the shoulder, is portent with awareness of future events. He returns her look with understanding while his left hand grips the base of the wooden cross. The Christ Child reaches out to hold the cross, as he too gazes intently at John. The faces of the three figures become one cohesive glance of spiritual knowledge as visually a subtle diagonal is created from John at the left up to Jesus and the pinnacle of the pyramid at Mary’s head. The idealized landscape creates a sense of serenity with its lake, green hills with several buildings, and a mountain range in the distance against a calm blue sky, where a drift of clouds, rising above Jesus’s head are both naturalistic and allusive to the holy spirit.
8. The term “format” refers to the size and shape of a _______ picture plane.
a. CORRECT: Purpose of Drawing
The Signature Room contains three of Raphael’s best known works – the School of Athens, the Parnassus, and the Disputation of the Holy Sacrament. Each wall represents one area of thinking: Theology, Poetry, Philosophy, and Justice, corresponding to the main fields of scientific knowledge. In the School of Athens, representing Philosophy, Plato and Aristotle are pictured at the centre of a group of other philosophers in a scene, set in Ancient Greece, which symbolizes the wisdom of classical antiquity. Arithmetic, Grammar, and Music are personified by certain figures: Geometry, Astronomy, Rhetoric and Dialectic by others. Above them is a majestic vaulted ceiling which may reflect Donato Bramante’s design for St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It was not the first fresco painted in the Stanza della Segnatura – the room already contained decorations by the Early Renaissance artists Piero della Francesca (1415-92), Perugino (1450-1523) and Luca Signorelli (1445-1523), but Julius II decided that these paintings were expendable, and could be painted over.
In fact Raphael’s painterly skills were soon in such demand that he was obliged to leave more and more work to his assistants, such as Giovanni Francesco Penni (1496-1536), Giulio Romano (1499-1546) and Perino del Vaga (Piero Buonaccorsi) (1501-47). Responsible for numerous altarpieces, such as The Sistine Madonna (1513-14, Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden) and The Transfiguration (1518-20, Pinacoteca Apostolica, Vatican), as well as other examples of religious art, he also produced several famous Renaissance portraits of ecclesiastical and secular subjects – such as Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione (1514-15, Louvre) and Pope Leo X with Cardinals (1518, Galleria Palatina, Pitti Palace, Florence). Arguably the finest painter of the Italian Renaissance, Raphael remains one of the best artists of all time.
In painting, the style called High Renaissance or classic is, in a sense, the culmination of the experiments of the 15th century, for it is above all characterized by a desire to achieve harmony and balance. Movement is important and necessary, yet the eye is always given a point of focus and rest. The composition is self-contained and conforms to Alberti’s definition of beauty as “that harmony of parts to which nothing can be added or taken away without destroying the whole.” Although there is movement implied in the poses of the figures and movement across the surface of the composition, it is always dignified movement, giving the impression of calm. The style exhibits variety and richness, yet maintains simplicity and unity. It is never as self-conscious as 15th-century painting had been, nor is it as laboured as much of Mannerist painting. It is frequently compared to Greek art of the 5th century bce for its calm and monumentality. Its greatest practitioners were the Florentines Leonardo da Vinci (although Leonardo’s earlier work is usually assigned to the early Renaissance) and Michelangelo, the Urbino-born Raphael, and the Venetian Titian. Other artists, such as Andrea del Sarto and Fra Bartolomeo in Florence, Correggio in Parma, and Giovanni Bellini and Giorgione in Venice, were more or less attracted to the style at some point in their careers.
When Michelangelo returned to painting in 1534, he had already had some experience of Mannerism in Florence. The past few years had not been entirely a matter of aesthetic enrichment, however, for they had witnessed the sack of Rome and the siege of Florence. Some of the horror of those events emerges in “ The Last Judgment,” painted in fresco on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel. Commissioned by Pope Clement VII, the work was executed during the pontificate of Paul III. Rather than a Christian saviour, the Christ in Judgment is a thundering god in the way the pagan supreme god of the Romans, Jupiter, was, more concerned with damning the human race than welcoming the blessed into heaven. The figures falling into hell and the torments of the damned attract the eye by their power and the emotions they reveal. It is as though a new Dante had been born to depict hell with a brush rather than a pen. Though the fresco met with strong but mixed reactions when it was unveiled in 1541, Pope Paul was pleased enough to commission two frescoes representing the “ Conversion of St. Paul” and the “ Crucifixion of St. Peter” for his own private chapel, the Pauline Chapel. Since this chapel has never been open to the general public and since Michelangelo had already moved into his highly personal late style, these frescoes had little impact on the painting of the time.