4th century Florentine painting
In the 4th century, Florence was Italy’s leading cultural center. Having lived only 27 years old, the talented Florentine artist Masaccio has largely determined the development of Florentine art after 1425. It was Masaccio who formulated the tasks that his followers in Florence would solve: perspective as a means of constructing space in a picture, human anatomy, light, storytelling in painting.
Beato Angelico’s painting “The Coronation of the Virgin Mary”, 1435
Beato Angelico was a monk at the monastery of San Domenico in Fusole, which did not prevent him from conducting active artistic activity not only in Florence, but also abroad, for example, in Rome, where he was invited by the pope to paint the Sacramento chapel in the Vatican (unfortunately not preserved )
In the painting “The Coronation of the Virgin Mary”, the skill with which the artist builds the perspective is striking. The painting was painted for the church of the monastery of San Domenico in Fiesole. Among the many Saints at the Madonna’s throne, we recognize Saint Dominic (on the left, depicted in profile), the limits of the altar are dedicated to scenes from his life. Like other Florentine masters, Quattrocento Beato Angelico resorts to promising constructions, interprets the plastic form in a generalized manner. However, these tendencies obey his expressiveness of linear rhythm and sophistication of color comparisons.
Painting by Beato Angelico “The Martyrdom of Saints Cosmas and Damian
One of Beato Angelico’s masterpieces is an altar commissioned by Cosimo and Lorenzo Medici for the church of the monastery of San Marco, executed around 1440. Most of the scenes outside the altar are in the Louvre. Light lyrical intonation and extraordinary transparency of forms convey harmony even to the limits that are tragic in content. The painting shows part of the limit of the altar created for the convent of San Marc in Florence. Beato Angelico’s art is imbued with such poetry that even the execution scene to a large extent loses its tragic content. The action takes place on a lawn covered with flowers, the background is marked by thin tree trunks. The chains of mountains, soft outlines looming against the sky, resemble the landscapes of the environs of Florence.
Ucccello Battle of San Romano – 14th Century Florentine Painting
Uccello’s painting “The Battle of San Romano”
The artist Paolo Li Dono received the nickname Ucccello (bird), because he loved birds very much and always kept them in his house. He was very fascinated by the principles of the prospective construction of space on a plane. He experimented endlessly with complex angles, and the favorite motifs of his paintings are battles and hunting.
One of the three scenes of the “Battle of San Romano” adorned the bedroom of Lorenzo Medici. The battle took place in 1432, about 20 years before the paintings were painted. The left part (London, National Gallery) depicts the heroic resistance of the Florentines to the attacks of the Sienans. In the central composition (Florence, Uffizi), the commander of the Sienz falls from his horse. The Louvre painting was located on the left, it shows the Florentines, pushing the Sienese army to the Arno River. The image of horses gives a special charm to the paintings. In the center – the horse of the commander of the Florentines, Michelotto da Cotignola, depicted in a sharp turn; this is one example of the complex angles that Uccello was fond of.
Benozzo Gozzoli, apprentice and assistant to Beato Angelico, worked with him in Orvieto and Rome. Skillful and entertaining storyteller Gozzoli uses Beato Angelico’s tricks, but prefers brighter, more saturated colors, as, for example, in the painting “Apotheosis of St. Thomas Aquinas”.
Photo by Filippo Lippi “Madonna and Child, Angels and Saints Frediano and Augustine (Altar of Barbadori).
In the painting of Filippo Lippi, Masaccio’s influence was decisive. However, he expressed the ideas of new humanism in more understandable images, giving them a common shade, which made his painting accessible to wider layers of the Florentine public.
Comes from the Church of St. Spirit in Florence. The emphasized volume and plastic figures give the influence of the style of Masaccio. The columns of the chapel in the picture do not coincide with the three-part articulation of the altar and are located outside the borders of the wings, which visually expands the space. The Madonna and Child seem to rise from the throne, moving towards two kneeling Saints.
Alessio Baldovinetti’s painting “Madonna and Child”
The generalization of forms and their emphasized plasticity bring the artist’s manner closer to the painting of Pietro de Francesca, who has been credited with painting for a long time.