Shared Flashcard Set


Art History
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Additional Art History Flashcards





Cimabue, Madonna Enthroned with Angles and Prophets, 1280-1290


line – detail, thin, vertical (throne, arch, figures), symmetrical, balanced

shape – triangular arch (pointing toward heaven), perfect circles around heads (halos, holy beings)

gold throne – wealth, power, heavenly; red on child– passion, Christ; blue on Virgin – calm, peaceful

gold leaf – wealth, power, heavenly, reminiscent of Byzantine

illusion of texture in fine lines on clothes allows for illusion of sitting figure; smooth – fine lines

perspective – Virgin’s throne recedes into space

overlapping bodies of angels on each side of throne & half-length prophets reinforce sense of depth

proportion – large female figure (importance, Virgin), small child yet still relatively large compared to angels (importance, Christ), small angels surrounding


prophets at bottom worshiping Madonna who is surrounded by angels and holding Christ

setting – not specific, flat, predominantly gold leaf, not mimetic (Byzantine)

structure is unnatural, throne is being lifted by angels, not mimetic (Byzantine)

folds on clothes – texture – mimetic


painted for Santa Trinita (Holy Trinity) in Florence - Benedictine church near Arno River (built b/t 1258-1280)


still technically late Medieval Europe

Cimabue beginning to use Mimesis in response to budding interest in antiquity - beginning of Renaissance in Central Italy


Giotto, Lamentation, Arena Chapel, 1305-1306



Composition – break from Byzantine work – not static nor flat

bottom left – emotional reaction

uses mountain range (diagonal line) to bring attention to mother’s reaction and Jesus’s body

angels – foreshortening – appear to recede back into space – produce illusion of depth

folds in clothing – very realistic – value – illusionary texture

light on backs of figures – value

range of body positions & expressions – very new – mimetic


passion, crucifixion, resurrection

Christ removed from cross

single dead tree – tree of knowledge of good & evil, which withered after Adam & Eve’s original sin


Arena Chapel - chapel built 1303-05, not that large, every interior surface painted, barrel vaulted ceiling

private commission by wealthy Scrovegni family – attempt to repent for sins & secure place in heaven – bankers


Duccio, Betrayal of Jesus, 1308-1311


values to create illusion of light

emphasis on drapery

detailed, thin lines

Mimetic – range of body positions & emotions, trees & shadows

balanced, somewhat symmetrical

emotionally hectic, break from Byzantine


depicts final period (passion) of Christ


Judas kissing Christ

allowing Romans to identify him and arrest him

Peter is so mad that he cuts the High-Priest’s servant’s ear off

figures retreating

complex/chaotic – 3 scenes, 1 composition

many expressions, positions

setting – outdoors, trees, mountain

no horizon line/sky because gold leaf



detail from Maesta

double-sided High Altarpiece

Siena Duomo (Cathedral)

commissioned by church


Simone de Martini, Annunciation, 1333



panel painting

wings – motion – shadows, value

iconography: dove, lilies, olive branch

(international style) Mary’s body is elongated, unnatural

French Gothic style – frame, wings, dove – complex, exaggerated, mood-

evoking figures


Gabriel telling Mary she is pregnant with Christ

Lord represented as dove – facing Mary

words coming diagonally from Gabriel’s mouth

Gabriel holding olive branch (peace)

Christ becomes Prince of Peace

lilies in center – symbol of virgin/purity

Mary was reading before Gabriel entered, now she’s shocked, body is elongated




Siena Cathedral

frame reconstructed 19 Century


Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Peaceful City, 1338-1339


color – colorful, playful

line work – thin lines, detailed

very straight lines – orderly

buildings appear to recede into background

used value to create the illusion of light, therefore making it look like the buildings and figures bear mass

not very proportionate, empirical perspective


allegory of good government

inspiration from local architecture, straight lines (structure, order, realistic), regular shapes

workers on top of building – implies growth, strength

merchants on streets, figures interacting, festivity

idealized, utopic town - direct result of strong government


secular fresco in Siena City Hall

propaganda, decorative

audience = government, 9 leaders

purpose was to glorify government


Robert Campin, Merode Altarpiece, 1425-1428


emphasis on textiles – folds are different, distinguishable between North and South

North – more diagonal lines, more crumpled effect, compared to crushed aluminum, more aggressive

table – perspective of room and table is skewed so we can make out objects on tabletop (manipulating perspective to provide us with more information)

space appears to recede back, foreshortening

perspective is inaccurate – empirical perspective




patrons featured in painting – kneeling at open door, peering into room where Gabriel and Mary are; secures place in heaven

figures in painting are praying and worshiping for eternity, act as surrogates for actual patrons. devout for life, eternal prayer

patrons are not idealized; in North, artists capture likeness of specific individuals; look as they do in life.


depicts annunciation – angel Gabriel tells Mary she is pregnant with Christ

Virgin – wearing red, reading, unacknowledging, on the ground, leaning on bench – sign of humility

objects on table

Ø  open book, scroll – New & Old Testament

Ø  vase of lilies – symbolize purity, usually shown in relationship to Virgin to remind of purity, 3 buds/flowers – holy trinity

Ø  candle recently blown out/snuffed – symbol for end of life, mortality, femoral nature of life, reminder that life on earth is short/temporary. reminds you to be devout, pray

·     holy spirit is present symbolized with a cross


       domestic interior likely modeled after patrons own home – novel at time


devotional painting for private worship

not commissioned for church, hung in home

first northern Ars Nova painter and his most important piece


Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, 1432


crinkled folds in drapery – shows Ars Nova

attention to drapery, bodies bearing mass, angular lines in drapery, bodies appear to recede into space

extreme detail everywhere

very balanced



bottom panels

flanking sides are two figures kneeling, praying, very detailed – pious-looking, surrogates for patrons shown praying for eternity

Saint John and Saint ??? – depicted as sculptures

middle panels

annunciation scene

Gabriel, Virgin reading

dove, lilies

highly detailed in background – shows Ars Nova

top panels

prophets watching down on scene

·      recently been through conservation


Jan van Eyck, Giovanni Arnolfini and His Bride, 1434



she is wearing emerald green dress, a lot of fabric, suggests they are wealthy; veil – covering one’s head is sign of modesty, purity

red is dominant color – draw attention


fine lines, detailed; complimented by medium (oil paints allow great control)

mirror detail


empiricalobservation – not calculated, spills into our space, based on observation

domestic interior, secular

crinkled folds – very angular/diagonal, Ars Nova style – produces illusion of body bearing mass


normative gender roles reinforced

woman placed closer to bed, confined to domestic sphere

man placed near open window, implies access to the outside world

oranges by window – import, sign of wealth


possible marriage certificate

artist’s name signed on wall as witness “van Eyck was here"

included his reflection in mirror on wall

holding hands, suggesting oath of marriage

single candle – God’s all seeing eye, God is present when oath is being taken

takes place in bed chamber, bed – future consummation

St. Margaret carved into bedpost – patron saint of childbirth

swollen womb

light floorboards – analyzed as holy ground

shoes on floor – removed clogs, oath is being taken on holy ground. also symbol of sex

other scholars argue it is an oath, but not an oath of marriage

o   maybe he is allowing wife to oversee business endeavors while husband is away

·      dog (Fide) – symbol of loyalty, fidelity


work was acquired by National Gallery of Art in 1842

goes by many different names, widely disputed

believed to be proof of marriage  



Rogier van der Weyden, Deposition, 1435


shallow perspectile space – worshipper can have direct relationship with these figures

emphasis on drapery – illusions of folds, figures are three dimensional, light and shade; diagonal folds – clue to Ars Nova


Christ being removed from cross; Christ is in center, emphasized

Christ’s & virgin’s bodies are parallel; limp, contours

virgin – struck by grief, fallen and being supported

artist added layer of drama/emotion to scene – novel at time

no real sense of setting; gold leaf back drop

patrons included in scene are individualized, look completely different – readable as portraits; not idealized – receding hairlines, wrinkles; emphasis on capturing ones’ likeness unlike in Italy where figures are idealized

skull – Adam’s skull, Christ was crucified where Adam was buried; also reminder of mortality


student of Campin

patrons were members of a guild who made crossbows


Donatello, David, c. 1440 – 1460


pose – contrapposto, hand on hips, bent knees


depicted here as victorious, stands on head of Goliath

reintroduction to classical nude, attention to rendering musculature, curved/sinuous lines

appears very confident

gaze looking downward, because he is on a pedestal

not very muscular, appears very thin/sensual – possibly to emphasize his youth

o   short, only stands a little over 5’ though would seem more monumental due to pedestal

·      helmet – hair was originally covered in gold, symbol of family’s wealth


commission by Medici family for their courtyard at home – stood on high pedestal; cast in bronze

David – slayed Goliath

young man, underdog – took on brutal warrior named Goliath & defeated him against all odds


Filippo Brunelleschi, Santo Spirito, 1434 – 1436


vaulted nave, comes to point

revival of delicate columns, rounded arches, flat ceiling, coffered ceiling – recessed and decorated, Corinthian capitals


plain looking, reduces ornamentation

enter from West, altar located on East wall, so nave is facing East



very different from Gothic architecture – reviving features of Roman architecture


Donatello, St. Mark, 1411 – 1413


free-standing sculpture

is it a relief?

based on antiquity – folds, style of garments, emphasis on age (based on Roman portrait sculptures)

contrapposto pose allow body to appear lifelike; artists did not want to depict body as rigid – but rather flexible, moving continuously by shifting its weight from one supporting leg to the other, its constituent parts moving in agreement


St. Mark sculpted for an alcove on Or San Michele in Florence


one of the patron saints

Donatello is notable because he spends good amount of time travelling through Italy studying ancient sculpture

- revives techniques and forms commonly found in Greek & Roman sculpture

St. Mark is one of the four Evangelists – wrote the Bible


Masaccio, Tribute Money, 1424 – 1427


fresco paintings on walls

2 figures in contrapposto poses

Masaccio was studying from ancient sculpture because his poses & expressions were taken from ancient sculptures

shadows – first real shadows in renaissance – suggest light source from right

spatial recession – landscape extends back into space, doesn’t feel like we’re on a stage, building is rendered in believable perspective; calculated one-point perspective - one point takes us to Christ’s head

atmospheric perspective – items in background are depicted with less clarity than items in foreground


gospel of Matthew

Christ & disciples come to pay taxes

Christ in center

instructing Peter to go to water & pull coin from mouth of a fish

this coin is to be used to pay tax collector

tax collector is wearing much shorter garment, contemporary style

can see thru gestures that Peter is getting the coin from the fish

3 parts of narrative are in this one composition

part 1 – Christ telling Peter, part 2 – Peter getting coin, part 3 – paying tax collector


sponsored by Brancacci family




Paolo Uccello, Battle of San Romano, 1455


Medici commission for their bedroom in palace



Sandro Botticelli, Primavera (Spring), 1482

·      oranges – often found in Medici commissions, mela medica (medicinal fruit)


Leonardo da Vinci, Last Supper, c. 1495-98

still on wall, climate control glass doors, few individuals in space at once

was once in dining hall

experiment with fresco painting; true fresco – painting on wet plaster; this is called fresco seco – painted directly on wall (dry fresco)

within a few years had already been compromised by ~50%

conserved hardcore over years; humidity from bodies around it can cause chipping

front & center: Christ

surrounded by 12 disciples, made so monumental in scale that they don’t fit at table; scrunched together in groupings of 3

istoria – Christ announces: one of you will betray me; depicts disciples’ responses saying “brrruuuuhhh"

novel: complex reactions; range of responses

Judas: with bag of money he received in exchange for identifying Christ; his reaction is most controlled in composition; most neutral pose

John: left of Christ

relievo, sfumato, Albertian perspective – looks box like, lines of one-point pers. lead to Christ’s head

coffered ceiling

window behind Christ – heavens surrounding his head – almost serves as halo – compositional strategy


Leonardo da Vinci, Virgin and Child with St. Anne, 1501-1513




Raphael, Madonna in the Meadow, 1505 – 1506

·      not Mimetic because figures are idealized and too large


Raphael, Disputa (Theology), 1509-1511

mixture of Christian & humanist themes – religious work influenced by humanism

in a library

taking cues from past – emphasized harmony, order

often depicts book in his work – love & passion for study – humanism

4 murals - Theology is one of the murals

divided into two parts – upper and lower portion

upper portion is in heaven, lower is on Earth


center: holy trinity – holy spirit represented by dove

Christ – hands out – shows stigmata (wounds on Christ’s body from crucifixion)

flanked by Virgin & John the Baptist

flanked by two groupings of figures – 6 figures in each group

three from Old Testament, three from New

angels holding up text – four texts – four Gospels

balance in composition


altar – directly below Christ – atop altar is Eucharis – wafer & wine which is transformed into body & blood of Christ when consumed

transubstantiation – literal belief in this transformation

depicts argument of whether transubstantiation is legit or not – transformation is literal or symbolic

relievo, istoria

Albertian one-point perspective – seen in floor, grid marks

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