Essay on Early Italian Renaissance Art

Essay on Early Italian Renaissance Art

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The artistic theme in which an artist depicts the Virgin Mary with Jesus Christ as a child is known as the ‘Madonna and Child’. This depiction has its roots in Early Christian art due to the iconic roles that Christ and Mary play in the Christian religion (Dunkerton 37). The ‘Madonna and Child’ has had a place in many of the early periods and traditions of art. Religious themes were able to command such a strong presence in the history of art due to their role as devotional aides in churches and other religious buildings (Dunkerton 27). Religious art was well maintained by religious orders and churches, and many patrons throughout early history were tied to the Catholic Church. In the 1400s, religious artwork continued to play a prominent role, but a revival of the Classical form also started to occur. The period known as the renaissance was marked by a desire to look back on the past and a sense of individualism. The era also brought about the use of new and classical techniques for art such as naturalism, perspective, and proportion. Nonetheless, art during this period remained diverse as several art traditions, influences, and patrons contributed to the outcome of an artist’s work. The National Gallery of Ireland possesses a few of depictions of the Virgin Mary and Child in its collection of Early Italian work. The first work I will discuss is a work by Zanobi di Jacopo Machiavelli known as ‘Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints’, which was complete in 1470. The second work is known as, ‘The Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints John the Baptist and Lucy’, and was completed by Marco Palmezzano in 1513 (National Gallery of Ireland: Essential Guide). While created around the same time period and within close geographical proxim...


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...lical scene, but the use of different artistic techniques and the impact of separate influences can create unique creations. The catering to particular audiences and patrons further exacerbates the apparent variation among art during this artistic period.



Works Cited

Brenner, Carla, Robyn Asleson, and Debra Pincus. "Virgin and Child." Italian Renaissance Learning Resources. Grove Art Online, 2013. Web. 02 Dec. 2013. .
Dunkerton, Jill, Susan Foister, Dillian Gordon, and Nicholas Penny. Giotto to Dürer: Early Renaissance Painting in the National Gallery. London: Yale UP in Association with National Gallery Pubblications, 1991. Print.
Kemp, Martin. The Oxford History of Western Art. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000. Print.
"National Gallery of Ireland: Essential Guide." The National Gallery of Ireland. N.p., 2008. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.

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