Giovanni di Paolo' Art: Transitioning from Medieval to Renaissance

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Artistic styles are constantly changing. Incidentally, most famous artists tend to be masters of a specific style of art. Every period of art is influenced by the former periods, creating a blurred line where the periods end and beginning. The artists who work in between two distinct periods create a noteworthy blend of both styles. One such artist, Giovanni di Paolo, worked with influences from both the Medieval and Renaissance periods. Medieval and Renaissance art are completely different styles, but Paolo worked to create his own style that fused the two. Medieval art describes the period spanning from Early Christian art all the way to Gothic art. With so many different styles included in this span, come different standards. Paolo focuses on perspective, which was one of the elements that began in Medieval art, but was perfected in Renaissance art. The Renaissance occurred in Europe as literally the rebirth of classical Greek and Roman ideals. Typical early Renaissance art incorporates perspective and realism (Kleiner). Paolo was born at the end of the Medieval period, and although his influences are unknown, it can be inferred that Medieval masters along with Early Renaissance learning influenced him (Damiani). The Medieval and Renaissance periods lasted a significant amount of time, and their overlap is relatively small, but this is when Paolo thrived. Artists were becoming independent artists with individual techniques instead of artisans. Throughout his career, Paolo painted book illuminations as well as panel paintings. Although Renaissance art marked a decline in sacred art, Scenes from the life of St. John the Baptist are a series of six panels that show Paolo’s developing style. Included in these is figure one, St. Joh...

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