Art History II
“Every painting, sketch, and drawing started with a line.”
If there is anyone that impacted the art world the most it would be Giotto, but one would ask why Giotto is relevant when discussing Renaissance work. The answer is, if it was not for Giotto’s ingeniousness no one knows how long it would have taken artists to figure out linear or atmospheric perspective. The Greeks themselves with all of their breakthroughs in art couldn’t figure out what it is this man figured out. It is because of Giotto that artists were able to raise their work to a higher level of realism. One would think that realism would be important, especially during a time when humanism seems to be the driving force of art.
However, what is humanism? Humanism is focusing on the actual physical human being rather than supernatural or religious beings (an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems. a Renaissance cultural movement that turned away from medieval scholasticism and revived interest in ancient Greek and Roman thought.
noun: Humanism). This is not to say that the Church wasn’t still a very important or large figure during those times. It is just saying that a broad sense of self-awareness happened, and because of this, amazing art was produced that focused on people and not God or Gods. For example Petrus Christus. He painted religious scenes, however the holy figures portrayed were given very human like features. Mary no longer had a gaudy halo around her head with gold leaf drowning her and the Chr...
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... all to itself. The care and detail that went into the hills that are closer to the stable is breathtaking. It almost has a sense of life. The way the lights and the shadows are hitting the grass gives it life. The artist again shows his mastery of atmospheric perspective by slowly fading the hills that are meant to be further from the viewer to blue. He does so until all the viewer sees all the way in the back of the painting are blue suggestions of hills.
To conclude, there were many artists who impacted the way art was created, viewed, and valued, however it was the contribution of Giotto that one could say bought a higher level of realism that has deeply impacted many movements that came after. It was the dawn of the Renaissance and humanism that really shined a light on both linear and atmospheric perspective, foreshortening, and the true anatomy of a person.
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