Ralph Larmann

Art Department

University of Evansville

ART 340 Painting
FALL 2004

Instructed by Ralph Larmann
Office: FA203 / Hours: 8-10 am MWF or by appointment

back to: ancient painting Painting in Renaissance Art

Madonna Enthroned
Early Italian Renaissance
egg tempera painting
by Cimabue

Madonna Enthroned
Early Italian Renaissance
egg tempera painting
by Giotto


-Renaissance means "rebirth" of Classical ideas and styles
-Italian Renaissance grew out of growing economies in the Italian city-states
-most painters worked with egg tempera or fresco

-egg tempera paintings were done on carefully prepared wood panels
-apprenticeship programs were the standard training forum

Cimabue-heavily influenced by Byzantine works

Madonna Enthroned, 1280-90, tempera on wood, 12' 7"x 7' 4"
-flat geometric forms with little modeling
-architectural forms are flat and have little dimension

Giotto- called "father of Renaissance painting"

Madonna Enthroned, c. 1310, tempera on wood, 10' 8"x 6' 8"
-less flat than Cimabue
-some modeling in drapery and figures
-architecture appears to have some depth

Arena Chapel in Padua, Italy had an entire interior of frescoes by Giotto

-Lamentation, Pieta, Kiss of Judas, and the Flight into Egypt, Last Judgment, Crucifixion, and Justice are some stories depicted

Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Allegories of Good Government: The Effects of Good Government in the City and Country
-fresco, Pallazzo Pubblico, Siena, Italy, 1338-39, 46' long
-secular (non-religious) subject
-illustration of the positive effects of good government
-more realistic with some leftover Byzantine influence

Holy Trinity
Italian Renaissance
by Masaccio

Dead Christ
Italian Renaissance
tempera on canvas
c. 1500
by Andea Mantegna


-linear perspective was a system set up to help create the illusion of three-dimensional space in a two-dimensional format. It originated in the Near East where some nomads noticed that a small pinhole carried an upside-down picture of the outside, in a dark tent, in the middle of the day. This later was used by Renaissance artists in the form of a camera obscura (Latin for black box). Artists would build small dark booths and move them to wherever they wanted to paint, then poke a pinhole in the wall, and copy the scene that was projected upside-down on the wall behind them. The system is based on the idea of a constant horizon line (eye level) where a vanishing point is located. One can anticipate the convergence of parallel lines at the vanishing point.


Holy Trinity -Masaccio, 1425, fresco, 21' 9"x 9' 4"
-created convincing illusion of depth using linear perspective
-placed the viewer at eye level
-used a pyramidal composition
-added two donors at bottom
-detail view

Sandro Botticelli

Birth of Venus,-egg tempera on wood, 1482, 5' 8"x 9' 1"
-mythological/Christian subject matter

Andrea Mantegna-

Dead Christ, c. 1500, tempera on canvas, 27' x 32"
-This is an excellent example of foreshortening, a process of perspective used on the human figure.
-This work creates confrontation with the viewer and a psychological mood

Mona Lisa
Italian Renaissance
oil painting
by Leonardo da Vinci

School of Athens
Italian Renaissance
by Raphael


chiaroscuro-a formula for creating light/shadow to create the illusion of 3-D space. It was practiced by all the Italian Renaissance painters.

Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519
Annunciation, 14th C.

Virgin of the Rocks, c.1485,

Mona Lisa, 1503-5, Oil on Wood, 30"x 21"
-was originally recognized as a great work because of background
-uses sfumato (vanished in smoke) technique of hazy softened look
-fantastic or surreal landscape in background
The Last Supper, 1495-8, fresco, 15'x 28'
-uses linear perspective in background, like Massaccio
-figures take on symbolic poses which identify them
-fresco had tempera and oil mixed in to slow process which caused deterioration of the piece

Raphael, 1483-1520
-young and talented, but had short life and career
School of Athens, 1509-11, fresco, 26'x 18'
-is a reflection of the influence of Classical ideas in Renaissance Italy
-also includes portraits of Renaissance Masters
-uses linear perspective

Michelangelo, 1475-1564

Sistine Chapel Ceiling, 1508-12, fresco, 5800 square feet
-Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint ceiling of chapel
-scenes from the Bible
-recently cleaned, revealing brighter colors
Last Judgement of Christ, Mannerist work done 3 decades later.

Mannerist, uses glazes in his paintings

Merode Altarpiece
Northern Renaissance
oil on wood
by Robert Campin

Arnolfini Wedding Portrait
Northern Renaissance
oil on wood
by Jan Van Eyck

Peasant Dance
Northern Renaissance
oil on wood
by Pieter Breughel


The Renaissance in the North of Europe varied from Italy in several ways:
-there was little influence or evidence of Classical ideals
-architecture and sculpture were not well developed in the North
-painting was the art form of choice and the Northern Artists used great detail
-primarily used oil paint and used a technique called glazing

Glazing is a style of oil painting that employs the application of thin layers of paint that are transparent. By building up the layers, one can achieve a great deal of depth in a painting and the work also conducts light. Light will pass through the layers, then be reflected back out making the painting very luminous.

Most Northern Renaissance artists studied in Italy

Fifteenth Century Flanders

Merode Altarpiece, Robert Campin (Master of Flemalle), 1425-30, tempera and oil on wood, central panel is 25"x 25"
-triptych (3 panels)
-shows an average house and Biblical characters

Jan van Eyck and (Hubert van Eyck), 1390-1441
Arnolfini Wedding Portrait, 1434, oil on wood, 32"x 23"
-full of symbolic imagery: dog (fidelity), mirror (eye of God), fertility symbols
-record of a real event
-artist is shown in the mirror on the back wall
-great deal of detail

Sixteenth Century Painting in Northern Europe

Hieronymous Bosch, 1450-1516
Garden of Earthly Delights, c. 1505-10, triptych, oil on wood, 12' long (open)
-Heaven on right panel, Hell on left panel
-center panel is full of images about earthly pleasures
-moralistic triptych, that comments on sin
-fantastic, surreal images
-Bosch was unique in his time

Pieter Brueghel the Elder, 1525-69
The Peasant Dance, c. 1567, oil on wood, 3'9"x 5'5"
-people overindulge in the presence of religious icons
-genre scene (everyday life)
Hunters in the Snow

Matthias Grunewald, (d. 1528)
-did the Eisenheim Altarpiece which is characterized by the great amount of emotional and evocative painting. The exterior of the altarpiece depicts the Crucifixion of Christ and the interior the Resurrection.

Hans Holbein the Younger, (1497-1543)
The Ambassadors, oil on panel
-uses anamorphic projection for skull on lower section of painting.

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