Christian Europe—Arts and Culture
800 to 1600
Song of Roland to Machelangelo
Characters—Arts and Culture
|Painter and Architect of the early Renaissance. |
|Renaissance painter well known for his many Frescos for the Vatican. Recently beatified.|
|Renowned Florentine painter, patronized by the de Medici's. Painted 'The Birth of Venus' and 'Primavera'.|
|Leonardo da Vinci
|One of the most brilliant men of any age, Leonardo was artist, inventor, engineer, and scientist.|
|German painter from Nuremburg best known for his early printings, and associate with the Reformation.|
|Great sculptor and painter of the Renaissance. Works included David, the Pieta, and Sistine Chapel|
|Florentine painter of the High Renaissance. Contemporary of de Vinci and Michelangelo.|
|Peter Paul Rubens
|Seventeenth century Flemish painter, well known for portraits and historical paintings.|
|Poet who wrote his masterpiece The Inferno in Italian. It became universally known. |
|Renaissance poet and writer who republished and popularized many Roman and Greek classics.|
|Italian Diplomat famous for 'The Prince', a political treatise advocating deceipt and ruthless pursuit of power. |
Timeline—Arts and Culture
Artists of the Early Renaissance (1300-1480)
- Giotto (1267-1337) Florence, Painter.
Artist who re-invented the Fresco, painted Life-of-Mary series on the Scrovengi Chapel in Padua. Painted only religious works, altarpieces and Church Frescos. One of the greatest names in Italian art.
- Brunelleschi (1377-1446) Florence, Architect.
Famous for designing the Dome of the Cathedral of Florence and also for formulating a mathematical analysis of perspective.
- Donatello 1386-1466) Florence, Sculptor.
Greatest Sculptor of the Early Renaissance. Worked in Bronze, Marble, Terra cotta, wood, stucco, and glass. Masterpieces include both carved and relief sculptures.
- Jan Van Eck (1395-1441) Flanders, Painter.
Famous for the Ghent Altarpiece and also for introducing Oil painting techniques.
- Fra Angelico (1400-1450) Florence, Painter.
Dominican Friar, known for piety and religious paintings. Began illuminating Bibles, then altarpieces. Best known for paintings on walls of chapels, cloisters, and Monastery of San Marco. Introduced Sacred Conversation.
- Della Robbia (1400-1482) Florence, Terra Cotta.
Originator of glazed terra cotta bas reliefs. Usually white figures with blue background. Influenced by Donatello.
- Fra Filippo Lippi 1406-1469) Florence, Painter.
Friar artist who was a major Influence on Botticelli and artists of the High Renaissance. Less pious in his personal life than Fra Angelico.
Artists of the High Renaissance (1480-1580)
- Botticelli (1445-1510) Florence, Painter.
Leader of the Florentine School. Religious works, include Trials of Moses and Temptation of Christ for the Sistine Chapel, and paintings of the Virgin. Birth of Venus, and other secular works, commissioned by the Medicis.
- Bramante (1444-1514) Rome, Architect.
Greatest architect of the High Renaissance. Designed Cloister for Santa Maria della Pace and Tempietto of San Pietro, but most important work is St. Peter's Basilica.
- Bellini (1420-1516) Venice, Painter.
Member of a family of painters who pioneered oil techniques producing bright colors, shading, and dramatic designs. Major influence on later artists. Works include St. Jerome in the Desert, St. Francis in Ecstasy, and San Zaccaria Altarpiece. Supported by Doge of Venice as well as the Church.
- da Vinci (1452-1519) Florence, Milan, Painter, Sculptor.
Recognized as genius in many areas including anatomy, engineering, invention as well as art. Most famous works are The Last Super, and Mona Lisa. Da Vinci's patrons included Duke of Milan, Cesare Borgia, and Francis I, King of France.
- Albrect Durer (1471-1528) Germany, Painter, Engraver.
Nuremburg, Germany. Known for Engravings, Woodcut illustrations, self-portraits, and Feast of the Rose Garlands. Traveled to Italy, influenced by Bellini, Many prints still existent.
- Michelangelo (1475-1564) Florence, Rome, Painter, Sculptor.
Greatest artist of the High Renaissance. Most famous works are sculptures Pieta and David, Ceiling of Sistine Chapel, Last Judgement, and work on St. Peter's Basilica.
- Raphael (1483-1520) Florence, Painter.
Extremely prolific artist of the High Renaissance. Best known for the Raphael Rooms in the Vatican, including Vision of the Cross, Meeting of Leo the Great and Attila, Disputation of the Holy Sacrament and School of Athens.
- Titian (1487-1576) Venice, Painter.
Influential painter from Venice, noted for dramatic use of color. Major Influence on Baroque era. Famous for 30 ft. high altarpiece The Assumption for a Church in Venice. Known for portraits and historical pictures as well as religious works.
- Veronese (1528-1588) Venice, Painter.
With Titian, one of the most important artists of the Venice School. Noted for brilliant light and colors and also for large compositions with many characters. Famous for Wedding at Cana done for a monastery in Padua, now in the Louvre.
- El Greco (1541-1614) Spain, Painter.
Greek painter studied in Venice, and was influenced by Titian and high Renaissance, then spent his career in Spain under Philip II.
- Caravaggio (1571-1610) Florence, Painter.
Influential Baroque painter with stormy personal life. Famous paintings, including Calling of St. Matthew, Crucifixion of Peter, and Judith beheading Holofernes use dramatic contrasts of dark and light, known as Chiaroscuro.
- Rubens (1577-1650) Flanders, Painter.
Influential Baroque artist, studied in Venice, but worked in Flanders. Recognized as a protege from a young age. Did historical themes and portraits as well as religious art. Known for bright colors and dramatic scenes.
- Bernini (1598-1680) Florence, Rome, Sculptor, Architect.
Sculptor and Architect who designed Baroque Churches including later elements of St. Peter's Bascilica. Most influential sculptor of 17th century. Designed Baldacchino altar canopy in St. Peters.
- Van Dyck (1599-1641) Flanders, England, Painter.
Flemish painter who was influenced by the Venetians school. Live many years in England at the court of Charles I. Most famous for paintings of Stuart Royal Family.
- Valazquez (1599-1660) Spain, Painter.
Considered greatest of Spanish Baroque painters. Known for both religious and historical paintings and portraits. Most famous work is Las Meninas.
- Rembrandt (1606-1669) Holland, Painter.
Master artist of Protestant Holland. Most of his works are portraits, but religious works include Supper at Emmaus, Doubting Thomas, Return of Prodigal Son, Descent from the Cross, and others.
- Murillo (1618-1682) Spain, Painter.
Gifted painter who rose to fame after painting scenes for the Franciscan monastery in Seville.
Composers and Musicians
- Guido of Arezzo (991-1033) French, Scholar Monk — Monk of Italy and musical composer and theorist who invented modern musical notation.
- Perotin the Great ( ~1200) Paris — Music teacher and composer based at Notre Dame of Paris who pioneered three and four voice polyphony.
- Josquin de Prez (1450-1521) Flanders — Extremely influential composer of the Franco-Flemish school of the Renaissance period, wrote popular pieces using polyphonic techniques, such as triads and minor keys.
- Martin Luther (1483-1546) Germany — German Monk, musician, and composer who instituted changes to the Catholic liturgy and music in accordance with Lutheran theology and tradition.
- Giovanni Palestrina (1525-1594) Rome — Leading composer of the Renaissance era Roman before and after the Council of Trent. Renowned for reverent and dignified polyphonic compositions.
- Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) Italy — Italian priest and composer who was a transitional figure between the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Most famous for early Operas such as L'Orfeo.
- Arcangello Corelli (1653-1713) Italy — Innovative Italian composer of the Baroque era who specialized in sonatas and concertos written to emphasize the versatility of the violin.
- Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) Italy — Italian priest, composer and teacher who excelled at the violin and wrote concertos using harmonic progression and advanced polyphonic technique. Famous for 'Four Seasons'.
- Johan Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Germany — German composer whose recognized genius in counterpoint and harmonic arrangements influenced many classical composers of the 18th and 19th centuries.
- George Frederick Handel (1685-1759) Germany — 18th century German-British composer known for operas, oratorios, and organ concerts. Most famous work is Messiah and Hallelujah Chorus.
- Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) — Poet who wrote his masterpiece The Inferno in Italian instead of Latin so it could be read by laymen.
- Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374) — Renaissance poet and writer who republished and popularized many Roman and Greek classics.
- Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) — Italian Diplomat famous for 'The Prince', a political treatise advocating deceipt and ruthless pursuit of power.
Recommended Reading—Arts and Culture
Read chapters from "core" texts before reviewing study questions.