Tag Archives: Italy

Masaccio – Early Renaissance Painter

The number of years of a person’s life does not necessarily indicate the magnitude of the impact he or she will leave on society. Individuals like Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), Princess Diana of Wales (1961-1997), and Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) are proof of this statement. Like these world-changers, Italian artist Masaccio (1401-1428) made a profound mark on history, despite the shortness of his life.

Masaccio was born on December 21, 1401, about 40 miles from Florence, Italy. Initially named Tommaso di Giovanni di Simone Cassai, the artist became known simply as “Masaccio” (translated as “Big Tom” or “Clumsy Tom”) because of his careless, heedless, amicable nature. (As a result of his artistic bent, Masaccio cared very little for his appearance or for the affairs of society.)

Giovanni, Masaccio’s brother, was also an artist. During the Renaissance, the skill of painting was usually passed down through a family’s paternal line. Considering the fact that Masaccio’s father, a notary, was not known to be artistic, it is a point of interest that both Masaccio and his brother were recognized artists. Some speculate that Masaccio’s paternal grandfather was responsible for teaching the young artist and his brother painting skills, as he was a chest maker whose craft involved painting. While it’s not certain, it is possible that Masaccio derived his natural talent and technical artistic skills from his grandfather.

Practically nothing is known about the first 21 years of Masaccio’s life. However, historians agree that he entered a painting guild at age 21. This indicates that he likely underwent a lengthy art apprenticeship sometime during the later time of his life. It was in this timeframe that his artwork began garnering attention and fame.

Masaccio managed to make an incredible impact on Italy, and on the art world, during the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. This era produced some of the most influential painters history recognizes; among them are Alberti, Donatello, and Brunelleschi. Masaccio is recognized at the Quattrocento period’s first great painter. It is amazing to consider that in “only six years, Masaccio radically transformed Florentine painting. His art eventually helped create many of the major conceptual and stylistic foundations of Western painting (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/367676/Masaccio).”

There are several distinct aspects of Masaccio’s work that set him apart as an influential artist during a time in which artists were plentiful. First, Masaccio’s use of linear perspective was novel when he began employing the technique. Also, a technique called “vanishing point” was first used by Masaccio. Finally, rather than imitate the ornate Gothic style of painting that was popular during his lifetime, Masaccio favored a more naturalistic look.

The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne (c. 1424) and San Giovenale Triptych (c. 1422) are two of Masaccio’s earliest known works. Amazingly, the latter piece of art was only recently (in 1961) discovered in Masaccio’s hometown. Unfortunately, age compromised some of the structural integrity of the piece. Still, art historians can clearly observe Masaccio’s use of the techniques mentioned above. “Masaccio’s concern to suggest three-dimensionality through volumetric figures and foreshortened forms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masaccio)” is also apparent in San Giovenale Triptych. Some of Masaccio’s other well-known pieces include his frescoes painted for the Branacci Chapel, The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, The Tribute Money, and The Pisa Altarpiece.

Renaissance artist Masaccio died in late 1428; he was only 26.

Those who die young, yet make an indelible, positive impression on their communities, are sometimes grieved for hundreds of years by people who derive inspiration and hope from the lives they lived. Masaccio is just one example of this type of influential person. It is unarguable that Masaccio made an incredible impact on the art world, despite his short life.

However, this post is meant to recognize his artist style and some major pieces. For those who want to read more of Masaccio‘s story, visit this link: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=ROM . Also, Segmation is proud to offer 21 digital Masaccio – Early Renaissance Painter patterns. By downloading these paint by numbers masterpieces, you can emulate one of the most fascinating artists who ever lived.

Enjoy the 21 Masaccio – Early Renaissance Painter painter patterns . Segmation has for you and continue to learn and celebrate the life of a great artist.

Read more Segmation blog posts about other great artists:

George Romney – Making Ideas Art

Franz Marc German Expressionist Painter

Jan Gossaert – A Great Flemish Painter of Antiquity”

Sources:

Masaccio

Masaccio – Britannica

Italian Art

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Piero della Francesca – Early Renaissance Artist

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www.segmation.comThere are still mysteries to uncover about the Italian Renaissance artist, Piero della Francesca. In fact, scholars have not yet come to a unanimous conclusionwww.segmation.com about when Piero was born, nor do they agree on whether or not he had gone blind prior to his death in 1492. Though he was painting during the same time period as many other famous and well known painters, Piero’s work has not found its way to the spot light until recently.

The reason for the lack of information surrounding Piero’s work, as well as his recent popularity, is largely due to the fact that many of his paintings, and many of the buildings he painted in, have been destroyed. What is known about Piero della Francesca is that he was not only a talented painter, but a man deeply interested in mathematics. It is this love of mathematics and its influence on his painting that sets Piero apart as one of the greatest Early Renaissance artists.

Piero della Francesca was born in modern day Tuscany, then known as San Sepolcro. His father was a tradesman and his mother’s family was part of the Florentine and Tuscan Franceschi noble family. Throughout his life, Piero was always tied to San Sepolcro. However, much of his life was spent traveling and he spent time working in Rimini, Arezzo, Ferrara and Rome.

Around 1439 Piero traveled to Florence to assist Domenico Veneziano in painting the chapel of Santa Egidio. It was here that he most likely came in contact with other well known painters and it is also probable that Florence was responsible for his deep interest in achieving accurate perspective in his painting. Florence would have afforded Piero the opportunity to study light and color in the work of other painters; lessons that became foundational to Piero’s style of painting.

Florence might also have been responsible for Piero’s interest in mathematics as well as other forms of art such as, architecture and sculpting. Many scholars believe that Piero was deeply interested in how other fields of study might influence his painting. Whether or not Florence was where this interest was sparked, it appears that Piero spent his life studying mathematics, light, color, architecture and sculpture, all in the effort to bring the proper perspective to his painting. This love of learning for the sake of perspective in his work is evident in all of his paintings.

Piero mainly painted religious works that are noted for their tranquility and precision. His paintings are characteristically full of bright colors and light. In addition, Piero made a habit of painting both architecture and sculptures.

His most famous work is “Story of the True Cross” which is a series of frescos he painted for the Bacci Family in Arezzo around 1457. These frescos demonstrate that Piero was a master at manipulating light in his paintings. As in many of his other paintings, these frescos appear three- dimensional because Piero combined shadow and shade to create depth.

“The Flagellation of Christ,” painted during the 1460’s in Urbino, is evidence of Piero’s love of architecture, but is also another example of how he utilized light in his paintings. In this painting Christ is essentially in the background yet, Piero manages to draw the eye towards Christ by manipulating the light and colors within the painting.Flagellation of Christ -Segmation

The “Baptism of Christ” offers an excellent example of Piero’s love of geometry. Each figure in the painting serves to balance the whole. Here again, light and color are used to draw the eye, as well as balance the painting.
Piero also painted portraits that are marked by their realism and sophistication. The background scenes of these portraits are often intricately detailed. Yet, as with all of Piero’s work, these details serve to draw the eye to the subject of the piece rather than overshadow. His paintings are known for the detailed backgrounds; for the care he showed towards aspects of paintings that the eye might never be drawn to.

In 1492, Piero della Francesca died in his home in San Sepolcro. He left his mark on the world in the form of paintings full of light and color and work infused by his knowledge of mathematics. He also left behind a series of treatise that mathematicians still recognize today. For this, Piero della Francesca will remain one of the most appreciated Early Renaissance artists.

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piero_della_Francesca

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When Art is Represented On Stage

It is a beautiful thing when different forms of art collide. Dance and music create a wonderful combination, as do writing and graphic arts. Various art types compliment one another, and in some cases even depend on one another if full expression is to be had. But one combination that seems unlikely is theatre and 16th Century Italian art – there’s a mix you don’t hear about everyday.

Two individuals recently wrote a play called Divine Rivalry that integrates 16th Century Italian art into theatre. Divine Rivalry has a storyline that is true to its name, being about an “artistic duel” between Michelangelo Buonarroti and Leonardo Da Vinci, two giants of the art world. Who in the play is responsible for this rivalry? None other than Niccolo Machiavelli. While the plot of Divine Rivalry sure sounds far-fetched, here is an interesting fact: it is based on true happenings.

1505 was the year that the painting duel actually happened between Michelangelo and Da Vinci, an idea that Machiavelli did indeed conceive of. What prompted Machiavelli to initiate this scenario? Probably the fact that Italy wanted to set itself apart from other countries around the year 1505. This is understandable when you consider that Spain boasted the recent finding of the New World during that time. Machiavelli thought that having two murals created to depict Italy’s “artistic brilliance and military prowess” would help raise and solidify the status of the country. Thus, the idea of having two famous artists paint together yet against one another was born.

While Da Vinci and Michelangelo were both commissioned to paint specific murals, neither artist finished the job assigned. It wasn’t until the 1560’s that the murals were painted over by another artist, Giorgio Vasari.

The individuals who penned Divine Rivalry, Michael Kramer and D.S. Moynihan, were excited to present this production to the public beginning in 2011 in Connecticut at the Hartford Stage. Moynihan commented that she had not encountered anyone who was familiar with the “paint-off” of 1505. Kramer admitted that he was thrilled to have done two years of research for the play. All in all, Divine Rivalry was a notch in the belts of Moynihan and Kramer. The success of Divine Rivalry proves that great things can happen when art is represented on stage.

http://www.nctimes.com/entertainment/arts-and-theatre/theatre/theater-feature-art-history-and-mystery-unite-in-globe-s/article_60fcb80d-e3c8-5bbc-81ca-f6d2aef013ad.html

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Travel Like an Artist

Sansepolcro, Italy, will not likely be pursued as a travel destination for food lovers, architecture buffs, or history professors. It is not well-known for its topography or sought after for its museums. But for an artist, Sansepolcro might be considered heaven on earth. Why? Because it was the birthplace and hometown of Piero della Francesca, painter of the Resurrection. The Resurrection is located in Sansepolcro, making this small town a potentially big draw for artists searching for a travel destination.

The Resurrection is known as a “special masterpiece,” therefore it and its creator are mainly familiar to art historians. Still, Sansepolcro is a destination that would probably be very much appreciated by any artist, especially after he or she learned more about Piero della Francesca.

Born sometime near 1415, artist Piero della Francesca authored geometry and mathematics books. His did not leave a vast amount of artwork, but what he did leave is remarkable. Flagellation of Christ, Pregnant Madonna, Resurrection, and Legend of the True Cross were all crafted by Francesca. Each is captivating in its own way.

The Resurrection was probably painted by Piero della Francesca in the 1460s. Susan Spano, writer for the Los Angeles Times, explained the Resurrection in these words: “It depicts Christ climbing out of his tomb on Easter morning, eyes fixed on something beyond, still morbidly pallid but strong, in the very process of changing from mortal to god.” With a description like this, it is little wonder that the Resurrection is a jewel in Sansepolcro’s crown.

Every year in September, Sansepolcro’s citizens celebrate Piero della Francesca in elaborate festivals that feature flag-waving and medieval crossbows. (The flag and crossbow-bearing partakers wear costumes similar to clothing depicted in Francesca’s paintings.) These festivals draw tourists and are a nod to the legacy that Francesca left for his hometown.

Many creators of art glean untold inspiration and creative capacity from traveling. In fact, some individuals would argue that travel is not a privilege, but a necessity for artists. If you are an artist or even a lover of art, perhaps Sansepolcro would be an excellent travel destination for you.

http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-piero-20120610,0,3644415.story

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Giovanni Bellini Italian Renaissance Artist www.segmation.com

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Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430-1516) was an Italian Renaissance Artist who is considered to revolutionize Venetian painting with his sensuous and colorful style applied with slow drying paints. He is the best known painter from the Bellini family of painters. His early style can be described as Quattrocento, which incorporates classical art forms from Greek and Roman sculptors. His later works matured into a more progressive style and incorporated many instances of religious symbolism through natural elements. Our large set of Bellini patterns contains a wide cross section of his works. There are many versions of Madonna and Child, St. Jerome, Christ, and numerous portraits. There are also patterns of his Four Allegories (Lust, Falsehood, Fortune, and Prudence), two altarpieces (San Giobbe and San Zaccaria) and a self-portrait.

This set contains over 46 paintable patterns.

Giovanni Bellini Italian Renaissance Artist

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Leonardo da Vinci – The Renaissance Man www.segmation.com

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Leonardo da Vinci was an amazingly talented and well rounded individual who lived in Italy during the Renaissance period (1500-1600). His talents included architecture, engineering, mathematics, music, and of course painting. Considered one of the greatest painters of all time, we are excited to bring many of his famous works into the creative world of SegPlayPC (No doubt Leonardo himself would have enjoyed this form of painting!). This collection contains all of his well known images including the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, Bacchus, The Baptism of Christ, Madonna Litta, Annunciation, and many many more.

You can find a wide collection of Leonardo da Vinci Scenes paint by number patterns and is available at the Segmation web site. These patterns may be viewed, painted, and printed using SegPlay™PC a fun, computerized paint-by-numbers program for Windows 7, 2000, XP, and Vista. Enjoy!

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The Lingo of Color www.segmation.com

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It is said that the human eye can discern between 1 million and 7 million colors. Do you think you could name them all?

Most people can easily identify the 3 primary colors (red, yellow, blue), and the three secondary colors (orange, green and purple), plus white and black. It’s their many mixtures, variants, tints and shades that cause a stumbling block when it comes to identifying colors.

Because of their familiarity with pigments, artists have a slew of color names at their disposal when it comes to naming colors. (For instance, “I painted a Cerulean sky over an Ultramarine ocean, tinged with hints of Light Hansa.”) These terms may leave non-artists scratching their heads. Where do these color names originate?

As we discussed in a previous article, some artist pigments are named for the material that they are made from (cobalt blue, made from cobalt), or the place where they the pigments first came from (burnt sienna, from Sienna, Italy). Other colors are named for the person who first discovered the pigment that could be used to create the color (fuchsia, named for the German scientist Leonard Fuchs).

The complexity of color is difficult to pin down with the limitations of language – especially when one person claims to see lavender while another argues that the color is actually lilac. Aside from the necessity of naming pigments and hues for color-matching purposes, perhaps many color names are best left to the imagination, where poetic expressiveness can assign the most appropriate color name for that particular purpose and moment.

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