Category: Anna Maharg


Rucellai Madonna

Title: Rucellai Madonna
Artist: Duccio da Buoninsegna
Date:  1285
Location:  Uffizi Museum in Florence
Medium: Tempera and gold on wood
Approximate Dimensions of work: 450×290
The Rucellai Madonna was painted by Duccio da Buoninsegna in 1285. It was painted for the Rucellai Chapel of Santa Maria Novella until it was placed in the Uffizi museum. The artist included techniques used in traditional Italian paintings along with some new aspects to this Madonna and Child, the new stylizations eventually became a fixture of Sienese art. The  curving outlines and movement of the ends of Mary’s cloak were new. The style of the throne indicates influence from beyond the Alp mountains. Also new was the iconographical use of the angels, instead of holding up the throne as part of the background, they are all bent toward the Virgin in reverence.

Web Gallery of Art, Image Collection, Virtual Museum, Searchable Database of European Fine Arts (1000-1850). Web. 13 Apr. 2010. <http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/d/duccio/buoninse/ruccelai/3ruccela.html&gt;.

“Madonna and Child | Duccio Di Buoninsegna | All | European Paintings | Collection Database | Works of Art | The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Metmuseum.org. Web. 13 Apr. 2010. <http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/collection_database/european_paintings/madonna_and_child/objectView.aspx?&OID=110003462&collID=11&vw=0&gt;.



Madonna and Child
Artist: Niccolo di Ser Sozzo Tegliacci
Date:  probably between 1350-1363
Location: Uffizi
Medium: tempera on wood
Size: 85×55
This painter was most active between 1350 and 1363. The artist, Niccolo di Ser Sozzo Tegliacci was a painter and the son of an illuminator from Siena. In 1363 he was acknowledged in the Book of the Arts for his town. Tegliacci work was finely detailed and highly decorative in style. He is quoted by the Getty Center in Los Angeles as having “fluid forms and subtle, harmonious chromatic effects…,Niccolo’s early illuminations combined with Sienese refinement with Florentine concern for modeling and weight.” His paintings were more embellished and detailed than his panel works, though these continued to express the impressions left on him from Simone Martini,, a Sienese painter. His style was more natural and realistic than many older works of the Byzantine era. Mary and baby Jesus are more lifelike, and we see details like the muscles in her neck and the toes of Jesus’ feet stretched upright.

“Niccolò Di Ser Sozzo Tegliacci Biography • Virtual Uffizi Gallery.” Uffizi Tickets Reservations • Uffizi Gallery, Florence Italy. Web. 13 Apr. 2010. <http://www.virtualuffizi.com/biography/Niccol%F2+di+Ser+Sozzo+Tegliacci.htm&gt;.

Cappella Maggiore

Artist: Agnolo Gaddi

Alterpiece

Date: 1337

Location: Santa Croce

Medium: tempera on wood

Approximate dimensions of work: alterpiece

The artist was taught by his father, who had been schooled by master, Giotto. Agnolo Gaddi lived in Florence from 1350 to 1396. In 1337 he undertook his most “ambitious work” of  8 frescoes in Santa Croce in Florence, in which his paintings depicted the “Legend of the True Cross”. These focus on design rather than expression and he had “optical unification”. This was a new approach toward painting of International Gothic style.  The frescos began with the archangel Michael giving Seth a branch from the tree of knowledge, and it ended with the Emperor Heraclius carrying the cross as he entered Jerusalem (who was a conqueror and supposedly brought the true cross back to Jerusalem). It is in this last fresco that the painter included a portrait of himself. Gaddi composed his subjects  better than his father, Taddeo.  He portrayed more dignity and individuality in the figures. The images were clear with bold colourist and extremely decorative. His drawings were best viewed from a distance.

In Santa Croce, his Cappella Maggiore is the altarpiece for the church.

Resources:

“Agnolo Gaddi (Italian Artist) — Britannica Online Encyclopedia.” Encyclopedia – Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Web. 14 Apr. 2010. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/223286/Agnolo-Gaddi&gt;.

“Gaddi – LoveToKnow 1911.” 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica – Free Online. Web. 14 Apr. 2010. <http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Gaddi&gt;.

Madonna of St. Vitus Cathedral

St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague

1420, first quarter of 15th Century

Location: national Gallery, Prague

Medium: Tempera on Wood

Approximate Dimension: 89X77 cm

Artist is an unknown Bohemian master

The Madonna of St. Vitus Cathedral has a lot of symbolism in the poise of the figures. The painting is of mary showing her child to the congregation of faithful.  Her coquettish posture and animation of the child is very natural stance. Some scholars believe this painting is identical with the master of Beautiful Madonna of Krumlov. There is precise modeling in the stance shows the full forms of the figures with the heavy fabric of Mary’s mantle making deep folds along with the position of the child’s body and hands  (in the Holy Sign). Their spatial relation has the Madonna’s body bent sideways and drawn backwards. The child’s torso faces the spectator. Both figures face opposite directions, showing composition by the two diagonals of the oblong standing frame. Her torso is tilted toward the upper right corner while the baby Jesus and her head tilt towards the parallel and opposite corner. These spatial relations were not common prior to this era in art, and are part of the reason for the significance of the depiction of Madonna and Child.

Sources:

Web Gallery of Art, Image Collection, Virtual Museum, Searchable Database of European Fine Arts (1000-1850). Web. 13 Apr. 2010. <http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/m/master/xunk_bo/madvitus.html&gt;.

Madonna and Child –Theodora

Title: Madonna and Child -Theodora

Date: 5th or 6th century

Location: St. Celements Rome

Fourth Century Basilica

Byzantine Fresco

Discovered by Fr. Joseph Mullooly in 1857.

This fresco is believed to originally be a portrait of Empress Theodora , painted in the 5th or 6th Century. She is in the basilica probably only because her husband, Emperor Justinian gave litergical gifts to Pope John II (533-535). His image should be in the paralleling niche, but is not found there. These two would have their images present because of Pope John’s gifts bestowed to San Clemente’s church to embellish and decorate the basilica. In the 9th century Theodora’s portrait was modified into a Madonna and Child. There was the addition of a chair and the Child in her lap with the extension of her left arm to hold Him. On either side of Theodora were two ladies who were probably members of the imperial court. Their figures were transformed into saints Euphemia and Catherine, each with crowns of Martydrom.

Resources:

A short Guide to St. Celements of Rome by Leonard Boyle O.P.