RELIGIOUS ART throughout THE RENAISSANCE

During the 13th and 14th century Religious Art was used in a number of ways. Churches were huge patrons of the arts and purchased tremendous amounts of art to create awe and respect. Making this art available to the public helped many people who could not read the scriptures by allowing them to envision the stories and relate to the subjects. Churches also hoped to inspire greater devotion to religion and arouse more desire for salvation. Early Renaissance artists began using more humanistic looking subjects and naturalistic settings to achieve those goals. By placing viewers in the scenes with the religious icons, the allegories became more relevant to everyday life. Throughout the Renaissance artists continued to develop new styles and techniques that appealed to and inspired the masses. (John Webb, Kelsey, Jordan)

Western artists used Madonna's gentleness and beauty as a means of religious inspiration. In this Early Renaissance painting we see Madonna as loving and tender. She also appears holy as implied by the extensive use of gold which is similar to Giotto's Madonna Enthroned with Angels and Prophets. The Madonna and Child are also posed in a traditional manner in both artist's paintings. Buoninsegna's style was similar to, but not as naturalistic as Giotto who was the pride of Florence. Buoninsegna was no less talented and was the pride of Siena. Both artist were active around the same time and were considered Masters of the Renaissance. (John)
By using landscape settings, artist like Lucas Cranach the Elder and Raphael allowed viewers to relate to the subjects in their art as opposed to using grandiose settings that not all people were familiar with. Here Madonna is seen lovingly gazing at her son in a beautiful country setting. By putting the icons in a common scene like in this painting, and in Raphael's Madonna in the Meadow, observers were more likely to relate to and feel like a part of religion. This in turn would inspire devotion to religious icons such as the Madonna.(John)
The sacred conversion is one of the most popular themes of Madonna paintings. In these works she is usually surrounded by a gathering of Saints. In many of these, like the one here, Madonna is looking away from the child with a solemn expression instead of at him with loving adoration which many parents can relate to. Although painted almost 100 years later, Conegliano's painting is reminiscent of Giovanni Bellini's Madonna and Child with Saints. Both artists arranged their subjects similarly behind the arch in the foreground. While Bellini used an interior background, Conegliano used atmospheric perspective to give the painting more depth. The colors, the style of dress, composition of the subjects, the books, and architecture are all otherwise very similar. (John)
Inspired by ancient Greek sculptures, the artist Reni was a fan of the cannon of proportions, or The Golden Rule. This late High Renaissance painting shows Madonna breastfeeding her child. She has perfect proportions and natural looking skin color. The child also has naturalistic color and proportions although he seems a bit large and mature to be breastfeeding. By portraying Madonna as a mother it makes her seem more real. Although the subjects are in stark contrast, the style of lighting with such a dark background is similar to Artemisia Gentileschi's Judith Slaying Holofernes. Both artists used vibrant colors and light from an unknown source to focus on the subjects, Reni one of beauty, Gentileschi one of violence. In this paining by Reni, Madonna is seen as a mother therefore she becomes more real, and thereby endearing to religion.(John)
This painting of Saint Peter is an Early Renaissance work so the painting is very 2D, does not have much depth, and the figure looks flat. This painting fits our theme because it is a portrait of Saint Peter. It looks a lot like Christ Enthroned with Angels because of the colors and the overall 2D look of the painting. (Jordan)
the painting is of Jesus washing the apostles feet and shows St peter getting his feet washed and St peter is in disbelief he is doing this and throws his hands up and all the other apostles are also in disbelief and in different positions and it is supposed to look unorganized and create an unrest in the painting. it looks like chrit givving the keys to saint peter because christ and peter are the focal point and show what is going on in the painting. (Jordan)
this painting also is an earlier work and looks 2D and doesn't give the illusion of space. it also fits into our theme of religion and is of St John the Baptist. this painting looks like christ enthroned with angles as well the war it is painted and the color id dull. (Jordan)
this painting is of saint sebastian when he was shot with arrows for protesting against the prosicution of christ. sebation is bound to the tree to recall the crusifiction but is also in a position of classical antiquity. the painting reminds me of the david because they are in similar positions. even though the painting wasnt in a church it is still a religious artwork because of the subject matter. (jordan)
The Crucifiction of Christ depicts Christ on the cross. The guys hanging next to him on the cross were crucified at the same time as Jesus was. Mary is seen at the bottom in a grieving position. This piece of work reminds me of Holy Trinity by Massaccio because Christ is posed the same way and is placed in the top of the painting. (Kelsey)
In this painting, Christ is rising from the tomb. It is thought to be a centerpiece of an alterpiece from the church of S, Pietro. This relates to our theme because he is rising from the dead. (Kelsey)
Christ Crowned with Thorns was the last painting in a series by Gerrit van Honthorst, it may have been apart of an alterpiece. In the shadows a soldier uses a cane to put the crown on Jesus's head to protect his own hands. This painting uses alot of dramatic light and dark contrast to highlight certain important things in the painting. Carrvaggio's Calling of St. Peter looks like this painting because of the chiaroscuro lighting. And they both have religious themes. (Kelsey)
Adoration of the Trinity shows Christ on the cross in the top center of the painting. A God like figure and a dove are above him. Angels and Virgin Mary are surrounding Christ. In the bottom right corner Albert Durer painted himself holding a sign that says "Albert Durer of the North made this in the year of the Virgin 1511." This painting reminds me of Arnolfini portrait by Jon Van Eyck because he also painted himself in one of his works. But both of these artists included themselves in such a discrete way, no one actually notices them until someone points it out. And they both left a message on the painting along with their self portrait. (Kelsey)
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