An Age of Growth                              by Joshua Giacobello

The period that preceded the renaissance was a period of growth in art that encompasses religious portraits using flatness to make figures appear static and lacking realism. By using geometric shapes they were also able to maintain a three dimensional landscape which gave them a natural and fluid movement. Intricate line work was used to create elongated figures for altarpieces that could be folded up and carried. My project is based on paintings and illuminated manuscripts from the Early Gothic period of art that used this idea of flatness, as well as lines, to convey a visual landscape for artists to create large artworks for altarpieces and portraits. 

The painting of St. Luke was probably one of many that hung alongside it for an altarpiece to be carried around and transported to different churches. By using lines Simone Martini gives the image of St. Luke a larger than life feeling. You can also see how he positioned the hands of St. Luke to give you the feeling that the subject was a writer. You can also see the depth created by using the flatness of the image to make one hand smaller and in the background with a writing utensil.
This portrait is one of many that depicts the Nativity scene from the Old Testament. The painting encompasses the whole scene of the Nativity using the flatness on a two dimensional scale to create a landscape. You can see how the artist used the idea of scale to create large hills in the background of the image. He also gives you the images in the mid ground including the Shepard and animals in the barn. The use of lines creates a separation between the foreground, mid ground, and background while also maintaining the central image of Mary and Christ. As part of the main subject Mary is sitting with her legs crossed and her hands in preayer while Christ lays in her lap. The use of lines in the gold create a holy image around the heads of her and the baby Christ.
This painting of Christ Discovered in the temple was probably one of the many paintings that hung with the portrait of St. Luke. While also being painted by Simone Martini it contains much of the same line work used in the portrait of St. Luke. While consistent with its use of gold to give it elevated three-dimensional feeling, it also uses flatness as its main device. The geometric use of lines creates a sense of height between the three images reveling the closeness of each figure. You can clearly see that one of the figures is a child and that one is sitting down or kneeling. The third figure of the older looking man appears angled and speaking to the child as he leads the child Christ back to the woman.
This sketch depicts two images of the male physique as well as an image of a St. draped in robes. It displays a Gothic style of influence within its line work and the use of flatness to create a landscape image of two-dimensional figures. Although it was not intended to be anything other than a sketch, it conveys how artists used height to give dominance or depth to a figure within a large scale painting. You can also see how the intricate use of lines was growing from boxy styled figures to more rounded realistic style figures.
This sketch of the Allegory of Luxuria was created during the later years of the Gothic period right before the Renaissance. Pisanello creates a delicate sense of depth with this sketch which you can derive based on the position of the figure. The way her body is angled gives you the illusion that she is laying sideways on a blanket and gives her an elongated form. You can also see the intricate dimensions created with the use of lines to create a sense of depth in her hair and the wrinkles in the blanket balled up underneath her.
This portrait shows us a visual of Christ crowning the Virgin Mary draped in elongated golden robes almost resembling tapestries. The use of lines to create elongated robes also creates the illusion that Christ hands are elevated and placing a crwon on the Virgin Marys head. You can also see how Fabriano used lines to show the Virgin mother bending over to accept this coronation. A sense of depth is also distinguished by the use of line to create smaller looking images on the left and right lined up to watch the coronation in progress.
This painting displays the Enthroned Mary sitting with Christ the child on her lap with three other figures standing around her. You can tell that the artist used lines to gives the figures a sense of focus towards Mary and Christ sitting on a bench. The way the artist used his lines you can also tell Mary is moving the child onto the right leg as she hold him upright so he can see the onlookers. There is also a sense of depth created by how the artist uses elongated robes and the folds in them to accurately place each figure within the field of view. For instance you can tell that the shorter looking man in the front on the left is kneeling at the altar upon which Mary has been seated.
This is an altarpiece painted in honor of the birth of Christ the lord and is representation of the three kings as well as all of Jerusalem coming to worship their future Lord and Savior. It was created just when the Renaissance was about to blow up in Europe and you can see how well the figures in this painting replicate portrait style art. Although this image is flat for the most part the artist uses this to his advantage creating a larger than life scene of the Nativity. With his use of lines Fabriano creates a multi layer scene with thousands of figures getting smaller as you look farter into the image.
This is a three piece wooden tempera painting created during the latter years of the Gothic period and because it was created on slabs of wood has a distinguished vintage look to it. The main figures in the painting are Mary and the child Christ. Using lines Fabriano created movement within the draped blanket over Marys shoulders giving you the felling that she is sitting on the ground. The flatness is used to create an image of angels flying in the sky around them. You can also see how he used the flatness of the image to give each of the Angel figures a sense of depth leaving two further back than the others. There is also a wing in front of the farthest angel on the left side of the painting creating the illusion of the angles flying closer or further from Mary and Christ.
This portrait contains excellent depth of field using flattened space to create a three-dimensional perspective out of a two dimensional portrait. Again Mary is sitting down while Christ the baby stands in her lap and the intricacy of the lines create the bending of her head to look towards the baby. Her head is contoured in just the right direction to be looking downward at the baby. By her feet are two angles that look as though they are bending or walking upward which is implemented by the contour of their knees under their robes. You can also see how Fabriano used the flattened space in the background of this image to create a golden skyline as well as a cityscape looking background behind Mary.
Credits: All media
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