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Art History Essays

  • 09-04-2009 4:24pm
    Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 284 ✭✭ We

    Will post my art history essays here for those who are interested :)



  • Here's the essay I've done, granted it's from last years paper, but considering the Art History examiner folk love to repeat things, I thought I might as well learn a bit about it.
    Would appreciate if anybody can give me any input on this essay, I've done nothing for the most part with Art History, so I'm trying to make up for lost time now ;)

    2008 Q2. Irish Bronze Age gold artefacts reflect both the design skills and craft skills of their makers.
    Discuss this statement with reference to the form, function, decoration and metalworking
    techniques of any two named gold objects from this period.
    Write a brief account of the Bronze Age people in Ireland and on their sourcing of raw
    materials for their gold artefacts.
    Illustrate your answer.

    Marking Scheme
    Names : 5
    Discussion of example 1
    Form, function, decoration and metalworking techniques : 15
    Example 2
    Form, function, decoration and metalworking techniques : 15
    Brief account of Bronze age people, sourcing of raw materials. : 5
    Sketches : 10

    The discovery of metal was a key event in human history, Bronze being the first metal widely used by man and although this new technology arrived in Europe around 4000BC, it did not reach Ireland until around 2000 years later. Settlers from France arrived in Ireland around 2000BC, bringing the knowledge of Bronze working with them and the existing inhabitants learned the trade from them. Slowly the culture of these bronze-working settlers merged with that of the Neolithic Irish and gave birth to the Irish Bronze Age.

    At the time of the Bronze Age(2000B.C. - 500B.C.), Ireland was blessed with relatively rich copper deposits, allowing large quantities of bronze to be produced on the island, Copper mixed with tin makes bronze, a harder metal. However, the copper-rich areas did not necessarily coincide with areas that had been important sources of material in the Neolithic era. Thus, the focal points in Ireland moved to regions that in some cases had been relatively devoid of previous activity, for example western Munster.

    Along with many other new skills, the Bronze Age brought about many new styles of decoration. In both bronze and gold objects, repoussé was a common method of decoration which involved hammering a design on the reverse of thin metal objects. Compasses were used to apply the decoration on discs, gorget terminals and other circular objects. Incision, much like repoussé, involved cutting into the front of the object to create its design. Twisting and flange twisting was the coiling of thin strips of gold and are commons styles found on objects of this time, such as Torcs.

    Gold/Sun Discs are an example of an early Bronze Age gold artefact which represents both the design skills and craft skills of their makers. They were usually thin discs of sheet gold around 11cm in diameter and were often found in pairs. Their decoration featured a cross motif of chevrons and zigzags, which were created using a répoussé technique. A series of ridges also cover a large portion of the disc which were created by hammering and punching the shapes into the sheet gold. Small holes near the centre of the discs suggest that they were stitched to the garments, and possibly worn on the chest. The metalwork techniques involved included cutting a circle from a thin beaten plate of gold.

    with note, ie. Gold Disc, c.2000BC, found in Tedavnet, Co.Monaghan.

    The late Bronze Age is famous for the huge quantity, quality and variety of its goldwork. The work had developed over a period of 1500 years from simple and unsophisticated beginnings, and had now reached the height of its achievement. Although outside influences did play a part in its development, goldwork produced in Ireland during the Bronze Age reached the highest standard known to Europe at the time.

    An example of a Late Bronze Age gold artefact which represents the immense level of skill and abbility of its maker are Gorgets. Dating from 700BC, the Gorget is one of Ireland's most impressive Neck Ornaments,and are indeed unique to the island. It consists of a cresent-shaped sheet of gold with disc-terminals at both ends. To create this ornament, a semi-circular band of beaten sheet gold is attatched to the two terminal dics, which are linked together by folded edges. A slit in the lower disc allows the band to slip through and the terminals stitched on with gold wire. As decoration, the Gorget has repoussé ridges with recessed rope moulding. Engraved concentric circles enclose a small concial boss on the terminal discs which truly exemplify the makers design skills.

    with note, ie. Gold gorget, c.700BC, found in Gleninsheen, Co.Clare.

    In conclusion, I believe it is true that Irish Bronze Age gold artefacts represent both the design skills and craft skills of their makers. The extent of which metalworking advanced during these years, and the detail of which their design skills were implemented in the examples shown, it is clear that the craft and metal workers of this time were in no shortage of ability or creativity.

  • An extremely similar question came up on my mock exam. Good answer We.

  • Afraid I can't offer any help to the OP but any predictions for what's likely to come up? Need to do some serious study in the next two months as so far I've basically only learned tidbits about the Renaissance and Georgian architecture.

  • It definitely asked for just gold?

    If not there was copper sourced from Mount Gabriel in west Cork, Silver from silvermines in Tipp, and Tin was imported from Cornwall in Wales.

    All I have on bronze is that it came from the rivers and streams in the Wicklow hills...

  • Thought I'd post up some more essays. Might as well let someone else try get some use out of them too :)

    Q.2 2004
    La Tène culture influenced the art of metalwork and stonework in Ireland during the Iron
    (a) Explain what you understand by the term La Tène.
    (b) Describe and discuss one piece of metalwork and one piece of stonework where this
    influence can be seen.
    Illustrate your answer.

    A (a) Origin and Meaning
    • Celtic Society
    • Switzerland – Lake Neuchâtel
    • Introduction of Iron
    • Definition of La Tene design –
    foliage, plant and honeysuckle design
    • Mediterranean influence
    B (b) Metalwork Example
    • Form – shape, size, material
    • Decoration of surface/design
    • Techniques used in construction
    • Function
    C Stonework Example
    • Form
    • Decoration/Design
    • Techniques used in decoration
    • Possible function
    D Sketches 10
    Total 50

    There is no doubt that La Téne culture had a huge influence on the art of metalwork and stonework in Ireland during the Iron Age. La Tene culture derives its name from around 1858 when one of the earliest Celtic sites was excavated by archaeologists in La Tene, near Lake Neuchatel in Switzerland. Since then the term La Tene has become widely known as the art and culture of the Celts. The Celts themselves are described in written sources as warlike in character, having a love of personal adornment and also having complex relgious beliefs and rituals. Unlike the much of Celtic Europe, Ireland was never invaded by the Roman Empire. However, Ireland idd come under heavy Roman influence as there is much evidence that there was trading between the Irish and the Romans of Britain.

    When Iron was introduced to the Celts, it became the primary alternative to bronze. Although it rusted, thus not many Iron artefacts surviving, it proved a much stronger and more durable metal. They were obviously aware of these benefits, finding much use for the metal and ultimately becoming masters of iron metalworking. The La Tene design is largely curvilinear in style and based on plant designs of the Mediterranean. It can sometimes be described as a honeysuckle motif. The free-flowing motifs are considered to be based on nature, rather than copied from it.

    The Broighter Collar is an example of La Tene style metalworking that shows clearly the design skill and extent of detail that La Tene culture represents. Dating from 1st Century BC, the Broighter Collar was found in Broighter, Co.Derry. This piece is exquisitely made and consists of two gold co-joined half loops with distinctive fasteners, the piece having a diameter of 19.5cm in total. The techinque involved in making the collar begins with 2 ribbons of sheet gold, onto which a design is made along the centre using the repoussé technique. These decorated ribbons were then rolled into a tubes and shaped into a ring whereby the tubes would then be soldered together. The terminals are made of cylindrical metal drums, decorated again using the repoussé technique. The left drum carries a 'T' shaped tenon and the right drum contains a socket where the tenon fits. The right drum can then be rotated to secure the collar around the neck.

    Sketch + seperate close up
    with note, ie. Broighter collar, Insular La Tene period, 1st Century BC.

    The design of the collar is made up of swirls balanced by leaf motifs and trumpet forms, all in relief. At regular intervals there are raised designs of well-defined spirals which were clipped onto the surface. The remaining surface was etched with fine hatched lines using a compass, with the underneath being left bare. The collar itself is presumed to have belonged to a very important member of society or a religious community, the person having worn it around the neck.

    A large number of carved stones were created in the last centuries BC. Probably serving a ritual purpose, or acting as boundary markers, they were up to 2 metres in height. The most famous of these carved during the La Tene period is the Turoe Stone. This artefact is very important in establishing that the Celts settled on this island as the stone cannot have been imported because it was carved from local stone, its weight and bulk defy means of transportation and the work on the stone itself is of master quality, someone who is a professional stone carver and understands the capabilities of his material.

    with note, ie. Turoe Stone, La Téne period, c. 50BC

    Creating the Turoe stone, the craftsperson would use a technique known as finishing which was carefully shaping and smoothening the stone to its wanted size and shape. The design of the stone was produce in low relief, created by cutting away the background of the design - the hard iron tools allowed for very fine carving. The design breaks is broken into four parts with each part displaying different designs, but all cullminating in harmony. The design is free-flowing and curvilinear, displaying abstract leaf forums. There is also a single trinskele in the design, possibly to represent the front of the stone. Numerous trumpet forms and pelta also feature in its design. We can only speculate as to what its function may have been. Some assume that because the stone is phallic in its shape, the stone may have marked the ancient site of a fertility ritual. It may also have acted as a distinguising landmark or boundary marker.

    As can be seen, there is much evidence to show that La Tène culture influenced the art of metalwork and stonework in Ireland during the Iron Age. The skills and techniques brought to Ireland by Celtic settlers set standard among craftspeople and truly paved the way for advancing techniques and motifs in Irish art.

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  • The work of Monet (1840-1926) and Renoir (1841–1919) epitomized the visual
    characteristics of Impressionism. Discuss this statement making detailed reference to one
    painting by each artist.
    Illustrate your answer.

    A Characteristics of Impressionism : 20
    • Subject matter
    • Painting outdoors
    • Outdoors/Observation
    • Science of colour/optical mixing
    • Light
    • Influences
    B Painting 1 : 10
    • Theme
    • Composition
    • Style
    • Technique
    C Painting 2 : 10
    • Theme
    • Composition
    • Style
    • Technique
    D Sketches : 10
    Total 50

    Impressionism was the name given to one of the most important movements in art history. It was the first of modern movements. Its aim was to achieve ever greater naturalism by a detailed study of tone and colour and, by an exact rendering of the way light falls on different surfaces. This interest in colour an light was greatly influenced by the scientific discoveries of the French physicist 'Chevreul' and by paintings by Delacroix. Instead of painting dark shadows using mainly different tones of grey and black, the Impressionists- like Delacroix - realised that when an object casts a shadow, that shadow will be tinged with the complemntary colour of the object. They did not use firmly drawn outlines but instead applied paint in small brightly coloured dabs, even in sadowy areas of their pictures. This lack of outline and multiplicity of small dabs of pure colour, when combined wih the impressionists interest in fleeting effects of light, give their pictures a constant air of movement and life, but also of Impremanence.

    There was nothing as formal as a manifesto or even an agreed programme among the Impressionists. They were all individual artists working in their own way, developing their own style. They were, however, agreed in a general way on a number of points regarding subject matter. Their work should be modern, observed with detachment, and not historical or emotional. The view being that the subject itself is not of particular interest, but the way in which the light and colour decorate it, as described by Monet, "for me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value". The impressionist artists often painted together in small groups, depicting open-air scenes on the banks of the Seine and in the parks and recreation places of the middle classes around Paris. The bathing place and floating restaurant at La Grenouillére provided the location for a number of sketching trips for Monet and Renoir.

    In the later years of Claude Monet's life, he devoted himself to creating a beautiful water garden at his home in Giverny, and painted this garden continuously. 'Water Lily Pond - Harmony in Green' is one of the many paintings of his garden and truly epitomizes the characteristics of the Impressionist style. The painting depicts a Japanese style bridge(which he designed himself) with a small pond, largely covered in lilies, running underneath it. Monet had a huge collection of Japanese prints, with many of the plants in his garden being ones that he saw in these prints. It is quite possible that this painting was inspired by one of these prints. In the painting, the weeping willows in the background are reflected in the water between the lilies. Although Monet loved plants and flowers and collected rare species, he was not interested in distinguishing them in a painting. It was their reflections in the water which interested him. The surface of the painting is a rich carpet of colour, with brush strokes of yellow, pink and lavender woven in with the shimmering green of the plants. The colours reflect a brilliant sunshine with the flowers indicated by blobs of white tinged with yellow and pink. He painted this view of the bridge from a small boat he kept moored for painting the water.

    with note, ie. Water Lily Pond - Harmony in Green, Monet

    Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), painted 'Luncheon of the Boating Party' in 1881 and it marks the end of his Impressionist phase. The painting is one of his last in an Impressionist style and truly captures the concepts and styles native to the movement. Soon after, he and Pissarro would divert from the ideals of Impressionism and change the course of their art. The scene is set in a restaurant at the riverside. This was a favourite spot for boating enthusiasts and their girlfriends. It is the end of the lunch and the remains of the food and drink are on the table. All appear to be enjoying themselves after the boating expedition. The composition of the picture is linked together by the interchange of glances among the members of the group. The girl in the centre leaning on the rail leads the eye to the three on the right. A relationship of some kind seems to be suggested by the artist. Among the group is the actress Ellen Andrée, who posed in 'Absinthe' for Degas. The woman on the left-hand side with the dog is Aline Charigot, Renoir's future wife and favourite model. The figures are posed in a natural manner and the composition is open, so the spectator feels part of the group.

    with note, ie. Luncheon of the Boating Party, Renoir

    Both Monet and Renoir, were two of the leading members of the Impressionist movement, both epitomizing the ideals and characteristics of Impressionism in their art work. With the examples discussed above, the brushwork and colouring styles of the Impressionists are clearly shown in Monet's 'Water Lily Pond-Harmony in Green'. Equally significant, the subject matter and content agreed upon by the members of the movement, can be seen in Renoir's 'Luncheon of the Boating Party', the painting being free of emotion, historical reference, it is viewed with detatchment and depicts the modernity of the time. Personally, I believe both Renoir and Monet to be some of the greatest artists of their time, adopting the different styles and establishing Impressionism, they were truly at the forefront of the movement. With all its characterists of the movement evident in their work, they are the perfect representation of the Impressionism.

  • If there is interest, I will try and contribute a few more.. Let me know :)

    Also, I'm not sure if these would be A1 essays, but I presume they would be as they're lenghty enough and fulfil all the requirements laid out by the marking schemes...

    We. :)

  • Monzo wrote: »
    Afraid I can't offer any help to the OP but any predictions for what's likely to come up? Need to do some serious study in the next two months as so far I've basically only learned tidbits about the Renaissance and Georgian architecture.

    Well the way we're doing it seems pretty fools proof. In the Irish section on of the "Ages" i.e Stone, bronze or iron WILL come up. Our teacher thinks it's going to be iron but I wouldn't rely on that. In the european section either gothic or romanesque has to come up and question fourteen is always there if you're stuck for something to write about... As for the appreciation section thats up to you. We went to a gallery so our whole class is planning on doing the exhibition question but as far as I know film and poster are there every year too. :rolleyes:

  • We wrote: »
    If there is interest, I will try and contribute a few more.. Let me know :)

    Also, I'm not sure if these would be A1 essays, but I presume they would be as they're lenghty enough and fulfil all the requirements laid out by the marking schemes...

    We. :)

    I wouldn't mind seeing some more!

  • Well the way we're doing it seems pretty fools proof. In the Irish section on of the "Ages" i.e Stone, bronze or iron WILL come up. Our teacher thinks it's going to be iron but I wouldn't rely on that. In the european section either gothic or romanesque has to come up and question fourteen is always there if you're stuck for something to write about... As for the appreciation section thats up to you. We went to a gallery so our whole class is planning on doing the exhibition question but as far as I know film and poster are there every year too. :rolleyes:

    Thanks for that. Our class has done very little appreciation of art this year but I should be ok; I usually get a decent mark on that section in the exams. Maybe I should visit a gallery just to be safe though.. And We, they are very much appreciated!

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  • I edited the original post as per request, so... yeah. Bump, I suppose. >.>

  • These are excellent. Cheers!

    I also heard some stuff about Giotto coming up.
    I hope the Impressionist/Post Impressionist is a nice one!

  • They are class!! Well Done!!

  • 2008
    8. Describe and discuss the development of Gothic architecture from the 12th to the 16th Century
    making reference to the three illustrations on the accompanying sheet.
    In your answer name the buildings and refer to structure, decoration and style.
    Illustrate your answer.

    The illustrations on the sheet were the Chartres Cathedral, the Rheims Cathedral and the Rouen Cathedral :)

    Q8 Marks
    A Discussion of development of Gothic architecture :
    B Names of the three illustrated cathedrals :
    C Reference to structure, decoration and style of the illustrated cathedrals :
    D Sketches :
    Total : 50

    As the twelfth century progressed, the economy grew stronger and towns expanded. Culturally and intellectually, France was the most important country in Euorpe of that time and Paris was its shining light, but other large towns like Chartres, Tours, Oleans and Reims were also renowned centres of learning. Although changes in social and intellectual activity were reflected in the frenzy of building, it was also a time of intense piety, and this deep spirituality was expressed through the medium of art. The thirteenth century is considered the age of the great cathedral as during this time, the cathedral was the most important status symbol of the town. As such, the building of cathedrals became the work of a small number of skilled craftsmen, rather than hundreds of labourers as had been the case during the Romanesque period. The aim of this change being to protect the standard and level of workmanship.

    Gothic architecture was the evolution and development of the Romanesque architechure which preceded it. During the Gothic era, many new architechtural techniques were introduced which were much more effective and truly exemplified the extent of which architecture advanced during this time. Crosswise or rib vaulting was a far more effective system of supporting stone roofs in comparison to the Romanesque styles of barrel vaulting and groin vaulting. With the pointed arches, the pressure from the vaults was now concentrated only in small areas at the end of the ribs, eliminating the problem of outward thrust of the rounded arches that had so troubled Romanesque builders . Pressure was easily counteracted by supporting the walls with buttresses and external arches on the higher parts of the wall, called flying buttresses. In addition, buildings were of enormous heights as thinner walls replaced the thick walls used previously, allowing greater space for stained-glass windows and satisfying the idea that the height of a cathedral reflected its closeness to God, as was thought by the people of this time.

    The Chartres Cathedral was built on the ruins of the Virgin Mary's shrine, which was damaged terribly during a fire in 1194. The cathedral took over 300 years to build and subsequently changed in styles as the years of building continued. Traces of the original Romanesque structure can be seen on the west facade of the building and the north tower was built nearly 300 years after the south tower was finished in the flamboyant late Gothic style. It was one of the first large buildings to utilise flying buttresses to their full potential and these support the upper nave. Inside, the cathedral is built in the shape of a cross with a central aisle and trancepts forming the arms of the cross. The effect upon entering the cathedral is one of light and space. The slender pillars soar to join the criss-crossed rib vaulting on the roof, the sheer height of the building adding to the beautiful lighting from many stained glass windows. Three large rose shaped windows adorn the cathedral, one on each transept, another over the west door facing the altar.

    with note, ie. Flying buttress, found on Chartres Cathedral.

    The three rose windows as well as the tall pointed lancet windows which surround the church, tell the story of Mary, Jesus and the saints, as does the sculpture around the three doorways. For example, the west front, known as the Royal Portal, is the oldest of these and is so called because of the solemn line of column statues that stand on either side. Tall and linear, they are almost part of the architecture but their costume and drapery is treated in a decorative manner. All life is concentrated in the expressions on the faces of these strange kings and queens whose identity is not fully known, but they appear to represent men and women from the Old Testament.

    Built in 1210 after a fire destroyed the original, Rheims Cathedral combined many of the finest Gothic architectural features: flying buttresses, very thin walls and tracery windows. The cathedral was badly damaged during World War 1, but much of its impressive variety of Gothic sculpture survived and the lines of the splendid west façade soar upwards, representing the union between Heaven and Earth. The façade has been greatly restored, but the statues on the sides of the doorways are original. Typical of High Gothic architecture, the portals of the Reims Cathedral are deeply set in porches and are topped by carved triangular open-work pinnacles. The central one of these depicts the crowning of the Virgin.

    The space over the door, which would normally have had a carved tympanum, is filled by a rose window. The stone ribs, which form the framework of the large rose window, make a flower-like pattern of radiating lines and it is this feature which led to the name 'rayonnant' being applied to this style. The towers at Reims are open-work -- the buttresses of the nave can be seen through the tower at the level of the rose window. A gallery of huge figures, many times life size, provides almost the only relief to the vertical thrust of the pillars and openings that make up the façade.

    with note, ie. Ribbed Vault, found in Reims Cathedral.

    The Rouen Cathedral was built over a 300 year span and completed in the early 16th century. Famous not only for being later painted by Monet, but mostly because it is an example of Late Gothic architecture and is very much decorated in the 'flamboyant' style. Similar in structure to the Chartres Cathedral, the Rouen Cathedral is built in the shame of a cross, featuring flying buttresses and a four-part groin vaulting as roof support. The tendency was to lighten structure and add decorative elements, which had already been established during the first two periods of French Gothic architecture, was taken to extremes during the Late Gothic period. The facade of the Rouen Cathedral shows how surfaces took on an organic, encrusted appearance where everything was decorated. With features such as a much more complex rose-window framework, it is this flame-like tracery and extravegant decoration which led to this style being called 'flamboyant'.

    Its worth noting that I found this essay really hard :F I struggled with choosing what to sketch and finding notes on the Rouen cathedral..
    Also wasn't too sure if I was putting too much information down for the other two cathedrals, considering that in the marking scheme it only says 'reference to' and that this essays pretty long compared to the others...
    Regardless, here you go.. Gothic Architecture :)

  • can you talk about part 3, in the lines of the Museum visit..

    please, I am really really stuck for that question :(

    I really would be over the moon as im taking this on as an 8th subject alone :(.

  • Here are the guidelines I would give in relation to answering this question on the art appreciation section on the paper.

    Find out the following information
    Background information

    Description of gallery space (shape,floors/wall)
    Lighting- natural/artificial-positioning
    Layout- Chronological/thematic/other
    Information about the exhibition- (work, labelling)
    Framing- are the artworks framed/canvas'

    Describe 3 pieces-
    Format (landscape/portrait/irregular)
    Use of Materials
    Does the painting show the art elements? (texture/line/shape)

    If you gather all this inormation while at the exhibition you should be able to answer the question successfully. Also do not take for granted that this question will come up. Best of luck!

  • you just copied that from the Hugh Lane site...

  • I can assure you I didn't, It's the same format I used for my L.C and it's what I give my student's to answer that question! Just coincidental that they are the same.

  • Im sorry, I didn't go, I didn't see francis bacons studio.. so.. Can anyone provide the question answered? please.. thanks very very much..

  • It doesn't have to be about that exhibition( Francis Bacon). It can be on any exhibition of your choice! They are just the guidelines to answering the exhibition question!

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  • Ok, i've learned your above essays, (thank you very much WE, really and truely am in great debt for your efforts) I've copied images and paragraphs from the Hugh Lane site:

    Could you please post up a few more essays? perhaps Jack B Yeats or a few other Irish Artists? Or any others, I'll be posting up an Essay on Hugh Lane for those stuck in my situation, attribute something to this fine fine post and get feedback. Thank you very much.


  • Any more Essays .... There really good.....

  • hey,just wanna say those essays are great just wondering if u have anymore on impressionists and maybe the iron age or the high crosses??:)

    u are a big life saver!!!

  • I'll try(no promise) get back to this and get some more done within next few days..
    I actually have 3/4 of an essay on Giotto done since about 3 weeks ago.. I think somebody requested it :o

    But yeah.. I need to get back to art history study altogether as I've totally left it stranded this last while :/

  • We wrote: »
    I'll try(no promise) get back to this and get some more done within next few days..
    I actually have 3/4 of an essay on Giotto done since about 3 weeks ago.. I think somebody requested it :o

    But yeah.. I need to get back to art history study altogether as I've totally left it stranded this last while :/

    Awesome! Can't wait to see it. It would be great if he came up this year.

    Your sig makes me emo.. or even gloomier.

  • How many pages do people generally write for Art History answers (including sketches)?

    Also, with regards to Picasso, what paintings are you studying? I've created plenty of notes about Guernica but haven't made any attempt at sketching it. Seems quite impossible without making an extreme hash of it.

  • 5 pages I do believe!

  • --This essay isn't finished, reason being that I don't have notes on a second piece by him, but.. hopefully somebody will have more notes than I and can finish it off for themselves..

    also worth noting, Giotto died l33t apparently ^_^

    9. Discuss in detail the innovations that Giotto (1266-1337) brought to art with reference to two
    works by him
    name one early Renaissance artist whose work shows the influence of Giotto.
    Illustrate your answer.

    : 15
    Discuss in detail the innovations of Giotto

    subject matter, composition and style of painting 1
    subject matter, composition and style of painting 2

    Name one early Renaissance artist whose work shows the influence of Giotto



    Regarded as the founder of the Florentine School, which later developed into the Italian Renaissance, Giotto Di Bondone was born in the Italian village of Colle di Vespignano. He was a successful artist working throughout Italy, including Rome, Assisi, Naples and his principle career was in Florence. His master, Cimabue, is said to have found Giotto at a very young age and after ealising the boy's talent, he suggested that Giotto return with him to his studio in Florence where he would have learned by faithfully copying his master's style. Cimabue himself, painted in the popular Byzantine style of the time and it was from this original style that Giotto would later distance himself as he became established as an artist and in turn, began developing innovative techniques which would become standardized methods among artists in the years followed.

    Fresco painting is one of the primary techniques developed by Giotto and involves working on fresh(which meant wet) plaster. This method proved far more durable than that used by his master, Cimabue, whose paintings on dry plaster have all, for the most part, disappeard. In contrast to the painting style of Byzantine artists, Giotto developed on many innovative styles such as moving away from the two-dimensional, stylised and decorative art of the past to create a style that described objects and figures as three-dimensionsal using light and shade. His figures were not divine creatures; Christ, Mary and saints are all depicted as natural, human beings. Furthermore, his figures are set in natural, credible surroundings and have a new sens of naturalism as they react to events and show emotion. These principles, developed primarily by Giotto were to become the principles of most Italian Renaissance painters in the 1400's.

    The 'Annunciation of St. Anna', housed in the Arena Chapel in Padua, was a fresco that Giotto created while on commission for a wealthy merchant called Enrico Scrovegni. Hired to decorate the interior of the small church, Giotto covered the walls with three tiers of frescos depicting scenes from the life of the Virgin and Christ. These frescos at the Arena Chapel are considered to be some of the most important works in history of European art. In 'Annunciation of St. Anna', Giotto depicts one of the first scenes in the series relating to the life of Mary. Here te Virgin's elderly mother Anna, who is praying, is visited by an angel of God to tell her she is to have a child. She and her husband Joachim were childless after twenty years of marriage.

    with note, ie. The Annunciation of St. Anna, Arena Chapel in Padua.

    In order to tell the story, Giotto has removed the side of the building where the event is taking place. Anna is kneeling in the centre and is appears symbolically larger than her surroundings. She looks to the top right of the room and sees an angel entering a window - his hand raised in greeting. The servant girl to the left outside, looks to the door, leading the viewers focus towards centre. The pediment of the roof is decorated with an image of God set in a shell, held by two cherub-like angels. Each of the figures express emotion adding to the drama of the image. Giotto sets his figures into a three dimensional space created by the converging lines of the building and while not constructed using mathematical perspective, they are quite convincing.

  • I just joined to say thank you so much for the essays, I wanted more notes then the teachers ones. I really appreciate it. Good luck with everything.

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  • This got an A. It's about the Hughe Lane Gallery and two works of Art

    I recently visited the Hugh Lane Dublin City Gallery on a class trip. I had visited the gallery once before but on this occasion I gad a better knowledge of art and the techniques used in its appreciation. So I had a better awareness and understanding of the gallery structure.
    The gallery is located in Charlemont house in north Dublin. This is a fitting setting as the building is of neo-classical design and many of the works on display date from this period. The gallery display modern and contemporary art, with substantial collection of impressionism.
    Charlemont house was designed for Lord Charlemont by the architect Sir. William Chambers. The building did not become the Hugh Lane Gallery until 1933, when the Hugh Lane collection was relocated to the house. Hugh Lane was a philanthropist who spent much of his life collecting fine examples of art. Having no previous knowledge of art he chose pieces based on the opinions of his friends, eventually forming his own eye for art. Lane would raise the money for the art by asking the wealthy for donation and getting deals from artists who would offer him a lower price or even donate the work for free. Hugh Lane demanded that these works be made freely available to the public and this was upheld in his will as they were transfered into state ownership.
    I noticed that the layout of the building is well designed to display works of art as the house is designed with as series of networking rooms. This means that each room leads on to the other as was originally intended for socialising. Although this wasn't part of the original house, it still would of been important to Sir Hugh Lane to be able to entertain in the house.
    Today is means that the progression from room to room flows naturally and allows an orders and chronological hanging of the work while allowing the viewer to focus on the paintings in a single room.
    Each painting is also given its own space to focus on, with no more than two to a wall. In addition smaller painting are often hung adjacent to larger painting to put emphasis on size and scale. Paintings are usually hung with the centre of the picture being around eye level as this allows the best view of the painting. Tags are never placed near the entrance of the room, rather than the doorway so as not to detract from the paintings themselves.
    The information given is usually; the title, the artist, medium, the date painted, birth and death of artist along with a brief history of the artist life and work. To surmise, all of the above techniques mean that the work is presented in a very clear and informative manner which effectively engages the viewer.
    Modern technology has allowed for an even more comprehensive background of the artist, such as the interactive video screens in the Francis Bacon studio. There is also a movie room where there is an interview with Francis Bacon shown on screen which is viewed before entering the studio. The gallery also has a book ship with an extensive range of subjects allowing patrons to learn more about the artwork after their visit.
    In old galleries the walls are painted in rich victorian colours, in keeping with the period of the displayed. A number of skylights are in place to provide natural lights along with spotlights angles at the wall (to prevent glare).
    The newer galleries, such as the Francis Bacon studio, are generally all white with no frames on the paintings, allowing the viewer to focus on the work itself. Large skylight provide a great amount of natural light, along with artificial adjustable spots on sliding mounts.
    The gallery also has certain artifacts which are highlighted so as to draw out their characteristics. For example, the Harry Clarke room is devoted entirely to displays of stained glass. The room is almost completely dark with black walls and very soft, low lighting. Each piece of stained glass is placed in front of its own light source, slotted into the wall. This draws out all of the unique colours of the glass and completely focuses the viewer's attention on the work.
    The Francis Bacon Studio is one of the only three preserved studios in the world. To do this every detail of Bacon's studio in London was recorded, the disassembled and reassembled in the Hugh Lane Gallery. The studio gives a fantastic insight into Bacon's work and the creative processes behind it. It is located in a newer parts of the gallery, designed with the sole purpose of highlighting Bacon's work. The studio is seen before Bacon's paintings, allowing the viewer to better appreciate the work.
    While visiting the gallery there were two paintings on display that I found particularly appealing. Both were impressionist works, painted by Claude Monet. The first "Lavacourt under snow" is a landscape painting depicting a few small picturesque houses in the countryside covered by snow. The painting is very tranquil with small quick brushstrokes, capturing the fading light and pale pinks of the sky.The painting was hung in its original frame in the style of the late 19th Century.
    The second painting is called "Waterloo Brigde", by Monet. Monet spent a considerable amount of time in London. While there, he made many paintings of the Thames, enjoying the way the fog influenced the light and its effect on the water. The painting shows waterloo bridge from an obscured angle with part of the bridge cut off and out of frame. The painting shows the bridge in the early hours of the morning with a heavy mist present. The pale pinks and reds of the rising sun can be seen distorted in the water. London city can be seen in the background, obscured and slightly out of focus.
    Monet is renowned for his brilliant renditions of light at the different times of day. In addition his penchant for capturing a scene of natural beauty in a man made and industrial environment is clearly evident and particularly effective when viewed in person.
    I thoroughly enjoyed my art gallery visit as I was able to fully see the skill and artistry that is used in a gallery to highlight and focus the works of art on display. In addition seeing many of the paintings I have studied in person mean that I now have a better understanding and appreciation of them.