Renaissance Italy Study design

Architecture in Italian Renaissance Painting

Domenico Veneziano, ‘Saint Zenobius Bishop of Florence restores to life a widow's son in Borgo degli Albizzi, Florence', about 1442-1448 © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge30 April – 21 September 2014

This spring, the National Gallery presents the first exhibition in Britain to explore the role of architecture in Italian Renaissance painting of the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.

Domenico Veneziano, ‘Saint Zenobius Bishop of Florence restores to life a widow's son in Borgo degli Albizzi, Florence', about 1442-1448 © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

'' aims to increase visitors' appreciation and understanding of some of the most beautiful and architectonic paintings by Italian masters such as Duccio, Botticelli, Crivelli and their contemporaries. Visitors will be encouraged to look in new ways at buildings depicted in paintings, and to investigate how artists invented imagined spaces that transcended the reality of bricks, mortar and marble.
With a record-breaking six million visits during 2013, the National Gallery remains committed to researching and showcasing its extraordinarily rich permanent collection. As a result of the research partnership between the National Gallery and the University of York, this exhibition offers a fresh interpretation of some of the National Gallery’s own Italian Renaissance collection. In addition, Building the Picture will include the Venetian master

on display in London for the first time in 30 years,

and 'The Ruskin Madonna' by Andrea del Verrocchio (National Gallery of Scotland).

In Renaissance Italy, art and architecture were closely interconnected and the boundaries between all the arts were fluid. An important reason for this was that there was no specific educational programme or apprenticeship for architects. The Florentine architect Brunelleschi, for example, trained as a goldsmith, while Michelangelo was a painter and sculptor before he designed buildings.
Five short films commissioned to coincide with this exhibition demonstrate how contemporary practitioners and thinkers are again blurring the boundaries between media and forms of practice. The films provide modern perspectives on real and imagined architecture from award-winning Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, film-maker Martha Fiennes, art historian T J Clark, film historian John David Rhodes and computer game cinematic director Peter Gornstein.

Caroline Campbell, Curator of Italian Paintings Before 1500 at the National Gallery, said:

''This exhibition provides a wonderful opportunity to think about how pictures can achieve an architectural sort of beauty. We can look beyond perspective to appreciate the imagined and fantastical spaces created by architecture. And how the sense of mass, scale and three-dimensionality introduced by buildings changes the balance and feel of a painting.'' Building the Picture explores the roles played by architecture in painting and how it affects the viewing process. Architecture within paintings has often been treated as a passive background or as subordinate to the figures. This exhibition shows how, on the contrary, architecture underpinned many paintings, and was used to design the whole picture from the very start. This was the case in

Sandro Botticelli's 'Adoration of the Kings',

where the ruins in the picture were planned first and still dominate the composition. Renaissance paintings are full of arches, doorways and thresholds, like those in

Carlo Crivelli's '

that invite the viewer into the picture and encourage us to begin a visual journey. Architecture could also be designed to tell a story, articulating the plot, deepening our understanding of the narrative and helping us to engage with the events.

In Domenico Veneziano's 'Saint Zenobius Bishop of Florence restores to life a widow's son killed by an ox cart in Borgo degli Albizi, Florence' from the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, the compressed perspective of the street heightens the emotion of the desperate mother whose son has just died.

More images from the exhibition:

Duccio, The Annunciation, 1311, © The National Gallery, London

Antonello da Messina, Saint Jerome in his Study, about 1475, © The National Gallery, London

Ercole de’ Roberti, Nativity, about 1490-93, © The National Gallery, London

Bramantino, The Adoration of the Kings, about 1500, © The National Gallery, London

Vincenzo Catena, , probably about 1510, © The National Gallery, London

Marcello Venusti, The Purification of the Temple, after 1550. Oil on wood, 61 x 40 cm. Bought, 1885 © The National Gallery, London.

Johns Hopkins University Press Dressing Renaissance Florence: Families, Fortunes, and Fine Clothing (The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science)
Book (Johns Hopkins University Press)

Damn Kids

by baygent

My niece just sent me an EMail from Turkey. She graduated college early and has been accepted to Medical School in the fall.
She will spend the next two weeks exploring Turkey, then meet my brother for a 10 day tour of Greece (his Christmas present, $350 round trip). Then she will ferry to Italy to explore Rome, Venice, Florence and happen to be in Turin for the Olympics.
Then she will take a train to Seville to spend time with her sister who is there on her study abroad and they will take in Madrid, Barcelona, Grenada and Lisbon.
She will return via Amsterdam in two months.
Damn I am jealous...

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