Contrib.Of Paint. In Mid. Age Essay, Research Paper
The development and contrubutions of painting in the Middle Ages
Cimabue, an Italian painter, was the first famous painter of the city of Florence. Cimabue’s painting of the Madonna Enthroned is painted in a traditional style based on the medieval art of the Byzantine Empire. His faces and figures are rendered stiffly, and placed vertically without size relationship to the figures around them. Cimabue’s works have great personal force and effect, even though the forms are traditional.
Giotto was the most important painter of the 1300’s. His paintings of the Madonna Enthroned was painted approximately twenty years after Cimabue and shows a slight contrast to the painters that came before him. Giotto painted the throne of the Madonna with open sides and showed two bearded men looking through the openings. In this way, he gave the feeling that the scene is not flat, but a sense of spacial depth and perspective. The angel’s gazes are more expressive and the Virgin resembles an actual woman. His realistic style revolutionized painting in Italy and the natural figures in his works foreshadowed great changes in art.
The Limbourg brothers were noted illuminated manuscript painters. Their most famous manuscript was a prayer book called Les Tres Riches Heures. In the vividly colored illuminations, beautiful lords and ladies amuse themselves while servants tend to the guests. These illustrations rise above all others of their time with intricately designed crowd scenes and exquisite detail.
Hieronymus Bosch was a Dutch painter who is best known for his triptychs(three paneled paintings). Many of his paintings show landscapes full of distorted people, fantastic demons, and unidentifiable objects. Bosch’s largest and most complex work is a triptych called The Garden of Earthly Delights which displays three interrelated scenes organized around the creation, fall, and damnation of the human race. The left panel shows Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. In contrast to the Bible, Jesus is holding Eve’s hand while introducing her to Adam. Many people interpret this as making Eve the source of original sin. In the center panel, the waters of the earth converge to make a fountain and naked men and women engage in various sex acts. These images symbolize Bosch’s perspective on the human condition: enslavement to the sexual drive unleashed by Adam and Eve’s first sin. The last panel is a dipiction of Hell and the sufferings of sin. Scholars believe that Bosch was a stern moralist and was mocking the corrupt society of his day.
Jan Van Eyck was one of the greatest and most influential Flemish painters of the 1400’s. He typically portrayed his subjects in realistic detail and bright colors. Many of Van Eyck’s paintings use disguised symbolism, where the realistic objects often have a deeper meaning related to the religious nature of the image. In the Arnolfini Wedding Portrait, the bride and groom stand shoeless to indicate that they stand on holy ground. The single burning candle in the chandelier symbolizes God’s presence. The dog symbolizes fidelity in the marriage and the fruit in the background represents wealth. The mirror on the rear wall reflects the couples backs along with the artist. This picture is a perfect expression of the symbolic realism that dominated northern European paintings.