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Art Of The Italian Renaissance Essay

1464 words - 6 pages

One of the greatest stories from the Italian Renaissance is the one of Fillipo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti. In 1401, the directors of the art of the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral held a contest for artists; to create panels for a the doors on the east entrance (Kleiner, 560-2). Because the east doors faced the cathedral, the people thought it extremely prestigious to be able to participate in such a massive creation. After the first competition round, two finalists remained; Brunelleschi, an accomplished and experienced artist, and Ghiberti, a younger artist, but one with just as much talent. The two competitors were required to create a panel (or square) of Abraham readying to sacrifice Issac. Before reading which was which, I noticed one looked very chaotic while the other was easy and pleasing to observe though the subject was tumultuous. After reading, I found Ghiberti to be the artist of the one I was more attracted to. Brunelleschi's panel pictured a very young and seemingly writhing, struggling Isaac, which is not what the Bible testifies. Isaac never resisted his father. Ghiberti depicts a young man, who, though bound, does not resist his father at all. I believe this is one of the reasons Ghiberti won; he recreated a turbulent biblical scene with grace. When Lorenzo Ghiberti had won the contest and finished the east doors, Michelangelo stated his doors were “so beautiful that they would do well for the gates of Paradise.” (Kleiner, 566) Ever since then, these magnificent doors have been titled The Gates of Paradise (21-9).
Another famous artist from this period is Donatello, one who specialized in sculpture and sculpture relief. Some of his works shown in this chapter include Saint Mark (21-5), Saint George (21-6), Saint George and the Dragon (21-7), Feast of Herod (21-8), David (21-12), Penitent Mary Magdalene (21-12a) and Gattamelata (21-16), which he was commissioned to craft by the Republic of Venice. Donatello contributed much to this era, especially sculptures, such as St. Mark, George, David and others (Kleiner 553-5, 569, 571). His subject's faces always had quite personalized expressions. Saint Mark has a knowledgeable visage, and St. George has a concerned air about him. Donatello gave the 15th century sculptures which possessed lifelike expression and stances, sculptures which seem to state “I am a creation of a great master” when indeed, they are.
Donatello created beautiful pieces which are pleasing to observe. A few of these pieces really attracted my attention. St. George and the Dragon (21-7) and the single St. George (21-6) sculpture really interested me. I like the story of St. George and the Dragon, and was quite happy to find a piece of sculptured art relating to the story. The single sculpture had wonderful hands, which reminded me of Michelangelo's David (22-13) and his oversized hands. The other piece I really appreciated was Feast of Herod (21-8). Though a relief on gilded...

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