Comparing Late Medieval Crucifixion Versus Renaissance

1308 words - 5 pages

Duccio di Buoninsegna and his workshop differ from Joos van Cleve in numerous ways. Both artists were influenced by the different works of their time. For instance Duccio lived and worked during the time between Late Medieval art and Pre-Renaissance, which emphasized a change from merely concealing the figures to making them more realistic than previous works of art. Joos van Cleve resided in the Renaissance period, which was later than Duccio by over two hundred years, where the act of making figures more lifelike with an increased amount of depth had been perfected. These differences and similarities can be most clearly seen with Duccio's Triptych: the Crucifixion; the Redeemer with Angels; Saint Nicholas; Saint Gregory and Joos' The Crucifixion.
Duccio di Buoninsegna and his workshop produced this piece in the time period of Late Medieval and Pre-Renaissance, which provided the piece with a mixture of different styles. The main subject of this piece revolves around the storyline of Christ's death and resurrection. Angels surround Christ in a circular formation when he lies on the cross, and when he has risen two angels flank him in the pinnacle. Meanwhile, two larger groups of mourners are firmly connected to the slight hill that holds the cross. At the base of the cross, a dead body appears to rise from the death as well, seemly from the blood of Christ as he is attached to the cross (Figure 1). This could represent how all souls will rise, because Christ gave his body and blood for all people. On the two doors of the triptych, Saint Nicholas and Gregory follow the pattern of being symmetrically placed along with the rest of this triptych. While each saint differs in color, they both hold up their right hands in blessing, and in their left they each hold a book. Also, the doors in themselves are more decorative, and they resemble cloisonné metalwork (Figure 2). Duccio and his workshop employed distinct outlines with their figures. They did this by highlighting each figure with black on the inside and white on the outside to give them a semblance of a shadow. The viewer is involved with this piece with the different hand gestures and expressions of the mourners and soldiers. Even though Christ acts as the focal point, these small additions draw even more attention to the painful death of Christ, which the rough texture of this piece emphasizes. This example along with Mary falling back into the crowd of women represents the few instances of motion in the triptych, but overall there is no clear sense of motion. The artist who painted Christ had some interest in anatomy (Figure 3), unlike previous medieval artists, but most of the drapery used in this painting is more stylized and hides the form of the figures. However, the artist dressed some of the figures in the front of the male crowd on the right side of Christ in modern garb, and the tights emphasize their legs. Duccio famously utilized a gold leaf background and tempera...

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