Chartres Cathedral & Comparison Paragraghs


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ASSIGNMENT 04 AR300 Art History Directions: Be sure to make an electronic copy of your answer before submitting it to Ashworth College for grading. Unless otherwise stated, answer in complete sentences, and be sure to use correct English spelling and grammar. Sources must be cited in APA format. Your response should be a minimum of one (1) single-spaced page to a maximum of two (2) pages in length; refer to the “Assignment Format” page for specific format requirements. 1. Pretend that you are entering Chartres cathedral through the central portal. You want to get to the apse. What parts of the plan might you traverse in order to get there? Describe what you will see on the way. Hint: There are six architectural features grouped into three parts. (60 points) 2. Compare Giotto’s Arena Chapel Nativity with that of Pisano in the Pisa Baptistery Pulpit. (40 points) Lecture Notes Welcome to Lesson 4 and our journey through the Gothic to the Renaissance periods in Europe. From the church-controlled monumental work of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries to the Greco-Roman revivals of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the works covered in this lesson and their creators are still regarded as the greatest in painting, sculpture, and architecture. The term “Gothic” is a misnomer, an insult by later Renaissance scholars and artists toward the conventional patterns and dogma of the preceding Middle Ages between the fall of the Roman Empire and the rebirth (in French, “renaissance”) of ancient letters and art. Italian Renaissance writers regarded art and architecture in the Middle Ages as primitive, relating them in both description and intent to the barbarian Goths that sacked Rome. In fact, what was derogatorily referred to the Gothic Age (between the Romanesque and the Renaissance) is considered one of Europe’s most impressive artistic eras. Like the Romanesque period before it, architecture was the dominant artistic expression of the Gothic period. The most distinguishing characteristic of this architecture was a new type of vault consisting of thin, intersecting arches that, combined with pointed traverse arches, support cells of lighter masonry material. Since the outward pressure was concentrated along the arches and deflected downward, it could be easily counteracted by external arches called flying buttresses. This allowed the otherwise thick masonry walls of the Romanesque period to be replaced with walls of stained glass, and allow for the first “skyscrapers,” in the form of unprecedentedly high cathedrals like the ones in Notre Dame, Chartres (described in detail in your textbook), and Reims. Like the architecture, Gothic sculpture was predominantly architectural and can be found adorning the doors and portals of the cathedrals. Painting was also undergoing a change from the flat, two-dimensional poses of the Romanesque period to more spatially-dimensioned work that eventually led to the more realistic painting of the Renaissance. When, exactly, the Renaissance began is a question of debate. Although scholars agree that the artistic expression of the period began in Italy in the early fifteenth century, the political and military events of the previous two centuries, most notably the capture of the city of C?rdoba in southern Spain from the Muslims in 1236, made available to Europe all the intellectual and artistic knowledge and achievements of the ancient Middle Eastern, Greek, and Roman scholars and artists, which was lost with the fall of Rome. The overthrow of feudalism, the diminishing influence of the Roman Catholic Church in secular matters, and the reemergence of nationalism led to a flowering of artistic expression. In Italy, the period is divided into two phases: the Early Renaissance (c. 1420 – c. 1500) and the High Renaissance (c. 1500 – c. 1550). The Early Renaissance artists include the painter Masaccio (discussed in your textbook), the sculptor Donatello, and the architect Brunelleschi. Each of these early masters worked mainly in the Tuscan city of Florence, which became the home of the Renaissance style for the next century, as exemplified by High Renaissance geniuses like Leonardo and Michelangelo. The term “Renaissance Man” was applied to both men, whose combined mastery of such disciplines as painting, sculpture, architecture, music, engineering, and poetry revolutionized both the artistic style and intellectual thought in the period, as expressed vividly in works such as Leonardo’s masterpiece, the Mona Lisa and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Ceiling.

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