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Posts tagged ‘Renaissance’

The Scrovegni Chapel: My Moment with Giotto’s Masterpiece

To enter the Scrovegni Chapel, you have to spend 15 minutes in a “environmental equilibration” chamber and video introduction before passing through two air locks into the chapel.  Shockingly, visitors only get another 15 minutes to look around before being rushed out by security.  However, if you are a clever art pilgrim (like yours truly) and book multiple back-to-back tickets, the museum escort chases everyone else out but leaves you alone for a few glorious minutes within the chapel.

Standing at the altar looking down the rows of painted vignettes, the rich pastel colors glowing warmly from the morning sunlight, has got to be one of the most profoundly beautiful art experience I have ever had.  To say I loved the Scrovegni Chapel would be an understatement.

Giotto Scrovegni Chapel, Padua

Photo of Giotto’s masterpiece, the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua (Photo: Art Bouillon)

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Travel Plans, Cultural Tourism, and a Date with Giotto

In just a few weeks I’ll be headed to Italy!  I was very honored to be invited on this trip and could not pass up the opportunity to connect with professionals in the travel industry, catch up with fellow bloggers, and take an art pilgrimage to see one of the greatest pieces of Western Art.

Tiberius Bridge, Rimini

Tiberius Bridge, Rimini (Photo: zioWoody, Flickr)

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Brunelleschi the Architect: More Than Florence’s Duomo

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  This month we are looking at architecture.  Check out all the stories below!

Florence Cathedral Duomo

Florence Cathedral Duomo (Photo: Flickr, Bruce Stokes)

If you know Florence, Italy, then you know Filippo Brunelleschi.  He was the architect who designed and constructed the soaring dome of the Florence Cathedral.  While still impressive today, this engineering feat was revolutionary in the 15th century.  But what many people don’t realize is that Brunelleschi completed several other equally influential buildings in Florence.  Brunelleschi’s chapels and churches set the standard for Renaissance architecture by re-introducing and expanding on Roman architectural concepts.  The harmonious and proportioned designs of Brunelleschi’s buildings makes them a must-see, even in a city overflowing with fantastic art.

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Science & Sfumato – Technical Analysis to Aid Art Historians

This post is part of a larger on-line symposium to honor the late Hasan Niyazi, the self-taught art historian behind Three Pipe Problem.  Hasan championed art history, critical analysis, valuable online discourse, and all things Raphael!  As part of this April 6th celebration (Raphael’s birthday), you can read all of the posts here.  He is missed by all those who knew him personally or through his active engagement with readers online.

mona lisa experiment, SRF

The Mona Lisa’s mysterious sfumato being quantified. (Image from [1])

I always appreciated that Hasan advocated for scientific research and technical analysis as a complimentary approach to historical research and stylistic connoisseurship.  Art is fundamentally material science even if the end result can be ascribed beauty or emotional intensity.  Thus it makes sense to use analytical techniques to understand how a piece of art was constructed in order to understand to creative process and the end product.

Given the numerous Three Pipe Problem posts on Leonardo da Vinci and the continuing struggle to attribute two recent works – Salvator Mundi and La Bella Principessa, I thought it would be useful to return to this enigmatic artist.  Da Vinci’s experimentation with material and techniques is anecdotally well-known.  But really what do we know about his luminous sfumato faces?  One recent study confirmed the nearly impossible.

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El Greco and the Painting Process

Saint Martin and the Beggar

El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) – “Saint Martin and the Beggar”, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (Photo)

This last Saturday, the National Gallery of Art, along with SPAIN art & culture, held a small symposium on the Renaissance/Mannerist artist Doménikos Theotokópoulos in honor of the 400th anniversary of this death.  Better known as El Greco (the Greek), this Cretan painter stands out in Spanish art history for his unique, almost otherworldly compositions, bold use of color and fluid brushwork.  Analysis of some recently rediscovered paintings was presented at the conference and helps shed some light on how the artist worked.

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