Spotlight Artist: Lorenzo Ghiberti

One of the most important early Renaissance sculptors, Ghiberti is best known as the creator of the bronze doors of the Baptistery of Florence. ​ Synopsis The son of a goldsmith, in Florence, Italy, Lorenzo Ghiberti would become one of the most influential artists of the early Renaissance. A child prodigy, he received his first commission at age 23. Ghiberti multi-tasked much of his work including the doors for the Florence baptistery and numerous statues. He was a student of humanism and incorporated much of its philosophy into his work. Early Years Lorenzo di Cione Ghiberti was born in Pelago, near Florence, Italy, in 1378 (the exact month and day of his birth are unknown). He was well-tra

Spotlight Artist: Egyptian- Menkaura and Queen

Egyptian Old Kingdom, Dynasty 4, reign of Menkaura 2490–2472 B.C. Greywacke, with traces of red and black paint Height: 54 1/2" Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Art Code: "Stay Curious" Synopsis At twilight on January 10, 1910, a young boy beckoned George Reisner to the Menkaura Valley Temple. There, emerging from a robbers’ pit into which they had been discarded were the tops of two heads, perfectly preserved and nearly life-size. This was the modern world’s first glimpse of one of humankind’s artistic masterworks, the statue of Menkaura and queen. The two figures stand side-by-side, gazing into eternity. He represents the epitome of kingship and the ideal human male form. She is the ideal

Spotlight Artist: Johannes Gutenberg

Johannes Gutenberg was a German blacksmith, goldsmith, printer, and publisher who introduced printing to Europe. His introduction of mechanical movable type printing to Europe started the Printing Revolution and is widely regarded as the most important invention of the second millennium, the seminal event which ushered in the modern period of human history.[3] It played a key role in the development of the Renaissance, Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific revolution and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses.[4] Gutenberg in 1439 was the first European to use the printing press and movable type. Among his m

Spotlight Artwork: Caves Paintings of Lascaux

Hall of Bulls ca. 15,000 BCE Lascaux, Dordogne, France Paint on limestone Largest bull approx. 12' long. Art Code: "Be Curious" Synopsis Lascaux Cave is a Palaeolithic cave situated in southwestern France, near the village of Montignac in the Dordogne region, which houses some of the most famous examples of prehistoric cave paintings. Close to 600 paintings – mostly of animals - dot the interior walls of the cave in impressive compositions. Horses are the most numerous, but deer, aurochs, ibex, bison, and even some felines can also be found. Besides these paintings, which represent most of the major images, there are also around 1400 engravings of a similar order. The art, dated to c. 17,

Spotlight Artist: Donatello

Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (c. 1386 – 13 December 1466), better known as Donatello (Italian: [donaˈtɛllo]), was an Italian Renaissance sculptor from Florence. He studied classical sculpture and used this to develop a complete Renaissance style in sculpture, whose periods in Rome, Padua and Siena introduced to other parts of Italy a long and productive career. He worked with stone, bronze, wood, clay, stucco and wax, and had several assistants. Though his best-known works were mostly statues in the round, he developed a new, very shallow, type of bas-relief for small works, and a good deal of his output was larger architectural reliefs. While undertaking study and excavations with Filip

Spotlight Artwork: Woman of Willendorf

c. 28,000 - 25,000 BCE from Willendorf, Austria Limestone approx. 41/4” tall Naturhistorisches Museum ​Vienna, Austria Synopsis (NOTE: This sculpture was originally the "Venus" of Willendorf and you will still see that title used frequently. The term, "Venus," the Roman goddess of love, refers generically to nude female figures. Since Venus came into mythological existence far later in history than this sculpture, it is fairly inaccurate to use this term and so contemporary art historians no longer do) The Woman of Willendorf is one of the earliest images of the body made by humankind. It stands just over 4 inches tall and was carved approximately 25,000 years ago. It was discovered on the b

Spotlight Artist: Raphael

The School of Athens Raffaello Sanzio (or Santi) da Urbino 1509-1511 Fresco Rome Read and take notes: (adapted from https://www.raphaelsanzio.org/biography.html) Raphael was one of the finest draftsmen in the history of Western art, and used drawings extensively to plan his compositions. Raphael's art marks "a shift of resources away from production to research and development". When a final composition was achieved, scaled-up full-size cartoons were often made, which were then pricked with a pin and "pounced" with a bag of soot to leave dotted lines on the surface as a guide. Most Raphael drawings are rather precise—even initial sketches with naked outline figures are carefully drawn, and l

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