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By Robert Oertel, Profusely illustrated

The honour of Italian Renaissance artwork has overshadowed the paintings of previous Italian masters. long ago century, a large number of panel work and frescoes of striking value have come to gentle, and those masterpieces demonstrate a hitherto unknown paintings of exceptional richness. In Early Italian portray, artwork historian Robert Oertel, director of the image gallery of the kingdom Museum in Berlin-Dahlem, provides a whole account of Italian portray from the darkish a while to the brink of the Renaissance. starting with the earliest examples within the 5th to 7th centuries, he advances to the enormous works of the 11th century— akin to SantAngelo in Formis—and the advance of panel portray within the following centuries. the main a part of the ebook concentrates on Cimabue, Duccio, Simone Martini, the Lorenzettis, and, chiefly, Giotto.

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8 This the modern sense, but it - a the oldest representation of St Francis in gives us a milder and more is not a portrait in intimate interpretation than the Pescia panel. Even more contradictor)- to the severe Byzantine con- ception of the saint are the tender scenes surrounding the main figure in the Pescia panel Sermon liest to itself. These Early Ttdscan panel-painting among them the Somatization and the become such well-known themes, are the ear- six scenes, the Birds, later to surviving pictorial versions of the St Francis legend (pis 30a, 30b).

With penetrated this still a distinct closely associated development. However, all fields architecture High Roma- this style with was not of artistic creativeness to an equal extent. Painting looked to the established culture of Byzantium, a frequent source of inspiration throughout the Middle Ages. This was al Monte Angels Fighting the Apocalyptic Dragon (detail) Ii 32 a natural propensity, Civate San Pietro where Venice, with her ancient trade connec- particularly in northern Italy, formed the gateway tions, The Fourth Crusade brought about to the East.

They manner walled cities are large seated figures symbolizing a portion of the Christian city, are imaginary places, but the fourth, 'Ytalia', a faithful medieval rendering of regard to their actual position in the are city. Rome. Many crowded within One of its the walls without of them, only recently iden- crown of pinnacles and its stepped gables, 8 is the Capitol, the senate - indicated by the minute coats-of-arms barely visible to by of the workshop. The and philosophers. Beside each as scribes well-known buildings and monuments tified his crossing, the four evangelists, heralds of sal- its seat the naked eye.

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