Western Imagination: 9/10/14

Donatello’s, David

We started off class by looking at a picture of a statue. Young boy. Stands on a head. Sword in one hand, sling in another. its Donatello’s David. 5’2″ tall – Bronze. This is the first free standing nude sculpture since antiquity. (not stuck on a wall she adds).

Iconography: David standing on Goliath, holding Goliath’s sword. Portrayed as young Shepard boy — underdog. Victory only possible with God’s help. “It had to be because otherwise there was no way.” It communicates all that. Model. Classical sculpture.

Masaccio, The Holy Trinity

Then we looked a picture of a painting. It is a fresco. 1428. On the wall of S. Maria Novella (Dominican church in Florence.) Iconography: God the father, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit – Mary & John the Evangelists (Below on picture) Donurs Domenico Lenzi and his wife kneel in foreground. (by the open sarcophagus below Mary & John) “I was once that which you are, and what I am you also will be.” -Memento Maori. Inscription on sarcophagus speaks to viewer. Latin phrase that means remember you are going to die- so it gets viewer to think about how they are going to live.

How does the composition enhance the Iconography (How are the elements arranged.) Triangle. Trinity. Emphasizes Three (and at once also oneness)

The Revival of Antiquity

If you are a painter of the Renaissance  you what to do what the scholars do. (like everyone else does, like the architects do, but for the architects, the pantheon survived.) Extra Challenge for painter: There is no ancient painting to see. Nothing to go off of. No surviving examples of Greek or Roman paintings (until Pompeii was excavated in18th C.) How could they know what the ancient Romans valued.

  • How to imitate classic
  • Use Classic architecture
  • Try to imitate nature – using perspective (depth, vanishing point, 3-D effect)



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