Friday, March 23, 2007

GA: Cimbabue

My community drawing class ended today and while I'm still debating on next term, I know that I need to start some independent studying of art history. I found a book with a somewhat fitting title (something like "The World's Greatest Artists") and I thought, why not post about it. Art History is good for the soul...I'm almost certain.

Meet: Cimbabue

Florentine artist Geiovanni Cimabue was known by several names including Bencivieni Di Pepo or Benvenuto Di Giuseppe and even the "Father of Italian Painting." That was apparently enough to get a reference in Dante's Purgatory. (Seems like it should.) He lived between 1240 - 1302 AD and Wikipedia says that he "is generally regarded as the last great painter working in the Byzantine tradition" which means that his work was flat (no perspective) and stylized. Although his images were flat, he was in the first wave of artists using naturalism. This means that he used more realistic proportions and shading on his figures.

The image here, "The Madonna of St. Francis" is a good representation of his work. He did a lot of frescoes and a lot with the Virgin Mary. (A popular subject matter of the time.)

He also discovered Giotto at age 10 (a local shepard boy at the time) and helped foster his artistic talent.

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

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