VASARI’S THEORY OF THREE STAGES IN THE RENAISSANCE (REBIRTH) OF THE ARTS:
In his travels, Vasari did not merely observe the great abundance and variety of art in Italy. he also observed that the history of Architecture, Sculpture, And Painting seemed to follow a certain trajectory. According to Vasari (who was employed by the Medici dynasty in Florence), good government naturally leads to a flowering of the arts. Thus, the arts had enjoyed great perfection in ancient Rome, but had begun to decline by the time of Emperor Constantine and had collapsed in the wake of the Fall of the Roman Empire. The revival of good style in Architecture began in Tuscany (Florence’s region) in the 11th c., while Sculpture began to revive there in the 12th c., and good Painting began to revive there in the latter 13th c. In this history, a few artists emerged as heroes conquering technical difficulties and opening the way for others who built on the accomplishment of their predecesors and carried progress even further.
Coppo di Marcovaldo was the most illustrious Tuscan painter in the Byzantine style which flourished JUST BEFORE this Renaissance progress began. But writing nearly 300 years after him, Vasari condemned the flatness or lack of three-dimensional depth in Byzantine painting as well as painters’ use of black outlines which "look like cracks in the surface of the panel" rather than resembling the edges of depicted objects. And he condemned what he saw as the staring eyes, stiffness, and poor anatomical proportions of the figures. As we shall see, the FIRST STAGE OF PAINTING’S REBIRTH (c.1275-1420) would feature Tuscan artists Cimabue and Giotto. The SECOND STAGE (c.1420-1490) began with the Florentine Masaccio, and the THIRD STAGE ( c.1490 onwards) began with Leonardo da Vinci and his younger contemporary Michelangelo.
Posted by >arthistory390 on 2011-01-11 17:46:12