This Humanist style of painting placed retreat value on science reason, and the individual while keeping an unwavering religious faith style. One of the techniques developed in Northern Europe was “oil painting”, unlike the Italian artist, the northern artists painted in oil on canvas. Oil paint takes much longer to dry allowing the painter time to easily make changes. The long drying process would allow the paint to dry smooth erasing the brush strokes.
More importantly, oil paint is translucent when applied in thin layers, known as glazes. This method of built up glazes would let the light penetrate to the lower areas and then reflect back which would create the appearance of an interior glow, giving viewers the illusion that they were looking at real objects rather than painted imitations. Italian artists favored tempera, the method of suspending powered pigments in oils like linseed or sometimes walnut.
One large difference from the Northern oils was that tempera had to be precisely applied as it dried almost immediately. Also, tempera has an opaque finish which did not allow light to penetrate to the lower layers not allowing the reflections, this resulted in a matte or dull finish unless a layer f varnish is applied to give the painting a sheen. As we notice in figure 12-4 below, we see that the artists stay with some of the Christian features so well known in the Gothic and Romanesque periods except for a much more real or life-like detail.
The patrons who funded this pious donation appear on the outside of the polyphony’s shutters, much brighter than the rest of the images in the otherwise sober painting, which is only visible when in the closed position. When in the open position however, the upper seven panels are vibrant and colorful depicting God, Mary, John the Baptist, angelic musical ensembles, and ending tit Adam and Eve shown in startlingly lifelike nudes. The lower five panels are shown in almost amazing realistic images of meadows, woods cities and a diverse mixture of apostles, saints, confessors, virgins, martyrs, hermits, pilgrims… Assemble to adore the Lamb of God as described in the book of Revelation. Fig. 12-4 (Closed) Fig. 12-4 (open) Italian painters and artists aimed at achieving lifelike figures like their counterparts in the north but focusing on idealized figures in three-dimensional forms set within a rationally organized space using linear perspective. If we look at fugue 12-7, we see the lifelike images of Mary, Joseph adoring the newborn Jesus with a host of angels sympathetic expressions on the faces of the on lookers.
Fig. 12-7 During this time in the Renaissance era, southern Europe rebirths the nude in the artworks as was a normal in early Greek art. Figure 13-11 below, Michelangelo “David”, the fugue embodies the antique ideal of the athletic male, the facial expression on the other hand is a stark difference from the earlier arts showing emotional power and a concentrated glaze. Looking at figure 13-12, “The Creation of Adam”, Michelangelo captures the instance when god tasks him with the spark of life.
The facial expressions and the body interaction are extremely evolved from the earlier Greek works and exhibits a more humanistic appearance. Figure 13-10, “Interior, Sistine Chapel”, Michelangelo painted images depicting the sincere empathetic expressions so well known to the Italian Classicism of Southern Europe. Fig. 13-9 Fig. 13-10 Fig. 13-12 The relationship between the artist and patron appears to have been somewhat comparable to what [the relationship between a ball player and his/her agent. The patron more often than not would be the subject of the painting.