Florentine School


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Florentine School

 

a major Italian school of art that flourished between the 13th and 16th centuries, extending from the Early Renaissance to the crisis of Renaissance culture.

The founder of the Florentine school was Giotto, whose work placed Florence in the foreground of pre-Renaissance art. The work of his successors, who included Taddeo Gaddi and Maso di Banco, developed along the lines he had originated. However, toward the middle of the 14th century conciseness and clarity of form (as seen in the work of A. di Bonaiuti) disappeared, and a tendency toward linear and flat form became prevalent (Nardo di Cione and, occasionally, Orcagna). In the last 30 years of the 14th century a trend toward the international Gothic style prevailed (Agnolo Gaddi and Lorenzo Monaco).

A humanistic perception of the world was the basic artistic concept of the Florentine school during the Early Renaissance. A leading role in the development of Early Renaissance art in Italy was played by the architect Filippo Brunelleschi, the sculptor Donatello, and the painter Masaccio. Other major artists of the Early Renaissance were the architect Leon Battista Alberti, the architect and sculptor Michelozzo di Bartolommeo, and the sculptors Lorenzo Ghiberti, Luca della Robbia, A. Rossellino, Benedetto da Maiano, and Desiderio da Settignano. The quattrocento art of the Florentine school was marked by a consistent interest in realism and by a passionate concern for the theory and practice of perspective and other problems concerning the relationship between art and the empirical sciences (Verrocchio, A. del Castagno, Pollaiuolo, P. Uccello).

At the same time, 15th-century Florentine painting often recalled the Late Gothic decorative style (Gozzoli) and was concerned with mystical contemplation (Fra Angélico) and intimate human subjects (Fra Filippo Lippi). At the end of the 15th century democratic traditions were still preserved (Ghirlandaio), but aristocratic tendencies became dominant and developed at the court of Lorenzo de’ Medici (Botticelli, Filippo Lippi, and Piero di Cosimo). The work of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, transcending the bounds of the Florentine school, attained the highest artistic levels of the High Renaissance.

The stylistic integrity of Florentine art of this period (sculptor A. Sansovino, painters Fra Bartolommeo and Andrea del Sarto) came to an end when Florence became one of the centers of mannerism (architect and painter G. Vasari, the painters Bronzino, J. Pontormo, and Rosso Fiorentino). In the 17th century the Florentine school declined and had only a few artists deserving mention, such as C. Dolci and F. Furini.

REFERENCES

Stegmann, C., and H. Geymüller. Arkhitektura Renessansa v Toskane, vols. 1–3. Moscow, 1936–41. (Translated from German.)
Berenson, B. Zhivopistsi italianskogo vozrozhdeniia. Moscow, 1965. (Translated from English.)
Antal, F. Florentine Painting and Its Social Background. London, 1948.
Freedberg, S. J. Painting of the High Renaissance in Rome and Florence, vols. 1–2, Cambridge, Mass., 1961.
Boskovits, M. La pittura florentina alla vigilia del rinascimento: 1370–1400, Florence, 1975.
See also references under ITALY, RENAISSANCE, and PROTORENAISSANCE.

V. D. DAZHINA

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