a stage in the history of Italian culture that, to a large extent, paved the way for the art of the Renaissance. The Swiss historian J. Burckhardt was the first to use the term “proto-Renaissance.”
The proto-Renaissance period flourished in the 13th and early 14th centuries. Its emergence during the 12th century was connected with the rise of the free Italian cities, especially in Tuscany, where handicraft production and trade were developing rapidly and many antifeudal reforms were introduced.
Proto-Renaissance art was marked by sensual-visual representations of the real world, a secular principle, and a profound interest in the classical legacy of antiquity. Some art historians have identified the earliest manifestations of the proto-Renaissance in Tuscan architecture of the 11th to 13th centuries. The architecture was marked by polychromatic marble incrustation, fine proportional articulation of the walls, and classical architectural details that counteracted the heaviness of the Romanesque style. Gothic elements in proto-Renaissance architecture, as seen in the work of Arnolfo di Cambio and others, imparted balance and tranquility to the structures. A feeling of three-dimensionality and influences of late classical art are inherent in proto-Renaissance sculpture (for example, the work of Nicola Pisano and others). The painters of the period, including P. Cavallini of Rome and especially Giotto of Florence, achieved a remarkable tangibility and material persuasiveness of form.
Analogous phenomena—particularly a heightening of the sensual verisimilitude of images—are evident in Italian literature of this period, represented by the poetry of Dante and of the dolce stil nuovo (sweet new style) school. Proto-Renaissance tendencies, which coexisted with widespread Gothic currents throughout the trecento, were adopted by such artists of the Early Renaissance as F. Brunelleschi, Donatello, and Masac-cio.
REFERENCESAlpatov, M. V. Ital’ianskoe iskusstvo epokhi Dante i Dzhotto. Moscow-Leningrad, 1939.
Lazarev, V. N. Proiskhozhdenie ital’ianskogo Vozrozhdeniia, vol. 1: Iskusstvo Protorenessansa. Moscow, 1956.