Arts3 Essay Example
The Running Head: Visual Analyses
Fresco painting involves painting on the walls. Fresco involves pure pigments are ground in water and then applied to a still damp lime plaster. “As the plaster which is made of lime dries, crystals (carbonate crystals) will form on the surface of the plaster” (Lopez, 1970; p.12). Crystals will bind together with pigment particles; crystals then harden around them and then stick permanently to the surface of the wall. In other words, the pigments used become an integral part of the plaster itself. “When the plaster has completely dried up, continuous application of color will not stick into the wall” (Pullan, 1973; p.32). One such Fresco painting was “The School of Athens” by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael. “The painting was painted between 1509 and 1510 and was part of Raphael’s (Raffaello Sanzio) commission to decorate the Apostolic Palace papal rooms with frescoes (Painting on the wall)” (Heinrich, 1953; p.93). “The School of Athens” was the second painting to be drawn after La Disputa, which was on the opposite wall. “The School of Athens” size was 500cm x 700cm and has long been seen as one of the best masterpiece for Raphael” (Heinrich, 1953; p.93).
“High Renaissance was exciting movement which started in the 14th century from Florence, Italy and the movement continued into the 16th century” (Hay, 1977; p.22). High Renaissance embraced the rediscovery of art, literature, science and classical philosophy. “High Renaissance pushed the boundary of painting, and it was in this period that produces some of the most beautiful and influential paintings (Arts) the world has ever seen” (Hay, 1977; p.23). This period of High Renaissance was characterized by explosion of creative genius. The characteristics of most painting done during this period are balance in construction and harmony. Most of artists that were dealing with Fresco paintings achieve idea of balance which was comparable with the works of ancient Rome or Greece and harmony. This was form of art that was able to remove extraneous details and showed the whole world as it was. Colors and proportions, light and shade effects, forms, composition, spatial harmony, perspective, anatomy…etc. “the artist was able to handle all these elements with total control and with level of accomplishment as if there was no real example” (Hay, 1977; p.25). All fresco paintings are handled with total control and a level of accomplishment for which there are no real example. “One such painter in High Renaissance was Raphael who was well known for his many paintings of Madonna” (Burke, 1999; p.33).
The school of Athens is the essence of a great painting; Raphael shows depth in the painting by the use of foreground, middle ground background. “Raphael used various diagonal lines that led a viewer eye into the center of the painting” (Pullan, 1973; p.36). But colors used in “The School of Athens” played a role in the picture through painting different people in the painting with different colors. According to color used in the painting one can sense power to each individual painted in the painting. For example, “Plato whose is garment is painted red and placed at the center of attention” (Heinrich, 1953; p.94), the red color was often used to represent power and influence for painters. The composition of the painting is easy to the viewer eyes because the painting will guide the viewer by the used of diagonals and different patterns and structures that are found in it. “The viewer eyes will move from the outer corners of the painting easily into the center” (Lopez, 1970; p.12). Also, the painting is symmetry because there is equal space between Aristotle and Plato, and this gives the painting a powerful balance. Different elements have been used in the painting such as repetition and texture which strengthens the painting. “The School of Athens” is a famous painting, which depicts and imaginary scene consisting of famous thinkers. “Including Zeno, Alcibiades, Empedocles, Aeschines, Anaximander, Ptolemy, Plotinus, Xenophon, Parmenides, Strabo, Antisthenes, Diogenes of Sinope, Pythagoras, Hypatia, Epicurus, Archimedes, Euclid, Zoroaster, Protogenes, and Apelles among others” (Lopez, 1970; p.13).
In conclusion, “The School of Athens” painting is unique because it has an excellent 3 dimension in the forms. When a person view the painting he/she will feel as if he/she looks at the real window with all the people depicted in the picture are inside a hall. Some object in the picture appear to be near that others, while people depicted in the picture appear to be closer. Raphael painted the picture as if a viewer will feel like he/she is truly in the picture. Lastly, Raphael used imaginary horizon lines in the painting to create a sense of real space in the picture.
Baron, Hans. The Crisis of the Early Italian Renaissance: Civic Humanism and Republican
Liberty in an Age of Classicism and Tyranny. Princeton: Princeton University Press,
Burke, Peter. The Italian Renaissance: Culture and Society in Italy Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1999.Print
Hay, Denys. The Italian Renaissance in Its Historical Background. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1977.Print.
Heinrich Wölfflin, Classic Art: An Introduction to the Italian Renaissance .London: Phaidon,
Lopez, Robert Sabatino, The Three Ages of the Italian Renaissance Charlottesville: University
Press of Virginia, 1970. Print.
Pullan, Brian S. History of Early Renaissance Italy. London: Lane, 1973.Print.
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