A Concise History of Painting, from Giotto to Cézanne by Michael Levey

By Michael Levey

“From Giotto to Cezanne: A Concise heritage of portray Michael Levey. 549 colour illustrations. «Outstanding...accurate, loose from prejudice, consistently neat, usually stimulating. No higher creation to Western portray has eve been produced.» (The Sunday Times). « combining severe scholorship with a presentation easy adequate to curiosity the final reader and utilising a regular of copy more than enough to make the outcome either an highbrow and a classy pleasure.» ( the Burlington magazine).

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60) is almost a cry of pain. The black-clad Madonna swoons in the agony of the moment, and the smooth nearly un- 42 out of stability and prosperity under Lorenzo The last de' Medici into a new age. attempt at a medieval 'city of God' was the gloomy theocracy established at Florence under the Dominican Savonarola, who came from Fra Angelico's monastery of S. 59 Sandro Botticelli 60 Birth of Venus Sandro Botticelli Pieta 43 Marco. His prophetic preachings may have influenced opinions; religious Botticelli's profoundly impressed the young Michelangelo.

Of a new type, to become popular in Venice with Giorgione and his followers, in which subject matters less than mood. In portraiture also Bellini prepares the way Yet the picture for is the first subsequent developments. His Doge Leonardo Loredan (pi. po) is one of the first of those state portraits in which all the majesty of the Venetian Republic is blended with the individual. Swathed like a mummy in his stiff state robes, the incarnate Doge seems wisdom and power. Light to firmly models the head and shoulders, the folds of white and gold brocade, the gilded nut-like buttons; but none of this dims the forceful characterisation of the man himself, the ex- ploration of bone structure under the skin, and the pleats in the skin even amid shadow.

The lesson of Masaccio was filtered to Piero through Domenico Veneziano's blonde art, but from the first Piero's own pearl-like radiance softly sculpts his grave people. flat gold background, Mercy (pi. 64), with its the early Madonna of pale tonality and simple statuesque gravity, The gives a sense of space explored. stillness of the moment again and again in Piero lifts the scene outside time and it is this fourth dimension that he seems also to explore (pi. 66). Forever the Baptist pours a bright thread of water over the head of that Christ who, seen fully frontally, seems Despite the archaic, — 64 PlERO DELLA FRANCESCA Madonna of Mercy 65 Piero della Francesca Federigo da Montefeltro *6 66 Piero della Francesca Baptism 47 to grow from the dignity of a tree; ground with the natural and the dove seems to hover eternally in space.

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