• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore the extent to which Fra' Angelico's work engages with new issues in pictorial representation. How can he be seen to develop his own aesthetic sensibility?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explore the extent to which Fra' Angelico's work engages with new issues in pictorial representation. How can he be seen to develop his own aesthetic sensibility? Fra' Angelico is best known for his artistic innovations in style, building on the earlier work of Masaccio and Masolino to create an aesthetic sensibility that reflected the importance of beauty and wealth of material in art, and in particular religious art. His contributions to the development of the 'sacra conversazione', and to the merits of a naturalistic composition are notable, but most importantly, his ability to paint creations full of ethereal light without resorting to the heavy black lines of contemporaries such as Fra' Filippo Lippi. His life was mostly confined to the monasteries of Florence, and the spiritual intensity of his paintings led Guido di Pietro di Gino to be known as the "Angel painter". The bulk of his work was done for monasteries and churches, and thus he was mostly able to operate outside the stringent demands of wealthy and important patrons, only receiving commissions for his most opulent works, and always keeping a religious subject as the central concern of the work. ...read more.

Middle

The new architectural features of quattrocentro Florence, with humanist reversions to the Classical forms, are interpreted in this painting by having a conch-shaped scalloped niche above the head of the Virgin, and new pink and green Classical arches which crown the saints around the throne of the Virgin. Angelico has approached this innovation with some trepidation, keeping the background between the saints in the archetypal gold "wallpaper" backing, replete with very detailed sgrafito, showing his unwillingness to dispose of the older values all together. The other central innovation of this painting is the clear recession of space, with the first two saints standing on ground in front of the floor of the Virgin's throne, and other saints situated behind others. The lack, however, of a vanishing-point perspective shows that there were greater developments to come later in his work. The greatest example of how Fra' Angelico adapted to new concepts about pictorial representation can be seen in the 1440 San Marco altarpiece, in which the painter experiments with the concepts of true perspective and the contrast between flatness and depth within his work. ...read more.

Conclusion

and perspective - one of the ways this can be explained by art historians is that he re-discovered the qualities of transparent green earth, and used it to indicate areas of darkness and light in a subtle way. The use of highly Classical motifs, such as pillars with capitals, and the slightly awkward recession of space all show how these new concepts were being experimented with and would be developed later at San Marco. From the examples I have looked at, which do not cover in any way the large number of paintings and frescoes completed in Fra' Angelico's lifetime, it is possible to see a very definite trend in his work - from the earliest undecided attempts to create more naturalistic figures within a Classical surrounding, abandoning the older precepts of the international Gothic to the highly modelled "sacra conversazione" with clear recession of space and the square 'pala' frame. Through his understanding of materials such as green earth, and the lack of darkness in his paintings, it is clear that he develops his own unique aesthetic sensibility replete with ornate motifs and lush symbolic gardens. ?? ?? ?? ?? I Francesca Lewis VIIIJM ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Art section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Art essays

  1. The Representation of Women in Pre-Raphaelite Art

    The fallen woman receives less sympathy in Augustus Egg's "Past and Present". Female adultery stood out in Victorian society as a deviation from ideal femininity, which was seen as chaste and lacking in any sexual drive. It is "thus represented as a consequence of abnormal and excessive sexual feelings; desires

  2. Free essay

    The Life and Work of Salvador Dali

    Photocopy three examples of the artist's work. Identify the title, date, size and materials of each example. Underneath each photocopy, write a brief description of the artwork. Daddy Longlegs of the Evening - Hope! 1940 Oil on canvas 40.5 x 50.8 cm.

  1. Gender Issues in Art

    'Patience on a Monument' (1988) also comments on gender issues. Patience, a black women is depicted in the centre of the painting, peeling a lemon. This comments not only on her gender, but also on her place is society. She has the futile and unimportant job of preparing food, while in the background men are concerned with the colonialisation of Africa.

  2. On the floor I am more at ease, I feel nearer, more a part ...

    Abstract Expressionism is characterized by a lack of representation and by an emotional approach to concept and execution. The movement is often called "The New York School" or "action painting". Its art results from the fusion of various influences, notably surrealism, synthetic cubism, and neoplasticisim.

  1. Discuss the work of two still life painters from different periods, referring to specific ...

    At different times these painters worked in France, along with some of the most famous artists at the school of Paris. The colourists were recognised in France and Scotland but they were not known in London and other places for some time.

  2. To what extent do you sympathise the character of George

    This is a tough decision, but it is the only right thing to do at that time otherwise Lennie would be killed brutely by Curley or be held in a dark room with a dog chain on his neck. So it is better to kill Lennie peacefully, and by George himself.

  1. Some writers have argued that each discipline has 'essential characteristics'. To what extent do ...

    Artists used limited amounts of colour, with very natural and earthy shades such as browns, greys and blacks. Analytic Cubism explores the way in which we can make sense of things. There are two types of knowledge senses that provide information which then gets processed and re-combined to make sense of it.

  2. How innovative were Brunelleschi, Donatello and Masaccio in pioneering a distinctive new art style ...

    However, he decisively did not stick to the Roman formulas, instead choosing to take these forms as his stimulus for creating new beauty. The Roman Parthenon unmistakeably influenced his most famous work, the Duomo, while his other works have distinct Roman touches, such as the columns of the Innocenti foundling hospital.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work