The Path from Medieval/Byzantine Art to the Renaissance (725 words)

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Question

In an essay of approximately 500 words (with a typical font and spacing, this will be approximately 2 pages), respond to the following question.

The path from Medieval/Byzantine art to the Renaissance can be illustrated in the changing renditions/transformation of the Virgin and Child. Chose the Byzantine icon of the Madonna and Child on a Curved Throne from lecture 15 and show the changes that occurred and lead to Fra Filippo Lippi’s Madonna with Child (Tarquinia Madonna) of 1437 as described in lecture 16. How does the art of this time echo human experience?
In your answer include Cimabue’s Madonna of the Holy Trinity, Duccio’s Maestà, and Giotto’s Virgin and Child as transformations of a pervasive and powerful theme (a continuity) in Western art.

Do this using ONLY the examples that Soltes discusses and explains in his lectures. Do not use Internet sources for inspiration nor as help.

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Soltes in his lectures on art history talks about how the journey from Medieval and Byzantine styles of art changed into what we call the Renaissance. He uses the example of how the Virgin and Child have been represented to illustrate his argument.
First, Soltes gives the example of the Byzantine icon of the Madonna and Child on a Curved Throne. Soltes argues that the Byzantine icon is the perfect example of the “sacred” (sacer) in art. Sotles talks about truth. The icon has a fixed religious meaning. For example, he says that the colors are symbolic which reveal an eternal truth. The symbolic red symbolizes “the blood of sacrifice” and the blue symbolizes “the sky of truth.” The green in the icon symbolizes the “green of Spring - of resurrection.” In other words, everything about the image is coming from the language of religion and of the truth of the divine kind. Soltes says that even the body “is bodiless” and the drapery of the clothes Jesus the Child and the Mother Mary wear are meant to be divine signs rather than a representation of the human form.

Second, Soltes remarks on Cimabue’s Madonna of the Holy Trinity. It is, at first glance, very similar to the Byzantine icon. The colors of truth are still there -- the blue, the red, the greens -- but the boldness of color is gone and the face of the Madonna and child are not as severe. In other words, Soltes is trying to say that there is a slight deviation away from fixed eternal truths in this image. Soltes is trying to show that through the same pairing of Biblical imagery we are getting closer to the Renaissance ideal of sacer....

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