Download e-book for kindle: 100 Great Paintings - Duccio to Picasso by Dillian Gordon

By Dillian Gordon

. lge fmt, 1981 illus, 2223pp

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385 Like Duccio's Annunciation (see p. 21), this is a predella panel. It originally supported a large altarpiece dedicated to St. John the Baptist and painted in about 1454. Other panels from the same predella in the National Gallery also have scenes from the saint's life: The Birth of John the Baptist; The Baptism of Christ; The Head of St. John the Baptist brought to Herod. The narrative scenes derive closely from the bronze relief panels o{ The Baptism by Ghiberti and The Head of St. John brought to Herod by Donatello, which arrived in Siena in the autumn of 1427 to form part of the Font for the Baptistry.

Stretching away in the background is a Hat landscape with a winding different angles. backgrounds of Early Netherlandish paintings. As the landscape recedes, not only do the forms diminish in size, but they grow paler in tone and less precisely defined. This device known as aerial perspective, and the use of oil technique, clearly reflect the influence of Early Netherlandish painting. 735 The erotic imagery of suggests that this may Venus and Mars, painted in about 1485, have been commissioned to decorate a bedroom, Botticelli's perhaps to celebrate a marriage.

Behind the earnest, brooding eyes, sunken jaw, and sagging bulbous cheeks is sensed the substructure of a skull. The vertical line of the corner of the green wall behind implicitly confirms the change in plane from the pinkish wrinkled forehead, which catches the light, to the temples darkened with shadow. The pattern of the wall-fabric with the papal crossed keys and tiara, and the gleaming acorns, punning emblems of the della Rovere family (the Italian for oak is rovere), are the sole indications of the status of this old man, the spiritual head of Christendom.

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100 Great Paintings - Duccio to Picasso by Dillian Gordon


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