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welded together in the different provinces, the German element having secured the supreme power; but the new nations absorbed all that was best of the Roman civilization, and were preparing themselves for the fuller life that awaited them and for the successes and discoveries of modern times in science and the arts.
The springtime of the revival came in painting with Cimabue,' Duccio,' and Giotto,3 1240-1302.
2 1260-1320. and in literature with Dante and Petrarch.
3 1266–1337 Painting in the Renaissance took the place that sculpture did among the Greeks, and the latter was subordinate to the former, for painting was better adapted to express the emotional feeling and the religious ideas of the time, and to depict the incidents in the lives of the Apostles and the Saints that were required for use in the decoration of the churches. Yet even it could not do for the Christian religion what sculpture had done for Paganism, because the gradual return to the joyfulness of nature and the portrayal of beautiful human forms brought in a feeling of sensuousness which was opposed to the
For a full account of
ascetic ideas of the church. Art, which had this interest. begun in the service of religion, drifted away ing subject from it, and became free to express the beautisee “Re
ful wherever it was found. In this sphere it Italy."
continued to excel, but never again, from the Chap. I.
days of the early Renaissance, has it been J. A. Sy
able to express the ideas that dominated the world at any time, as Giotto and his followers represented the religious and social aspirations of their day.
From the beginning of this new life in art there are traces of interest in landscape painting, but until the commencement of the seventeenth century it was treated as a subordinate matter. It was used mainly as an accessory of figure painting, for which it made a convenient background. But it was mostly conventional work, and very seldom was there any attempt to treat nature for its own sake.
Still very charming are many of the earlier transcriptions of nature, such as the delicately
and sincerely painted landscape in Hubert 1380–1440. and Jan Van Eyck's masterpiece, “The
Adoration of the Lamb” (see Plate 2), with its green meadow, decked with flowers, its trees