GIOTTO di Bondone
Italian Early Renaissance Painter, 1267-1337
Italian painter and designer. In his own time and place he had an unrivalled reputation as the best painter and as an innovator, superior to all his predecessors, and he became the first post-Classical artist whose fame extended beyond his lifetime and native city. This was partly the consequence of the rich literary culture of two of the cities where he worked, Padua and Florence. Writing on art in Florence was pioneered by gifted authors and, although not quite art criticism, it involved the comparison of local artists in terms of quality. The most famous single appreciation is found in Dante's verses (Purgatory x) of 1315 or earlier. Exemplifying the transience of fame, first with poets and manuscript illuminators, Dante then remarked that the fame of Cimabue, who had supposed himself to be the leader in painting, had now been displaced by Giotto. Ironically, this text was one factor that forestalled the similar eclipse of Giotto's fame, which was clearly implied by the poet. Related Paintings of GIOTTO di Bondone :. | Madonna and Child | Christ Among the Doctors | Assisi Saint - Francois accept the stigma | Madonna in Maesta | St Peter Enthroned |
French Baroque Era Sculptor, 1628-1715
François Girardon was born at Troyes on March 17, 1628. He studied in Rome for an undetermined period of time between 1645 and 1650. He then studied at the Royal Academy in Paris and was admitted to the academy as a member in 1657. Much of Girardon's most important work was executed for King Louis XIV and consisted of major commissions for the palace and gardens of Versailles. One of Girardon's most famous productions is Apollo and the Nymphs of Thetis in Versailles (1666-1672), originally designed for a grotto there. This elaborate project of seven separate marble statues depicts the god Apollo surrounded by nymphs, and it exemplifies with exceptional clarity the French interpretation of the baroque style in sculpture, an interpretation that rejected the fluid, dramatic, and emotional Italian baroque in favor of a cooler, more sober approach based upon the sculpture of antiquity. The Apollo group is filled with references to Hellenistic and Roman sculpture, and while Girardon was working on the commission he made a second trip to Rome for inspiration from antique sources. The ancient world, however, had never attempted to assemble several large pieces of free-standing sculpture into one unified composition, and in solving this problem Girardon had recourse to the paintings of Nicolas Poussin, the great French baroque classicist. The classicism of the Apollo group conformed fully to the official style of the French Academy and the personal taste of Louis XIV, but the composition has many baroque elements. The vigor and variety in the movement of the figures, the rich textural contrasts, the grand scale of the project, and the dramatic use of space are all stylistic qualities that firmly link the work to the international baroque style. One of Girardon's most important works is the tomb of Cardinal Richelieu in the church of the Sorbonne, Paris (1675-1677). This monument shows the dying prelate in a semireclining position, his vestments falling in broad curves that are echoed in the draperies of the allegorical figures at the head and foot of the tomb. As originally placed in the church, the monument was freestanding so that the spectator was compelled to enter into the action of the work - a typical baroque compositional device. Girardon's most significant late work was a majestic bronze equestrian statue of Louis XIV (1683-1692) executed for the Place Vendôme in Paris and based upon the famous Roman equestrian monument of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. Georges Michel
French Painter, 1763-1843
French painter. He came from a humble background, his father being an employee at the market of Les Halles in Paris. At an early age, a farmer general, M. de Chalue, took an interest in him and found him a place with the curate of Veruts, on the plain of Saint-Denis, north of Paris. It was here that he first developed a love of the countryside. In 1775 he was apprenticed to a mediocre history painter called Leduc, but he preferred to go off and sketch out of doors. In order to assist him, M. de Berchigny, Colonel in the Hussars, engaged him in his regiment garrisoned in Normandy and arranged for him to take lessons in art. He remained there for more than a year and then returned to Paris, where he worked with M. de Grammont-Voulgy, who was Steward to the brother of Louis XVI.