Painting in the Renaissance by Una D'Elia

Painting in the Renaissance by Una D'Elia

Author:Una D'Elia [D'Elia, Una]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: renaissance, painting, art, patronage, famous, artists
ISBN: 9780778746126
Amazon: 0778746127
Publisher: Crabtree Pub Co
Published: 2009-01-15T00:00:00+00:00


In the Renaissance, altarpieces were like

watching over those in the painting. Painters

stage sets for church ceremonies. People

such as Jan van Eyck and Robert Campin

prayed, looking up at altarpieces for

made use of symbolism in this way. In the

inspiration while music played, perfumed

Mérode Altarpiece, Campin painted a kettle

incense burned, and priests in heavily

of water and a towel in order to symbolize

embroidered silk robes raised gold

the Virgin Mary’s purity.

chalices filled with wine.

Patrons and Saints

Patrons paid for altarpieces in order to honor

God and the saints, in particular their patron

saints. Every Christian had a patron saint,

who was usually the saint after whom the

person was named. They believed a patron

saint would help pass on a person’s prayers

to God. A patron saint could also be a

protector of a group of people, such as

travelers, children, sailors, or carpenters, or

be concerned with helping things, such as

animals, or creating things, such as music.

Patrons also paid for altarpieces as a way to

display their piety and wealth publicly.


Some artists used symbolism in their

This painting by Piero della Francesca was the

altarpieces. This means that a simple object

central panel of a larger altarpiece. It shows

can have a deeper meaning or stand for

the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ,

something else related to the Christian

protecting people by sheltering them under her

theme of the piece. For example, a candle

robe. The man whose face is covered by a black

that has been blown out can symbolize

hood is a member of a confraternity, a religious

Jesus’s life that was cut short by being

organization whose members hid their faces so

crucified on the cross. In contrast, a candle

that they would not seem too proud of their

that is lit can symbolize the presence of Jesus

acts of charity.



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