Italian Painting 8

The result was a group of UmbroFlorentine painters, combining some up-country sentiment with Florentine technic. Gentile da Fabriano, Niccolo da Foligno, Bonfiglio (1425 ?-1496 ?), and Fiorenzo di Lorenzo (1444 ?-1520) were of this mixed character.
The most positive in methods among the early men was

SIGNORELLI. THE CURSE (DETAIL). ORVIETO.

Piero dells Francesca (1420 ?-1492). Umbrian born, but Florentine trained, he became more scientific than sentimental, and excelled as a craftsman. He knew drawing, perspective, atmosphere, light-and-shade in a way that rather foreshadowed Leonardo da Vinci. From working in the Umbrian country his influence upon his fellowUmbrians was large. It showed directly in Signorelli (1441 ?-1523), whose master he was, and whose style he probably formed. Signorelli was Umbrian born, like Piero, but there was not much of the Umbrian sentiment about him. He was a, draughtsman and threw his strength in line, producing athletic, square-shouldered figures in violent action, with complicated foreshortenings quite astonishing. The most daring man of his time, he, was a master in anatomy, composition, motion. There was nothing select about his type, and nothing charming about his painting. His color was hot and coarse, his lights lurid, his shadows brick red. He was, however, a master-draughtsman, and a man of large conceptions and great strength. Melozzo da For (1438-1494), of whom little is known, was another pupil of Piero, and Giovanni Santi (1435 ?-1494), the father of Raphael, was probably influenced by both of these last named.
The true descent of the Umbrian sentiment was through Foligno and Bonfiglio to Perugino (1446-1524). Signorelli and Perugino seem opposed to each other in their art. The first was the forerunner of Michael Angelo, the second was the master of Raphael ; and the difference between Michael Angelo and Raphael was, in a less varied degree, the difference between Signorelli and Perugino. The. one showed Florentine line, the other Umbrian sentiment and color. It is in Perugino that we find the old religious feeling. Fervor, tenderness, and devotion, with soft eyes, delicate features, and pathetic looks characterized his art. The figure was slight, graceful, and in pose sentimentally inclined to one side. The head was almost affectedly placed on the shoulders, and the round olive face was full of wistful tenderness. This Perugino type, used in all his paintings, is well described by Taine as a "body belonging to the Renaissance containing a soul that belonged to the Middle Ages." The sentiment was more purely human, however, than in such a painter, for instance, as Fra Angelico. Religion still held with Perugino and the Umbrians, but even with them it was becoming materialized by the beauty of the world about them.
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