The sixteenth century in Europe was a time of unprecedented change. It was the beginning of the modern era, and it saw a revolution in almost every aspect of life. The century opened with the discovery of a new continent


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Caravaggio was always in trouble. In 1592, when he was not yet twenty, he fled Milan after 'certain quarrels' and the wounding of a police officer. He went to Rome and was there, for the most part, until 1606, when he again had to flee. His life in Rome was of growing financial and professional success, but it was also punctuated with crime. In the years 1600-1606 alone, he was brought to trial no less than eleven times. The charges covered a variety of offences, most involved violence.



Then in May 1606 he was charged with murder. He had killed a man in a brawl after a disputed game of royal tennis, and had to flee to escape execution. He went first to Naples, then to Malta, where he was feted and made a Knight of St John. Then, after 'an ill considered quarrel' with a senior knight, he was on the run once more, all around Sicily, then on to Naples again. But this time there was no hiding place. The knights, known for their relentlessness, pursued him, and Caravaggio, now thirty nine, in an attempt to seek forgiveness and refuge in Rome, tried to get there, but died at Porto Ercole, apparently of a fever.

  • Then in May 1606 he was charged with murder. He had killed a man in a brawl after a disputed game of royal tennis, and had to flee to escape execution. He went first to Naples, then to Malta, where he was feted and made a Knight of St John. Then, after 'an ill considered quarrel' with a senior knight, he was on the run once more, all around Sicily, then on to Naples again. But this time there was no hiding place. The knights, known for their relentlessness, pursued him, and Caravaggio, now thirty nine, in an attempt to seek forgiveness and refuge in Rome, tried to get there, but died at Porto Ercole, apparently of a fever.



The necessity of both natural-born talent and societal influences in shaping an artist rings true in the life of Artemisia Gentileschi. In the early 17th century, women were not allowed to attend all-male art academies and could only become artists if they learned fundamental skills privately, usually from a relative or through lessons.

  • The necessity of both natural-born talent and societal influences in shaping an artist rings true in the life of Artemisia Gentileschi. In the early 17th century, women were not allowed to attend all-male art academies and could only become artists if they learned fundamental skills privately, usually from a relative or through lessons.

  • At age 18, Artemisia Gentileschi, a promising young painter, was initially denied entry into all-male professional art academies. As a result, her father hired the Tuscan painter Agostino Tassi to privately tutor her, but after Tassi raped her, Artemisia endured a painfully humiliating public trial—including being tortured to test if she was lying—that resulted in Tassi's one-year prison sentence.





In an era when women painters were not easily accepted by the artistic community, she was the first female painter to become a member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence.

  • In an era when women painters were not easily accepted by the artistic community, she was the first female painter to become a member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence.

  • She was also one of the first female artists to paint historical and religious paintings, at a time when such heroic themes were considered beyond a woman's reach.



















his early work is markedly tenebrist, it is much more individual than that of most Caravaggesque artists, particularly in his vigorous and scratchy handling of paint. Similarly, his penchant for the typically Caravaggesque theme of bloody martyrdom has been overplayed.

  • his early work is markedly tenebrist, it is much more individual than that of most Caravaggesque artists, particularly in his vigorous and scratchy handling of paint. Similarly, his penchant for the typically Caravaggesque theme of bloody martyrdom has been overplayed.



Francisco de Zurbarán (November 7, 1598 – August 27, 1664) was a Spanish painter. He is known primarily for his religious paintings depicting monks, nuns, and martyrs, and for his still-lifes. Zurbarán gained the nickname Spanish Caravaggio, owing to the forcible, realistic use of chiaroscuro in which he excelled.

  • Francisco de Zurbarán (November 7, 1598 – August 27, 1664) was a Spanish painter. He is known primarily for his religious paintings depicting monks, nuns, and martyrs, and for his still-lifes. Zurbarán gained the nickname Spanish Caravaggio, owing to the forcible, realistic use of chiaroscuro in which he excelled.





Francisco de Zurbarán, though not of quite the same stature as Velázquez and El Greco, was a fine painter specializing in a severe variant of the Baroque Realist style. His religious paintings, like St. Serapion, show a secularization of religious subject matter and bold use of light and shadow reminiscent of Caravaggio. In fact, the Italian was the major influence on the Spaniard's work, but Zurbarán somehow makes the style his own by adding a new simplicity and sobriety to Realism.



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