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Art History – September 8-11th, 2015

This week in Art History we are going to be studying “St. Mark” by Donatello, Early Renaissance, Italy. Florence, Italy was the birth place of the Renaissance. “St. Mark” is a marble statue in a niche on the outside of Orsanmichele Church in Florence. The statue was made from 1411-13. It stands 7’9″. “St. Mark” stands in contrapposto – meaning counterpose. The spine is curved due to the relaxed angle of the hips and legs. ¬†You can see the first example of contrapposto in the statue – “Doryphorus” by Polykleitos dated 440 B.C. Greek. Note the last photo on this page – jamb statues on the Chartres Cathedral in France, 1100′s. There is no sign of contrapposto in the jams statues. It is so interesting how the artwork changed during time due to the needs of society. During the Gothic ATP, when the jamb statues were created, one of the main ideas of creating statues to decorate cathedrals was to educate the people about Christianity. The human form in the artwork did not look natural. The Renaissance was about the “rebirth of the Greek classics” – getting back to the perfect human form. Now back to St. Mark – note the realistic way the drapery hangs on the body. You can even see the veins in his hands. Enjoy the pics:)

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