8 Italian Artists Who Changed the World

3 February, 2014 at 07:04 | Posted in Culture | Leave a comment

By Tim Gebhart

The Italian peninsula has long been a land where the fine arts have flourished under a meticulous eye and in an idyllic setting. Wealthy and demanding benefactors connected their prestige and power to art.

Nowhere else has fine art played such an iconic role: it set a precedent to guide humanity toward lofty ideals beyond the purely material, and shaped our view of the world through its images.

Listed here are a few of the most significant artists that pushed the realm of fine art to new heights either in technique or expression.

Fra Angelico (1395–1455)

As his name suggests, Fra Angelico means “angelic friar.” Fra Angelico was said to have stirred the transition from late Gothic paintings, which resembled iconography, to the classic Grecian style. When not working for wealthy patrons, he revealed his devout, humble nature through frescoes painted in the San Marcos friary.

The images he portrayed varied from his counterparts in that he depicted Mary and the saints as people rather than lofty, inaccessible beings. His constrained palette and gentle, relaxed figures give his paintings a surreal quality.

“Annalena Altarpiece.” Tempera on wood, 1437-1440, 70.87 inches by 79.53 inches. Museo di San Marco (Florence, Italy).

Read more: 8 Italian Artists Who Changed the World


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