If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content
Current time:0:00Total duration:3:40

Painting in central Italy

Video transcript

we're in the Prado in Madrid and we're looking Frangelico is Annunciation now the Annunciation were found Jellico that most people are familiar with is a fresco that's in San Marco and Florence this is a painting that was made for church not far from Florence yesterday it is extraordinary in that the frame is original and so not only do you have the main panel but you've got the predella underneath with all of its original framing elements I'm not sure that I've ever seen that these things were often taken apart and sold in pieces we have an Old Testament scene of Adam and Eve being cast out of the Garden of Eden or the expulsion by an angel and actually that scene is joined to the Annunciation scene because in the upper left we see the hands of God releasing this divine light and a dove which you can see just to the left which is the Holy Spirit so we have actually the fall and then the reason for Christ's existence and Adam and Eve as the precursors to Mary and pray so the man and woman who caused the fall from grace and Mary and Christ who make salvation pasta and then we have God the Father looking down in an almost classical relief sculpture in the center just above that column the predella below it's a very condensed series of scenes of the life of the Virgin Mary from her birth her marriage Joseph the visitation through to her death through to her death that's right and they are really meant in a sense the literal support for this later story so stylistically I think one of the things that really I find quite important is the sort of sense of quiet and solemnity that Frangelico is able to achieve you have the angel who is bowing below Mary his hands across which is a kind of symbol of respective prayer Mary reflects that with her own hands I'm really taken by the density of the Garden of Eden you know all of that fruit those flowers it's wonderful sort of anti perspectival field of flowers below the feet and then you have this piece of stark architecture they are both too large for the space that they occupy absolutely I think if Mary were to stand up she would hit her head on the ceiling so but none of that is really important because this is a kind of reverential and invented exploration of beauty as a way of representing the divine so this is painted contemporaneous with Masaccio painting the Brancato Chapel so we have two radically different approaches going on in Florence at the same time and I think that's a good reminder that not everything in the Renaissance is this linear movement toward naturalism but this kind of variety of styles whereas masaccio was looking for a very almost mathematically accurate rendering here you see an artist who's looking to celebrate the decorative as a way of expressing the moral and spiritual yeahbsolutely and if you look there's no cast shadows there's not that kind of intense modeling that we see with masaccio there's not a lot of specificity to the faces and individuality and the faces specificity to the decorative I mean look at the wings of the angel for example or the gilding of their halos or just the foliage in the garden it's quite sumptuous isn't it it is