Looking for something to learn I was striking out. I couldn’t think of anything so I decided to look at the things I had already done and I found the art history “class” I took on Kahn Academy. So I did another one. In the same series on the proto renaissance and about the same Painter (Duccio)

Duccio, The Rucellai Madonna, 1285-86: Duccio, The Rucellai Madonna, 1285-86, tempera on panel, 177 x 114″ or 450 x 290 cm (Uffizi, Florence)

Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker

The video’s narrators have a strong positive opinion about the beauty of the painting. I think especially with this type of painting opnions will vary. I apprciate that it is more lifelike then what came before and in that sense it is a very good painting, but other paintings by later artists are more beautiful.

The comments are interesting. I knew of the reference to the morning star in the bible and hristian Texts, but I did not know what it referred to. Now I know that it refers to Maria and that you can tell by the star on her cloak. People who could not read in the Church could then be sure that the figure in the painting was indeed Maria. I also found out that baby Jesus is often depicted as a small adult to reflect the wisdom beyond his years. And a technical thing about the paintings of this period is that they are often green because the natural elements in the paint (the egg wash in the tempera paint?) has oxidized.

I like the length of these videos too. Admittedly they are very short, but that allows for only a few clear messages to be broadcast and understood at any one time and if you’ve seen one which is interesting you can always decide later If you want to watch another.

Related post:
Art History: Proto renaissance


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