Friday, 2 December 2011

Colore verses disegno - The juxtaposition of the representation of nature in the Italian High Renaissance art



Disegno - derived from the Italian word to draw, a tradition of the Florentine School of art with its emphasis on drawing and design; and is rooted in the artists intellectual capacity to imagine and invent new compositions.


Colore - a word used to mark the Venetian School of painting during the Italian High Renaissance. Colore places an emphasis on the use of colour in a dominant manner, in order to enhance the tension, atmosphere and expressiveness of the overall composition. Colore,  as a result views colour as a fundamental part of a paintings composition.


In Italy during the 15th and 16th centuries there were two main schools of thought with regard to the appearance,  execution and most importantly conception of a painting in Italian High Renaissance art. The Venetian colore (or colorito) can be characterised by its embodiment of a painterly style, rich colouring and its enhanced degree of naturalism. Venetian painters would often work out the arrangement of their compositions directly on canvas, with the use of layered brushstrokes and the blending of colour to define form within the painting. Venetian painters payed close attention to the effects on light, and they brought this knowledge of light into play within their compositions using light to create both movement and volume. Colore focuses on the use of colour to charge a painting with life and to recreate the real world, because human figures are in reality not marked out by lines.


Disegno, to Vasari was the height of artistic achievement during the Renaissance. Florentine painters would define form through the use of lines in their compositions and their linear style. Florentine painters used their knowledge of anatomy, movement and the natural world to develop detailed drawings and compositions, which were then transferred to the final painting when the time was right. Disegno has a focus on drawing, design and the planning of a painting, which is clearly illustrated with lines. However, in Floretine painting the colouring was often more vivid, but their use of colour was not as good as the Venetian's.

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