Saturday, 17 March 2012


Raphael's - Pope Julius II
1511-1512 (Portrait)
Click to enlarge
Unione is the precise point where the contours, outlines and edges of objects and space meet and blend in a painting, yet remain perceptible to the viewer. They are not too blurred and they are not too bold. Unione is the point where the transition between objects and space is still noticeable. Raphael used this mode in his paintings, take a look at his portrait of Pope Julius II to see how he worked it into his compositions.

Cangiante - Definition

Michelangelo's - The Creation of Adam
From the Sistine Chapel Fresco cycle
Cangiante is one of the four canonical modes of Renaissance painting. The term is used to describe when a painter changes to a different lighter hue, when the original hue cannot be made to adapt and become light enough for what they are trying to achieve. On the converse of this a painter might change to a different darker hue, when the original hue cannot be made dark enough for the what they are attempting to achieve, stylistically speaking. (Read more after the Break)

The four canonical modes of Renaissance painting

To read more about the Four canonical modes of Renaissance painting, follow our links to our relevant posts, below they are arranged in from the top down in decreasing order of dramatic effect and visual impact; getting subtler as you go down the list:

Friday, 16 March 2012

Juste Milieu art movement - Definition

The Juste Milieu art movement, meaning 'happy middle,' is a term to describe a painting philosophy which sought to make amends between the two dominant art movements in France at the time; namely the  Impressionist movement and the artists who continued with the Academic Style. Trying to combine the best aspects of the two art forms. The key artists of this group were able to mix with the Impressionists for exhibitions, but also those who continued with 'academism'.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Nudity in Painting

Nudity, historically in art was tolerated and widely considered to be an accepted aesthetic practice. Nudity was a key feature in Mythological and History painting. However, once paintings started to portray women as naked, as was the case in Manet's Olympia (1863); this was deemed by society to be unacceptable. Despite, there being no difference in the level and amount of skin on display, it was the manner in which the female figures were depicted that was a cause for social concern.

Who are the figures in Leonardo da Vinci's - The Last Supper

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci
1495 to 1498
Click to enlarge
Who is depicted in 'The Last Supper'
The figures within Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper, comprise the 12 Disciples. The painting is tempera painted on gesso and the work is located at the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie near Milan. The key figures are as follows:

Monday, 12 March 2012

Cartoon - Definition

The term Cartoon when applied to art, is a full sized (to scale) and often highly detailed preparation drawing on paper; namely for a fresco, painting on canvas or panel and for tapestries. The Cartoon forms part of an artist's preliminary drawings and sketches, as part of the process of arriving at their final compositional arrangement. (Continued after the break)

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Academic Art

Academic art refers to the art which was produced in line with the defined doctrine and dogma of the established academies of painting and sculpture. These academies controlled, and some might say constrained, the art world from the early seventeenth century through to the nineteenth century.

Within the academies, both classical painting and ancient art were extolled for their benefits - in terms of technique, quality, style, ability and mastery of the subject matter, artist's such as Raphael, Leonardo and Titian were used as examples of this high art. Poussin and Caravaggio were other artists which were used in training art students. The ultimate goal was to produce History Painters, through compositional studies.

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