Monday, 7 January 2013

Tracking Painting in Early Renaissance Florence.

Identifying the beginning of painting in Florence is complicated by the lack of recorded data, further hindered by the low survival rate of many of the paintings, not to mention the damage to existing ones. And then there is the problem of geography; was Florentine painting produced by artists living in Florence, or do we take account of schools from other cities like Lucca and Pisa. Richard Offner writes of “the track of Florentine painting, “an examination of early Florentine painting complicated by a steady infiltration of Lucchese or Pisan elements in paintings found on Florentine ground.”[1]  This approach is completely different from art historians who underplay the importance of satellite schools on the development of Florentine art; but the achievement of painters like Cimabue and Giotto (both synonymous with the early stages of Florentine art ) must be considered in relation to artists from centres outside Florence such as Lucca.Painters like Cimabue, usually considered the first great Florentine worked as far afield as Arezzo. 

[1] Richard Offner, “The Mostra del Tesoro di Firenze Sacra-I”, The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, Vol. 63, No. 365 (Aug., 1933), pp. 72-84

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