Thursday, June 27, 2013

Page 30

Louise Bourgeois

Settignano was also akin to something like a butterfly unfolding his wings after breaking free of his chrysalis. We feel that he still had damp wings needing to dry out so he could fly like an angel to God. Like newly formed butterflies his sculptures appear to reveal themselves in stone and the stone is of such a high quality that the fine work he did with them could sustain the work. This must have been quite common with using such a high grade of stone such as Carrara marble would have been including Canova's sculptures that appear to be affected by light unless highly polished. Other sculptors have used this medium such as Louise Bourgeois and Henry Moore. This is a stone that is local to the surrounds of the Tuscan plains and is a really beautiful product. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Page 29

Albrecht Durer, The Knight Death and the Devil, c. 1513

Settignano was on an ascension to God through the fleece of Saint John. The element that made him a difference from his contemporaries was his sensitivity and his gentle hand with the chisel. He was also far more gentle in approach than his predecessors who seem to have had a different message than Donatello or Settignano. The problem with the level of sensitivity with Settignano was not something expressed in his work other than his equation with Saint John feeling he needed a blessing from Christ or God.

Martin Schongauer, Temptation of Saint Anthony

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Page 28

Albrecht Durer, Head of a Stag, c. 1503

Hans Holbein the Younger, 
Resting Lamb and Head of a Lamb, c. 1523

The golden fleece is present with Settignano's work. Golden for the thinking of Christ and Saint John and we feel the blessing of Donatello and God with the workshop of Donatello being where Settignano's main work feels like it was accomplished. There were several other students working for him but Settignano feels like the most prodigious. The heart is after all a metaphor for the garden of earthly delights or God. Christ is represented as a stag or deer, too but is also associated with the lamb of God.

Jan van Eyck, St. Barbara, c. 1437

Pisanello, Vision of St. Eustace, c. 1436-1438,
National Gallery, London

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Page 27


Rome feels far more influenced by political struggles and the Roman copies of Greek sculptures tend to predominate the museums. Also there are great church monuments and sculptures by sculptors like Michelangelo and Bernini both of whom had a more architectural understanding and this was part of their occupation as well. Beautiful examples of Bernini sculptures are housed in the Galleria Borghese museum, in the Santa Maria della Vittoria, Cornaro Chapel and San Francisco a Ripa. A great example of Michelangelo sculpture is in San Pietro in Vincoli. The Vatican also have some wonderful offerings such as Laocoon in the Museo Pio-Clementino. Other sculptures include Santa Cecilia, 1599-1600, by Stefano Maderno but all have a completely different ascension message to God. The design of the sheep fleece of Settignano is of a very well designed style and looks almost like a dress. One feels like he was tending his fleece amongst the hills of Tuscany. And further down there would have been fruit orchards with offerings of peaches and apricots. These trees laden with fruit would have been the source of the inspiration of the embroideries of Squarcione. The inspiration of the paintings of this workshop. And further down we had Bologna and an industry of silk and cloth merchants before there were any libraries. These were later used for research of many of the sciences of the 1600's.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Page 26

Desiderio da Settignano, Baby Jesus Blessing 
(Gesu bambino benedicente), c. 1450-1464

Desiderio da Settignano and Donatello, 
Martelli Saint John, ca. 1440-1457

Settignano appears to have reached the pinnacle of sculptured heights through this one sculpture alone. Others were in appreciation of this sculpture but even though they were of a very high standing this was the achievement that took Settignano closest to God. You feel that there were different influences in this part of Italy than others of this time and given the closeness of Germany and France, one would expect different influences than those down the south of Italy that were inhabited by the Greeks and the Spanish. Settignano appears to be of a different nature to other artists in Florence during this period of Italian Renaissance. The refinement of his nature appears to be influenced by Gothic Northern sculptures rather than anything else. And given his short life span the sculptures have a refinement beyond anything on the same short ascension to God.

Desiderio da Settignano and Donatello, 
Martelli Saint John, ca. 1440-1457

Desiderio da Settignano, Portrait of a Child, c. 1455-1460

Friday, June 7, 2013

Page 25

Carlo Crivelli

Carlo Crivelli, Saint George Slaying the Dragon, c. 1470

Carlo Crivelli

Others artists of the Squarcione workshop in Padua such as Carlo Crivelli, employed a far more stylized technique. One is reminded of the fruit laden embroideries of the house of Este and a nature theme that seemed influenced by thinking about Saint Anthony and his journey to God through the heart. The heart being a metaphor for Gods love and the fruits of the earth being part of Gods divine, heavenly domain. Donatello attributed to this theme in his Basilica of Saint Anthony or a high altar for his tomb. Again God is received by the journey of the saints and the garden of the heart is often obtained by a deep contemplation of the spiritual self. This feels like it was an ascension message often profoundly reflected upon and one is taken to God through a flower, a piece of fruit or a whole divine garden, to the heart. Through nature equalling God, one feels transcended to the heavenly sphere and all that is nature, including human form is reflected in the clouds, the sky and the stars, then reflected back again via God in nature.

Cosme Tura

Cosme Tura, Madonna with the Child Enthroned, 
ca. 1470, National Gallery, London