Thursday, October 25, 2012

'Bagliori dorati' International Gothic at the Uffizi

The Golden Splendors exhibition, covering the period from 1375 to 1440 with the thesis that this period had one foot in the middle ages and one in the Renaissance. The exhibition is in two places in the Uffizi: two rooms on the second floor as noted in a previous entry, and in a number of rooms on the first floor of the other wing of the building.

In the rooms on the second floor are the impressive alterpiece Adoration of the Magi by Gentile da Fabriano and, on a neighboring wall, the equally impressive Coronation of the Virgin by Lorenzo Monoco. Both works show what another critic has called a "delight in patterning" that is a welcome change from the more severe Gothic style.  I particularly liked the monkey on the camel's back in the da Fabriano work. A monkey at an adoration scene?

Nearby, and, rather overpowered by these enormous altarpieces, a work I rather liked for its intimacy, the Madonna of Humility, an early work (1415) by Massolino, who was a friend and associate of Massaccio. Haven't seen any other works of this period where the mother is shown nursing her baby, though I don't think he was painting from a live model. In any case, we've moved a way from the highly stylized, iconic madonnas of such artists as Cimabue.
That's all for this visit. I hope to get back before the exhiibition closes on the fourth of November for another look at the works in the other wing, including the statues of St. John by Ghiberti and right nearby one of St. Mark by Donatello. Also the newly restored Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello.

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