Renaissance paintings including images of trees

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#1)  Renaissance paintings including images of trees

Postby edfrank » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:31 pm

NTS,

Today, COMITATO NAZIONALE PER GLI ALBERI E IL PAESAGGIO  (NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR THE TREES AND THE LANDSCAPE) posted on their Facebook Page  http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.478660786849.265267.177848121849&type=1 a series of images of Renaissance paintings including images of trees.  I wanted to share them here for those of you not on Facebook.  There is a reasonable change that a little culture will not kill you. The comments are by the committee.


               
                       
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The light shines in the fabulous fresco of the Journey of the Magi (1459-62) in the Chapel of Benozzo Gozzolli Medici Ricciardi in Florence in which for the first time, outlines a landscape of woods, forests, views, large trees of each species described in detail , with scenes of hunting, hare, deer, birds.


               
                       
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Detail of Landscape with woods. Journey of the Magi. Ricciardi-Medici Chapel - Florence.


               
                       
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Detail of the rich landscape of woods and country roads bordered with hedges. This is one of the most beautiful landscapes in the entire history of Italian art. Journey of the Magi. Chapel Medici Ricciardi. Florence.


               
                       
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Journey of the Magi. Chapel Medici Ricciardi. Florence. Above left you can see the trees pruned into rings. These are examples of topiary Ars that were performed on specimens of Quercus ilex, or Laurus nobilis.


               
                       
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With the advent of the Renaissance, Medieval Dark Forest in the light penetrates. The intellectual renaissance, now at the center of the universe, is the nature of perspective drawing. Just in the hunt in the forest, by Paolo Uccello (1465) the forest is stripped of mystery and trees occupy space in order to induce the viewer to look towards the focal point, the "vanishing point" represented by a deer distance in which all lines converge and the attention of the scene.


               
                       
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Even more natural is the vision of St. Eustace by Pisanello (London - National Gallery), the first half of the fifteenth century, when the rider is in contact with all the characteristic fauna of the forest, from deer to rabbits to birds, with naturalistic extraordinary attention to detail. http://www.progettoconalpa.org


               
                       
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In Gothic courts and in the works of Gentile da Fabriano, one begins to see a new vision of the forest, as in the predella of the Flight into Egypt, inserted in the altarpiece of the Adoration of the Magi (Florence - Uffizi), in which the teacher is a landscape light, where the woods and the trees begin to acquire their own dignity and naturalness, becoming indispensable frame for the representation of the central scene. http://www.progettoconalpa.org


               
                       
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In the same period of Giotto, another master of Italian painting, Duccio da Buoninsegna in Siena area, the episode represents the entry of Christ into Jerusalem, and he puts a picture of a boy that climbs the tree. We are in the fourteenth century.


Check out the entire series at the link above, if you are on Facebook.

.
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#2)  Re: Renaissance paintings including images of trees

Postby edfrank » Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:47 pm

NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR THE TREES AND THE LANDSCAPE

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150341627841850&set=a.478660786849.265267.177848121849&type=3&theater

               
                       
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With the great Flemish master Jan van Eyck, was born one of the first visions of the Mediterranean landscape and the lush forest of Italic memory, where cypress trees, pines, palms, orange trees, laurel, holm botanists described in detail and a sky-colored pearly incorniaciono the adoration of the Mystic scene (1426-32).

               
                       
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In Renaissance art are two areas in which outlines a new vision of nature. On the one hand, the "Italian space" with the birth of perspective, develops a vision of reality through the laws of mathematics. On the other hand "the environment Flemish" decreed the creation of that extraordinary and natural light that will be successful through the fifteenth century in Europe. In particular picture of the landscape in the polyptych of The Mystic - Jan Van Eyck, 1426-32


               
                       
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Detail of the landscape. Jan Van Eyck, Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (1426-32)


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#3)  Re: Renaissance paintings including images of trees

Postby edfrank » Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:31 pm

The Ghent Alterpiece - bottom series of panels.

               
                       
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Some of the images from the previous post are from here.

http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/eyck/ghent/

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#4)  Re: Renaissance paintings including images of trees

Postby James Parton » Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:12 am

Very nice post, Ed!


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#5)  Re: Renaissance paintings including images of trees

Postby Joe » Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:18 am

James Parton wrote:Very nice post, Ed!


....


I agree- I only wish I could get to Europe- I'd want to see all the great art work, architecture and archeological stuff. I'd spend years doing that if I could afford to.
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#6)  Re: Renaissance paintings including images of trees

Postby miwinski » Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:45 pm

Looking at this old I recognize almost all of them. One of the things I find interesting, particularly in the Italian one is how they record a landscape that is almost completely managed.  By the time of the Romans much of the Italian peninsula had been denuded along with North Africa and the Levant.  We tend to look at this as the classic Italian or Mediterranean landscape but it belies the fact that this is post deforestation. Nonetheless I am always amazed at how much even today when you stand in that landscape it is as if you are looking back into one of these paintings.
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#7)  Re: Renaissance paintings including images of trees

Postby Joe » Sat Dec 19, 2015 8:51 am

I have many coffee table photo books on Italy and as much as I enjoy the scenery, I always wonder what it looked like in pre-human times. I've read that the low elevation areas of Rome were wetlands! We should try to envision the hills of Rome covered with old growth trees! As much as I like the architecture, I'd prefer the old growth forest- in the land of my ancestors.

Though that landscape is quite beautiful- it got that way after centuries of brutality as Rome murdered, robbed and raped its way across the Mediterranean. The so called "glory of Rome" was a painful bloodbath to many populations.
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#8)  Re: Renaissance paintings including images of trees

Postby Don » Sat Dec 19, 2015 3:12 pm

Reminds me that there is a line of thought that ALL great civilizations eventually suffered their demise by over-consumption of their natural resources, chief among them, their forests...is there yet time for us?
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#9)  Re: Renaissance paintings including images of trees

Postby miwinski » Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:02 pm

Jared Diamond in his book "Collapse" lays that out really nicely.  There are some old sources, I think Pliny is one who bemoans witnessing the cutting down of ancient forests on some Greek mountains!  I found through my research many comments by ancient and Renaissance writers talking about deforestation and erosion, including the silting up of harbors because of it. They knew the consequences but like us tended not to act and kept cutting.  I will post a few of the images and quotes about this in a post soon for you to see.
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