A Text Book of the History of Painting by John C Van Dyke L H D

By John C Van Dyke L H D

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A long period of heavy, morose, almost formless art, eloquent of mediæval darkness and ignorance, followed. It is strange that such an art should be adopted by foreign nations, and yet it was. Its bloody crucifixions and morbid madonnas were well fitted to the dark view of life held during the Middle Ages, and its influence was wide-spread and of long duration. It affected French and German art, it ruled at the North, and in the East it lives even to this day. That it strongly affected Italy is a very apparent fact.

The times were out of joint, and almost everything was disorganized, worn out, decadent. The military life of the Empire had begun to give way to the monastic and feudal life of the Church. Quarrels and wars between the powers kept life at fever heat. In the fifth century came the inpouring of the Goths and Huns, and with them the sacking and plunder of the land. Misery and squalor, with intellectual blackness, succeeded. Art, science, literature, and learning degenerated to mere shadows of their former selves, and a semi-barbarism reigned for five centuries.

Novella, Campo Santo Pisa; Orcagna, altar-piece Last Judgment and Paradise Strozzi chapel S. M. Novella, S. Zenobio Duomo, Saints Medici chapel S. Croce, Descent of Holy Spirit Badia Florence, altar-piece Nat. Gal. ; Spinello Aretino, Life of St. Benedict S. , Barbarossa frescos Palazzo Publico Sienna; Andrea da Firenze, Church Militant, Calvary, Crucifixion Spanish chapel, Upper series of Life of S. Raniera Campo Santo Pisa. SIENNESE—Guido da Sienna, Madonna S. Domenico Sienna; Duccio, panels Duomo and Acad.

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