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Bernhard Berenson

1475-1517. Pupil of Pier di Cosimo; influenced by Leonardo and Michelangelo.

1483 to 1561. Pupil of Granacci, and eclectic imitator of most of his important contemporaries.

Florentine painting between Giotto and Michelangelo contains the names of such artists as Orcagna, Masaccio, Fra Filippo, Pollaiuolo, Verrocchio, Leonardo, and Botticelli. Put beside these the greatest names in Venetian art, the Vivarini, the Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, and Tintoret. The difference is striking. The significance of the Venetian names is exhausted with their significance as painters. Not so with the Florentines. Forget that they were painters, they remain great sculptors; forget that they were sculptors, and still they remain architects, poets, and even men of science.

1475-1564. Pupil of Ghirlandaio; influenced by the works of Jacopo della Quercia, Donatello, and Signorelli.

Fra Angelico we know already as the painter who devoted his life to picturing the departing mediæval vision of a heaven upon earth. Nothing could have been farther from the purpose of Uccello and Castagno. Different as these two were from each other, they have this much in common, that in their works which remain to us, dating, it is true, from their years of maturity, there is no touch of mediæval sentiment, no note of transition.

1435-1488. Pupil of Donatello and Alesso Baldovinetti, influenced by Pesellino.

Before Verrocchio, his precursors, first Alessio Baldovinetti and then Pollaiuolo, had attempted to treat landscape as naturalistically as painting would permit. Their ideal was to note it down with absolute correctness from a given point of view; their subject almost invariably the Valdarno; their achievement, a bird’s-eye view of this Tuscan paradise. Nor can it be denied that this gives pleasure, but the pleasure is only such as is conveyed by tactile values.

Bronzino, Pontormo’s close follower, had none of his master’s talent as a decorator, but happily much of his power as a portrait-painter. Would he had never attempted anything else!

1420-1497. Pupil possibly of Giuliano Pesello, and of the Bicci; assistant and follower of Fra Angelico.

1276-1336. Follower of Pietro Cavallini; influenced by Giovanni Pisano.

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