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Bernhard Berenson

1446-1498. Pupil of Neri di Bicci; influenced by Castagno; worked under and was formed by Cosimo Rosselli and Verrocchio; influenced later by Amico di Sandro.

  • Assisi.
    • S. Francesco, Upper Church. XX-XXV and first of Frescoes recounting the Life of St. Francis, done perhaps under Giotto’s directions. XXVI-XXVIII of same series done more upon his own responsibility.
      • Lower Church, Chapel of the Sacrament. Frescoes: Legend of St. Nicholas; Christ with SS. Francis and Nicholas and Donors, etc. (?). Before 1316. Madonna between SS. Francis and Nicholas (?).

Psychology has ascertained that sight alone gives us no accurate sense of the third dimension. In our infancy, long before we are conscious of the process, the sense of touch, helped on by muscular sensations of movement, teaches us to appreciate depth, the third dimension, both in objects and in space.

In the same unconscious years we learn to make of touch, of the third dimension, the test of reality. The child is still dimly aware of the intimate connection between touch and the third dimension.

Andrea, 1308(?)-1368. Pupil of Andrea Pisano; follower of Giotto; influenced by Ambrogio Lorenzetti of Siena.

Of the brothers, Nardo, who died in 1365, was scarcely his inferior.

The only painting certainly from Andrea’s hand is the altarpiece at S. Maria Novella. The frescoes in the same church are probably by Nardo.

Uccello, as I have said, was the first representative of two strong tendencies in Florentine painting—of art for dexterity’s sake, and art for scientific purposes. Andrea del Castagno, while also unable to resist the fascination of mere science and dexterity, had too much artistic genius to succumb to either. He was endowed with great sense for the significant, although, it is true, not enough to save him completely from the pitfalls which beset all Florentines, and even less from one more peculiar to himself—the tendency to communicate at any cost a feeling of power.

The great Florentine artists, as we have seen, were, with scarcely an exception, bent upon rendering the material significance of visible things. This, little though they may have formulated it, was the conscious aim of most of them; and in proportion as they emancipated themselves from ecclesiastical dominion, and found among their employers men capable of understanding them, their aim became more and more conscious and their striving more energetic.

1502(?)-1572. Pupil of Pontormo; influenced by Michelangelo.

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