ITALIAN PAINTING. GOTHIC PERIOD. 1250-1400.

TRANSITION PAINTERS: Several painters, Starnina (1354-1413), Gentile da Fabriano (1360?-1440?), Fra Angelico (1387-1455), have been put down in art history as the makers of the transition from Gothic to Renaissance painting. They hardly deserve the title. There was no transition. The development went on, and these painters, coming late in the fourteenth century and living into the fifteenth, simply showed the changing style, the advance in the study of nature and the technic of art. Starnina's work gave strong evidence of the study of form, but it was no such work as Masaccio's. There is always a little of the past in the present, and these painters showed traces of Byzantinism in details of the face and figure, in coloring, and in gold embossing.

Gentile had all that nicety of finish and richness of detail and color characteristic of the Siennese. Being closer to the Renaissance than his predecessors he was more of a nature student. He was the first man to show the effect of sunlight in landscape, the first one to put a gold sun in the sky. He never, however, outgrew Gothic methods and really belongs in the fourteenth century. This is true of Fra Angelico. Though he lived far into the Early Renaissance he did not change his style and manner of work in conformity with the work of others about him. He was the last inheritor of the Giottesque traditions. Religious sentiment was the strong feature of his art. He was behind Giotto and Lorenzetti in power and in imagination, and behind Orcagna as a painter. He knew little of light, shade, perspective, and color, and in characterization was feeble, except in some late work. One face or type answered him for all classes of people—a sweet, fair face, full of divine tenderness. His art had enough nature in it to express his meanings, but little more. He was pre-eminently a devout painter, and really the last of the great religionists in painting.

FIG. 25.—FRA ANGELICO. ANGEL (DETAIL). UFFIZI.FIG. 25.—FRA ANGELICO. ANGEL (DETAIL). UFFIZI.

The other regions of Italy had not at this time developed schools of painting of sufficient consequence to mention.

PRINCIPAL WORKS: FlorentinesCimabue, Madonnas S. M. Novella and Acad. Florence, frescos Upper Church of Assisi (?); Giotto, frescos Upper and Lower churches Assisi, best work Arena chapel Padua, Bardi and Peruzzi chapels S. Croce, injured frescos Bargello Florence; Taddeo Gaddi, frescos entrance wall Baroncelli chapel S. Croce, Spanish chapel S. M. Novella (designed by Gaddi (?)); Agnolo Gaddi frescos in choir S. Croce, S. Jacopo tra Fossi Florence, panel pictures Florence Acad.; Giovanni da Milano, Bewailing of Christ Florence Acad., Virgin enthroned Prato Gal., altar-piece Uffizi Gal., frescos S. Croce Florence; Antonio Veneziano, frescos in ceiling of Spanish chapel, S. M. 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. Lon.; Spinello Aretino, Life of St. Benedict S. Miniato al Monte near Florence, Annunciation Convent degl' Innocenti Arezzo, frescos Campo Santo Pisa, Coronation Florence Acad., Barbarossa frescos Palazzo Publico Sienna; Andrea da Firenze, Church Militant, Calvary, Crucifixion Spanish chapel, Upper series of Life of S. Raniera Campo Santo Pisa.