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Bernhard Berenson

Died rather young in 1457. Influenced by Donatello and Paolo Uccello.

The rendering of tactile values once recognised as the most important specifically artistic quality of Giotto’s work, and as his personal contribution to the art of painting, we are all the better fitted to appreciate his more obvious though less peculiar merits—merits, I must add, which would seem far less extraordinary if it were not for the high plane of reality on which Giotto keeps us. Now what is back of this power of raising us to a higher plane of reality but a genius for grasping and communicating real significance?

Known to have been active during the last three decades of the fifteenth century. Pupil possibly of Fra Angelico or Benozzo Gozzoli; influenced by Neri di Bicci; eclectic imitator of Alesso Baldovinetti, Fra Filippo, and Pesellino. Some of the best of the following are copies of the two last and of Compagno di Pesellino.

From the brief account just given of the four dominant personalities in Florentine painting from about 1430 to about 1460, it results that the leanings of the school during this interval were not artistic and artistic alone, but that there were other tendencies as well, tendencies on the one side, toward the expression of emotion (scarcely less literary because in form and colour than if in words), and, on the other, toward the naturalistic reproduction of objects.

All that Giotto and Masaccio had attained in the rendering of tactile values, all that Fra Angelico or Filippo had achieved in expression, all that Pollaiuolo had accomplished in movement, or Verrocchio in light and shade, Leonardo, without the faintest trace of that tentativeness, that painfulness of effort which characterised his immediate precursors, equalled or surpassed.

In closing, let us note what results clearly even from this brief account of the Florentine school, namely that, although no Florentine merely took up and continued a predecessor’s work, nevertheless all, from first to last, fought for the same cause. There is no opposition between Giotto and Michelangelo. The best energies of the first, of the last, and of all the intervening great Florentine artists were persistently devoted to the rendering of tactile values, or of movement, or of both.

About 1240-about 1301.

The following works are all by the same hand, probably Cimabue’s.

1477-1543. Pupil first of Credi, and then of Ghirlandajo, whom he assisted; influenced by Botticelli, Michelangelo Fra Bartolommeo, and Pontormo.

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