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Bernhard Berenson

1457-1504. Pupil of Botticelli; influenced by Amico di Sandro, and very slightly by Piero di Cosimo.

For a hundred years after Giotto there appeared in Florence no painter equally endowed with dominion over the significant. His immediate followers so little understood the essence of his power that some thought it resided in his massive types, others in the swiftness of his line, and still others in his light colour, and it never occurred to any of them that the massive form without its material significance, its tactile values, is a shapeless sack, that the line which is not functional is mere calligraphy, and that light colour by itself can at the best spot a surface prettily.

1494-1556. Pupil of Andrea del Sarto; influenced by Michelangelo.

To confine ourselves, however, as closely as we may to painting, and leaving aside for the present the question of colour, which, as I have already said, is, in Florentine art, of entirely subordinate importance, there were three directions in which painting as Pollaiuolo and Verrocchio found it had greatly to advance before it could attain its maximum of effectiveness: landscape, movement, and the nude. Giotto had attempted none of these.

Never pretty, scarcely ever charming or even attractive; rarely correct in drawing, and seldom satisfactory in colour; in types, ill-favoured; in feeling acutely intense and even dolorous—what is it then that makes Sandro Botticelli so irresistible that nowadays we may have no alternative but to worship or abhor him? The secret is this, that in European painting there has never again been an artist so indifferent to representation and so intent upon presentation.

Descriptive name for Florentine painter whose real name appears to have been Bartolommeo di Giovanni. Flourished last two decades of fifteenth century. Assistant of Ghirlandajo; influenced by Amico di Sandro.

1406-1469. Pupil of Lorenzo Monaco and follower of Masaccio; influenced by Fra Angelico.

Of Orcagna it is difficult to speak, as only a single fairly intact painting of his remains, the altar-piece in S. Maria Novella. Here he reveals himself as a man of considerable endowment: as in Giotto, we have tactile values, material significance; the figures artistically exist. But while this painting betrays no peculiar feeling for beauty of face and expression, the frescoes in the same chapel, the one in particular representing Paradise, have faces full of charm and grace. I am tempted to believe that we have here a happy improvement made by the recent restorer.

1439-1507. Pupil of Neri di Bicci; influenced by Benozzo Gozzoli and Alesso Baldovinetti.

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