Piero vs Van Eyck

Topics: Jan van Eyck, Arnolfini Portrait, Piero della Francesca Pages: 3 (830 words) Published: December 14, 2008
Artists use specific techniques and skills in order to make their work appear life like, considering fifteenth century art, both Piero della Francesca and Jan van Eyck are masters for this. Piero, an Italian painter, mathematician, and geometer, fixated on presenting an accurate depiction of physical space and this is made obvious by his masterpiece, The Legend of the True Cross: Constantine’s Dream, c.1455. Opposed to van Eyck, a Dutchman, who prioritized furnishing his painting with a ride array of textures, as seen in his masterpiece, The Betrothal of the Arnolfini,(The Arnolfini Wedding Portrait),1434. In fifteenth century Italy, art had its own style, artists from that region and time period were commissioned by the Catholic Church to recreate biblical stories and paint them on the plastered walls of the churches, which were being constructed throughout the Catholic Church’s expanse. These southern artists obsessed over rendering dimensional space, and they used two main techniques to help them accurately recreate scenes from the bible, the first being linear or geometric construction and the other being chiaroscuro, or the use of light and shade, and according to Art Historian Ernst Gombrich, Piero had mastered these techniques. (20) For example, Piero’s mastery is displayed in his piece, The Legend of the True Cross: Constantine’s Dream, where he skillfully paints a flawlessly cylindrical barrel that represents Constantine’s tent and also paints perfectly straight lines that are the soldier’s spear and the pole that holds up the tent. These geometric constructions give the illusion that Constantine recedes into the tent napping in his bed, while his soldiers stand out front of his tent, in actuality it is a one an illusion of a three dimensional space. The quality at which Piero renders geometric shapes is seamless, and shows that he had considerable knowledge of and was greatly passionate about the new scientific findings and laws that were...
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