The Old Man with His Grandson by Domenico Ghirlandaio

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The Renaissance portrait we are going to look at in this post is the Old Man with His Grandson by Domenico Ghirlandaio. This painting looks very average and boring to a person today who is not interested in art or just looking at it for the first time, but the painting of the Old Man with His Grandson was a revolutionary painting by Ghirlandaio in the late fifteenth century. Ghirlandaio along with Raphael, Jan van Eyck, and others started to introduce individuality and add values to their paintings; you can see examples of this in the Old Man with His Grandson. The first thing that will notice is that the painting does not look flat like most of the early paintings did; you see a 3D or lifelike image of the grandfather looking down at his grandson. The detail gets better when you see the waves in the hair of the grandfather and even the wrinkles of his nose; this is a big change in style from Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Second we can see that Ghirlandaio brings a sense of life to this painting and not just a dull portrait. You can really get a sense of what is going on in this painting by looking at the faces of the grandfather and grandson. The people do not have a blank expression on their face; to me, they are looking at each other with love, compassion and trust. You can also see that life is going on outside with a look through the window next to the grandfather, another value that was not represented in earlier paintings. Overall, this painting and other painted at that time give us a good look into the beginning of Renaissance values and how they have shaped what we do today. (298)
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