Byzantine panel with archangel, Ivory leaf from diptych, c. 525-50, 16.8 x 5.6 x 0.35 in. (42.8 x 14.3 x 0.9 cm), probably from Constantinople (modern Istanbul, Turkey), (British Museum, London) The British Museum translates the text at the top of the panel as: "Receive the suppliant before you, despite his sinfulness." Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris, Dr. Steven Zucker. Created by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker.
Historiated capitals from the crossing of the Church of Sant Miquel of the castle of Camarasa (Noguera), early 13th century, stone, 77 x 1.65 x 77.5 cm (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Palau Nacional, Barcelona). Created by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker.
Coronation Mantle, 1133/34, fabric from Byzantium or Thebes, samite, silk, gold, pearls, filigree, sapphires, garnets, glass, and cloisonné enamel, 146 x 345 cm (Neue Hofburg, Vienna). Likely made for the Norman ruler Roger II in 1133/34 in the royal workshop in Palermo of fabric from Byzantium or Thebes, Samite, silk, gold, pearls, filigree, sapphires, garnets, glass, and cloisonné enamel. The Kufic script reads: "This mantle was worked in the most magnificent clothing workshop and is connected with the desire and hopes, felicitous days and nights without cease or change, with authority, with honor and felicity, assurances of trust, reverent care, protection, good destiny, freedom from harm, triumph and livelihood in the capital city of Sicily in the year 528" (or 1133/34 in the Gregorian calendar). Neue Hofburg, Vienna. Speakers: Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris. Created by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker.
Duccio di Buoninsegna, Madonna and Child, tempera and gold on panel, c. 1300
(Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Speakers: David Drogin and Beth Harris
For more videos, visit www.smarthistory.org
Speakers: Dr. David Drogin, Dr. Beth Harris
Duccio, Maesta (front), 1308-11 (Museo dell'Opera Metropolitana del Duomo, Siena) Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker.
During this period, and for hundreds of years, Italy was not a unified country, but rather was divided into many small countries we call city-states. Florence, Siena, Milan, Venice—these were essentially independent nations with their own governments—and they were at war with each other. These city-states also had independent cultures with their own distinct styles in painting and sculpture. Siena had a unique style that emphasized decorative surfaces, sinuous lines, elongated figures and the heavy use of gold. Duccio was the founder of the Sienese style and his work was quite different from the Florentine painter Giotto. Giotto emphasized a greater naturalism—creating figures who are more monumental (large, heavy and with a greater sense of accurate proportion) and a greater illusion of three-dimensional space.
Contemporaneous description of the procession that brought this painting to Siena Cathedral (or Duomo):
At this time the altarpiece for the high altar was finished and the picture which was called the "Madonna with the large eyes" or Our Lady of Grace, that now hangs over the altar of St. Boniface, was taken down. Now this Our Lady was she who had hearkened to the people of Siena when the Florentines were routed at Monte Aperto, and her place was changed because the new one was made, which is far more beautiful and devout and larger, and is painted on the back with the stories of the Old and New Testaments. And on the day that it was carried to the Duomo the shops were shut, and the bishop conducted a great and devout company of priests and friars in solemn procession, accompanied by the nine signiors, and all the officers of the commune, and all the people, and one after another the worthiest with lighted candles in their hands took places near the picture, and behind came the women and children with great devotion. And they accompanied the said picture up to the Duomo, making the procession around the Campo, as is the custom, all the bells ringing joyously, out of reverence for so noble a picture as this. And this picture Duccio di Niccolò the painter made, and it was made in the house of the Muciatti outside the gate aStalloreggi. And all that day persons, praying God and His Mother, who is our advocate, to defend us by their infinite mercy from every adversity and all evil, and keep us from the hands of traitors and of the enemies of Siena. (English translation: Charles Eliot Norton, Historical Studies of Church-Buildings in the Middle Ages: Venice, Siena, Florence (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1880), 144-45; Italian text: G. Milanesi, Documenti per la storia dell'arte senese (Siena: 1854, I), 169)
. Created by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker.
Duccio di Buoninsegna, The Virgin and Child with Saints Dominic and Aurea, c. 1315, tempera on wood, 42.5 x 34.5 cm (National Gallery, London). Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker. Created by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker.
Follower of Bernardo Daddi, The Aldobrandini Triptych, tempera on panel, ca. 1336 (Portland Art Museum)
Speakers: Tina Olsen and Maribeth Graybill
For more: http://smarthistory.org/daddi-follower-triptych.html
Giotto di Bondone, St. Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmata with predella scenes of the Dream of Innocent III, The Pope Approving the Rule of the Order, and St. Francis Preaching to the Birds, c. 1295-1300 (originally, Church of San Francesco, Pisa), tempera and gold on panel, 3.13 x 1.63 m, original frame inscribed: "OPUS IOCTI FIORETINI.". Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker. Created by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker.
Giotto, The Ognissanti Madonna, 1306-10, tempera on panel, 128 x 80 1/4" (325 x 204 cm). Painted for the Church of Ognissanti, Florence Speakers: Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris. Created by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker.