Art Duccio and Giottos painting styles

Art Duccio and Giotto’s painting styles What similarities and differences can you find between Duccio and Giotto’s painting styles?
How does each style work to stimulate religious devotion?
How do paintings that were made in southern and northern Europe during the fourteenth
century compare to each other in terms of content and style? What might their similarities and differences indicate about the broader cultures in which the northern and southern artists were working?
1.    What expectations did fifteenth-century Italian painters have about the ways in which people
would interpret their pictures? What skills did they develop in response to these
o     What was “the Renaissance”? What ideas were “reborn”? And by whom? And why?
o     How did Renaissance artists approach the task of expressing spiritual beliefs through the
representation of the human body?
o     How were men and women depicted differently in Renaissance Italy? How do Renaissance
representations of males and females compare to how we represent sex and gender
differences today?
1.    What are the stakes of a “history of art”? Why do people write (and read) biographies of
“great” artists?
o     What did patrons want from the artists they supported? To what degree were artists working
independently of their patrons’ desires and commands circa 1500?
o     In what ways were the interests of artists and patrons in Venice different from those of their
Florentine and Roman contemporaries?
How do Mannerist paintings differ from earlier Renaissance artworks? What do these
differences suggest about the changing roles and aims of art?
•     How did changing religious beliefs and politics affect the kinds of art that sixteenth-century
Italian painters produced?
•     What do you think that Bellori meant when he wrote that Caravaggio “emulated art . . .
without art”? Do you agree with this claim?
•     What particular challenges did Artemesia Gentileschi face as a female artist in seventeenth-
century Italy? Did she respond directly to these challenges through her work?
1.    What did Bernini do to extend the reach of his sculptures? How do they engage their
viewers, and for what reasons did they do so?
o     Are either the Northern or Southern styles of painting more central to your understanding
of the Western tradition than the other?
o     What does it mean to paint “on speculation”? What cultural, religious, social, and economic
factors made such an endeavor possible in northern Europe in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries?
o     What is “everyday life,” and why would it become a popular subject in painting?
o     How would you characterize Vermeer’s interest in the visible world? What elements of
visual experience do his paintings illustrate, and what, in comparison to the works of other, previous artists, do they ignore?
How did Renaissance-era Europeans represent the peoples and cultures of the Americas?
What was at stake in picturing those people in the ways that they did?
•     How would you define “Western” art in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth
centuries? Where does Europe end and America, Africa, or Asia begin?
•     Can new artistic cultures be invented, or are there only ever hybrids of pre-existing ones?

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