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Pietro Lorenzetti


Italian  Late Gothic  Byzantine  Painter of the Sienese School

Stylistically influenced by the following painters; Duccio di Buoninsegna, Giotto Di Bondone , Cimabue,  Coppo di Marcovaldo,  Manuscript Illumination, Carolingian Art

Medium - Tempera on wood, Fresco

Cause of Death -  Black Death  (plague) 

Saint Catherine of Alexandria by Pietro Lorenzetti


Pietro Lorenzetti was an unconventional creative genius. Even Lorenzetti's greatest works are tinged with a pensive melancholy. His work became prized by both Church  and  nobility for their compositional unity and intense Christian fervor. Lorenzetti's style was typified by the power of his abstracted geometrical patterns. Lines, shapes, and color were used to construct rhythms and dynamic figures. Distinguished art historian and author, John C. Van Dyke, observed "The Siennese who came the nearest to Giotto's excellence were the brothers Ambrogio and Pietro  Lorenzetti. There is little known about them except that they worked together in a similar manner. The most of their work has perished, but what remains shows an intellectual grasp equal to any of the age."  Pietro perished in 1348 along with his talented older brother Ambrogio Lorenzetti from the Black Death.

His subjects, like his predecessors, are all religious – the Virgin Mary, the Life of Christ, the Apostles, Angeles and the Life of St. Francis.

 Upon the death of Pietro Lorenzetti  and thousands of other painters, the heart of the Italian art world was torn open.  The horrors of the black death pervaded all aspects of Medieval culture and especially art. The effects were  lasting, bringing a somber darkness to visual art, literature, and music. The dreadful trauma of this era instigated the imaginations of writers and painters in bleak and disturbing ways for decades to follow.

The Crucifixion by Pietro Lorenzetti

The Renaissance marks the ascendancy of individualism and the uncompromising prominence of the individual.  Artists of the Renaissance were raised up in social standing and their artworks was no longer looked upon as simple handicrafts, but as divinely inspired creations.  G.K. Chesterton, author of Saint Thomas Aquinas, asserted “Nobody can understand the greatness of the thirteenth century, who does not realize that it was a great growth of new things produced by a living thing. In that sense it was really bolder and freer than what we call the renaissance, which was a resurrection of old things discovered in a dead thing... and the Gospel according to St. Thomas... was a new thrust like the titanic thrust of Gothic engineering; and its strength was in a God that makes all things new.”

Key Descriptive Words  and Phrases associated with the Renaissance Movement rebirth, rediscovery of the classical world, City-state, Humanism, Humanist, Francesco Petrarch, Reform, The Prince, Theocracy, The Inquisition, Human Reasoning,  publication of Della Pittura, a book about the laws of mathematical perspective for artists, sfumato, chiaroscuro, linear perspectiveHeliocentric Theory, vanishing point, Savonarola, spiritually significant,  illuminated manuscriptidealized biblical themes, scriptorium, emotion, illuminator,  Age of Discovery, axonometric drawing, curiosity about the natural world, mythology,  realistic use of colours and lightBonfire of the Vanities, Old Testament stories, ethereal and foggy backgrounds, Gospel parables, The Blackdeath, romanticized landscapes,  Christian symbolism.



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