Italian Renaissance Architecture: A Short Historical and Descriptive Account

Italian Renaissance Architecture: A Short Historical and Descriptive Account

Italian Renaissance Architecture: A Short Historical and Descriptive Account

Italian Renaissance Architecture: A Short Historical and Descriptive Account

Excerpt

MONUMENTS IN PISA. -- BRUNELLESCHI AND MICHELOZZO. -- BENEDETTO DA MAJANO AND THE CRONACA. -- ALBERTI. -- GIULIANO DA SANGALLO AND BACCIO D'AGNOLO. -- THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY AT ROME. -- THE DECORATORS. -- THE DELLA ROBBIAS. -- DONATELLO.

It is almost a tradition, when one speaks of the origins of the Renaissance, to look for its first evidences in the works of Niccola Pisano. Doubtless this means going back rather far. The pulpit in the Baptistry of Pisa (1260) and the one in the Cathedral of Siena (1266) which are generally alluded to, are truly delicate and attractive works in which the imitation of ancient sarcophagi from the Campo Santo is visible in certain bas relief, but the architectural part of these compositions remains clearly gothic in spirit and detail, and it seems difficult to assume that either could have marked a date in the particular evolution of our art.

It must nit be forgotten, however, that Pisa -- and that well before the Florentine Renaissance -- had attained by the conquest of the sea, an importance which assured for almost a century, that intllectual and political supremacy that Florence was to rob her of, as well as her liberty (1406). If these artists are still only the forerunners of the Renaissance, they are already of the race of those who will contribute to its growth, and their work, at least, is the first of Tuscan art. All those whose feet have trodden the lovely field where rises the Duomo with its unforgettable background, who have walked through the five naves, spellbound, and have inspected this admirable edifice which perhaps rivals Monreale and one or two Roman basilicas in the glory of being the most beautiful church in the world, have had the right to ask . . .

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