'Stoclet Madonna' Duccio Di Buoninsegna

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When was the work made?
1300.
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Who made the work?
Duccio Di Buoninsegna.
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Which wood was used for the canvas?
Well-seasoned poplar.
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Why was well-seasoned poplar used?
Easily sanded down to a high finish.
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Why was the wood reinforced?
To prevent warping.
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What is put on prior to application of the gesso and why?
Fine-weave cloth to make a more ideal surface to work on.
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What did the x-radiograph reveal about the work?
The cloth extends into the engaged frame.
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What is gesso comprised of?
white chalk, mixed with water and a type of glue called size.
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What is done after application of the gesso?
Polished to make the surface smooth.
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What technique is used to make the preparatory drawing?
Spolvero.
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What does infra-red photography reveal?
The under drawing was done with a brush, indicating the placements of folds in the drapery; there is no sign of interior modelling attempted.
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What is the first paragraph point?
THE MATERIAL PROCESS HAS GIVEN THE PIECE LONGEVITY AND EVIDENCES THE LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF THE HUMAN FORM .
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What is the second paragraph point?
GUILDING HELPS CREATE THE VISION OF THE DIVINE.
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What is the third paragraph point?
THE MATERIALS INDICATE ITS FUNCTION.
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What is the fourth paragraph point?
THE USE OF TEMPURA CHANGES ITS APPEARANCE.
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How does guilding create a vision of the divine?
Complements Mary's otherworldly features and creates a feeling of luxury.
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What is Mary's position within the Catholic faith?
The highest saint.
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Briefly explain the guilding process.
It would be layered on in pieces and then burnished so that the gold glimmered and glowed in the candle lit churches and areas of devotion.
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How are the arabesque halos created around Mary and Jesus?
Chrisography.
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What does the chrisography do?
Adds to the delicate and ornate nature of the piece.
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How big is the 'Stoclet Madonna'?
11 X 8 1/4 inches, including the original engaged frame.
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How can we tell it is an independent piece?
No hinges.
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What might the burns on the frame be from?
Candles?
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What does the singularity, small size and burns tell us?
The picture was intended for private devotion, possibly above a domestic altar or prie dieu.
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Why else is the image small?
Limitations of egg tempura.
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Why was egg tempura time consuming?
Applying wet paint on the dry surface could cause smudging, so the paint had to be applied in thin layers.
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Why does the painting have little tonal gradation?
Tempera dries incredibly fast and so vast differences in tone would not blend.
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How were the gradations achieved?
Cross hatching.
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What do the tonal gradations also reflect?
The trends of iconography at the time.
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What is made near impossible by not having the painterly flexibility of watercolours or oil?
Makes realistic, earthly visions near impossible.
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What is the under painting called?
Terra verde.
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Why is the skin green?
The layers of paint were not particularly stable.
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What was used to thinly superimpose flesh colours?
Red lake.
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Why was green and red used to make the flesh tint?
The green complimented the delicateness of the red tint.
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What pigment broke down to reveal the green underpainting?
Red lake.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Who made the work?

Back

Duccio Di Buoninsegna.

Card 3

Front

Which wood was used for the canvas?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Why was well-seasoned poplar used?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Why was the wood reinforced?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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