Clément Janequin - Masterpieces for Choir - Spotify
‘Vecchi Letrose’ Adrian Willaert- la Villanesche Vol 1 - Spotify
‘A Quanda a Quandahaveva Una Vicina’
Adrian Willaert- Vocal Music (Italian 16th Century) - Spotify
'Je file fille quant dieu me donne de quoy' Adrian Willaert - Renaissance Music at the court of the kings of Spain - Spotify
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina - Palestrina Missae Papae Marcelli - Spotify
'Kyrie' Orlande De Lassus - Early Music - Spotify
'Ben convenne Madonna solo Nandro' –Orland De Lassus - Madrigals & Motets - Spotify
‘Canzon Duodecimi Toni a 10, C. 179’ -
Giovanni Gabrieli - Spotify
William Byrd - Byrd: for My Ladye Nevell - Itunes
And what about everything else:-
(most of this is summarising Gombrich's 'The Story of Art') Leonardo Da Vinci painted his Mona Lisa in 1502. In this painting he invented the ‘sfumato’ technique whereby he did not define the outlines so clearly, leaving a bit to the viewer's imagination which had the effect of the portrait appearing much more human and less stiff looking. He soon had to compete with a new kid on the block though, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564). Michelangelo could make incredibly alive portrayals of any posture or movement of the human body with ease. In 1504 the two rivals went head to head painting war paintings at the same time for the council chamber in Florence, though neither finished their work. Leonardo moved to France and Michelangelo went on to paint between 1508 and 1512 his giant fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the grandest and some say greatest work of art ever, this from an artist who considered himself more a sculptor than a painter and all done looking upwards everyday for four years on 60 foot high scaffolding.
Bellini’s Pupil Giorgione would be the first one to have the landscape as a central component of his painting as can be seen in his Tempest.
Another pupil of Bellini and best of all the Venetian painters was Tiziano Vecellio more commonly known just as Titian (1485-1567) who was nearly as famous in his time as Michelangelo. It shows how far the status of the artist had come by now when Titian dropped his brush and the Emperor Charles V picked it up for him. Titian’s masterpiece from his earlier period (he continued painting until the age of 91) is his assumption (below) in which the grand scale and use of light would have dazzled those who first came to view it.
Titian then went on to paint mostly portraits as good as Leonardo’s Mona Lisa in terms of the way he made his figures look alive and this put him in huge demand. An example of this can be seen in his portrait of a man from about 1540.
Another famous work by Correggio is his Holy Night painted between 1529-1530. Correggio followed Titian in showing what he could do with the effect of light. Titian had experimented in the composition of his paintings by not putting figures such as the Madonna in the centre and making that seem acceptable. Conventionally this painting too would not follow the existing rules of balancing the composition because there is not too much at all happening on the right but because your eye is drawn in naturally to the left by the light, Correggio manages to make it work as a whole.
In the north the greatest artist of the renaissance period was Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) His first real fame came in 1498 with the 15 wood gravings of the horrific doomsday scenes from the book of revelation and this caught the mood of the times with the growing insecurity of the church. Durer was also a genius of observation in painting and you can see this in his ‘young hare’ from 1502. He later took the mathematical lessons of perspective and proportion from the Italians, and from Bellini in particular and applied them to his wood gravings and prints making that a newly respected art form.
With all the religious upheaval going on, especially in northern Europe it was not really sensible to paint religious scenes and so portrait painting became Holbein’s main thing. For these reasons, generally speaking the best art in the North this time strayed away from religion. The greatest Flemish artist of the century was Pieter Bruegel (1525-1569). He painted scenes of everyday peasant life mostly in the 1560s. The art by Holbein and Bruegel brings this century closer to us. Holbein’s ability to capture a true likeness enabled him to reveal something of the personality of his subjects. See his portrait of Thomas More and you see somebody who has a determined and uncompromising look about him. Erasmus looks a bit more timid. It gives you an idea why Thomas More lost his head and Erasmus did not. Henry VIII looks formidable. With Bruegel we get an insight into the way everyday people lived, the clothes they wore and their surroundings. See his Peasant Wedding Feast from 1568.
So a new period known as Mannerism lasted from about 1520-1600 in which the artists tried on the whole without too much success to develop the art of painting in new ways. This period was characterised by paintings that did not show the same concern for perfect balance. The Mannerist paintings are more restless than harmonious. Often the focal point is not the centre and sometime there is not one particular focal point at all. Many of the Mannerists did not care about having their figures in proportion. An example of this can be seen with Parmagianino who painted the freakish ‘Madonna with the Long Neck’. In short and in general, for the most part this period in painting is not too wonderful really.
It is interesting to compare the contrast in mannerist and renaissance styles with Tintoretto's ‘Last Supper’ and Leonardo Da Vinci’s.
Spring power clocks were invented between 1500 and 1510. This meant they clocks could be made smaller and fit on shelves in the home rather than just in church towers. Lead pencils were invented in 1564. In 1593 Galileo invented an early form of thermometer. In 1595 an early type of microscope was invented. in 1596 the flushing toilet was invented.