The Renaissance was a period that witnessed massive revolution in art. Artworks from this period exemplify the creative genius that was in existence. Although many of the works produced during this period have been subjected to numerous interpretations over the years, there is a consensus that some of the characteristics of these artworks are exclusively synonymous to the Renaissance period. The purpose of this essay is to analyze one of the famous works of this period. This is the “Cestello Annunication”, a tempera painting by Sandro Botticelli. The painting of art was produced between 1489 and 1490, and is often heralded as a classic Renaissance masterpiece. The features of “Cestello Annunciation”, especially its subject, object arrangement and mood are a perfect embodiment of Italian Renaissance art.
“Cestello Annunciation” is religious in nature as it depicts Angel Gabriel making a visit to Virgin Mary to inform her of the conception of Jesus Christ. This aspect is synonymous to the Renaissance period where the topic of annunciation was so popular that there were countless paintings by different artists depicting this famous Christian occurrence. Although the renaissance period witnessed the emergence of a balance between secular and sacred words, Christianity as a religion was still highly valued during this era.
“Cestello Annunciation” is to a huge part synonymous to Northern Rennaissance, as it was a common trend for northern artists to portray the Annunciation as taking place in an ecclesiastical setting to symbolize the Church and Christianity in general. This was unlike other renaissance artists, who envisioned the Annunciation as occurring in a portico or an open loggia and rarely in a house.
Another Renaissance influence in this piece of art is the focus of perspective, which Botticelli has used sparingly. The room in the painting is structured using the perspective laws. There are red floor tiles, which have converging lines that eventually lead out into the landscape. These special dynamics are, however, contrasted by the two figures’ (Mary and Gabriel) lively movement. This lively movement is indeed a deviation from the art of the previous period, which tended to be gothic and static. The Annunciation in this instant is depicted as a very sweetly, emotional and dynamic scene. The artist uses both foreshortening as well as the aerial perspective so as to bring the painting’s focus on the specific action taking place at the paintings rather than on the surrounding scenery such as the castles or the country outside. In essence, the aerial perspective of the painting, putting a bluish tinge and light fog on its background as well as the foreshortening, which is done by enlarging the kneeling angel and Virgin Mary, creates a relatively bigger target for the viewer’s eye when observing the painting. In addition, the Virgin Mary’s body contrapposto positioning is also a depiction of Renaissance culture influence.
Another art convention of the Renaissance era was the emphasis on the geometrical arrangement of figure or objects in works of art. For instance, in “Cestello Annunciation”, a diagonal line runs from the edge of Angel Gabriel’s robe and extends to his hands that are raised. It then continues all the way to Mary’s arm, which she is holding on her chest. In addition, the robes of Gabriel are curling in big folds, which show that he had just had a sweeping landing.
In conclusion, “Cestello Annunciation” by Sandro Botticelli is an art masterpiece whose features draw a lot from the Renaissance culture and, therefore, exhibit basic Renaissance art convention. These features include geometric arrangement, the subject of religion, spatial arrangement and the overall mood of the painting.
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