Artibus et Historiae no. 3 (II)

1981, ISSN 0391-9064

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CARLO DEL BRAVO - Brunelleschi and Hope

The essay considers the influence of Greek art and culture on Tuscan art in the first decades of the 1500's. In this regard is stressed the importance of Emanuele Crisolora, the first teacher of Greek and translator of Plato in Florence, and Florentine art is looked at in the light of his memoirs, his method of translation and his comparisons. Moreover Brunelleschi (in the Burla del Grasso) would seem to have developed a principle from Plato's Republic, and by imposing a privileged point of view, a principle of Proclus. However the perspective tables, in which the basis of Plotinus' aesthetics are involved, are related to Crisolora's stay in Rome (1411). On this visit are also seen to depend the increasing importance of Roman antiquities for the Florentines and even the inspiration for the Cupola of the Cathedral in Florence. However for Sienese painters like Sassetta, Giovanni di Paolo, Sano di Pietro, we are dealing with the influence of contemporary Byzantine art. The themes and stylistic features of Paolo Uccello and Piero della Francesca are seen to be derived from a late Byzantine monument - the Arcadius column.

In the connection with Greek culture which seems to have so much interested Brunelleschi, the hypothesis is made that we understand the Cantoria by Luca della Robbia as an expression of harmony and the one by Donatello of melody.

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