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Styles of the Renaissance Period  
Vocabulary list for these chapters  
Vocabulary (Word Document)  
Time Line of Renaissance Period Styles
Early:    1400-1500
      Francois I       1515-1547    Elizabeth I             1558-1603
High:     1500-1550
      Henri II          1547-1559    James I & Charles I
  (Early Jacobean)    1625-1649
     Late:      1550-1600/50
      Louis XIII      1559-1643       Cromwell            1649-1660

Furniture Characteristics: Italy

Early Renaissance: 1400-1500 (Florence School)

Re-introduction of classical orders and the vocabulary of classical ornament and motifs.
Painting is favorite form of surface decoration also gilding, intarsia, certosina, pastiglia.
Few and modest moldings.
Sparing but effective carving in low relief.
Mostly large, flat surfaces ready for painting or inlay.

High Renaissance: 1500-1550 (Roman School)

Perfection of proportions, balance and human scale
Time of great painters: Titan, Michelangelo, Raphael
Rich carving but delicate in composition
Moldings more prominent & vigorously carved
Raphalesque grotesques and arabesques
Intarsia inlay

Late Renaissance: 1550-1600/50 (Venetian School)

Elaborate/Mannerist forms
Heavy, ornate, large scale
Excessive & boldly carved moldings
Heavy heraldic devices
Some turning
Pietra Dura (wood ground)
Pietra Commissa (marble ground)

Furniture Characteristics: France
Francois I style 1515-1547

Transitional, grafted Renaissance motifs onto Gothic forms
Invasions into Italy revealed classical treasures especially in architecture
The classical orders introduced into France and appear as new motifs on furniture
Invited Italian craftsmen to France, imported Italian furniture as well as from Flanders, Spain, Germany
Abundant ornament, fanciful motifs
Walnut supercedes oak as popular wood
Carving used in various reliefs
Marble insets are used
Wrought iron mounts used

Henri II style: 1547-1589  (includes the reign of Henri III 1559-1589 (assassinated))

Better understanding of the Italian Renaissance form, proportions and balance (due to marriage of Henri II to Catherine de Medici)
Refinement and restraint of form and decoration
Ornament & moldings in scale

    Henri II reign:
    Furniture very similar to Italian  (Herni married to Catherine de Medici)
    Borrowed classical architectural motifs, (columns, pilasters, pediments)
    Simple forms with high level of balance and proportion
    Two concurrent stylistic trends:
Ile de France style, (classical influence)  Refined, delicate carving in low relief 
Style influenced by duCerceau and Goujon 

Burgundian style, (Mannerist influence) Elaborate carving in high relief, massive
Mythological figure subjects, term figures,(see work of Hugh Sambin)

Henri III reign (still considered part of the Herni II style):
Civil and religious wars not conducive to nurturing native craftsmanship, (luxury furniture imported from Italy, Spain, Flanders, Germany).
Due to religious wars, Huguenots fled country and all branches of art suffered. Motifs became courser, columns become too long
and slender, heavier  Flemish influences are evident

Louis XIII Style 1589-1643(includes reign of Henri IV 1589-1600)

Peace and commercial trade restored with Netherlands, Italy, Spain
Bourbon monarchs considered importance of art and architecture to contribute to the dignity and prestige of the state. Provided free workshops at  the Louvre and encouraged new decorative art industry. Planned to organize all branches of the arts under the control of the central government.
No strong "French" style during this time but strong Italian, Flemish, Spanish influences
Heavy, massive, rectilinear, simple, austere
Characteristics: turning, split turns, cartouches, strapwork, fat cherubs, oval bosses, swags, masks, grotesques,
Geometric ornaments (from Spain) as well as diamond and star point motifs


Furniture Characteristics: England
Elizabeth I  Style: 1558-1603 (Daughter of Henry VIII (Tudor))

Transitional phase when Italian Renaissance motifs  grafted onto Gothic forms and mingled with Gothic ornament
Romayne medallion combined with linen-fold
Principles of balance and proportion not well understood
Carving was favorite form of surface decoration (excessive compared to Early Jacobean)
Heavily carved bulbous cup and cover support with gadrooning
Strapwork typical
Inlay of multi-colored woods

James I & Charles I  a.k.a. Early Jacobean Style: 1603-1649  (First of Stuart monarchs)

Better understanding of Renaissance principles of balance and proportion
Less carving and less use of figural subjects
Cup and cover support becomes more baluster shape
Inlay of multi-colored woods
Applied oval bosses and split turns
Raised panels on case goods

Cromwellian Style: 1649-1660

Puritan attitude toward decoration (translation: there wasn't any)
Simple forms
Multi-purpose furniture is popular
Turning often the only form of surface decoration
Seat furniture lacks comfort

Summary Questions: Architecture
  1. What two aspects of the Italian Renaissance affected all of art, architecture and furniture design?
  2. Who was Vitruvius and what part did he play in the Renaissance?
  3. What is "ratio of proportions" and why was this an important re-discovery?
  4. How was the Italian Renaissance style disseminated to France, the Netherlands, England?
  5. Why was England slow to understand Italian Renaissance principles?
  6. Describe the important elements of:

  7.     (Brunelleschi) Founding Hospital and unifying elements of San Lorenzo old sacristy

        (Bramante) Tempietto (significance of site, elements used that reflected treaties of Alberiti  on church architecture.

        (Alberti) S. Andrea (important elements of the facade and how facade articulates the interior).

        (Michelangelo) Mannerist elements of the Laurenziiana Library.

        (Palladio) Villa Rotonda, (interior and exterior). In general, how did his buildings related to the site?

        What significant characteristics were common to Palladio's  projects?

        What new elements did Lescot add to the new wing of the Louvre? What traditional elements did he retain?)

        Compare the interior and exterior of Banqueting House and Queen's House by Inigo Jones to works by Palladio.

Furniture Terms to Know:

    Italian Furniture Terms

        arabesques & grotesques
        pietra dura
       pietra commessa
        refectory table

   Spanish Furniture Terms

        iron underbracing
        sillon de caderas
        sillon frailero
        portuguse chair
        lyre shape

    French Furniture Terms

        chaise a vertugadin

    Englsih Furniture Terms

        cup & cover support
        romayne medallions
        heraldic devices
        baluster turn
        bobbin turn
        oval bosses
        applied split turns
        wainscot chair
        Glastonbury chair
        monk's chair
        court cupboard
        hall & parlor cupboard
        farthingale chair
        gate-leg tables
        Cromwellian Chair
Syllabus Egypt, Greece, Rome, Romanesque, Gothic, Byzantine Baroque Rococo American Colonial Contact Marg