TheThree Ages of Manby Dosso Dossi (Giovanni de Lutero) 77.5 x 111.8 cm (Italian,Tramuschio ca. 1486–1541/42 Ferrara) 1515
ThisItalian Renaissance painting shows a great landscape and depiction ofvarious stages of life. The different phases are illustrated by twoboys peeping behind a bush on the right. On the left side, thepainter shows a man and a woman who seem to be lovers (HeilbrunnFoundation,2016).In the background, two old men are engaged in a conversation. Thenagain, the artist merges the two children with the surroundings. Forexample, children are half visible behind the rocks, and they appearto have a connection with the lovers as they are spying on them enjoythe pleasures of youth. On the other hand, the two men in thebackground seem to be painted over the landscape unlike the otherfigures, which are left in reserve (HeilbrunnFoundation,2016).
Theart piece is an allegorical concept of the cycle of life withillustrations of the amazing experiences during young age to thepleasures of youth and finally the portrayal of aging men who seem tobe contemplating the end of life (HeilbrunnFoundation,2016).The composition is outdoors and incorporates a vibrant representationof animals and flowers on a beautiful green landscape. The scene isfilled with tall bushy trees and dense undergrowth, which isportrayed using unnatural lighting and coloring. For example, Dossiutilizes dark green and brown colors to signify nature. On the otherhand, he applies different bright colors to show different figuresand stages in life (HeilbrunnFoundation,2016).The events in the art piece unfold in an enigmatic manner, which isenacted by interconnected characters. Additionally, the characters inthe painting are arranged in complex poses since the composition ismainly interested in accurately capturing the physical world aroundthe human figures. Therefore, Dossi is primarily concerned with thestructure of the art as a whole not just the fine details of theparticular characters (HeilbrunnFoundation,2016).
TheAdoration of the Shepherds with Saint Catherine of Alexandriaby Cigoli, (Italian, Castello di Cigoli 1559–1613 Rome) 308.3 x193.7 cm
Theartwork is one of the Italian Renaissance paintings. The painterillustrated new emotional warmth and stressed on the use of color.Some of the details in the art are taken directly from nature such asthe pastoral figures on the right and the depiction of still lifearound the child (HeilbrunnFoundation,2016).Christ is the main subject of this masterpiece since the attention ofall figures is drawn to him. The art piece shows Mary uncovering thechild. There is a representation of a donkey and an ox next to Mary,which represents the ritually clean and unclean people who arebrought together by the birth of Christ. In the left background, thepainting depicts St. Catherine of Alexandria who is carrying amartyr’s palm and the crown on her head signifying her royalty(HeilbrunnFoundation,2016).In the left foreground, the art piece has a broken wall andoverturned columns, which could imply the destruction of the paganempire. Additionally, three shepherds are bending towards Christ, andone of them is holding a lamb, which is a gift for the newborn(HeilbrunnFoundation,2016).
Thepainting has a star shining a bright light at the top, which poursdownwards towards Christ and draws the audience’s focus to thesubject. On either side of the star, angels are celebrating the birthof Christ along with the shepherds (HeilbrunnFoundation,2016).Through the doorway, other shepherds are holding a torch under thecrescent moon. The painter uses bright colors and shadings todifferentiate figures in the painting. The images are easilyidentifiable by the viewers since they appear natural and wellcomposed within the picture space (HeilbrunnFoundation,2016). Consequently, the work is an excellent example of High Renaissancethat emphasizes the study of nature.
ThreeAges of Man
TheAdoration of the Shepherds with Saint Catherine of Alexandria
HeilbrunnFoundation.(2016). Timeline of Art History.TheMet.Retrieved from http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/search/