Pietro Lorenzetti

Thefirst work that I visited was Pietro Lorenzetti's "panels from an altarpiece showing the Enthroned Virgin and Child, with kneeling donor and angels." The piece immediately caught my eye because of its resemblance to two other works from the Pre-Renaissance, Cimabue's "Madonna Enthroned" and Giotto's "Madonna Enthroned."
Pietro Lorenzetti's piece is from Siena during the 1320's. It is about 30 x 60 inches and done in tempera and tooled gold on a wooden panel. Through a dark outer room, the piece is visible through a doorway with a stone archway.The architecture of the room and surrounding rooms emphasizes the Gothic influence of the period and brings and pieces together nicely in that historical setting. In the room there are also other altarpieces from the same pre-Renaissance period.
The background of the piece was done primarily in the tooled gold. There is molding in the shape of a triple bubble above the heads of Madonna and Child. She is seated on a throne, Child on knee, and you can see by looking at her hand that the proportions are not quite right because it is larger than it should be. Her dress is detailed in gold. The golden halos around the heads are circular despite the direction in which the head is turned. The brush strokes for these halos are done circularly and contrast the brush strokes on the rest of the panel.
Most subject matter of art in the Proto-Renaissance was limited to religion and more specifically, Christianity. The paintings were not realistic, with images looking flat and somewhat abstract. This was due to the fact that priorities were to communicate the religious subject matter and not to critique naturalistic style. As I've mentioned, Lorenzetti's piece shares many similarities with Cimabue's and Giotto's pieces. During this time there was the beginnings of a naturalistic emphasis, but artists lacked the knowledge o…