It was telling stories to people who couldn't read, imagining the unimaginable, and getting in touch with religious feelings that were deep and Catholic. He has been voted Critic of the Year twice by the. It was painted for the town church but an earthquake knocked it down. I did felt nervous about the big case on the wall episode, but all of it was about the programmer's being hasty doing his thing intimate and timely I suppose. But this is what we've come here to look at - Piero's Madonna of Senigallia. But, of course, it was also a tremendous era for sculpture. Remember earlier in the film we were looking at baby Jesuses in art and why they are so ugly? That's purgatory, where the world's lesser sinners run off their sins, like naughty schoolboys running round the football pitch.
This was a period full of war, confusion and darkness, which was captured perfectly in the art of Leonardo, Bosch, Arcimboldo, Palissy, the Italian Mannerists and El Greco. The whole room is judging us and terrifying us with the consequences of our sins. Most of the time Italian art wasn't reviving the Greeks, it wasn't inventing modern thought. Christ as an angel sending lines of pain from heaven. Because Piero's Madonnas are so noble and lovely, I worry that I may be painting too sunny a picture for you here of the essential drives of the Italian Renaissance.
In 1482, he moved to Florence, where his first task was to teach logic and ethics to the San Marco novices. And as usual we had unnecessary uplifting music to whip up excitement. But in art, it can. Look at the size of that. According to Giorgio Vasari, the first art historian, the Renaissance was centred on a revival of interest in classical art that began and flourished in Italy. These are godless times, so the chances are you don't know as much about it as people used to. Like the sun rising in the east.
And the reason Torrigiano can be as convincing as this is because this isn't made out of marble, it is made out of terracotta, clay, which you can mould and shape and paint with so much more detail. It's way ahead of its time. And the Madonna herself, she was only finished in 1462 when, as you can see, he was at his peak. Michelangelo had been taking the mickey out of Torrigiano, and Torrigiano snapped and punched him in the nose. A quick mumble from the narrator will not suffice.
Quite informative and as much humaine the way the programmer applies while rendering historical aspects of artistic creativity. He assumed we all blindly agreed with that second-rate painter but potent myth-maker Vasari born in Arezzo, lived in Florence , who, in his 1550 biographical three-volume Lives of the Artists, set out the case for the innovative supremacy of contemporary Italian art — the Renaissance. The show was inspired during his creation of the series The Sculpture Diaries, a three-part series on sculpture around the world, which was first aired on 31 August 2008 on Channel 4. So far in this series, we've talked mostly about paintings. This wonderfully stringy and wiry body of the old St Jerome as he beats himself penitentially with a rock. Or as we used to call it, the Orient. Having studied so many of the paintings we only got a few seconds to see on screen, I agree it is frustrating, but today we have the wonders of Google Images to see any painting in huge detail whenever we want.
It's as if pregnancy is just too real, too biological, to fit with the image of the Virgin Mary. And, yes, Mary is a bit young for her age, but this extra youth adds a note of fragility to the moment and stokes up the tenderness of the mother-son relationship. The young Januszczak attended , a school for the children of Polish refugees which the had set up at ,. When people go on about the pioneering art of Giotto, they talk about the new solidity of his figures, the classical influences at work on his anatomies, this new naturalism of his landscapes. He presides over a room filled with trepidation and guilt. The programme was made famous when an apparently drunk swore at the other participants and left after ten minutes. It's like a steam roller of fear passing over you, a typhoon of guilt, trepidation and anxiety blowing through the Vatican.
And it's certainly getting more secular. What a strange storyline that is. The Northern Renaissance invented oil paint, when those pesky Italians just did frescoes; and they also invented the depiction of genuine human emotion, expressed with the utmost skill in idioms of potent realism. In this inventive fresco by Domenico di Michelino, painted in 1465, the giant Dante looms over Florence. It's the moment when Jesus, risen from the dead, comes back to earth after the crucifixion. It's not about regaining the civilisation of the Greeks or quoting the classical world. Against music, dancing and licentiousness.
Not here, at least, in San Marco, where the entire convent is filled with the paintings of a Dominican genius they called Fra Giovanni Angelico - the Angelic Brother John. While there were certainly a few aesthetic influences from classical art, the majority of Italian painting and sculpture in the 14th and 15th centuries was created to inspire devotion, especially in the work of Piero della Francesca, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael and Fra Angelico. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3. Because terracotta - burnt clay - is such unglamorous stuff. And the reason why everyone up there is so frightened is made clear by Michelangelo on the far wall. And if you can do that, that's an enormous power.
It made me want to revisit Venice and look that bit closer; at the glass, the silk and yep, the tits. Now, how do you paint that? He was also taking on the past. Because they all point to the east, to the rising sun. So the pieta was a test that only the greatest could pass. All the frantic flagellation that went on here seems so far away from the delicate moods of Fra Angelico.
And the same can be said of a lot of Renaissance babies. But England didn't work out for him either, and he ended up in Spain, where he died in prison, destitute and forgotten. Not just in the Renaissance, but any time. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too. It was taken over in 1435 by a religious order called the Dominicans. The sun coming up over Assisi.