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The introduction of Mary into the temple

Painting, 1430-th , 420×335 cm

Description of the artwork «The introduction of Mary into the temple»

"The introduction of Mary in the temple" one fresco cycle by Paolo Uccello executed for the chapel of the Assunta of the Cathedral of Prato, the second most important and biggest city of Tuscany, after Florence, where the artist was born.

The theme of the mural is taken not from Scripture, but from the later Apocrypha. They say that the wife-the righteous Joachim and Anna, to old age while remaining childless, promised to dedicate her child, if any, they will be sent to God. And so it was, the couple had a daughter, Maria. At the age of 3 years the girl was brought to the temple in Jerusalem, where she will live until her betrothed with the carpenter Joseph.

The moment when little Mary first runs up the steps of the Temple, we see in the fresco by Uccello. On the right remained standing, her parents are elderly Joachim and Anna. They reverently folded their hands and mentally say goodbye to Maria. Ahead at the top, meeting the virgin, welcome hands the high priest Zechariah.

The founder of art history, Giorgio Vasari among many (not always justified) claims to the painting style Uccello rebukes him again and for some "fantastic house".

Apparently, "the Introduction of Mary into the temple" falls under this reproach Vasari. All the architectural objects depicted in the fresco, almost have nothing to do with reality. Fantasy are surprisingly soft, caramel colors –purple color brick wall, a lemon color steps and railings, plohovato-pastel blue and deep mustard color of the clothes of the characters. They all, of course, a fantasy game. Probably, such an extraordinary and elegant colors are meant to additionally emphasize the extraordinary event.

Modern food trends Prerenaissance demanded more close image to reality. But the artist obstinately inclined towards the Gothic manner with its planar interpretations volume unambiguous and clear colors. This is well illustrated by the frescoes of Prato.

The only thing that brought the wizard with prerenaissance is the use of linear perspective. As we know, Paolo Uccello was devoted zealously to the study of life (see the biography of the artist in Archive). The reflection of his studies on prospective reduction of the figures on the plane can also be found in the song "the introduction of Mary into the temple".

It is easy to see that all the figures in the fresco inscribed in a conditional triangle. Those that are at its base, is a large, and those placed at the top, is small, as it is written in the required perspective shortening. Now this seems like a basic thing, known to every student, but for its time, precisely calculated perspective of the reduction of the figures was a real technical breakthrough.

Author: Anna Yesterday
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Religious scene

Style of art: Renaissance

Technique: Fresco

Date of creation: 1430-th

Size: 420×335 cm

Artwork in selections: 7 selections