During the 15th century, Florence, Italy stood as the epicenter of the Italian Renaissance, a flourishing period of artistic brilliance. As a prosperous city deeply influenced by the Roman Catholic Church, Florence became a hub for renowned artists who created masterpieces that endure to this day. Among the prominent subjects depicted in their works were religious figures, notably the Madonna and Child, which can be admired in the city’s churches and museums.
While each Florentine artist possessed their own distinctive technique, their styles, and themes often intertwined. Naturalism or realism emerged as the prevailing artistic style, emphasizing the creation of lifelike paintings and sculptures characterized by meticulous detail and precision.
The primary medium utilized by painters in the 15th century was egg tempera applied to wooden panels. This paint was crafted by blending powdered pigments with egg yolk, occasionally incorporating white wine or vinegar. Notably, the distinct odor of egg tempera lingered even after the painting had dried completely. To counter this, many artists mixed myrrh, a fragrant resin, with their paints to mask the scent.
The creation of egg tempera required exceptional skill, and it demanded a masterful artist to navigate its intricacies. However, due to the medium’s durability, the awe-inspiring works of several renowned artists have survived, providing an intimate glimpse into the evolution of Renaissance art. These enduring masterpieces continue to captivate and inspire viewers, offering a direct connection to the artistic progression of that remarkable era.