By John C. van Dyke
John Charles van Dyke (1856-1932) was once an American artwork historian and critic. He used to be born at New Brunswick, N. J., studied at Columbia, and for a few years in Europe. together with his booklet chronicling the heritage of portray from cave work to the fashionable period. absolutely illustrated.
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Additional resources for A Text-Book of the History of Painting (Illustrated Edition)
During the fourteenth century there was some Giotto influence felt—that painter having been at Padua working in the Arena Chapel. Later on there was a slight influence from Gentile da Fabriano and his fellow-worker Vittore Pisano, of Verona. But these influences seem to have died out and the real direction of the school in the early fifteenth century was given by Francesco Squarcione (1394-1474). He was an enlightened man, a student, a collector and an admirer of ancient sculpture, and though no great painter himself he taught an anatomical statuesque art, based on ancient marbles and nature, to many pupils.
Not the antique alone but the natural were being pried into by the spirit of inquiry. Botany, geology, astronomy, chemistry, medicine, anatomy, law, literature—nothing seemed to escape the keen eye of the time. Knowledge was being accumulated from every source, and the arts were all reflecting it. The influence of the newly discovered classic marbles upon painting was not so great as is usually supposed. The painters studied them, but did not imitate them. Occasionally in such men as Botticelli and Mantegna we see a following of sculpturesque example—a taking of details and even of whole figures—but the general effect of the antique marbles was to impress the painters with the idea that nature was at the bottom of it all.
It was scoffed at, scourged, persecuted, and, at one time, nearly exterminated. But its vitality was stronger than that of its persecutor, and when Rome declined, Christianity utilized the things that were Roman, while striving to live for ideas that were Christian. There was no revolt, no sudden change. The Christian idea made haste slowly, and at the start it was weighed down with many paganisms. The Christians themselves in all save religious faith, were Romans, and inherited Roman tastes, manners, and methods.