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Step 3: Punctuation and Logic

Exercise 1: Put capitals, hyphens, full stops and commas as needed in the following pieces of description; the number of sentences is indicated in brackets.

1. Giotto. The Epiphany. giotto of florence was the founder of renaissance painting this picture which shows the adoration of the magi in the foreground and the annunciation to the shepherds in the background belongs to the series of seven panels depicting the life of Christ when it was painted giotto was at the height of his powers and enjoyed an unparalleled reputation throughout italy the clearly organized space arranged by a stepped stage with the stable viewed from below, and the simplified shapes of the figures are typical of giotto's innovative naturalism as is the way in which the old king has removed his crown knelt down and impetuously lifted the Child from the manger (4)

2. Sandro Botticelli. Primavera. obscure layers of philosophical and literary meaning may exist without any diminution of beauty in the primavera painted for a young cousin of lorenzo the magnificent venus appears as goddess of love not just in the conventional sense but as lucretius apostrophised her goddess of all generative powers at the right at zephyrs touch flora is metamorphosed into the spring and scatters pink and white roses on the grass above blind cupid shoots a fiery dart at one of the dancing trio of graces she who has already pensively turned towards mercury and venus raises a hand as if to bless that union in a later picture the birth of venus the now nude goddess is blown half sadly to land and must lose her divine nakedness now that she comes among men (5)

3. Leonardo da Vinci. The Benois Madonna. the benois madonna sometimes called the madonna with a flower was painted around 1478 rejecting the traditional representation of the madonna leonardo created an exalted female figure full of terrestrial charm the smiling youthful madonna in the smart dress of a florentine townswoman is holding a flower in front of the child watching the still uncertain movements of the boy who is reaching out for the petals the mist sfumato typical of leonardos work lends the faces an unusual expressiveness the sturdy plump body of the boy modelled in chiaroscuro is evidence of the fact that the discoveries of leonardo the scientist aided leonardo the artist; it was not without cause that he called painting a science (5)

4. Leonardo da Vinci. The Litta Madonna. the theme of the glorification of man, of great emotions is felt even more strongly in the litta madonna which was painted in 1490-91 the sublime and poetic image combining physical and spiritual beauty embodies the renaissance ideal leonardo portrayed with wonderful skill the delicate body of the child the golden ringlets of his hair and the intent gaze turned towards the spectator the serene silhouette of the madonna stands out bodily against the dark background of the wall the bright openings of the windows, beyond which stretches a mountain landscape shrouded in a bluish haze are placed symmetrically at each side and balancing the composition create an illusion of space because of the perfection of formal arrangement characteristic of the high renaissance this work of leonardo evokes a feeling of tranquility calm and harmony (5)

5. Raphael. The Sistine Madonna. in his madonnas raphael can move from the intimate conception of a family group like the madonna della sedia where so many soft curves are fitted finally into the curved picture shape to the upright stately vision of the sistine madonna where the combination of grandeur and humanity is unique the curtains are drawn back the pope and st barbara sink into the clouds and an almost uncertain madonna is revealed clasping to her the staring child not yet assured enough to raise his hand in blessing there is no mystery no action and in the suffused glow from behind the madonna all forms are simplified like the popes tiara and the few sweeping folds of his cope (3)

Exercise 2: Single out the quotations (underlined parts) with proper punctuation marks.

  1. giotto is the first great creative personality of european painting he was remembered not only as artist but as a personality his ugly appearance and his witty remarks were duly recorded through him it was felt art came to life again when lorenzo de medici set up a bust on his tomb more than a hundred years after his death this was the claim giotto was made to make for himself in polizianos verse ille ego sum per quam pictura extinta revixit (4)

  2. at giottos death his style was inherited by no great man but was doomed to be duplicated in a weaker prettier way by the giotteschi too faithful followers of its externals giotto still holds the field said a commentator on dante in 1376 not until masaccio was giotto in fact to find a great heir and a worthy rival (3)

  3. it is not in sculpture or mosaic that northern european painting originated but rather in illuminated manuscripts meticulous detail remains a typical quality of northern art until the appearance in the seventeenth century of rubens michelangelos famous if not totally accurately recorded judgement reveals an Italian artists awareness of the very different standards existing in the north in flanders they paint with a view to external exactness (3)

  4. in one of his letters raphael revealed the essence of his method of creation to paint a beautiful woman i should have to see a large number of beautiful women; but as there are few beautiful women and few true judges i take as my guide a certain idea (1)

  5. michelangelos greatest genius lay in depictions of the human figure whether in marble or in paint vasari writes that this extraordinary man chose always to refuse to paint anything save the human body in its most beautifully proportioned and perfect forms (2)

Exercise 3: Arrange the sentences to make a paragraph.

  1. The gap between painting and sculpture was bridged in the work of the short-lived Masaccio (1401-1428), who for the first time achieved painted forms revealed in light proceeding from a distinct and recognizable source.It was not until the fifteenth century that all the arts began to turn systematically to Roman antiquity for their inspiration, so that ancient ideals were embodied in architecture and sculpture, combined with entirely original contemporary concepts. By the time of Petrarch in the fourteenth, Giotto had created a new pictorial style, blending elements derived from both Gothic and Byzantine sources with a fresh understanding of human life and character, a new narrative technique, and a new conception of form. Unanimously, the Italian artists of the Renaissance regarded him as the founder of their new vision. Painting was on its own because there was little ancient painting to be seen.

  2. The late fifteenth century saw the beginning of ominous social changes. Artistic currents were divided: Gothic was dead and forgotten, but so indeed was the monumental naturalism of Masaccio and his followers. A new, wealthy class had gathered around the Medici family, who ruled Florence from a palace crammed with works of art. The favorite artist of Lorenzo the Magnificent was not Botticelli but Antonio Pollaiuolo, painter, sculptor, metalworker, and engraver.

  3. Mannerists rejected most of the qualities that had been essential to the High Renaissance; the strange, the novel, the unexpected were preferred to the normative, the serene. Well before the Sack of Rome by the imperial army of Charles V in 1527, the harmony of the High Renaissance social order had been threatened. In response to these disruptions, a new style of art, known today as Mannerism, soon appeared. Florentine independence was at an end, and the republic survived in name only.

  4. But the art of the Renaissance, in Italy, at least, was mostly ordered by the citizens of republics, which had much in common with the city-states of ancient Greece. The merchants and banking classes, who were the patrons of Renaissance art, also poured their golden florins into the formation of libraries, which preserved in manuscript form the great works of ancient literature. As early as the fourteenth century a rebirth (renaissance) of antiquity had occurred in the form of humanism in scholarship and poetry. Medieval art had largely been commissioned by monarchs, by nobles, and - above all - by the Church, whose doctrines it expounded in form and color.

  5. Partly through its material splendor and partly through its position on lagoons in an environment of sea air, glittering water, and distant mountains, Venice moved in directions quite opposite to those of Florence - in fact, to an unprecedented understanding of color and light, brought to brilliance by such masters as Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese. Both the Gothic and the Byzantine lasted longer in Venice because of the city's trade with still-Gothic Germany and with the Byzantine Empire.

  6. Short-lived though the style was in central Italy - hardly more than twenty years - its greatest masters, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael, established enduring norms of grandeur, harmony, and unity. Social and political changes transforming Italy at the close of the fifteenth century and the beginning of the sixteenth placed new demands on the artist and fostered a new style, known today as the High Renaissance.

Exercise 4: Develop an outline and order the paragraphs into a text.

Exercise 5: Compile a stretch of text of your own: choose a paragraph or two and link them together according to your outline; supply a beginning and an end to the bulk; fit in a piece of description (see Exercise 1) to support the statements; think of a thesis statement to agree with your plan.