Sant'Ansano Altarpiece

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Sant'Ansano Altarpiece, Simone Martini 1333

Starting Renaissance Art History, I thought that I would never fully appreciate how much time and effort an artist put into his or her paintings. Not even two weeks into class when I first saw this painting, I immediately fell in love with the colors and story it portrays. Not being a very religious person, I was not sure if I would enjoy paintings such as this one, but I was proven wrong.

The Sant'Ansano Altarpiece, painted by Simone Martini around 1333 depicts Angel Gabriel giving the Virgin Mary the news that she will be having a child soon. The annoyed look on her face and the words spewing out of Gabriel's mouth make this painting even more beautiful. However, Martini's technique and gentleness in this painting brings all the lines and color together harmoniously. 

Another aspect of this painting comes with the sense that each person is acting. From Mary's expression of surprise and fear to Gabriel leaning down on one knee, informing Mary with literal words flowing from his mouth to create drama for the Virgin all create a scene. However, all the movement in his painting stresses elegance, creating a sort of sophistication throughout this masterpiece. Also keeping traditions, Martini uses a bright gold for the background and uses blue for Mary's robe and white lilies. The Virgin sits in a throne, her flowers in a vase, and the detailed floors suggests an attempt to make a real space for the people to be in, instead of the Byzantine ways of one-dimension.  

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