Denise Budd on ‘Painting and the Period Eye’

Denise Budd giving a guest lecture ECLA of Bard

On 9 January, ECLA welcomed Professor Denise Budd (Rutgers University) for her lecture ‘Painting and the Period Eye’ on Florentine painting in the Renaissance.

Focusing on the transition from the Gothic to the Renaissance period, Professor Budd analyzed the sources and evolution of painters such as Giotto and Masaccio, presenting their work in comparison to that of their predecessors and teachers. Giotto’s paintings were further compared to those of Masaccio, whose innovations included the perception of space and a sharpening of space sensibility. Professor Budd also drew on the work of art historians Cennino Cennini and Alberti and their contributions to the understanding of the methods of Giotto and Masaccio.

Under Professsor Budd’s guidance the subsequent visit to Berlin’s Gemäldegalerie allowed students to view paintings discussed in the lecture, including Giotto’s ‘Death of the Virgin’. The Gemäldegalerie also presented the opportunity to consider the use of proto-perspective, emerging in the Sienese school of the fifteenth century in the work of Francesco di Giorgio and the use of the trompe l’œil method by Piero di Cosimo, a technique of depicting realist elements in order to create optical illusions.

Denise Budd received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2002, where she also taught. Her doctoral thesis was on Leonardo da Vinci and a reinterpretation of the documentary evidence of the first half of his career. She currently teaches at Rutgers University.

by Livia Marinescu (’08, Romania)

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