Proto-Renaissance

Though French Gothic influences seeped into the Italian peninsula during this period, it is clear that native artists sought to retain their traditional heritage. Pointed arches are incorporated into cathedral designs, for example; however, large stained glass windows, side aisles and massive west works are often missing.

 

Italian painters and sculptors appear to be more influenced by Gothic trends than their architectural counterparts. Painted works incorporate softer lines and highlights, creating more naturalistic and three-dimensional figures. Sculpted figures are carved in the Classical manner, with doughy faces and natural proportions, some even swaying to fit appropriately into their niches. This trend was especially prominent in Northern Italy, where wealthy merchants and members of the nobility sought French-inspired works to flaunt their wealth and status.