Volume 5, Number 5
New SegPlay®PC Patterns
There's two new SegPlay®PC pattern collections available this month.
The first set is Lady Liberty.
The Statue of Liberty is a massive sculpture located in New York Harbor. It was designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and is a gift to the United States from France. Dedicated in 1886, it has become an icon of liberty and freedom and a recognized landmark throughout the world. The 151 foot Lady Liberty holds a torch with her right hand and a tablet, symbolizing the law, in her left hand. Our set of Lady Liberty patterns are based on a wonderful set of photographs of the statue. Back dropped against blue skies, and wispy clouds, the patterns show the Statue of Liberty from many angles and various close-ups. We've also included a pattern of the Las Vegas replica of the statue.
The second new SegPlay®PC set available this month is Giotto di Bondone - Father of European Painting.
Giotto di Bondone (1266? - 1337) was an early Italian Renaissance Painter and Architect from Florence. Giotto made a radical break from the Byzantine (abstract - anti-naturalistic) style and brought more life to art. Giotto primarily painted Christian themes depicted in cycles and is best known for his frescos in various Chapels (Arene Chapel, Florence Cathedral, Assisi, Scrovegni). Our pattern set collection features many of his more familiar works including the Ognissanti Madonna, The Mourning of Christ, The Marriage at Cana, The Mourning of St. Francis, Crucifixion and Madonna and Child.
Giotto di Bondone - Father of European Painting
Work continues on our next generation version of SegPlay®PC. Plenty of new features and a great looking interface. Thanks for all the suggestions which we're trying to add in...we expect to share some of its features in more detail in the coming months
We've been posting many art related articles on our blog (segmation.wordpress.com) and also on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Segmation). Updated stories and comments are being made on a nearly daily basis now. We're also throwing in some hints about upcoming pattern sets. Pay us a visit, become our friend, and feel free to follow us there.
Our website has still been going through a few changes - mostly improving the messaging, fixing broken links, and sprucing up its look in a few places.
We're always looking for more appealing art pieces for our SegPlay®PC paint by number collection. If you are an aspiring artist, illustrator, or photographer and am interested in collaborating on a pattern set, drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope you enjoyed reading this newsletter. Please feel free to pass it on to a friend or colleague. If you have any comments or suggestions about this newsletter, please drop us an email to: email@example.com.
Happy painting...looking forward to summer!
-Mark & Beth
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Artist Of The Month:|
Giotto di Bondone - Father of European Painting
Giotto di Bondone (c. 1267 - 1337), known simply as Giotto, was a Florentine painter and architect. He is now considered the first great master of the Italian Renaissance and the founder of modern European painting. Giotto's natural and realistic style broke away from the symbolism of Byzantine art and was the catalyst that marked the start of the Renaissance.
Giotto was born in a small hamlet north of Florence. His father was a farmer and Giotto probably spent much of his youth as a shepherd. According to art historian Giorgio Vasari, the renowned Florentine artist, Cimabue, who was the last great painter in the Byzantine style, discovered the young Giotto drawing pictures of sheep on a rock. Cimabue was so impressed by the young boy's talent that he immediately took him on as an apprentice. That story may be apocryphal but by around 1280 Giotto was working in Florence and by 1312 he was a member of the Florentine Guild of doctors and apothecaries, a guild that also included painters. He traveled to Rome with Cimabue and may well have worked on some of the master's commissions.
Giotto signed his name to just three paintings. All other attributions to him are speculative and the unresolved controversy has raged through the art world for over a hundred years. Nevertheless, his work stands at the brink of a new age in art. He concentrated on representing human emotions, people in everyday situations, and capturing the human experience through his art. Although he lacked the technical knowledge of perspective, he created a convincing three-dimensional pictorial space. His genius was immediately recognized by his contemporaries; he was lauded by great philosophers, writers and thinkers of his day, among them Dante and Boccaccio. Under Giotto's leadership the old, stylized Byzantine art forms slowly disappeared from Florence, and later from other Italian cities. His freedom of expression influenced artists of the early and high Renaissance, and changed the course of European painting.
One of Giotto's finest works is the series of frescoes painted 1304-1305 for the Scrovegni chapel in Padua, usually known as the Arena Chapel. The 37 scenes depict the lives of Christ and the Virgin Mary and are considered to be one of the masterpieces of the Early Renaissance. The figures in his paintings interact, gossip, and look at each other.
From 1306 to 1311 Giotto was in Assisi where some art historians believe he painted the fresco cycle of the Life of St. Francis. Although the style of the frescoes is realistic and breaks away from the Byzantine stylization, the controversy is caused by the stylistic differences between the St. Francis and Arena Chapel frescoes. Documents that could have proved the origin of the commissions were destroyed by Napoleon's troops when they occupied the town in the early 19th century.
Giotto received commissions from princes and high officials of the church in Florence, Naples and Rome. Most scholars agree that he painted the frescoes in the Church of the Santa Croce in Florence and although he never signed the Ognissanti Madonna altarpiece, the Florentine work is universally recognized as being by him. It is known that Giotto was in Florence from 1314-1327 and the large panel painting depicting the Virgin was painted around 1310. The face of the Virgin is so expressive that it may well have been painted using a live model.
Towards the end of his life, Giotto was assigned to build the Campanile of the Florence Cathedral. In 1334 he was named chief architect and, although the Campanile is known as "Giotto's Tower," it was probably not built to his design specifications.
Giotto died in January, 1337. Even his burial place is surrounded by mystery. Vasari believed he was buried in the Cathedral of Florence, while other scholars claimed he was buried in the Church of Santa Reparata. But Giotto left an artistic legacy that could not be ignored. His disciples, Bernardo Daddi and Taddeo Gaddi continued in the master's tradition and, a century later, the artistic torch lit by Giotto was passed on to Michelangelo and Raphael, the great masters of the High Renaissance.
You can find a large collection of Giotto di Bondone patterns to use with SegPlay®PC  here.
Art in the News:
Researchers Hunt for Mona Lisa Model's Bones
The hunt is on for the tomb of Lisa Gherardini, the Renaissance lady widely believed to have modeled for Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.
Italian researchers have been using a geo-radar device in their hunt for her remains. The technology allows them to visualize what lies underneath the area they want to excavate. The Associated Press reports that the researchers hope to excavate bones from the site of the Florentine convent where Lisa Gherardini is thought to have been buried, then carbon-date them and extract DNA, which they will compare with that of her descendants. They are hoping to find skull fragments so that they can attempt to reconstruct her face and see if her features match those of the Mona Lisa.
Taiwan and China Reunite Torn Painting
Taiwan holds one half of the painting and China owns the other. Now, the two pieces of Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains by Chinese landscape painter Huang Gong Wang are going to be reunited for the first time in centuries in an exhibition at the Taipei Palace Museum, according to the Associated Press.
The two halves of the 20-foot long, 660-year old Chinese masterpiece were separated during the Chinese civil war and the main portion remained in Taiwan. The painting was torn around 300 years ago by its owner, who tried to burn it as he was dying. It was saved by one of the man's relatives and the two halves have been kept in separate locations ever since.
Outside the Lines
When Pope Boniface VIII asked Giotto for a sample of his work, the master dipped his brush in red paint and drew a perfect circle in one continuous stroke.
Renaissance master Raphael died on his birthday. He was aged 37.
Leonardo da Vinci was the first person to discover that the age of a tree is revealed by the number of rings in the cross-section of its trunk.