Tondo (art)

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Tondo by Andrea della Robbia National gallery in washington d.c., andrea della robbia, madonna and child with cherubin, 1485 01.JPG
Tondo by Andrea della Robbia
Madonna of the Pomegranate c. 1487 by Sandro Botticelli, tempera on panel, 143.5 cm diameter (Uffizi) Madonna della Melagrana (Botticelli).png
Madonna of the Pomegranate c. 1487 by Sandro Botticelli, tempera on panel, 143.5 cm diameter (Uffizi)
Taddei Tondo, a relief sculpture by Michelangelo in the Royal Academy, London Taddei Tondo.JPG
Taddei Tondo , a relief sculpture by Michelangelo in the Royal Academy, London
Christ by Alfred Lange in the church of Saint Mary, Szprotawa (a copy of Rafael Santi's image from 1899 from the Sanssouci gallery) Copy of Raphael Santi CHRISTUS in the church of Maria in Szprotawa Poland.jpg
Christ by Alfred Lange in the church of Saint Mary, Szprotawa (a copy of Rafael Santi's image from 1899 from the Sanssouci gallery)

A tondo (plural "tondi" or "tondos") is a Renaissance term for a circular work of art, either a painting or a sculpture. The word derives from the Italian rotondo, "round." The term is usually not used in English for small round paintings, but only those over about 60 cm (two feet) in diameter, thus excluding many round portrait miniatures – for sculpture the threshold is rather lower.

Contents

A circular or oval relief sculpture is also called a roundel. [1]

History

Artists have created tondi since Greek antiquity. The circular paintings in the centre of painted vases of that period are known as tondi, and the inside of the broad low winecup called a kylix also lent itself to circular enframed compositions. [2] The style was revived in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, particularly in Italy, where it may have developed from the smaller desco da parto or birthing tray. [3] Since then it has been less common. In Ford Madox Brown's painting The Last of England , the ship's wire railing curving round the figures helps enclose the composition within its tondo shape.

The background scene is consolidated or omitted, and to a large extent, unimportant. While the background may be visible in tondo paintings, in tondo relief carvings the background is not seen. Andrea della Robbia and other members of his family created glazed terracotta tondi that were often framed in a wreath of fruit and leaves and which were intended for immuring in a stuccoed wall. In Brunelleschi's Hospital of the Innocents, Florence, 1421–24, Andrea della Robbia provided glazed terracotta babes in swaddling clothes in tondos with plain blue backgrounds to be set in the spandrels of the arches.

In the sixteenth century the painterly style of istoriato decoration for maiolica wares was applied to large circular dishes (see also charger).

The tondo has also been used as a design element in architecture since the Renaissance; it may serve centred in the gable-end of a pediment or under the round-headed arch that was revived in the fifteenth century.

Although the earliest true Renaissance, or late Gothic painted tondo is Burgundian, from Champmol (of a Pietá by Jean Malouel of 1400–1415, now in the Louvre), the tondo became fashionable in 15th-century Florence, with Botticelli painting many examples, both Madonnas and narrative scenes. Michelangelo employed the circular tondo for several compositions, both painted and sculpted, including The Holy Family with the infant St. John the Baptist, the Doni Tondo at the Uffizi, [4] as did Raphael.

The infrequently-encountered synonym rondo [5] much more usually refers to a musical form.

Examples

See also

Related Research Articles

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Luca della Robbia

Luca della Robbia was an Italian sculptor from Florence. Della Robbia is noted for his colorful, tin-glazed terracotta statuary, a technique which he invented and passed on to his nephew Andrea della Robbia and great-nephews Giovanni della Robbia and Girolamo della Robbia. Though a leading sculptor in stone, he worked primarily in terracotta after developing his technique in the early 1440s. His large workshop produced both cheaper works cast from molds in multiple versions, and more expensive one-off individually modeled pieces.

<i>Adoration of the Magi</i> (Leonardo) Unfinished painting by Leonardo da Vinci

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<i>Doni Tondo</i>

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Giovanni Francesco Rustici

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Giovanni della Robbia

Giovanni della Robbia (1469–1529) was an Italian Renaissance ceramic artist.

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Themes in Italian Renaissance painting

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Cartouche (design)

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<i>Virgin and Child with the Infant St. John the Baptist</i> (Botticelli)

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<i>Adoration of the Magi</i> (Andrea della Robbia)

This depiction of the Adoration of the Magi is an altarpiece by Florentine sculptor Andrea della Robbia (1435–1525). Andrea inherited the family workshop from his famous uncle, Luca della Robbia, who had developed the technique of applying tin glazes, similar to those used by potters, to terracotta to produce sculptures that were colourful, durable and relatively cheap. Larger sculptures, such as this example which dates to about 1500–1510, were made in sections in order to fit into the kiln for firing.

<i>Taddei Tondo</i>

The Taddei Tondo or The Virgin and Child with the Infant St John is a marble relief tondo of the Madonna and Child and the infant Saint John the Baptist, by the Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti. It is in the permanent collection of the Royal Academy of Arts in London, it is the only marble sculpture by Michelangelo in Great Britain. A "perfect demonstration" of his carving technique, the work delivers a "powerful emotional and narrative punch".

<i>Adoration of the Magi</i> (Fra Angelico and Filippo Lippi)

The Adoration of the Magi is a tondo, or circular painting, of the Adoration of the Magi assumed to be that recorded in 1492 in the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence as by Fra Angelico. It dates from the mid-15th century and is now in the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Most art historians think that Filippo Lippi painted more of the original work, and that it was added to some years after by other artists, as well as including work by assistants in the workshops of both the original masters. It has been known as the Washington Tondo and Cook Tondo after a former owner, and this latter name in particular continues to be used over 50 years after the painting left the Cook collection.

<i>The Lady of Shalott</i> (William Holman Hunt) Painting by William Holman Hunt

The Lady of Shalott is an oil painting by William Holman Hunt, made c. 1888-1905, and depicting a scene from Tennyson's 1833 poem, "The Lady of Shalott". The painting is held by the Wadsworth Atheneum, in Hartford, Connecticut. A smaller version is held by the Manchester Art Gallery.

References

  1. Wyke, Terry; Cocks, Harry (2004). Public Sculpture of Greater Manchester. Liverpool University. p. 434. ISBN   978-0-85323-567-5. roundel: circular or oval frame within which a relief sculpture may be situated
  2. E. F. van der Grinten, On the Composition of the Medallions in the Interiors of Greek Black- and Red-Figured Kylixes. Amsterdam 1966
  3. "The Adoration of the Kings, about 1470-5, Sandro Botticelli", National Gallery
  4. "Michelangelo, The Doni Tondo".
  5. Artlex.com Archived 2005-04-24 at the Wayback Machine .

Further reading