Humanoid Demons Research Paper

Great Essays
David Davis
Prof. Stanley Weed
December 5th, 2017
The Presence of Humanoid Demons in Quattrocento Art
In Renaissance Italy, visual art served a variety of purposes that sometimes overlapped, depending on the specific piece, and the social context in which it was created. One such purpose was decoration, for both personal and public spaces, such as palaces, hospitals, and cathedrals. Another, was its role as a medium for patrons to display their intellectual and financial prowess, either through their patronage of Classically inspired works or the use of expensive materials in their commissions. Existing within a highly propagandistic society, art from this era also served as a method of ideological communication between the patron/artist
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When looking at art leading up to the beginnings of the Italian Renaissance, Tatai’s idea of the chaotic dragon and “its teriomorphic hybrid cognates” are on full display in works by Proto-Renaissance artists. For example, in the upper right-hand corner of Exorcism of the Demons at Arezzo (1297-1299) by Giotto di Bondone (Figure 1), a swarm of humanoid demons, all possessing bat-like wings and tails, are shown fleeing the scene per the demands of St. Francis. An example of a piece made closer to the fifteenth-century is Hell, Detail of the Greedy (1394) by Taddeo di Bartolo (Figure 2). In this painting, the demons tormenting the damned gluttons share just as many physical similarities with their prisoners as they do differences, and it seems as though an equal amount of time was spent painting the bodies of the demons and the …show more content…
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