In researching for my upcoming classes I’ve found myself intentionally leaving out the old dudes. You know, the italian boys club along with their byzantine cohorts — whose elaborate surnames inspired the collective naming of all four teenage mutant ninja turtles. And yet for me, somehow, they seem to prove undeniably relevant to contemporary picture-making (or atleast the process of discovering the intrinsic properties of composition and color). Masaccio and Botticelli in particular have been recurrently on my radar. While the biblical and mythological narratives they tend to illustrate are compelling, it is the push-pull of foreground and background elements in their compositions that is perhaps most compelling. Consciously or otherwise, both of these guys have a wonderful way of creating dynamic spatial relationships through their implementation of color and highly-contrast areas wherein intensely mottled fields of flesh bump up against sharp delineations color. Call me old fashioned, but I still get goosebumps when I look at these pictures.. Piero della Franseca and Giovanni Bellini too!.