Art Trends in the Renaissance

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Art Trends in the Renaissance

The Renaissance was the first period in human history where people were really aware of their existence in relationship to the past. The people of the medieval era viewed everything in terms of the Bible. They felt that history was created in heaven. The people of the Renaissance were much more enlightened, they divided the past according to human achievement rather than the divine plan of salvation. This enlightenment came from an idea called Humanism. Humanism is an idea that puts importance on human life and experience while on earth rather than putting emphasis on the afterlife. With these newfound ideas the people of the Renaissance were able to look at the ancient cultures of the Greeks and Romans as a time when culture was thriving and civilization was at its peak. Likewise, they saw the Middle Ages as a time when civilization had fallen of the charts and nothing worthwhile was being accomplished. The Renaissance people studied the intellectual and artistic undertakings of the Greeks and Romans and hoped to surpass them.

One of the first things to note about the artists of the Renaissance was their elevated social status. During the Dark Ages artists had very little respect and were seen merely as craftsmen who dealt in mechanical arts. With the forthcoming of the Renaissance artists were suddenly seen as scholars. During the Renaissance people made the realization that art required creative thought and insight on top of the ability to perform the mechanical arts. This awareness allowed artists to be revered at the same level as scholars, poets, and philosophers.

There was a renewed interest in the human form during the Renaissance as well. Again, this stems from the interest in ancient Greek and Roman art as well as the development of humanism. Sculptures of the human form from the Greek Hellenistic period of art focused on realism, expressiveness, pose, and drapery. Renaissance artists took it a step further and...
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