Greek Influence on Renaissance

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The Renaissance was born in Italy where people were literally surrounded with Greek and Roman civilization and architectural ruins, therefore artwork was easy to find. The term “renaissance” means rebirth, and this period was the revival of classical Greek and Roman civilizations. Renaissance artists such as Ghiberti, Donatello, and Raphael have made well-known art of Ancient Greek influence.

Lorenzo Ghiberti’s art on the Florence Baptistery doors and three saint statues are prime examples of classical Greek inspiration. Michelangelo eventually named Ghiberti’s doors the Gates of Paradise. The Gates of Paradise and three statues are made of bronze, the same medium the Greeks used for their statues. Like the Greeks whose art focus was on mythological gods, Ghiberti’s door panels are made of biblical characters and scenes. His statues are made with the idealistic form for a religious figure. This includes the perfect posture, features, and folding in wardrobe, which we may see as unnatural. “Relief” is a Latin term for raise. This style raises the art while its background is left behind, forming a 3-D sculpture. The narrative relief-style of the Gates of Paradise show influence of classical sculpture in the figure’s movement and background. Even the architecture within the background buildings of the panels demonstrates classical influence.

Donatello and Michelangelo created different versions of the statue of David Renaissance. While both are unique, they share the same Greek influence. David is a biblical hero whose fame came from sleighing Goliath. Donatello’s David is made of bronze while Michelangelo’s is made of marble, both mediums used by classic civilizations. Ancient Greeks are known for the idealism behind their art, especially in nude sculptures. Idealism copies nature but with the notion of perfection. Idealistic art depicts both physical and spiritual perfection. This gave sculptures of man a god-like appearance with a perfect nude body....
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