Italian Renaissance and Ideals of the Time

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Jacob Seifert
AP Euro
9 September 2012
The Italian renaissance, the first of two renaissances, brought in new ideas to the western world along with the commonly thought of art. The ideas are presented in the art and it’s often from the artists who were leading the charge in the new ways of thinking. Humanism and Secularism were both heavily present in the art of Michelangelo, Masaccio, Raphael, Botticelli, and Brunelleschi. Their art was reflective of the influx of new thinkers and the decline in wholesale trust in religion being the one and only truth. Whether it is Humanism where you are all about the human experience and how man rises above the rest or Secularism where you are simply straying from the church, these men followed their beliefs and put them in art. The Humanism view of man in art can best be displayed in the three ideals of the human body, emotion, and achievement. The idea that man and not God was the one with the ability to decide his own fate was a revolutionary idea to the time and it was taken with full faith by the strongest minds. The presentation of art with nudity had not been seen since classical times until that point. The greatest piece of art that is a look at the human body in its full, and also possibly the greatest work of art period, is Michelangelo’s statue David. The detail that went into the entire body on one slab of marble is incredible but with all of that it differs from the other David statues because of its nudity. Michelangelo was not afraid to show the entire body and he does it in a way that does not detract from the statue nor makes it the focal point. He simply presents to you a man in his full. The Expulsion from Paradise by Masaccio is a perfect look at human emotion. It shows Adam and Eve being removed from Eden and sent to work the world as man. It has the main humanism idea in, that they are now sent to achieve on their own as humans. The views of human achievement are also heavily prevalent in the...
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