Medieval vs. Renaissance Art
The Medieval Art period, or Middle Ages, covers almost 1000 years of human history and art. It began around 400 AD, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and continued until the advent of the Early Renaissance. Medieval art is closely connected with religion and the beliefs that constituted the foundation of European society during this time. The church was the central institution that wielded vast amounts of political and economic power. The church was the main patron of art at this time, and this is reflected in the subject matter of works of this period. There were no notions of real-life techniques and proportion. Figures, which were more prominent, were drawn larger than the others. All figures are motionless, they sit or stand and there are no attempts to depict movement. There is little in the way of nude bodies, erotic scenes and sexual connotations. People were painted with stoic, serious expressions; the lack of emotions was obvious. Pictures were not voluminous; they were flat and stable. The background was painted with one color. Artists used ordinary basic colors. Paintings weren’t very realistic, but the artists did not necessarily want them to be so. The art was treated as the means of connection with God, and the main purpose of it was to foster the spiritual development of the people. The Early Renaissance starts in Italy in fourteenth century AD due to a number of reasons. According to Jim Lane, perhaps the biggest factor contributing to the rise of the Renaissance was money. He states “when it became economically feasible to enclose an entire city in fortress walls, then those with money could begin to relax and enjoy it, which meant a craving for beauty that meant art. The city of Florence, Italy, is a classic example“(Lane, 1998). The church was no longer the only institution with the resources to commission works of art. Religion was not able to serve as the only reason for creativity any more. While...
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