Secular and Individualisticitalian Renaissance

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The renaissance was a mark of change. Revolutionary ideas were beginning to form, wars were ending, peasants were becoming wealthy aristocrats, it was a time of rebirth. Thanks to the leading families, artists and scholars alike were getting more recognition and notoriety from the general public and their paintings and writings were being admired and criticized throughout Italy. However, during this time of prosperity and excitement, there was also the feeling of despair amongst the people. Because of the church’s questionable morals and ethics, a feeling of animosity was spreading. Secular ideals were becoming more and more common throughout Italy. The growing patrician society led to a more self centered population with individualistic ideals. The expanding interest in art, literature, and virtuous principles helped immensely in the spread of secular and individualistic ideals during the Italian Renaissance. One of the most obvious ways that secularism and individualism were spread was through what the renaissance was perhaps the most famous for; through art. The city-states of Northern Italy, such as Florence, Milan, Genoa, and Sienna, were it competition with each other. One of the ways to flaunt their wealth was to sponsor or give patronage to an aspiring artist. Some of these painters were more blatantly secular than others, for example, Leonardo da Vinci’s Madonna of the Rocks depicts baby Jesus and Mary without halos, showing a more realistic and secular point of view. With the generous funding given to sponsored artists, they were allowed more time to focus on painting and sculpture rather than work. This gave them the opportunity to develop new techniques and recognize the different structures and nuances of each unique face and body. Because of this, portraits became more popular with the rich and elite. Another method of spreading the secular and individualistic attitude throughout the Italian renaissance was through song. Composing music was a new...
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