A Survey of Renaissance Art

Topics: Renaissance, Middle Ages, Italy Pages: 7 (2201 words) Published: October 22, 2010
A Survey of Renaissance Art

What are the characteristics of the Renaissance are reflected in its art?

These are the characteristics of Renaissance art:-

Classicism: The artists of the early renaissance period believed that the art can't remain static; it should develop and move forward. For this, Roman and Greek classical styles in art, literature and architecture were studied. The artists of early renaissance examined the light, color and space techniques used by the ancient Greek and Roman artists. They used the successful creative processes of the ancient period artists to create a new and modern art form. The ancient past was now viewed as past, to be admired and imitated, but not to be revived. It asserted the classical style based on measure and proportion. Paintings shows reference to ancient Greece (mythological figures), Rome (especially architecture structures) and as well as Christianity (biblical figures) etc.

Humanism: The faith in human intelligence and rationality, the reverence for inherent human beauty, the belief in human perfectibility, and the glorification of the human spirit. This is shown by the idealisation of the human body, mind, and spirit in nude human form, emotional facial expressions, dramatic human settings, etc. The high Renaissance period focus on painting human anatomy for example, Michelangelo carved the statue of Moses, he included veins and muscles in the arms and legs. Another example is the "Vitruvian Man" painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, which studies the ideal proportions of a male figure. High Renaissance art focused on portraying the humans in their most natural form. Nudes were painted beautifully and aesthetically. Artists perfected the art of facial expressions. Leonardo Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" and the "Last Supper" are a good example of this. These artists advocated the philosophy of Humanism through their art works. Humanists believed that humanity is unparalleled as it connects the mortal world with the spiritual world. Human welfare and human values like secularism were heavily promoted. People began to focus on self improvement and started doing things according to their likings.

Individualism: The appreciation of the individual worth of each human being was shown through artists signing of paintings, the individuality of each face, or the distinguishing individuality shown in every portrait.

Secularism: Renaissance thinkers sought to make mankind and the world around them the center of the universe. It is the understanding of humanism that leads to the idea of secularism. Secularism actually focuses the understanding of all things separate from religious thought (aesthetic view). The celebration and importance of everyday life was shown through scenes showing a new importance on life through such things as money, fine clothes or anything acquired through wealth. Showing enjoyable human activities such as dancing, eating, etc.

Realism: Unlike the artists of the medieval period, who painted heavenly creatures, the focus of the artists shifted to the human body. Realistic expressions were given to the human figures, be it in painting, architecture or sculpture, and the concept came to be known as Realism. Painters like the famous Masaccio still painted religious themes, but the saints in the paintings wore common people's clothes and had natural expressions. The artworks of early Renaissance depicted people carrying on with their everyday activities like eating, dancing, etc. This attention to detail is made through observance of the real world shown through the use of new techniques in painting such as linear perspective, atmospheric perspective, use of light and shadow, etc

Mannerism: From 1525 to 1600 (the late Renaissance), concentrated more on style or manner and less on the substance. There was no newness in the Italian art as the artists of this period only wanted to outdo the artists of the high renaissance period. Mannerists used loud...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Renaissance Art Essay
  • Renaissance Art Essay
  • Renaissance Art Essay
  • Essay about Art Renaissance Questions
  • Essay on Medieval vs. Renaissance Art
  • Renaissance Art Essay
  • Renaissance Art Essay
  • Essay on Renaissance Art

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free