During the 14th century, when the beginning of the Renaissance took place, Florence was one of the main political, economic, and artistic cities in Europe. The Black Death, the plague that reduced the population of Florence, and the difficulties Florence encountered by this time explain the heavy influence of gothic style in architecture and the elegance found in every artwork created in this era. Florence was one of the top European cities when it came to painting, because it had the greatest school of painting where many important artists assisted. Florence, throughout the years, has always been an important influence in history and art. Even though many artists have a vast aspiration for art, each artist possesses his own criteria and methods that they acquired during the time in which they lived. Artists in Italy from the 1400s throughout 1900s shared many common techniques and skills that were characterized by their era. This period brings a new perspective of life to the European countries in the early fourteenth-century. By this time, people in Italy thought that a new and contemporary era had begun with a new style in painting and architecture and a new evolution in music, science, philosophy, and literature as well. Lorenzo di Credi, is an Italian painter who belonged to the Renaissance period of the 1400s. Lorenzo di Credi, who lived in Florence, was learning about this new era that had a huge impact in everyone’s life. This new era had an advanced development in society and a rise of civic culture. A new sense of realism in art, new discoveries in the material world, and new more joyous vision of the world around them were taking place during the era. The Renaissance influenced the social, economic, spiritual, scientific, and religious aspect of Italy. Lorenzo, who started to have a special interest in art when he was in Florence by the 1450s, was already starting to produce his own paintings. When Lorenzo started his vocation as an artist, he always had a special interest in portraits. “He is known primarily for his devotional paintings, although he was also much in demand as a portrait painter and was a sensitive draughtsman.” Lorenzo also started painting in oil, which was a new technique that arose in the Renaissance period. This new technique was usually painted in wood or canvas. Oil has a deep, intense tone and has hard, enamel-like surfaces. With oil, painters could also demonstrate the glowing and the light and, if needed, they could arrange any possible mistake or part they wanted to change because oil dries very slowly. This technique is not easy to adapt and adjust, but this did not keep Lorenzo from painting with it. “It is not known how oil painting was first developed, but in Western Europe there are indications of its use from at least the 12th century AD, and it was widely used from the Renaissance.” Oil was also very popular because with it, artists could produce the finest clarity of colour. Artists manipulate the oil using stiff brushes made out of hog hair. Lorenzo was recognized for possessing patience when working in his paintings, he did not only use oil, he also adapted other methods of painting that required a lot of skill. A perfect example of a famous artwork of Lorenzo di Credi is Portrait of a Young Women. In the Renaissance, women were not lucky to live in Florence if they wanted to be involved in society. Woman by this era were just a subject of men. The Portrait of a Young Women exhibits a widow woman. When looking at the painting, one can find a variety of characteristics that lead the viewers to think her husband has died. In the Renaissance era women in Italy dressed very elegantly, wearing long gowns with baggy and loose fitting dresses. Woman used to wear very complex fabrics that covered their entire body. Wool was usually the dominant fabric woman in Italy used to wear in different types of quality and colors. This young woman in the painting is wearing a long, simple...
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