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Greek Influence on Renaissance

By greencar12 Apr 07, 2013 561 Words
The Renaissance was born in Italy where people were literally surrounded with Greek and Roman civilization and architectural ruins, therefore artwork was easy to find. The term “renaissance” means rebirth, and this period was the revival of classical Greek and Roman civilizations. Renaissance artists such as Ghiberti, Donatello, and Raphael have made well-known art of Ancient Greek influence.

Lorenzo Ghiberti’s art on the Florence Baptistery doors and three saint statues are prime examples of classical Greek inspiration. Michelangelo eventually named Ghiberti’s doors the Gates of Paradise. The Gates of Paradise and three statues are made of bronze, the same medium the Greeks used for their statues. Like the Greeks whose art focus was on mythological gods, Ghiberti’s door panels are made of biblical characters and scenes. His statues are made with the idealistic form for a religious figure. This includes the perfect posture, features, and folding in wardrobe, which we may see as unnatural. “Relief” is a Latin term for raise. This style raises the art while its background is left behind, forming a 3-D sculpture. The narrative relief-style of the Gates of Paradise show influence of classical sculpture in the figure’s movement and background. Even the architecture within the background buildings of the panels demonstrates classical influence.

Donatello and Michelangelo created different versions of the statue of David Renaissance. While both are unique, they share the same Greek influence. David is a biblical hero whose fame came from sleighing Goliath. Donatello’s David is made of bronze while Michelangelo’s is made of marble, both mediums used by classic civilizations. Ancient Greeks are known for the idealism behind their art, especially in nude sculptures. Idealism copies nature but with the notion of perfection. Idealistic art depicts both physical and spiritual perfection. This gave sculptures of man a god-like appearance with a perfect nude body. Although it is known that David was an average boy, these statues portray him without flaws. Both statues have balance and perfection in form. Donatello’s David depicts the strength and form of man while Michelangelo’s David is more harmonious in its form.

Among many things, Raphael is famous for his School of Athens. The School of Athens is painting of the High Renaissance, of popular Greek philosophers. In the center you can identify Plato and Aristotle while the rest of the scholars have only been hypothetical but not confirmed. Nevertheless, he paints strong feature’s of many famous scholars and even though we are not certain of who they are, we are aware of the importance of every individual. His work not only includes well-known Greeks, but incorporates the culture too. Greek gods Apollo and Athena are recognized within the painting. This adds to the classical feel of the art. This specific piece is different because of the asymmetrical balance Raphael creates. Although not much is symmetrical in this piece, he still manages to create order and balance. His use of lighting and intellectual figures develops an overall harmony. As a whole, this piece is one of the best representations of the classical period and it’s teachings.

The Renaissance is famous for it’s art and polymaths, but it is important to remember why it began where it did. Ancient Greece was very influential to all of these artists and more. This period was true to its reintroduction and transformation of the Greek arts.

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