Humanism in Renaissance Art

Topics: Renaissance, Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel Pages: 2 (369 words) Published: November 2, 2014
The Renaissance, occurring between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries, was a period of great rebirth. Humanism, an important part of the Renaissance, brought about more color, perspective, and realism within the artistic community. A few aspects of humanism include individualism and Greco-Roman influences. Humanist ideals manifested themselves in works of Renaissance art such as Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and his David sculpture, as well as Raphael's School of Athens.

Individualism emerged in the works of Michelangelo along with numerous other Italian artists of the time. In Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel painting, each of the over one hundred people depicted has its own distinct facial features. Prior to the Renaissance, artists would replicate the same prosaic face onto all of the people in a large group. However, Michelangelo preferred to distinguish every individual figure present. He also ventured so far as to include a depiction of God in the form of he paintings benefactor, Pope Julius II. The characteristics of individualism repeatedly appear in the works of Italian Renaissance artists.

The prevalence of humanist ideals is also present through the inclusion of Greek and Roman themes. The statue of David by Michelangelo was a sculpture created between 1501 and 1504 featuring a nude male representing the biblical hero David. David's contrapposto pose is the Renaissance interpretation of the common Greek theme of a casually standing heroic figure. Another ancient Greco-Roman theme represented in the statue is the idea of a biblical hero depicted as a supreme athletic embodiment. Additionally, Raphael's School of Athens, painted between 1509 and 1510, conveys classical Greek and Roman ideals. Aristotle and Plato, well known Greek philosophers, serve as the central focus of the scene. Furthermore, the building portrayed in the painting has the rounded appearance and incorporation of columns used commonly in romanesque...
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