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Renaissance Values and Ideas Expressed in Art
After the Bubonic Plague, the people of Italy started questioning the church, and in doing that, they started the Renaissance. People of the Renaissance had many brilliant ideas and values which greatly affected the artwork of the time. In today’s society most people who are asked to name a great artist of all time reply with names such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael or Michelangelo. These people created their genius masterpieces during a time of growth and change in Europe known as the Renaissance. One thinks that the Renaissance came about when it did for many reasons such as changes in the church, and that affected people’s world views. Realism, humanism, and secularism are outcomes of these changes. The realism of the time focused in the some pieces of art helped in the making of a brilliant piece by Leonardo Da Vinci called The Mona Lisa and Michelangelo’s David, an amazing statue which was based on the ancient Greek and Roman sculpture, otherwise known as the classics. Next, a secular piece of art was a painting entitled Peasant Wedding by Flemish painter, Pieter Bruegel. And lastly, the value of humanism is pictured in the painting School of Athens by Raphael. The first major value of the Renaissance was realism, which was often portrayed in paintings of an individual person. For example, the Mona Lisa is a marvelous example of realism. The focus of this painting was obviously the woman, who came to be known as Mona Lisa, even though some think that this was a portrait of Lisa Gherardini who married a wealthy merchant at age sixteen, named Francesco del Giocondo. (Modern World History 44) Realism paintings focused on the person and artists showed them as they really looked. This is an expression of the subject’s unique features and personality. Also, there was the statue of David by Michelangelo, which is a fantastic example of realism. He used a realistic style when depicting the human body, which is why the statue of David looks so lifelike, besides the fact that it is eighteen feet tall. This statue was based off of the classic architecture of ancient Greece and Rome, which is one reason why it is so popular and well known to this day. When using these techniques, it showed everyone as they really were not how others saw them. Artists who used this technique revealed what was distinctive about each person they were using as a model for their art. Next was the point of secularism, which focuses on worldly rather than spiritual and religious matters and was concerned with what was happening in the time period, not what happened in the past. An example of a secular piece of art was Peasant Wedding by the painter Pieter Bruegel. Instead of depicting a scene of a church or of any wealthy or merchant family, it shows simple peasants, who were gathered for a wedding. This is a major value of the Renaissance because it shows that they are not spending their whole lives just for the church, but enjoying life and living it to the fullest, something that no one did before the Plague struck. People used to think that if you enjoyed life, you offended God, when in reality, you did not! When someone came up with the idea that you could enjoy life and eat good foods, and dress the way you wanted without offending God, many people took the opportunity and did what they wanted to in life, without breaking the law, or hurting anyone in the process. Lastly, the next value of humanism was depicted in the painting School Of Athens by Raphael Sanzio. It showed that the scholars on ancient Greece were highly honored. This is a good example of humanism because everyone in the painting look like people, every detail shown is realistic and human like. The people in the picture had ruffles and wrinkles in their clothing, and their expressions were well defined. The background had very real characteristics, which included showing the clouds in the sky, shadows on the floor and ceiling, and the intense detail of the patterns on the walls, statues, floor, and ceiling. The painting has depth, and that is one of the main points in humanism, it was to show a life-like picture in which it felt like the observer of the piece was actually there as an onlooker. Humanism was an intellectual movement in which the pieces of art focused on human potential and achievements. (Modern World History 38) Finally, the values of the Italian Renaissance greatly affected the art of the time. Secularism, humanism, and realism were all shown in many magnificent paintings and sculptures that are still very well known to this day such as The Mona Lisa by Da Vinci, Peasant Wedding by Pieter Bruegel, the statue of David by Michelangelo, and the School of Athens by Raphael. All of these reflected the main ideas of the Renaissance, and helped change Italy and Europe for the better. These values have revolutionized the artworks of that time, and we still use these methods even today. Painters and sculptors and other artists have formed new styles of art based off of those methods to inspire new kinds of art. These values had affected the art of that time greatly and continue to influence the art of today, and will most likely carry those aspects into the art of the future, which result in the making world of art absolutely beautiful.