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The Renaissance: Birth of Modernity - Essay Example

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Jerry Ciacho December 10, 2011 The Renaissance: Birth of Modernity During the later part of the Middle Ages, Europe went through warfare and plague. Those who survived wanted to celebrate life and the human spirit. They began questioning different ideas and not just accepting whatever they were taught…
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Download file to see previous pages This age is known as the Renaissance, and is sometimes referred to as the birth of modernity because the renewed spirit of discovery, curiosity and investigation among the Western Europeans is the same spirit that is moving humanity and the world at present more than ever. Some of the new ideas, beliefs and techniques in art and literature are the models of ours at present. This beginning of scientific approach and not just religious led the way to the start of the significance and value of a human being and of the person’s life here and not just focusing on the life after death. This period in Europe lasted roughly from 1300 to 1600. The many contributions of the people made and produced during this explosion in art, writing and thought paved the way for innovation in artistic and literary styles. This period also led to new ideas, beliefs and values. The people during the Renaissance desired and sought to re-establish and bring back to life the rich and wealthy culture of classical Greece and Rome. On the way to breathe life into the past, they inadvertently produced a new and more modern culture in terms of techniques, fashion and approach. In an effort and attempt to revive Greek and Roman culture, many artists and painters took inspiration from the remains and ruins of Rome that were all around them. In addition, Western scholars and experts decided to study Latin text and manuscripts that were kept in the monasteries during the Middle Ages. As these scholars studied and examined the manuscripts, they were influenced and thus, they changed and developed their outlook on life and in art. The learning of Classical text led to humanism. Humanism is the academic and intellectual movement that put its focus and central attention to human aptitude and achievement. Humanists then inspired architects and painters to carry on and keep the classical traditions. Art and painting was given more importance during this period. Merchants and church officials financially supported and helped the Renaissance artists by donating and displaying art all over public squares. In this period, the change in artistic style was evident. The artists during the medieval period often drew and illustrated religious subjects and with spiritual themes to express a spiritual ideal. During the Renaissance, the paintings were religious but used a realistic style copied from the classical models of Greek culture. Renaissance painters also used a new technique of perspective, which shows three dimensions on a flat surface. As humanism was emphasized, artists began to draw and paint prominent citizens. They portrayed them with realistic expressions and characteristics unlike that of the Classical Period in Greece, where sculpture and art portrayed ideal and perfect humans. Some leading painters and sculptors during this time were Michelangelo who sculpted David just before battle, Raphael Sanzio who created the painting, School of Athens, and Leonardo da Vinci who painted the portrait of Mona Lisa, which is considered one of the greatest paintings in all of history. Besides art, literature also changed in many ways. The works of these writers reflected their time, but they used techniques and methods that writers today rely on. Writers wrote in vernacular, or their local dialect or language. Writers also wrote literary works for many reasons. Some include expressing one’s ideas or interpretation on a subject. Other works were to depict the individualism and character ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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