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Art in the Renaissance Period - Research Paper Example

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Art in the Renaissance Period Name Year Level – Section Academic Subject December 19, 2011 Art in the Renaissance Period Introduction As the period that revived the society’s appreciation of the classical arts, the Renaissance strove to resurrect and emulate the art of the ancient Greeks and Romans through the emphasis on humanism…
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Art in the Renaissance Period

Download file to see previous pages... In this paper, I aim to clearly and succinctly discuss the unique characteristics of Renaissance art by highlighting on three aspects: firstly, the philosophical underpinnings that drove the movement toward humanism; secondly, the essence of human beauty and its translation to fine arts; and lastly, the purpose of a Renaissance artist in society. In the end, I wish to underscore that the unique articulation of the idealistic conception of human beauty—as brought about by philosophy—influenced many Renaissance artists in the creation of their individual pieces of art which all conformed to the achievement of ‘human perfection’. Historical Context of the Renaissance The Renaissance was a cultural revolution that began in Florence, Italy in 1400, and spread throughout Italy and the rest of Europe. Since the reinforcement of humanism became the central focus during this period, the artistic themes during the Renaissance shifted from the theological and the supernatural expression of the relation of God with His creatures to the individual empowerment and worldly experience of man. In this sense, the Renaissance reinterpreted the pagan classical literature and philosophy of the Greeks and Romans in order to challenge contemporary Catholic beliefs (Kreis A, 2009). It must be pointed out, however, that the Renaissance was triggered by the increasing sophistication of society during that time, as fuelled by economic growth, improvement in the educational system, and political stabilization (Haughton, 2004). Firstly, the construction of libraries and other educational hubs allowed people to gain more knowledge about the histories of past cultures, which paved the way for better appreciation of Greek and Roman cultures. Secondly, the maturing influence of wealthy families in Italy helped fund certain art projects, such as sculpture, painting, and architecture, and made them available for public viewing. Renowned families like the Medic Family of Florence and the Sforza Family of Milan channeled in most of their personal savings to certain projects which were geared toward the beautification of cathedrals and small churches (Haughton, 2004). With this, it can be said that the Renaissance redeemed the status of liberal arts by discovering its special place in societal life. Beauty in Renaissance Art Since Renaissance art was focused on reviving the appreciation of human essence by underscoring the physical and spiritual facets of man, the success of such goal rested heavily on the exact articulation of human beauty. This idea consolidated the definitive characteristic of Renaissance art—that which is ‘beautiful’. As such, it is crucial to point out that although the definition of beauty was subject to both the artist’s and viewer’s interpretation, there were certain elemental features which Renaissance artists took into consideration during the creation of their art. From the perspective of sensible art experience, Renaissance painters and sculptors were able to incorporate other disciplines to enhance their artwork. For example, anatomical dissection led to new accuracy in depicting the masculine and feminine physiological features; mathematics developed the laws of perspective to position human figures into believable landscape; and chemistry blended new pigments to bolster the artistic impact (Haughton, 2004). These innovations can be seen concretely in Boticelli’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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