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2. What were the greatest achievements of the Italian Renaissance Explain your answer with reference to at least three works of art or literature - Essay Example

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The Italian Renaissance is a pivotal period in European history whose beginnings can be traced to Florence, a city that attracted some of the greatest artists of that era. It began at a point in time when artists looked to the antique Greek and Roman period for inspiration…
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2. What were the greatest achievements of the Italian Renaissance Explain your answer with reference to at least three works of art or literature
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Achievements of the Italian Renaissance The Italian Renaissance is a pivotal period in European history whose beginnings can be traced to Florence, a city that attracted some of the greatest artists of that era. It began at a point in time when artists looked to the antique Greek and Roman period for inspiration. These artists went against what was considered the norm during the Middle Ages, choosing instead to find inspiration in the works of what they considered having been the illustrious period. It was during the Italian Renaissance that some of the furthermost creations of art in the world today were made. Artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo thrived during this period, their works being considered masterpieces to this day. The works of the trio form the backbone of the Italian Renaissance and some of these shall be considered in this essay.
One of the best-known works of the Italian Renaissance, and what can be considered one of its best accomplishments, is the fresco The Triumph of Galatea. This is a masterpiece by Raphael, which he painted for the Villa Farnesina, and is based on Greek mythology (Bruce 346). It is a depiction of how the Nereid Galatea became involved in a love situation with a shepherd. While this fresco is based on the mythology, it depicts a sight where Galatea is surrounded by humanoid sea creatures. This fresco is deemed one of Raphael’s supreme masterpieces whose meaning has been subject to speculation for a long time. The second, and perhaps the most well-known, work of art of this period is Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci. This painting is not only famous, but many books, songs, and poems have been written concerning it. This is because of the famed mystery, which the painting seems to carry with it. People who have visited it or viewed it have often wondered what da Vinci’s intention for painting it was. While some people believe that it is just a regular painting, others have come up with theories concerning it, including that it holds a revered religious secret. The topic of the painting has an indistinct expression on her face. This expression has kept people interested in the painting for a long time, as each attempt to decipher its true meaning (McMullen). Art scholars continue to study it as ever-increasing theories, and myths develop around it.
One of the most renowned pieces of art from the Italian Renaissance is the statue David, a monument by the sculptor Michelangelo, which is a representation of Biblical David, who was a favorite subject of Florentine artists, standing nude (Riding). Because of the actions of this Biblical champion, he was widely viewed in Florence as a symbol of liberty. Florence was a fiercely independent republic, which was surrounded by those who wished to dominate it. Michelangelo’s David was set to face towards Rome, the greatest of the enemies of Florence, as a symbol of what the Florentines were prepared to do to defend their liberty. In conclusion, it can be said that the works, of the three artists, discussed above are the greatest achievements of the Italian Renaissance. They embody the spirit of the renaissance as it was then, heralding a new artistic era, which was not dominated by the contemporary art of the time.
Works Cited
Bruce, Donald. "Raphael at the National Gallery." Contemporary Review 2004: 346-51.
McMullen, Randy. "People: Historian Says Da Vinci used Man as Main Model for Mona Lisa." Oakland Tribune. Feb 03 2011.
Riding, Alan. "Michelangelos Secrets are no Longer Secret." New York Times. Mar 29 2006. Read More
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