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- Art and Music Appreciation - Essay Example

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It was based on humanistic views of realism and human emotion. The human figure was depicted in a naturalistic but ideal way, based on classic…
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Academia - Research December 2009 Vitruvian Man: Icon of a Humanistic Age In the Renaissance scholars, architects and artists looked for ancient sagewritings to renew old concepts in what they were doing. It was based on humanistic views of realism and human emotion. The human figure was depicted in a naturalistic but ideal way, based on classic sculpture. Leonardo da Vinci used measurements from a work by Vitruvius to sketch a man in perfect proportions. The measurements were expressed as ratios of each other, e.g.: the length of a man’s leg is two times that of his foot, etc. This method was until then seen as perfection in God’s design, but Leonardo illustrated it in a scientific or mathematical diagram, still showing a beautiful form and capturing the movement of that time.
The Renaissance ideal: Raphael’s principles
This painting seeks ancient classic forms to create a historic scene: a Renaissance characteristic that is carried off with architecture (Palladian columns) and figures (Constantine). If the same action took place in a forest, it would be robbed of the elegance and historic props necessary to tell the story, and it would lose significance. The Emperor requires the regal surrounding and the baldachin (or marquee): piety. The poor and rich onlookers would not be contrasted so sharply if the background was neutral: here the beggars are seen as being there at the behest of a kind king: charity. The rich are there to pay homage to a Christian leader: humility. The grandeur underlines the meaning.
Universal-maternal: Mother and Child Iconography
Mother and child pictures and statues have come down to us from ancient times: much further back than the Christian era. Isis, the Egyptian goddess, was often depicted with her son Horus, which scholars think is one example of the source of most Mother/Child portrayals. There is also the Phemba, a 19th century African secular statue of a mother and child. Michelangelo’s early 1500s statue of Madonna and Child is a highly evolved rendition of a very old theme that differs greatly from early medieval images, which were idealized, and largely based on icons. Even medieval statues have a stiff flat look, and almost all show the Madonna with an ‘upturned egg-shaped head’ and long Byzantine nose. Michelangelo’s statue is a sensitive portrayal of a melancholic woman: a humanistic sketch of emotion.
Hope Springs Eternal: Vivaldi’s genius
The lyrics of the Spring sonnet, and the strains of the chamber music that paradoxically paint an outdoor scene, are my favorite of all the four movements. Here we have a clear sensation of hope in all things new: ‘a glittering arrival of Spring’ full of little birds, zephyrs (light breezes), leaves and plants that are emerging from underneath the icy grasp of winter, whose thunder and lightening are retreating. Vivaldi is a genius who can create imagery of birds tweeting and brooks babbling: and from 1725 the music reaches us as crisp and fresh as a brand new spring.
Works Cited
Leonardo da Vinci Vitruvian Man
Raphael Donation of Constantine
Michelangelo Madonna and Child
Antonio Vivaldi The Four Seasons Read More
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