Icon of a Humanistic Age - Essay Example

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The writer of this paper states that in the Renaissance scholars, architects, and artists looked for ancient sage writings to renew old concepts in what they were doing. It was based on humanistic views of realism and human emotion…
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Icon of a Humanistic Age
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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 Pemba, 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 images of birds tweeting and brooks babbling: and from 1725 the music reaches us as crisp and fresh as a brand new spring. Read More
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