Renaissance Essay

3122 words - 13 pages

Renaissance.(meaning: rebirth)1st Phase*The renaissance period (14th -16th century) witnessed remarkable changes in many aspects of Italian society.*The renaissance refers to politics, government, art, and social organisation.*This renaissance occurred in 2 stages; 1st stage being from 1050 to 1300 where there was a vast economic development. The 2nd phase being from 1300 to 1500 where there was a vast artistic development.*By the mid 12th century, due to huge merchant marines, Venice had grown enormously rich due to overseas trade. Geneva and Venice made important strives in ship building.*Florence possessed enormous wealth and merchants and bankers began to dominate Europe banking on b ...view middle of the document...

*The leading humanists of early renaissance where rhetoricians who where in search of effective and eloquent communication both written and oral.Secular spirit*Secularism involves a basic concern with the material world instead of eternal and spiritual interests; therefore their attention is concentrated on the here and now.*The rich social climbing patricians saw life as an opportunity to be enjoyed instead of a painful pilgrimage.Art and the artists*The 1400s and 1500s witnessed dazzling creativity in painting, architecture and sculpture (Florence lead the way).*The main characteristics of the high renaissance art like classical balance, harmony and restraint where mostly relieved in the master pieces of Leonardo DaVinci, Raffaello, Michelangelo who worked in Rome at this time.Art and power*In the early renaissance, Italy's art manifested corporate power. Powerful urban group guilds and religious confraternity commissioned works of art.*Merchants, bankers, popes and princes supported the arts as a means of glorifying themselves and their families.*Paintings cost money and therefore where a means of displaying wealth.The status and the artist*Artists in the renaissance where considered a free intellectual who usually worked on commission of a powerful prince.*Renaissance society respected and rewarded the distinguished artist where the social status of an artist of genius was immortally secured who used to boast about their creative power.*The renaissance witnessed the birth of the concept of the artist's genius.An existing age of discoveries and inventions*In geographical discoveries - America sailing around Africa, and penetration to India.*Technology - The invention of the compass, the printing press and the invention of the optical telescope.*A changing economy - from a subsistence economy to a monetary and banking economy (the growth of a new wealthy, urban, merchants, class, and the rise of the prosperous state) this lead to a tremendous flowering of the arts as wealthy city merchants.The 3 patrons of renaissance art*The church, governing bodies (guilds), and the private commission (Meddici family).*The church was wealthy enough to act as the major patron of artists throughout the renaissance.Giotto (1269 - 1339): The cornerstone of renaissance art*According to Giorgio Vasari, Giotto is the foundation of renaissance art as he broke free form the Middle Ages, tradition of painting and gave a new direction to the renaissance style.*Giotto reintroduced naturalism in art (imitation of nature in art, presenting people, objects and scenes as they really are with feeling, expression i.e. a life like quality humanized not stylized).*Like ancient Greek artists, Giotto's teacher was nature; this renaissance tradition was created by Giotto and remained an abiding source of inspiration.*His followers, much like the Greeks, became famous and renowned for their works.The 1st phase corresponded roughly to the 14th century and included the consolidat...


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