Duoyi Xi 5/23/14 Thematic Essay 133 The Renaissance The Renaissance is often considered the beginning of the modern era. It has influenced commerce, literature, the arts and sciences in Europe and spread to the rest of the world. Italy had the earliest manifestation of the European Renaissance. England was affected by the Renaissance in terms of literature by one of the most famous authors of his time. Italy had great works of art that were created in that time.
Many individuals were gifted with artistic skill and creativity. I will talk about how the Mediterranean influenced the Northern Artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Peter Paul Rubens, Simon Vouet and Anthony van Dyck. I will pick one famous piece of each and explain how they used Baroque or Italian features. Albrecht Dürer was born May 21, 1471 in the Franconian city of Nuremberg, one of the artistic and commercial centers in Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries. He was a painter, draftsman and writer but his greatest artistic impact was in the medium of printmaking.
Art was a crucial aspect of expressing Renaissance ideas. Italian sculptors, painters, and architects in particular did a fantastic job of communicating Renaissance concepts in their artwork. Three of the most central humanistic beliefs during this period of time were the appreciation of the individual, the emphasis on the real rather than the abstract, and the imitation of past civilizations. The sculpture “David”, by Italian artist Michelangelo, is an excellent example of the humanistic emphasis on appreciating the individual and dignifying the human kind. Michelangelo depicts David as a strong, godlike figure, emphasizing the size of his hands and feet.
When looking at the history of art and painting, many revolutions and movements are focused around Europe and its artists. Although the majority of the art history is traced back to European art, the artistic movements that were happening in Europe were not limited to European soil. Many painters in America were influenced by Romanticism, and Thomas Cole was one of those painters. Although Thomas Cole was anything but a simple American painter; he conveyed European culture to America and was a large contributor to the development of American heritage. A leading light and a bridge between generations of artists, Thomas Cole and his art were a strong foundation from which the future of American landscape painting would be built.
), there’s a tremendous amount of detail put into it, and perhaps one of the most defining features of it is that it has got the patron in it. Since it was commissioned by someone besides the church, they wanted to be put in the piece of art that they paid to be painted. The patrons of the altarpiece appear on the far left side, as if they were part of the scene itself. Now we have Italian renaissance art. Some defining characteristics of it are that it is very classical (drapery tends to cling to the body, revealing the perfection of all the idealized bodies), they used plenty of linear perspective (whereas Northern art was more medieval, so they didn’t much care for that), they liked using illusions in their work, and they didn’t have patrons in their work because the church usually commissioned all the art.
This rebirthing period brought forward a new culture of humanistic values of Christianity, new ideas in science, philosophy, and politics as well as in literature and the fine arts. This was also a time of hierarchy, whereas, the social status of your parents deemed your place in society. In this Renaissance period of history, we find such great painting artist such as Leonardo Da Vinci, known for his painting of “The Last Supper” and the “Mona Lisa.” His work has demonstrated distinction and precision of the humanistic side of the characters in his paintings. It has great definition in the details of emotion and expression, included in the facial features, attire and surroundings. He captures the realism in both paintings.
“It directly reflected the changing economic scope and cultural ideals of the European population that arose in the 14th Century” (White, 2009). Most of the works were of religious situations such as the last supper and religious people such as Jesus and the Apostles (White, 2009). Many excellent artists came from this period. A few notable ones are Leonardo Da Vinci. Leonardo painted the Last Supper in the late 15th century and this piece has become very well known, even to those that are not art lovers (Renaissance Art, N.D.).
Ghiberti created expressive, strong facesbased on examples he knew of antient Roman art. Ghiberti depicted volume of bodies and deep architectural space. In the Jacob ans Esaw Panel Ghiberti employed a new system of linear perspective to construct the narrative. This panel with its nearly three dimensional foreground figures, masterful use of perspective and impressive architecture is an example of master work. Ghiberti established a new approach to the human figure and persective in his second set of Baptistery doors, greatly influencing his artistic contemporaries.
These ideals and concerns heavily influenced the subject matter of the art produced under each movement. Italian Renaissance art focused on classical Greek and Roman mythology, like Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. Northern Renaissance art turned its attention to portraits and domestic scenes, the most famous of which is Jan van Eyck’s Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his wife. Along with subject matter, both the Italian Renaissance and the Northern Renaissance had distinct styles also influencing the look of its art. Italian Renaissance art was heavy on symmetry and balance and giving the subjects a sense of mass and volume by using knowledge of the underlying anatomy of the human figure.
The Renaissance influence on art in its richness and attempts at realism has produced many pieces of art that are still among the most famous today. Michelangelo’s David being one of them. The new method of using perspective in art allowed for depth but also conveyed a stillness that made the pieces hauntingly beautiful to behold and at the same time quite frozen; alive but yet without movement. Michelangelo’s David is a miraculous study of form that is beyond compare. The details of each body part is almost a work of art in itself.