The age of new awakenings in Europe is called the Renaissance, and everything was changing in this period. This was one of the greatest periods of human history and it contributed many great minds to the society. The Renaissance Art was sometimes termed as the rebirth of the Classical traditions. Along with the newly developed aspect of Humanist philosophical studies, Renaissance artists developed new forms and techniques that made the transition of art from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern Ages. Great artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, Dirk Bouts, and Masolino etc. were lived in this age (Dunlop, pp. 440-445).
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Indeed, classical literature, humanist philosophy and science, all contributed to the development of the Renaissance art. Along with this there was a newfound interest in mathematics was profound in the arts. With the invention of printing press the paintings become easily accessible to more people. Improvement of oil painting and developments in the sphere by, for example, Jan Van Eyck and Hugo Van der Goes were very important in this case. The Bellini family was pioneer in arts in Italy, especially Venice. The developments were seen in literature as books like De Pitura (On Painting) by Leone Battista Alberti in the year 1435 and De re Aedificatoria in 1452 were very important in this aspect. Florence was the centre of the Renaissance where masters like Donatello, Ghiberti, Masaccio and others created great works in art and eventually made the artists of lesser caliber to produce great works (Haughton, pp. 229-233).
Furthermore, a wide variety of artistic themes were treated by the Renaissance artists. In this age smaller artworks meant for personal devotion was really very popular and a lot of artists used to do that commercially. Other than that religious alter pieces, frescos in the wall of churches, and other type of arts were very popular. Jacobus de Voragine’s work “Golden Legend” was a very important source for the artists. It dealt with the lives of the saints and the legends surrounding the lives of the saints.
Along with these, the revival of interests in Classical literature and with the development of Renaissance Humanism was instrumental in the creation of a lot of Renaissance artwork (Stone, pp. 423-444). The stories of Ovid and The Iliad and The Odyssey were popular sources too. The decorations in the paintings were mainly influenced by the Latin motifs. Some new techniques like the use of perspectives into painting, and foreshortening for the illusion of creating depth. Other techniques like “Sfumato” and “Chairoscuro” along with the proper use of proportion and balance were very important aspects of Renaissance art (Dunlop, pp. 440-445).
In conclusion, given these facts, all the figures are generally graceful and they are posed in a dynamic angle too. This goes to demonstrate the religious mysticism dominating the religious thinking at that time. The Renaissance Art is something historically fascinating both from the aspects of art and also great artists. It is discussed that there were a huge number of great minds, thinkers, philosophers and other great men were active in the Age. To summarize, historically sometimes researchers can draw parallel of Renaissance Art to late Medieval Art, but it is believed that it is a distinct aspect of discussion. As with the Renaissance period, like all the subjects, art also was rediscovered.
- Dunlop, Anne. “Did the Renaissance have a Renaissance?” Art History 21.3, (1998): 440-445.
- Haughton, Neil. “Perceptions of beauty in Renaissance art.” Journal of Art 3.4, (2004): 229-233.
- Stone, Mark. “Conscience in Renaissance moral thought: a concept in transition?” Renaissance Studies 23.4, (2009): 423-444.