"Renaissance Rivals" a Book by Rona Goffen | Free Essay Example

“Renaissance Rivals” a Book by Rona Goffen

Words: 580
Topic: Art & Design

The Best Thesis for the Article

The book “Renaissance Rivals: Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Titian” by Rona Goffen explores the nature of competition among the masters of the 16th century European art. The thesis below summarizes this article by Rona Goffen.

The regional competition with both the dead and the living and the endless desire to surpass (and revive) classical antiquity inspired most of these great artists to produce exemplary artworks.

The author explains how most of the artists made the Renaissance Era a new beginning in modern art. Their artworks surpassed all the paintings and sculptures from classical antiquity. This book explains why competition was a fundamental force during the period. According to Goffen (148), “the serene and exceptional masterpieces of the era owed much to rivalry and endless brawling”.

How the Author Uses Visual Examples to Support the Thesis

The author begins by explaining how “the commissioning of Michelangelo’s Battle of Cascina and Leonardo’s Battle of Anghiari set the two artists against one another” (Goffen 144). The author uses these works to support the above thesis. According to Goffen (152), Leonardo began working on the Battle of Anghiari in1503. Michelangelo was supposed to come up with a similar work one year later. This chapter describes how Michelangelo did not have a clear understanding of the subject. However, he was aware of Leonardo’s ongoing work. Michelangelo included “a horseman in his painting” (Goffen 149). Leonardo had also used a similar approach for his painting. This description explains how Michelangelo must have borrowed some ideas from Leonardo’s paintings.

According to the author, Leonardo influenced many artists and sculptors such as Michelangelo and Raphael. The author describes Leonardo’s Battle of Anghiari as a bellicose version of Madonna and Child and Saint Anne (Goffen 157). The artist also reveals a sense of individuality in most of his caricatures. Michelangelo’s cartoon Battle of Cascina also presents individual bodies. The people presented in the cartoon are nude. This approach deviates from Leonardo’s idea of unity. The article also explains how Michelangelo replicates most of Leonardo’s themes in the Battle of Cascina. The two artworks “portray struggling masses of riders and horses” (Goffen 159). This description explains why competition was a major force during the development and production of these works of art.

Personal Response to the Reading

This chapter is worth reading because it examines how different artists produced great works of art during the Renaissance Period. The author uses the best accounts and examples to explain how competition became a common practice during the Renaissance Era. The author uses some works of art to examine how these artists competed with one another (Goffen 144). This competition enabled the artists to come up with excellent masterpieces. This book helps the reader understand how rivalry made the Renaissance Period successful. The book also explains how the desire to compete and surpass any work of art from an earlier era propelled every aspect of the Renaissance Period (Goffen 157). I have also understood why competition was common during the Renaissance Period.

The article examines how competition inspired most of the Renaissance artists (Goffen 164). Goffen also gives a detailed analysis of the outstanding artists from the era. The book also presents some of the outstanding artworks from Renaissance Era. The book recognizes most of the 16th century paintings and sculptures as useful works of art (Goffen 168). I am planning to read widely in order to understand why most of these artists succeeded during the Renaissance Period.

Works Cited

Goffen, Rona. Renaissance Rivals: Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Titian. London: Yale University Press, 2002. Print.