Renaissance Art

Saint Cecilia (1569) Michiel van Coxcie, Museo del Prado, MadridAppollo and the muse - detail (1511) Raphael, Vatican, RomeSt. Cecilia with Saints (1514-1516) Raphael, Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna, Italy
The Renaissance (15th century and on)
The period whose name means "revival" begins in Florence, Italy, with the attempt to revive the art of the classical Roman time. That is why people of this age view the previous era as "the middle ages" (or worse - "the dark ages") of waiting for this revival. Renaissance architecture reinstituted many classical elements, updated to the new era, including columns, arches and triangles above lintels.
The invention of perspective in painting, among renaissance's greatest contributions, is articulated by Brunelleschi, who was a prominent architect at the time. He took reference to size reduction in pictures, in accordance to distance, thus allowing three-dimensional objects to be drawn.
Renaissance sculpture presents human figures, deliberately not beautified, sometimes even grotesque, as in real life. In both painting and sculpture, artists did not describe according to what was customary before, but studied how people look, how they move etc. The will to achieve a natural, genuine description of figures and reality drove artists to the outdoors and nature, in order to paint it, and to use live models for the first time.
Oil paint, developed during this period by van Eyck, was an excellent means of achieving the desired precision in description of reality.
Piero della Francesca innovates this with his presentation of light and shade. Botticelli presents harmony by symmetry (a balance between different sides of a painting), motion and counter-motion (much like the counterpoint in music), and perfect beauty and exploration of the human body along with it.
Artists liberated themselves from the yoke of the church and became valuable and important. Nobles and princes are their new employers, however, still as artistic servants. The renaissance artist is usually also a scientist and a researcher, a person of knowledge in anatomy, optics and other topics. To this very day, a person who obtained knowledge in diverse subjects is called "a renaissance man" or "a renaissance woman". Leonardo da Vinci, who painted the most famous painting in history - the "Mona-Lisa", was a musician and an inventor (he even invented the first helicopter, although the idea was not applied during his own life), and an anatomist. In the Mona Lisa he invented the "sfumato" ('smokey in Italic) - blurred defining lines of the figure and vague contours. Those gave the painting its well-known mystery and the sensation of permanent change and altering moods.
Giorgione presents, for the first time, a landscape painting per se, meaning a picture in which the view is part of the subject, not just the background. This novelty turns painting from a colour-painted drawing into a meaningful art with rules of its own.

Art and music main menu
Students Projects page
Find more on the Internet
On the web
Study about this period in the history of music
Music period
Go to the main menu
Go Home
MusixCool© By Nadav DafniAbout...