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Italian Renaissance Beginning In 1420 Essay, Research Paper

The Italian Renaissance began in Florence in about 1420. The Renaissance was really a re-interpretation of classical ideas and how they were applied in fifteenth century within a Christian context. The classical ideas that they were trying to re-interpret were those of the Greeks and Romans. The Renaissance was also a time of great wealth, especially among religious bodies and wealthy families including the Medici and Sforza. These groups wanted to be glorified and many times this is where the artist would enter. The artists during this time period were making great advances in art and the techniques of art, which went along with the Renaissance. One of the most noted techniques to appear was the use of perspective. Leon Battista Alberti in De pictura did the first systematic perspective painting. Artists also stressed realism and began to glorify the human body.A major characteristic of the Renaissance was humanism. In humanism they sought to understand nature and the body itself. Artists expressed their interest in this subject by doing sculptures. The most common piece of sculpture was a sculpture of David. In these sculptures done by Donatello, but most notably Michelangelo, the David would be undressed which glorified the body and at the same time had a religious tone. The naked body stressed realism too, another characteristic of the Renaissance.Art continued to grow more realistic as time went on, going from flat works to virtual three-dimensional works. In the Brancacci Chapel in Santa Marie del Carmine in Florence the art is done in an almost three-dimensional perspective, making it more realistic looking. This was done by Masaccio, who only 27 years is considered to be one of the main influences of art during the Renaissance along with Donatello and Brunelleschi.

Many times the artist would have both a secular and religious tone at the same time. A prime example of this would be Titian. Titian was able to parallel his secular style with his religious style. His secular style was achieved by making bodies and fabrics look increasing sensuous with density and splendor. He used a landscape setting where he used deeper colors but kept the work harmonious. An example of this would be Three Ages of Man. Titian was able to create religious works at the same time. His use in the Assumption of the Virgin of strong color, golden light and massive gesticulating figures enabled it to keep a religious tone.The most prevalent figure of wealth during the Renaissance in Florence was the Duomo of Florence, which not only symbolized wealth but also religion. The dome stood as the tallest building in Florence and art on it was commissioned through a competition. The artists competing included Donatello and Brunellishi, who designed the dome, but Ghiberti won. On the doors he depicted the Old Testament which Michelangelo described as the gates of Paradise. The art of the Renaissance was inspired by the Renaissance itself and in return the art expressed the ideas of the Renaissance. The art became more realistic, more secular, but all the while stayed religious. This period of history produced some of the greatest pieces of art in history and at the same time helped in giving us a history of that time period.


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