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Friday, May 7, 2010

Art History Series II

The Renaissance

With the Renaissance period came the interest in man and the physical senses. An interest in the human body and nature. Christopher Columbus sailed the globe in search of new territories and treasures. The Renaissance man exuded a self-confidence in the world around him. He was interested in exploring his physical world not the next, like the Middle Ages before it. Culture was focused on fame, success and fortune. The Renaissance man pursued the good things in life; good music, good food, and splendid dress. Brocades and silks from all over the world were popular. The middle class now grew from farming into banking and trade. Portraits were an extremely popular form of art. This period in art is often described as "a gallery of unique faces".The evolution of the ideal man during this period is seen in the portrayal of David. In Donatello's David. He is a shepard boy.

In Verrichio's David he is self-assured with "swagger".

In Michaelangelo's David we see a self-confident man, representing human dignity and worth.

We notice that men now replace gods in art, such as in "Adoration of the Magi", that has the members of the royal Medici family (Botticelli's employers) as well as the artist himself (standing to the far right).

The Creation of Man~Michaelangelo

Christ is often depicted as a baby, as in LeonardoDaVinci's Madonna below. Children assumed new importance in art.

Human anatomy became important and detailed. Artists were known to dissect cadavers. The man of this period had an awareness and pride in himself.  Art was no longer seen in one certain perspective. Paintings now had the illusion of space. Leonardo DaVinci from the School of Athens. A universal man, artist, architect, musician, and diplomat. He believed that man could control his environment. As portrayed in his "Canons of Proportion".

The Renaissance man was interested in anatomy, perspective, classisism, and learning. He had a love of nature, an appreciation of youth, pride and individualism.
William Shakespeare~"Indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition, that this goodly form, the earth,
This most excellent canopy, the air.
What a piece of work is man!
How noble in reason.
How infinite in faculties,
In form and moving.
How express and admirable,
In action, how like an angel.
In apprehension, how like a god!