Renaissance Arts and Artists
The Renaissance was the era in which society and culture significantly changed in Europe. It was the bridge between the Middle Ages and Modern history. The Renaissance took place from the 14th to the 16th century. It was a time of rebirth, growth, and creativity. The Renaissance was also a time in which humanism increased. During the Renaissance, a new style in painting, architecture, and literature formed. The significant changes in art, architecture, and literature during the Renaissance impacted individuals living in Europe and sparked widespread cultural change.
The Renaissance impacted the individuals living in Europe. People were to follow religious orders and demands. They were to focus mainly on the Church and their religion. It wasn’t until the Renaissance that individuals wanted to focus on a different matter. The Renaissance allowed individuals to focus on something else other than devoting their lives to the Church. Individuals focused on personal interests, studied texts from philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, and pressured art and literature in Europe.
Art was one of the most important matters that was changed and impacted individuals during the Renaissance. Before the Renaissance, the style of art was about symbolism. Art during the Renaissance was more “life-like and contained perspective” (Introduction: what was the Renaissance, Art). Artists during the renaissance showed depth, height, and width of the painting better than before and used techniques, such as shadowing, to make the painting look more realistic (The Changes to Art During the Renaissance). They also created vanishing points and horizons to their canvases.
Before the Renaissance, religious paintings were important. For the religious paintings, artists mainly used gold. But, during the Renaissance, the importance of religion decreased. Instead of painting religious figures and using gold, artists painted pictures of Greek gods and mainly used the color blue. This new style of realistic Renaissance art also included depictions of the human body and portraits. Two important artists that created such paintings were Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. A famous sculpture that showed human depictions was Michelangelo’s David sculpture. The paintings and sculptures of the human form that was created during the Renaissance allowed a better understanding of the anatomy of humans. Not only did artists strive to perfect the human structure in their works of art, but they also found new discoveries and expanded the scientific field. Because of this, knowledge on the human anatomy increased. This shows how during the Renaissance, a new style of art was invented which also educated and impacted many individuals.
Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci were two important artists during the Renaissance. Michelangelo was born on March 6, 1475 in Caprese Michelangelo, Italy. During the Renaissance era, he made many works of art. Michelangelo was considered “the greatest living artist in his lifetime” (Gilbert E., Creighton, Michelangelo), and ever since then he has “been held to be one of the greatest artists of all time” (Gilbert E., Creighton, Michelangelo). He was also known as a Renaissance Man. Michelangelo practiced several types of art, such as in marble sculpture during certain periods of his time. He was a prominent sculptor, painter, architect, and poet. His famous piece of art that was created during the Renaissance was his painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The Sistine Chapel is a papal chapel in the Vatican Palace that was built in 1473. Michelangelo was hired by Pope Julius II to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in 1508. This was a task to Michelangelo since his greatest works didn’t come from paint brushes. Michelangelo completed this task and painted images of religious scenes. These scenes Michelangelo drew were of the Old Testament beginning with the Creation story and ending at the story of Noah and the Flood. Besides Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci was also a prominent artist. He was born on April 15, 1452 in Anchiano, Italy. Leonardo da Vinci was a painter, architect, and inventor. He was also interested in science and was self-taught. Like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci was a “Renaissance Man”, (History.com Staff, Leonardo da Vinci). During his young ages, Leonardo practiced with different artistic forms and techniques. He also created a new style of art which sparked Italy. This new style consisted of using oils in paintings. Throughout the years 1495-1498, Leonardo da Vinci created one of his most famous works of art The Last Supper. Another one of Leonardo’s famous creations was the Mona Lisa. Leonardo da Vinci created this work of art when he fled to France because of a war taking place in Italy. Leonardo’s work of the Mona Lisa was a large influence on the Renaissance. The portrait painting encouraged artists to gather information from the painting and learn from it. Because of this, portrait painting was revolutionized. This shows how two great artists used their ideas and talent to influence and impact the style of painting in Europe.
During the Renaissance, there were significant changes in architecture. The main reason why architecture changed was because of humanism, new trends and styles of buildings, and art (J B, Renaissance Architecture and its Importance). Before the Renaissance, architecture was structured to look like it was reaching to God, for example Gothic cathedrals. Architecture was based off of religion importance. During the Renaissance, architecture changed while religious importance lessened. People used mathematical and scientific tools and measurements to create new looking buildings. Art also changed architecture. Builders began thinking like artists and created different shapes and styles of buildings. Using new tools and ideas, people began to live in new and stylish dwellings.
Literature was also an important matter that changed during the Renaissance. Before the Renaissance, literature was about religious subjects. Plays, poems, and books contained matters about religion and the Church. During the Renaissance, literature became more about the human behaviors and facets. This new change in literature allowed writers to write about their thoughts and opinions. Many famous writers criticized the Catholic Church in their writings and wrote about the abuses of the church. Two famous writers who wrote about these topics were Martin Luther and John Calvin. Literature in the Renaissance also became humorous, romantic, scandalous, and dramatic. A famous playwright and poet during this era was William Shakespeare. “William Shakespeare is credited as being the first person to truly bring the ideals of the Renaissance to the stage” (Renaissance Art and Artists, The Works of William Shakespeare). Even though William Shakespeare’s works were created at the end of the Renaissance, he still brought the new ideas of literature and ideas of the Renaissance in his plays. He also added Greek and Roman culture and added human thoughts and opinions on European society. Literature becoming more about human behaviors and not religious subjects show how during the Renaissance, literature changed.
The Renaissance was a time of rebirth and creativity in many arts. It was also a time of new ideas being created. Religion was not as important and instead personal interests and ideas of art and literature became the main significance. The works of artists, such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, greatly impacted art and influenced the people to try to use new techniques and tools. Writers such as Martin Luther and John Calvin also created a new idea in literature during the Renaissance which allowed them to add personal opinions on society. William Shakespeare and his famous plays began whole new aspects in literature and performing arts, such as romance and drama. Many significant changes were made during the Renaissance era, and these changes impacted and influenced individuals in Europe and sparked new ideas throughout the continent.