The painters, the sculptors, and writers had perfected their art since the fourteenth century trying to imitate the ancients. At the beginning of the 16th century, they came to reproduce perfect works that have never been surpassed. This moment of perfection of the fourteenth century, which has been called the Italian Renaissance, did not take place at the same time in all countries.
It was first produced in Italy at the end of the 15th century, then in Germany and in France in the first half of the 15th, in England at the end of the same century. Italy and France only had painters, sculptors, architects, and writers at the same time.
The painters and sculptors had until then been workers assembled in guilds and subject to regulations, such as tailors and shoemakers. Like the other professions, they had teachers, classmates and “apprentices. The apprentices crushed the colors, the classmates helped the teachers to paint.
The artists worked to satisfy commissions. A bishop, an abbot, a priest commissioned them a painting, statuary, or sculptures for the altar of a church.
The lords and the rich bourgeois entrusted them with pictures of devotion, in which the donor was represented with his family kneeling before the saint, his employer. We only worked for churches, for a few great lords or for the rich bourgeois of some cities, the only ones that at that time had money to spend on objects of art.
At the end of the fifteenth century, there was a change in Italy due to the Italian Renaissance. Some princes were fond of the arts and began to take a personal interest in the artists. They made them come to their Court, spoke familiarly with them and treated them, not as artisans, but as writers.
Italian Renaissance- A word about Lorenzo de médicis
Lorenzo de Médicis (nicknamed the Magnificent), who ruled Florence, established in his gardens a school of young sculptors, who ate at his table and lived familiarly with his son. Pope Leo X, of the Medici family, made his Court to painters and sculptors.
To retain the artists by their side, the princes gave them pensions. But as they had been taken to their service, they were forced to perform all kinds of trades. The painter had to prepare decorations for the parties, paint shields, badges, sometimes even harnesses.
The artists never got to match the nobles, but their social position rose because of the Italian Renaissance. In Italy, the most famous were subject, by the princes, to distinctions that made people understand that they were treated with consideration. The same happened in France. Since the Italian Renaissance, the Italian artist’s name was applied to painters and sculptors, which in that language meant “craftsman”, and which in French had new meaning
Italian Renaissance is a history that needs time and concentration to understand. It is a beautiful chapter of old stories that the world holds. People need to know all about it, or a part of their lives will be incomplete.