Renaissance Art And Its Characteristics

Renaissance Art And Its Characteristics

Renaissance art was an artistic movement that took place between the medieval world (middle Ages) and the modern world (Modern Age) in Western Europe.

Although it arose in the fifteenth century (and extended until the first third of the sixteenth century), it has been possible to determine previous influences that acted as a prelude to the Renaissance art in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The core or birth of this art was in Italy, although it quickly spread throughout Western Europe.

Renaissance art tried to retake Greco-Roman artistic concepts (Greeks and Romans). It was, in other words, a return to highlight the ideals of the ancient age.

Renaissance Art And Its Characteristics
Renaissance Art And Its Characteristics

Renaissance Art Features

The Art Stages

During the Renaissance art two periods were distinguished:

The quattrocento (XV century). During this period, the construction of Roman and Greek monuments was investigated and perspective and oil painting were introduced.

The Cinquecento (16th century). The maturity of the Renaissance era was achieved. The great artists that marked the era such as Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Miguel de Cervantes, Rafael, among others, emerged.

The Discovery Of The World And Of Man

The study of the ideal proportions of the human body is a famous drawing by Da Vinci.

The discovery of America and the end of the medieval era changed the experience of the reality of man, who began to believe more in his own individuality, in his own mind and in the unlimited possibilities of discovery.

Discovering the American continent served as a kick for change in the thinking of the time, inviting a man to seek new knowledge both in the world and in his mind.

The Place Of Religion In Renaissance Art

During the Renaissance the Church lost social power: the idea of religion and man (reason versus faith) was divided.

Although Renaissance art took angels, apostles, and God as principal figures, his paintings no longer placed reason as impure or forbidden, but knowledge gained ground and prestige at the expense of religion.

Man Suffering

In medieval times suffering was considered a consequence of man’s wrongdoing before God. Renaissance art was born when this thought was changing. Thus here, man suffers from lack of personal capacity, from his ignorance and from his own wrong or perverse act and no longer from divine punishment.

Revival Of Classical Art

It is not an imitation but a movement that rescues and highlights classical customs and styles through research: a reinvention of Greco-Roman art.

Concepts That Define The Classic

The Renaissance was a return to the ancient Greco-Roman style but from a scientific approach. The concepts that defined this art were:

  • The order
  • The proportion
  • Harmony
  • Rhythm
  • Measure
  • Symmetry
  • The perspective
  • Euritmia (Greek definition of a harmonic type composition of lines, sounds, colors or proportions
Renaissance Art And Its Characteristics
Renaissance Art And Its Characteristics

The Place Of Knowledge

Another pillar of concern for Renaissance art was education. During this period different and important figures of unparalleled importance emerged.

For the Renaissance, knowledge was universal because the human ideal was universal. During this time, knowledge of engineering, hydraulics, anatomy, and mechanics was promoted, among others.

The changes that influenced the concept of knowledge were:

  • The discovery of America
  • The breakdown of Christianity with the arrival of Protestant thoughts
  • Copernicus heliocentric theory

All this helped to demystify great claims that Europeans maintained during medieval times.

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