Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Renaissance ( history of art )

The French word Renaissance, meaning "rebirth", acquired its capital letter R in the erly nineteenth century,when the term was first applied to a period of overlapping scientific and artistic investigations inspired by a renewed interest in classical Greek and Roman art, architecture, philosophy, and literature.The term "Renaissance", is conventionally used to describe certain features of artsitc expression that are characteristic of the fifteen and sixteen centuries, though, as in any human activity, there are defining currents that both precede and follow those years, and others that elude classification entirely.

Sandro Botticelli
Primavera (1477-78)
203 x 314 cm


Sandro Botticelli
Birth of Venus (after 1482)
175,3 x 279,4 cm

Fra Angelino
Annunciation (1438 -1445)
190 x 164 cm

Classical Greek art, principally architecture, sculpture, literature, and philosophy, but also mathematics ( which included music), developted approximately, the sixth century to the first century B.C, Plato and through his writings, Socrates, were extremely influencial in the Renaissance, and down to the present age.For example, Plato proposed that there exists an ideal form for everything in the world, and that everything tend towards its ideal. In other words, that progress is inherent in human activity. Plato also reported Socrates belief that "poets", that is artists, are inspired by a divine spark, that they are in some way special human beings. Both of these views are now commonplaces of Western thought, and it was during the Renaissance that they became so.

Andrea Mantegna
Dead Christ (1466)
68 x 81 cm

Michelangelo Buonarroti
Creation of Adam (1511-12)
Sistine Chapel
Vatican, Rome

The creations of this period have had an enviable staying power, ranking among the most potent and beloved in the Western world. Pictures such Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa (1503-1506) and Michelangelo's Creation of Adam from the Sistine ceiling are familiar to us all, thanks to their frequent appearance in a variety of media, from advertising campaighs to kitchy bric-a-brac. The names of four great Renaissance masters, Donatello, Raphael, Leonardo and Michelangelo, have even enjoyed a second "renaissance" as crime-fighting reptiles. Though the way we look at the paintings may have changed, Renaissance works of art have survived into the twentieth century carrying much of the force today that they did five hundred years ago.


Leonardo da Vinci
Mona Lisa (1503 - 1506)
76,8 x 53,3 cm

Leonardo da Vinci
Last Supper (1495-98)
469 x 880 cm

This fresco has suffered, ironically, from Leonardo's genius. The painting was not done in true fresco techique, in which a water based paint is applied to the wet plaster to become part of the wall, but rather with an oil based paint of Leonardo's own invention, done directly on the dry plaster. Because of this, the paint has been flaking off for centuries.Despite its ruinous condition, the stability and monumentality of the composition, and the handling of the figures, assured its timeless appeal from its inception, it is surely one of the most beloved works in all of Western art.

from the book indicated below

The photos and the texts on this blog are sourced from books and by various sites from the internet (apart from the ones taken by me). Original source is always mentioned. If you feel your photorights have been violated or they have been presented in a negative way, please send me mail. I´ll remove them from my blog immediately.
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