Modern World History
September 6th, 2011
Renaissance Ideas Reflected on Art
Leonardo Da Vinci, a magnificent Renaissance artist once said: “Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.” In this quote, Da Vinci is expressing the true meaning of Renaissance art, which is to have spirit ofrebirth and new ideas that come to your mind. The word Renaissance means “rebirth”; and not only is it the rebirth of classical forms developed by early Roman and Greeks; but also the revival of a new spirit that focuses on the qualities of human nature (Renaissance Art and Architecture). Renaissance artists believed that art couldn’t be static or unchanged but rather improved with new styles andtechniques. They studied the Greek and Roman classical styles in order to learn from the ancient artists and create a modern form of art. Renaissance Art expresses the ideas of the time. For instance, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Sandro Botticelli, three renaissance artsits, show us the real sense and characteristics of the Renaissance such as individualism, secularism, perspective andclassicism.
Leonardo Da Vinci was “one of the great masters of High Renaissance (Leonardo Da Vinci).” Although the vast majority of his paintings were not finished, they surely demonstrated innovations for the Renaissance art. Leonardo’s famous “Four Caricatures” for instance are simple paintings of the faces of different people. Individualism is a top characteristic since the drawings arefocused on detailed features of human faces. Leonardo was a true Renaissance man because he was involved in many activities besides art; like science, mathematics, etc. This quality of his led him to be interested in people’s different emotions and catch those emotions in order to draw their faces with detailed expressions as seen in the painting. In the second place, the other characteristics ofthe Renaissance he used for these paintings were realism, expression and perspective (Struthers). These three characteristics show how Leonardo focused on good techniques to make the faces appear more realistic. The technique of perspective, for example, focuses on sizes to make the faces more real, as well. Lastly, Leonardo also focused on the classic techniques and styles of the Renaissance Artto create better paintings. The most beautiful aspect of Leonardo’s works is their uniqueness because he created insightful paintings with unique characteristics of every person and that is what makes him exceptional.
Michelangelo was an Italian painter, sculptor and architect who applied an enormous influence on Western Art (Michelangelo). He was valiant enough to believe in the Roman andGreek art and to create marvelous sculptures of naked figures of the human body. With this, he influenced art in a way that made people free to express themselves whether it was through a naked human body or any other aspect that might be criticized by the church. One of his most famous creations was the sculpture of David. In the sculpture, you can notice Michelangelo’s great sense of detail andproportion. Also, the body of David sculpted by Michelangelo is very masculine unlike Donatello’s first interpretation of David, which appeared to have many feminine features (McHam). The fact that this sculpture is nude demonstrates one of the characteristics of Renaissance Art, which is the classical influence. The importance of the individual, or individualism, is another characteristic ofRenaissance Art that appears in the sculpture. In the sculpture, David is standing in a pose that gives the idea of pride, poise and confidence. Michelangelo’s work shows the “ideal Renaissance man” with perfect physical features and education (Scottman).” Finally, the David represents the “rising secularism” during the Renaissance. Even though, it is taken from a biblical figure, the sculpture is...