2010 Exploring the Renaissance ??“ Question #1
During the time period of the renaissance, there were thousands of amazing works of art. Renaissance as an art form began in Florence, Italy around the start of the 15th century. Depth perception, quality of light, religion (mostly catholic), architecture, perspective, color, imagery, realism, idealism, nudity, shadowing, paganism and myth were all major themes of art during the renaissance. (http://www.visual-arts-cork.com) Also very common at this time were sculptures and portraits. Portraits would be made of princes and important figures. These portraits were made to carefully examine the other person. (http://www.boisestate.edu) Sculptures were also very creative and unique from any other period of time. Although they resembled the ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, they were sculptures that had passion and thought. The most well known sculptor of the time was Donatello who lived from 1386-1466. (http://www.visual-arts-cork.com)
There were thousands of pieces of art from the Renaissance. Eight significant pieces of art from the period of the renaissance in order of 1-8 are: ???Moses??™ by Michelangelo as seen in appendix 1.1 (Graham-Dixon, 196), ???Birth of Venus??™ by Sandro Botticelli seen in appendix 1.2 (Graham-Dixon, 150), ???Federigo da Montefeltro??™ by Piero Della Franchesca as seen in appendix 1.3 (Graham-Dixon, 127), ???Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden??™ by Masaccio as seen in appendix 1.4 (Michael Batterberry, 74), ???Resurrection of the Dead??™ by Luca Signorelli as seen in appendix 1.5 (Graham-Dixon, 175), ???Self Portrait??™ by Leonardo da Vinci as seen in appendix 1.6 (Graham-Dixon, 168), ???Mona Lisa??™ by Leonardo da Vinci as seen in appendix 1.7 (Graham-Dixon, 167) and ???David??™ by Michelangelo as seen in appendix 1.8 (Graham-Dixon, 195).
The major themes of each individual picture are as follows: ???Moses??™ by Michelangelo (Graham-Dixon, 196) is a sculpture of the biblical figure Moses who along with God freed the Jews from slavery in Egypt. Moses is depicted in the sculpture as being a king sitting in his thrown with horns on his head, this is because of when Moses came down from Mount Sinai the old testament describes him as light reflecting onto his head in two separate beams, somewhat like horns. He is shown as a muscular man, which is just an assumption, but it??™s probably because of how he is a great hero and leader. This sculpture has to do with religion because it deals with one of the most extraordinary Jewish leaders of all time. His long flowing beard is seen as a thing of beauty. There is also shadowing behind this sculpture to give it a more powerful and bold effect. (Graham-Dixon, 197)
???Birth of Venus??™ by Sandro Botticelli is a painting title describes the birth of the goddess Venus, while what??™s happening is she is just stepping out of the sea, and is going to become a bride. She is portrayed as a thing of beauty, just as all birth should be. She has metallic gold hair symbolizing magnificence. Venus was born at sea, and this was her first step on to land so it is though she is at the point right before she loses her innocence. There are many bright colors that seem to represent happiness. There is also an angel looking down upon her to show that she is divine. (Graham-Dixon, 127)
???Federigo da Montefeltro??™ by Piero Della Franchesca (Graham-Dixon, 127) is about a one-eyed mercenary and was a Duke of Urbino. He was an commendable soldier and he lost the bridge of his nose and right eye in a battle. This portrait hides his disfigurement and shows him as a respectable soldier, and not someone who has been damaged at war. Although he was an ugly man he was treated greatly. In the background it is a ???birds eye view??™ on the city which somewhat means he is of great value. The city looks peaceful with lots of peaceful colors. There is shadowing of mountains for away also. (Graham-Dixon, 127)
The ???Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden??™ by Masaccio (Michael Batterberry, 74) is one of the most famous paintings from this period of time. It shows Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden because of the first sin. The angel is shown as an angel of hell who is holding a sword for affect in this painting. The colors of this painting are all very dark, which symbolizes the mood of the picture; which is pain and suffering. There is also a lot of emotion in the faces of Adam and Eve. Shadowing is another element of this picture that is quite evident. The back of both of their legs are being shadowed, also their crotch region and the area in the distance behind them. (Michael Batterberry, 74)
???Resurrection of the Dead??™ by Luca Signorelli (Graham-Dixon, 175) was a painting that took three years to make. On the top there are muscular angels with large trumpets waking the dead. There are three different sections to this picture. In the middle but still above the ground there is hell, on the bottom there is earth, and on the top there is heaven which is saved for only some people, some cannot enter. The people in hell are seen as devilish and almost non-human with wings sort of like a bird. The people are a part of the devil and are seen as freakish characters, and that is how the devil is usually depicted in all of renaissance art. Another aspect of this picture is that the colors of heaven and earth are quite bright and elegant while the color of hell is an eerie light blue and black. This picture is a great example of a painting that deals with religious values.
???Self Portrait??™ by Leonardo da Vinci (Graham-Dixon, 168) is self-portrait of himself, which is very common at this time. This picture is significant because it gives the modern world one a good idea of what da Vinci looked like. The Picture is drawn in black and white just illustrating his face and beard. Da Vinci was a man of intellect and not a man of good looks. Leonardo seems sad or alone by the colors of this picture. This picture gives off a sad tone because of the little use of color and lack of smile on his face. He feels as though is life is ending and he cannot accomplish everything in life that he so wishes. Leonardo looks like a prime example of what G-d would look like if he were human now. There is superb shading all over this painting especially in the creases in his face, as well as blending of his for-head into the background.
???Mona Lisa??™ by Leonardo da Vinci (Graham-Dixon, 167) is the most famous painting of the renaissance and maybe the most famous painting of all time. The use of depth perception is superb as well as the colors in the background also her skin looks as though it is glowing. The ???sfumato technique??? is done here, which is quite common in renaissance art. There is a mysterious look to this painting from the shadowing around the side of her face and the mountains to the left of her. This remarkable painting is like no other painting ever made and that is why it is so intriguing. It is not a religious painting or of royalty but yet it is know all around the world because no one really knows what made Leonardo inspired to paint this picture. The ???Mona Lisa??™ picture is a mystery to the world, and that is why it is so well loved. (Graham-Dixon, 167)
Michelangelo Buonarroti made the most well know sculpture of all time entitled ???David??™ (Graham-Dixon, 195). This sculpture is of a muscular man who only had a sling and some stones to fight off Goliath. This sculpture helps remember a major part of history when David and his people of Israel defeat Goliath and his men of Palestine in an epic battle. David is seen as naked in this sculpture. Being naked in art during this time is often seen. Most of the time a hero is seen as a tall, handsome and muscular character although that probably is not a good interpretation of David??™s physical features. This sculpture of David of Israel is a reward from defeating Goliath in a religious conflict. Most renaissance art pieces during this time deal with religious themes.
Only 8 paintings could be analyzed although there were thousands of remarkable paintings made during this time that deserve to be analyzed also. The Renaissance is known as a time period where there was a great amount of growth intellectually and spiritually and as a result a lot of excellent artists expressed their emotions through paintings and sculptures.