Renaissance/Ideas/Spread/Art and Artists

Length: 7 Pages 1750 Words

“Discuss how the Renaissance ideas are expressed in the Italian art of the period, referring to specific works and artists.” The Renaissance was a ‘rebirth’ or renewal of many of the classical ancient Greek and Roman beliefs. The Renaissance began in the city-states of Italy, the center of trade in Europe. Many wealthy merchants and bankers became patrons of the newly developing styles and ideals of Renaissance art. Many of the renewed classical Greek and Roman ideas such as Humanism, Individualism, Secularism, and Realism were expressed through the Italian art and the artist’s interests and influences of the period. The dominant intellectual movement of the Renaissance was humanism, a philosophy based on the idea that people are rational beings. It emphasized the focus on the individual, his potential and his achievements, an emphasis that was central to Renaissance developments in many areas. Humanism originated in the study of the ancient Greek and Roman classics, which soon led to a new-found interest in learning, and the promotion of a new educational curriculum that emphasized the humanities. Michelangelo (1475-1564) , Italian painter, sculptor, architect, and poet was a humanist and was brave enough to follow Continue...


During Raphael's life he had always been pressured by his teacher to pay attention to detail and realism. Renaissance artists began to paint individuals emphasizing their uniqueness, their emotions and their significance; many artists even began to sign their works to acquire personal fame and recognition. Donatello was heavily influenced by ancient Roman art and this marble, Gothic statue was not only a breakthrough in art but it was a creditable representation of individualism and realism. Raphael paints his own face on the young man in black at the far right. He shows this woman young, beautiful and mysterious. However, soon wealthy merchants and bankers from the Italian city-states, already influenced by the individual and humanist ideas from the Greek and Roman classics, became patrons and began to demand paintings of secular subjects, including themselves. Leonardo had perhaps the best understanding of the human body out of all Renaissance artists; although Michelangelo also studied and dissected bodies (legally), Leonardo kept a very detailed diary holding his discoveries. The figures of Pomona (right), Zephyrs (left) and Venus (centre) are all characters from Greek Mythology. Being nude relates the statue back to having classical influence and Humanistic details and focus. Mona Lisa Mona Lisa (1503-1506) , is probably Leonardo's greatest success of an individualist representation. Donatello was the first Renaissance artist to sculpt a nude statue. These influences and interests coming from the ancient classic beliefs of the Greek and Romans heavily affected the styles and detail of art. During the Renaissance science and logic became new sources of belief for many people. Most great artists of the Renaissance painted portraits of their patrons as well as everyday people, further showing their recognition of the individual. Realism was an idea being developed and perfected by Renaissance artists.