What Is Renaissance Art?
There must be a reason Renaissance art is admired, but why is that so? Why is the Mona Lisa so worthy of such praise?
The art period from the 14th century until the 16th century is known as the renaissance because of the great awakening of humanism, reality, and individuality, all of which allowed the advancement of new horizons, a new way of looking at mankind and what really was. Man now began to respect intellect and inquiry. And that allowed men such as Da Vinci and his art to come alive.
What is it about the Mona Lisa: that smile, the reality of expression which was a new way of artistic painting, a more realistic example of humanism, the new sensation of the renaissance. Humanism is just what would be expected of the work, a way of looking at the man as realistic, with feelings, living in a world of pastoral scenes and natural home settings.
Renaissance art is thought of as painting as well as sculpture. But it encompasses much more. Renaissance art includes architecture, literature, music, philosophy, and many more endeavors in thought. The mind became alive in this period, to explore man’s existence in reality. Father Rutler expounded humanism, the forgiving of sins, and the growth of each individual at his own ability. It is these changes in the culture and life that was the Renaissance, that makes a man look at the great advances during this time that brings us to the present.
Art became more realistic, the backgrounds now having a more natural look rather than the ethereal gold or diaphanous backgrounds of the past. Artists were looking at trees in the distance and now applying perspective. They also showed the ability of foreshortening and knowing or expecting the public to be able to mentally fill in the missing pieces.
The artists are well known by most people. Their art is exhibited and honored. Yet, art, like everything else, is made of materials that decay, and art, no matter how we try to protect and preserve it, will decay. We have already lost much of that old art that might have inspired us.
We have the works of great men who inquired and learned, Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Both went beyond painting and produced magical works that expound harmony and unity, qualities which Father Rutler wanted people to admire, to use for peace of mind.
In literature, the art went from spoken tales and myths to the written word. Now came the tales of Cervantes. The poetic became popular, as popular then as communication allowed. Drama grew in reality and became popular on stages rather than carts and community gatherings. Philosophy became a reality with the rise of Descartes.
The renaissance was a break from medieval life to a more advanced look at mankind which led us into more modern and realistic life. Without that break, we wouldn’t have advanced as far as we have.