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A Comparison Of The Medieval And Renaissance Eras

1019 words - 4 pages

It is amazing how significantly various aspects of society can and will change overa prolonged period of time. Between the time periods of the Medieval era and theRenaissance, one can note numerous significant changes, mainly those pertaining to artand religion. In general, ideals and subjects during the Renaissance became more secular.In Medieval times, people seemed to focus mainly on the church, God, and the afterlife;whereas during the Renaissance, the focus was more secular: humans and life on earth.Although these two eras differ in many ways, the most concentrated differences deal withthe realms of architecture, painting, and philosophy.Architecture noticeably shifted from religious awe to classical reason between theMedieval era and the Renaissance. During the Middle Ages, architecture was aimedmainly at making advancements in the church. Medieval cathedrals had very distinctfeatures, such as pointed spires, which were exactly that -- spires, or steeples, that werepointed and extended upward from the tower area; the rose window, which was a largestained glass window that was located on the front of the tower; and squared-off exteriorwalls, which were a contrast to the usual rounded exterior designs that people wereaccustomed to. Overall, cathedrals during this time could have very elegant features dueto the excellent techniques of support and stabilization. Buttresses, simple extensions ofthe cathedral wall to enhance support, and flying buttresses, stone structures set awayfrom the cathedral wall and attached at the top, contributed to the excellent support thatMedieval cathedrals experienced. While architectural advancements during the MiddleAges were concerned mainly with making elegant reformations in the structure of thecathedral, architecture during the Renaissance was much less religion-centered, andrevolved more around classical reason and secularity. Architecture in this time wasconcentrated mostly with the design of castles, such as the home of the prevailing ItalianMedici family, perhaps the richest family in Europe. Architectural focus had changedfrom the cathedral in the Medieval era to other, more classical and secular subjects, suchas castles and homes of significant rulers.The style, subjects, and overall attitude of painting was something that underwentvery significant changes during the progression from Medieval times to the Renaissance.Generally, paintings became more secular, and less focused on aspects of the church, asthe Renaissance approached. Medieval paintings seem to be focused almost entirely onreligion and are given heavenly attributes, while paintings of the Renaissance consistmainly of secular subjects and contain much more realism, especially noted in humansubjects. In Giotto's Madonna With Child, a Medieval painting, any observer willobviously notice that the child and woman are very awkwardly proportioned, indicatingthe lack of realism. However, in the Mona Lisa, by DaVinci, and The Marriage of theVirgin,...

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