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Was The Renaissance A Revolution? Essay

1421 words - 6 pages

The Renaissance is recognized as the rebirth of many studies manly found in Europe. It was a revival and rediscovery of arts and literature, the emergence of new scientific theories, philosophers, beginning of unfamiliar religions and writers who had the power to change future societies. I believe that the Renaissance in Europe was a revolution represented by the many great thinkers and artists who were able to make this time period significant.

Although it is true that the painters of the renaissance merely revived the works that of Classical Rome and Greece, artwork had evolved from strictly being of religious works to an illustrations that captured feelings and thoughts of the average person. This is birth of humanism, it dared artists like Leonardo Da Vinci and Michangelo to defy the church and create works of art that describe humans. Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) was a skilled artist and scientist. Leonardo created the The Last Supper; a work of art that resembles the movement of humanism. The Last Supper portrays a very human-like Jesus surrounded by his apostles partaking in Jesus’s “last supper”. All of the disciples’ faces are seen with expressions of love, fear and sorrow, however the face of Jesus was left unfinished. Leonardo believed “that it was possible to conceive in the imagination that beauty and heavenly grace which should be the mark of God incarnate” (Vasari, Medieval Source Book). It is because of this that Leonardo’s last supper is notoriously known, the depiction of the divine being similar to humans foreign to the people of the Renaissance. After Leonardo, came another high renaissance painter Michelangelo who painted frescoes, in the Sistine Chapel, illustrating passages of the Old Testament from the Bible. One of these frescos is The Creation of Adam, in this Adam is reaching out to God with his finger; this movement was for God to give Adam the spark of life. Similar to Leonardo’s works, Michelangelo also captured the heavenly to be human as seen in The Creation of Adam, where God is human similar to Adam. Both artists changed the way the people thought and viewed art, from once being merely for religious purposes during the dark ages, seeing the divine as nothing human at all to the dynamic illustrations of the heavenly people to be human. Artworks similar to that of Leonardo and Michelangelo were blossoming throughout Europe during the renaissance as the birth of humanism was brought forth.

Humanism is the study of moral philosophy, literature and history, it was not until this era that such study was prevalent and it was all because of Francesco Petrarch; the father of Humanism. Petrarch longed for the return of the classics such as ancient literature, Latin and Roman architecture. It is because of this desire that Humanism was born. In the words of Petrarch “it is better to will the good than understand the truth”(Petrarch, 537) this quote sums up everything that he believed to be true, we must embrace...

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