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The Renaissance Was A Revolutionary Period

3025 words - 12 pages

In history, revolution is the reason for constant shift in society. Many eras have come and gone and only some have left a significant impact on the world. In order for an era to be revolutionary, it has to leave a long lasting influence through social, economic and political means. Historians debate whether the Renaissance was considered a revolutionary period of history or not, however the Renaissance means “rebirth” and laid the foundation of the current era, the Modern Times. The Renaissance is a revolutionary period of history due to the far-reaching changes in art, politics, science and technology, as well as religion. During this period, art became more realistic, politics became based on merit, science and technology reached its greatest innovation point and lastly, religion began to fade away as humanism started to take its place.
A successful civilization is portrayed though art; it is a luxurious pastime that shows wealth and time. During the Renaissance, the production of art was long-standing. New techniques and characteristics emerged as well as masterpieces that were made by some of the most influential artists in history. During the Gothic and Romanesque periods, the techniques used for art were not as realistic as the Renaissance; they were flat, one-dimensional, and unproportional. During the Renaissance however, the concept of proportion, perspective, chiaroscuro and sfumato was formed. Proportion is the technique of having a greater understanding of portraying objects or people accurately. Marcus Vitruvius Pollio was a Roman author, architect, mathematician and doctor who described the ideal proportions of a human during his time. He set out certain measurements and values of the human body, for example the palm is four fingers and the length of the outspread arms is equal to the height of a man. In 1414, Vitruvius’ work was rediscovered and implemented into art by many artists like Leonardo di Vinci who created the Vitruvian Man in 1492. Another technique that was developed was perspective. Perspective was formed with the creation of the vanishing point to make paintings more realistic. Masaccio was one of the great painters of his time because of his skill of recreating lifelike figures and movement, along with portraying a sense of three-dimensionality. One of Masaccio’s greatest paintings is the Holy Trinity which was painted in 1427. This painting has a great use of perspective and chiaroscuro to show realism. Chiaroscuro was another technique that was formed to show light and dark intensities to give the impression of depth and texture as well as a source of light. With the use of different shades of colour, sfumato was a new technique that emerged during this time that produces soft, imperceptible transitions between colours and tones to show blending and oneness. These techniques established a basis of modern art. These techniques are still used till this day and have shaped the way art is currently produced.
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