Renaissance Art N.H.S. Humanities
Definition of Renaissance • Renaissance is a period, during the 14th, 15th, and 16th Centuries, of revival in classical learning characterized by a sharp increase in secular values and increased interest in learning the classics. • The spirit of the Renaissance is reflected in Humanism, an intellectual movement initiated by secular men of letters during the fifteenth century. Humanism focused on developing the full potential of man. This included not only the traditional virtues of love and honor but also virtues such as judgment, prudence and eloquence. The effect of Humanism was to inspire men to abandon the traditional values of the Medieval Period and bring about new thought and creations.
Features of Humanism • Human nature is the primary study (as opposed the Medieval values of religion) • Emphasized the Dignity of Man and his potential to master nature over the medieval value of penitence and forgiveness. • Looked to the rebirth of the human spirit and wisdom over time
Pico della Mirandola“On Dignity of Man” Oh unsurpassed generosity of God the Father, Oh wondrous and unsurpassable felicity of man, to whom it is granted to have what he chooses, to be what he wills to be! The brutes, from the moment of their birth, bring with them, as Lucilius says, ``from their mother's womb'' all that they will ever possess. The highest spiritual beings were, from the very moment of creation, or soon thereafter, fixed in the mode of being which would be theirs through measureless eternities. But upon man, at the moment of his creation, God bestowed seeds pregnant with all possibilities, the germs of every form of life. Whichever of these a man shall cultivate, the same will mature and bear fruit in him. If vegetative, he will become a plant; if sensual, he will become brutish; if rational, he will reveal himself a heavenly being; if intellectual, he will be an angel and the son of God. And if, dissatisfied with the lot of all creatures, he should recollect himself into the center of his own unity, he will there become one spirit with God, in the solitary darkness of the Father, Who is set above all things, himself transcend all creatures.
Rise of the NationNew Monarchies • New Monarchies: The Fifteenth and Sixteenth centuries see the declining influence of the Church in the political affairs of Europe. Additionally, the peasants and serfs of Europe see the decline of feudalism and the rise of the middle class. • The peasants life formerly secure if not luxurious began to be more precarious. The peasants saw themselves at the mercy of the Middle Class and Nobility. • Examples of the Peasants disgust with the increase in prices due to the influx of gold from the New World and the increasing population (increased demand). • The Peasant Revolts in England • The Peasant Revolts in France
New Monarchies in Western Europe • Loius XI of France(Spider King) established taille as a permanent tax– an annual direct tax, usually on land or property. • Henry VII of England (first Tudor King) abolished private armies. • Isabelle of Castile married Ferdinand of Aragon in 1469 merging two of the strongest kingdoms of Spain.
Rise of the NationThe School of Europe School of Europe – Refers to the Italian States of the Fifteenth Century. These states are examples of the usefulness of statecraft in Nation Building. The Italian States (Venice, Florence, Milan, Naples, Sicily) were among the first to establish a working relationship outside of the feudal and religious boundaries of the Middle Ages. • Florence: • Medici Family ruled Florence for over sixty-five years. Influential in the woolen mills and baking industries of Florence. • Cosimo de Medici gained authority after the uprising of the woolen workers. Cosimo was able to appease the workers and appeared to be a man of Republican virtue. Many compared him to the Emperors of Greece. • Lorenzo de Medici was a patron of the arts. He was neglectful of family business and is considered responsible for the loss of the Medici family authority. Lorenzo failed take care of business responsibilities and caused the fail of the Medici Bank.
Rise of a Money Economy • Hanseatic League – group of German Merchants that joined together to protect their trading interests. This group is one example of why the European economy was able to stabilize and grow. The hansas would form protective groups against merchants as well as pirates and robbers. • Venice regulated East/West trade. The Venetian ships were protected by the government, which enabled the Venetians to regulate prices, trade, and issues of supply and demand. • Industry • Divisions in labor became pronounced; the guild system began to decline. This is the beginning of capitalism, where supply and demand were allowed to determine the sales. • Banking • Kings and small rulers began to loan money. This was a very risky business. Many times loans were not repaid, Kings would "fogive" themselves of loans. As a result the banks were allowed to charge very high interest rates. In one instance in Florence a bank recorded charging 266% interest. • Banks were charged with changing money. • Banks facilitated transfer of money over long distances. • Florence is widely recognized as the leader in the banking industry. The "Florin" was the unit of currency used by the bankers of Florence. This unit of currency is considered the first monetary unit of Europe to gain international significance.
Printing, Thought and Literature • Language • Many different versions of language. The most common of educated men was Latin. Most, but not all, books would have been written in Latin. • Writers • Dante Allegerhi: Divine Comedy: Traces a journey from Hell into the light of Heaven. Dante is lead on this journey by Virgil, a Roman poet who embodies all knowledge. • Petrarch: Known for his sonnets of love. Particularly to his love Laura. His work is considered to be the "perfected" Italian sonnet. • Erasmus: He is considered the one who best reflects the humanist desire to draw on all wisdom to create his works. The Praise of Folly (see class handout) is one of his best-known works. In this work his mocks the monks of the church. • Machiavelli: The Prince: Political satire. Brings to issue the ethics of politicians. The question "Do the ends justify the means"? • Chaucer: Made use of the English vernacular in his book The Canterbury Tales. Tells the stories of people traveling to Thomas a Becket's grave in Canterbury. It is important because the book allows us to see the spectrum of classes in England during the fifteenth century.
Divine Comedy: Traces a journey from Hell into the light of Heaven. Dante is lead on this journey by Virgil, a Roman poet who embodies all knowledge. Dante Allegerhi
Alone, and lost in thought, the desert glade Measuring I roam with lingering steps and slow; And still a watchful glance around me throw, Anxious to shun the print of human tread: No other means I find, no surer aid From the world's prying eye to hide my woe: So well my wild disordered gestures show, And love-lorn looks, the fire within me bred, That well I think each mountain, wood and plain, And river knows, what I from man conceal, What dreary hues my life's fool chances dim. Yet whatever wild or savage paths I've taken, Wherever I wander, love attends me still, Soft whispringto my soul, and I to him. Sonnet 28 To Laura in Life Petrarch
In Praise of Folly And next these come those that commonly call themselves the religious and monks, most false in both titles, when both a great part of them are farthest from religion, and no men swarm thicker in all places than themselves. Nor can I think of anything that could be more miserable did not I support them so many several ways. For whereas all men detest them to that height, that they take it for ill luck to meet one of them by chance, yet such is their happiness that they flatter themselves. For first, they reckon it one of the main points of piety if they are so illiterate that they can't so much as read. And then when they run over their offices, which they carry about them, rather by tale than understanding, they believe the gods more than ordinarily pleased with their braying. And some there are among them that put off their trumperies at vast rates, yet rove up and down for the bread they eat; nay, there is scarce an inn, wagon, or ship into which they intrude not, to the no small damage of the commonwealth of beggars. And yet, like pleasant fellows, with all this vileness, ignorance, rudeness, and impudence, they represent to us, for so they call it, the lives of the apostles. Yet what is more pleasant than that they do all things by rule and, as it were, a kind of mathematics, the least swerving from which were a crime beyond forgiveness--as how many knots their shoes must be tied with, of what color everything is, what distinction of habits, of what stuff made, how many straws broad their girdles and of what fashion, how many bushels wide their cowl, how many fingers long their hair, and how many hours sleep; which exact equality, how disproportionate it is, among such variety of bodies and tempers, who is there that does not perceive it? And yet by reason of these fooleries they not only set slight by others, but each different order, men otherwise professing apostolical charity, despise one another, and for the different wearing of a habit, or that 'tis of darker color, they put all things in combustion. And among these there are some so rigidly religious that their upper garment is haircloth, their inner of the finest linen; and, on the contrary, others wear linen without and hair next their skins. Others, again, are as afraid to touch money as poison, and yet neither forbear wine nor dallying with women. In a word, 'tis their only care that none of them come near one another in their manner of living, nor do they endeavor how they may be like Christ, but how they may differ among themselves. Erasmus
That Which Concerns a Prince on the Subject of the Art of War The Prince ought to have no other aim or thought, nor select anything else for his study, than war and its rules and discipline; for this is the sole art that belongs to him who rules, and it is of such force that it not only upholds those who are born princes, but it often enables men to rise from a private station to that rank. And, on the contrary, it is seen that when princes have thought more of ease than of arms they have lost their states. And the first cause of your losing it is to neglect this art; and what enables you to acquire a state is to be master of the art. Francesco Sforza, though being martial, from a private person became Duke of Milan; and the sons, through avoiding the hardships and troubles of arms, from dukes became private persons. For among other evils which being unarmed brings you, it causes you to be despised, and this is one of those ignominies against which a prince ought to guard himself, as is shown later on. Machiavelli What does this painting tell us about the modern interpretations of Machiavelli’s political attitudes? Medieval Source Book. July 10, 2004 <http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/prince-excerp.html> Painting by Horwath
In April Geoffrey Chaucer at the Tabard Inn in Southwerk, across the Thames from London, joins a group of pilgrims on their way to the Shrine of Thomas à Becket in Canterbury. He describes almost all of the nine and twenty pilgrims in this company, each of whom practices a different trade (often dishonestly). The Host of the Tabard, Harry Bailey, proposes that he join them as a guide and that each of the pilgrims should tell tales (two on the outward journey, two on the way back); whoever tells the best tale will win a supper, at the other pilgrims' cost when they return. The pilgrims agree, and Chaucer warns his readers that he must repeat each tale exactly as he heard it, even though it might contain frank language. The next morning the company sets out, pausing at the Watering of St. Thomas, where all draw straws, and the Knight is thus selected to tell the first tale. Chaucer
Science and Religion • Printing Press - Johann Gutenberg • Books were not only cheaper but also less prone to the error one could make in copying a book. • It allowed people to obtain knowledge for themselves rather than to read gain knowledge by listening to others. • It is not until much later that an inexpensive formula for making paper is found, so books remain the domain of the middle and upper classes.
Fine Arts • Renaissance art extends well beyond simply a creator of pictures, sculpture etc. It expands to encompass the ideas of "any discipline involving the cultivation of skill and excellence was de facto an art". Characteristics of Renaissance Art • Realism: Realistic portrayal of artistic styles. Mastered perspective and anatomy as a means to achieve realism. • Classical: Classical forms and realistic technique • Individualism: Portrays the person as they are in an effort to describe their maximum or true potential • Art as Philosophy: Symbols, structure, posture, color as a means to determine a realistic portrayal of people and places.
Characteristics of Renaissance Art Realism: Realistic portrayal of artistic styles. Mastered perspective and anatomy as a means to achieve realism. Classical: Classical forms and realistic technique Individualism: Portrays the person as they are in an effort to describe their maximum or true potential Art as Philosophy: Symbols, structure, posture, color as a means to determine a realistic portrayal of people and places.
Fine Arts - Italy • Italian Renaissance • Centered in Florence • Frescoes: paintings done on fresh, wet plaster with water-based paints. (Example: Sistine Chapel). • Frequently artists were patronized by the religious leaders of the time, which explains the fact that Italian Renaissance art is characterized by religious themes.
Michelangelo – Creation of Man Characteristics of Renaissance Art Realism: Realistic portrayal of artistic styles. Mastered perspective and anatomy as a means to achieve realism. Classical: Classical forms and realistic technique Individualism: Portrays the person as they are in an effort to describe their maximum or true potential Art as Philosophy: Symbols, structure, posture, color as a means to determine a realistic portrayal of people and places
Da Vinci – Mona Lisa Da Vinci – Vitruvian Man
Fine Arts – Northern Renaissance The Renaissance in Northern Europe – Refers to artistic happenings within Europe but outside of Italy. Mainly France, the Netherlands & Germany. Works to know!: • Albrecht Durer - ‘Self Portrait’ • Jan van Eyck - ‘Man in a Red Turban’ & ‘Bride of Arnolfini’ • Peter Bruegel – ‘ Netherlandish Proverbs’
Van Eyk – Bride of Arnolfini http://employees.oneonta.edu/farberas/arth/arth214_folder/van_eyck/arnolfini.html