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Damilola Babarinde, Group 1: 2005 Exam. Thematic Essay: Analyze the influence of Humanism on the visual arts in the Renaissance. Use at least THREE specific works to support your analysis.

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damilola babarinde group 1 2005 exam
Damilola Babarinde, Group 1: 2005 Exam

Thematic Essay: Analyze the influence of Humanism on the visual arts in the Renaissance. Use at least THREE specific works to support your analysis.

Critical Trigger Words: Analyze (show trends). Humanism (ideas it establishes) Visual Arts in the Renaissance (connection to what Humanism taught)

Two Step Direction Phrase: Focus on the main ideas of Humanism and its relation to Renaissance arts. Name Michelangelo’s David, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and Michelangelo’s The Creation of David. Cult of Domesticity.


The Renaissance in Italy was a transition from the medieval to the modern world. There was a sense of national identity as Italian city-states began to grow. There were also changes in social, political, and religious aspects of the Italian society. The Renaissance brought political organization, lay and secular control of religion, education and culture, and also an organized economy. This transition from medieval times also meant a new rational approach to reality, birthing what was known as Humanism. Humanism was a philosophy that emphasized human as individuals, and it also promoted secularism. We will be examining how the teachings of humanism and humanists especially affected the art of the time. We need to pay particular attention to the works of Michelangelo, David and The Creation of Adam, and Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and how these artworks emphasized humankind and the individual .

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Body One:

As a result of the Renaissance, we see lay and secular control in religion. Renaissance art depicted that the church had lost power in culture, education and even politics. Renaissance art focused on the world and human and their interaction with each other; just like Humanism had proposed. Michelangelo who is very famous for a surplus of painting like the one in the Sistine Chapel, was a Renaissance artist whose artworks encompassed Humanism teaching of the individual. His artwork , the Creation of Adam, was a part of the many Sistine Chapel painting. An interesting part of this painting is the body of Adam , the Angels and God which looks like real human muscles. The emotions on the faces of the subjects is something that humanism focused on.

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Body Two

It was said that Michelangelo’s works were one that emphasized perfection . His paintings such as the ones from the Sistine Chapel along with the sculpture, David, were artworks which focused on perfection. His sculpture David, is emblematic of not only his techniques but also Humanism's emphasis on humankind. David is given human like features such as muscles and one can see the veins at the back of his hands. These not also give show humanist teachings but it also gives praise to the science of the time and how Michelangelo was able to incorporate it in his work. Renaissance art embraced nature and human emotions which gave artist a more rational and even order.

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Body Three:

Humanists were critical of tradition; so they called for a new approach to society, education and art. Leonardo Da Vinci was another Renaissance artist whose artworks emphasized Humanism teachings. One of his most famous painting, Mona Lisa, focused mainly on emotion. Mona Lisa is a painting in which many struggle to figure out what the lady in the picture is thinking of and even if she is smiling or not. One think that Renaissance art focuses on in is symmetry and proportion. Renaissance art also embodied the use of oil paints and shading chiaroscuro. The use of chiaroscuro was effective as it enhanced naturalness and made the painting look more like a photograh.


The Renaissance in Italy is one that had a long time effect. The Humanism ideas and teaching quickly spread to other parts of Europe. Humanism ended church influence in the society. Humanists greatly affected education and they sought to understand human nature more effectively. Humanism would later spread to Germany, England, France , and Spain as we see both educational and religious reforms.