Classical Humanism And The Renaissance
A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteedOrder Now
Classical Humanism is described as “a phenomenon that gave the Renaissance”¦.its distinctly secular stamp.” Define classical humanism in its historical context and discuss the values and philosophy that shaped the literature and visual art of the Renaissance.
The great intellectual movement of Renaissance Italy was humanism. The humanists believed that the Greek and Latin classics contained both all the lessons one needed to lead a moral and effective life. The intellectual and social movement which historians call humanism is what lies at the base of the period we call the Renaissance. Humanism and its ideals spread through the art, literature, learning and civic life, first in Italy, then in all of Europe in the fifteenth century. Humanism is a rediscovery and re-evaluation of the aspects of classical civilization (ancient Greece and Rome) and the application of these aspects to intellectual and social culture in the historical definition it is also in many ways a reaction against scholasticism. One of the ways in which the spirit of humanism was expressed was in a rise in appreciation for the artifacts of the past. Most scholars would say that Petrarch, would best fit this label as the father of Humanism. His influence continued to be felt throughout the entire humanistic movement, and his successors called him their spiritual father. Petrarch also wrote in the vernacular, which was a style that would finally gain acceptance among scholars in the Renaissance.
The Italian Renaissance was one of the most productive periods in the history of art, with large numbers of outstanding masters to be found in many centers and in all the major fields painting, sculpture, and architecture. The techniques favored by the Painters were tempera and fresco. The fresco technique, used for the mural paintings in Florentine churches, involved painting on wet plaster. This technique is introduced by Giotto who was one of the greatest figures in the history of Florentine painting, and his greatness was recognized very early on. However, the style of Giovanni Bellini is one of the greatest of all painters that emerged from the Renaissance period. His output was probably larger than that of any other fifteenth-century painter, and much of it survives.
His work illustrates an important development in the patronage of art that was a value and philosophy to come from this “rebirth” people were experiencing. He painted small pictures for private collectors on an unprecedented scale. A quality of Renaissance painters that was emerging was evident and was one of Bellinis most eye-catching qualities, the use of light and atmosphere in the pieces. Some of his pieces of art in the use of light and ways he paints his landscapes show that he was aware of its emotional value, and for him it was a means of expressing his religious feelings.
Another example of a Renaissance artist was a sculptor named Donatello. Donatello’s bronze David is another illustration to the new characteristics of art in the Renaissance. His David was the first freestanding nude statue of the Renaissance, and its thoughtful and meditative demonstration of David, standing over the body of the slain Goliath, is a new conception of a familiar subject of a story told in the Bible. It is also an expression of an ideal of human physical beauty. The works he created in this period gave made a tremendous impact on North Italian art.
Literary works in the Renaissance demonstrated a new form of writing. The Renaissance saw outstanding works in Italian literature; An Example of this is Leon Battista Alberti. ” It is said that a man can do anything he wants. If you will strive with all your strength and skill, as I have said, I have no doubt you will reach the highest degree of perfection and fame in any profession” (alberti 3.8). Alberti’s literary work On the Family, gave insight into the responsibilities of the family as a social institution of his time. He defended the importance of a classical education and hard works as well the prerequisites for worldly success. In this piece of literature alberti warns of the consequences of idleness. “If one wishes to gain praise and fame he must abhor idleness and laziness and oppose them as deadly foes” (alberti 3.8). His views and various opinions helped shape ideals of this time period.
In Conclusion, The Renaissance Humanists came to be symbolized by the idea of the unlimited potential of the individual. Many pieces of art and literary works were produced in this time period and were reflective of the thoughts and feelings of the creators. Giovanni Bellini’s, Procession of the Reliquary of the Cross, Donatello’s David and Alberti’s, On the Family, are all examples of the values and philosophies, which shaped the renaissance.