Unit-3 Emergence Of The Modern World

In this unit we introduce the study of a very crucial period in human history in which the foundations of the modem world were laid.

Write in about 100 words the impact of humanism on art and architecture during the  Renaissance. Discuss this theme with your Counsellor at the Study Centre?

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Learning Pundits Content Team

Written on Apr 15, 2019 1:20:39 PM

  • Some of the greatest achievements of the Renaissance were made in the realm of painting, sculpture and architecture.
  • The humanism of Renaissance found brilliant expression in these art forms.
  • The Renaissance artists made use of biblical subjects but the interpretation that they gave of these subjects had little to do with the traditional religious attitude.
  • Art as an independent activity assumed a status which was unknown in the medieval times.
  • The purpose of medieval art was to express moral values and impart religious teachings.
  • The people portrayed were not men and women of flesh and blood. The artists, mostly anonymous, had a low position in society.
  • They worked in groups as craftsmen and had no individuality.
  • The Renaissance marked the rise of artists, each with his unique individuality and style, who enjoyed great prestige in society.
  • The wealthy merchant, the princes and the Church competed for their patronage.
  • Art was freed from religious or ritualistic overtones.
  • Now artistic creations were admitted for their intrinsic aesthetic value, and were seen as evidence of achievements of the individual artists.
  • Of all the art forms, Renaissance's supreme achievement was in painting. The Renaissance artists looked upon art as an imitation of life.
  • This required close observation of nature and of man, of mountains, trees, and animals and of the anatomy of man.
  • The artists studied optics and geometry and used their knowledge to develop perspectives, including aerial perspectives, in their paintings.
  • They studied human anatomy to find the mechanism underlying gestures and expressions.
  • Leonardo da Vinci, for example, studied not only the anatomical structure of the human body, but also in order to represent movement, the way different parts of the body shaped when in a state of movement. Leonardo considered painting a science.
  • For an appreciation of the significance of the Renaissance art and the departure it marked from the medieval art, it is necessary to see the reproductions of paintings of the two periods in illustrated volumes of art history.
  • No detailed reference has been made to any particular artist or work of art of the period.
  • The reader may try to know about and see the reproductions of some of the following paintings of the Renaissance: Botticelli's Allegory of Spring and Birth of Venus, Leonardo da Vinci's Virgin of the Rocks, Last Supper and Monalisa, Raphael's School of Athens, Sistine and Madonna and Michelangelo's series of frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome.
  • The sculpture of the Renaissance period developed along the same lines as the painting.
  • emergence of the free-standing sculpture. Architecture emerged as an art itself and ceased to be a religious medium. As in the case of painting, the growing knowledge of anatomy and the new standards of beauty also influenced the developments of sculpture.
  • The Renaissance period thus, also marks the beginning of the decline of Gothic architecture which had dominated the architecture of cathedrals and churches from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
  • The basic features of this architecture were rib-vaults, sharply pointed arches and buttresses.
  • The Gothic structures had lofty spires.
  • They had stained glass windows and carved facades and were decorated with representations of mythical creatures.
  • The Renaissance architects considered Gothic architecture as ascetic and other worldly and used the word 'Gothic' to disparage it as barbarian.
  • New styles of architecture began to be developed, first in Italy and later in other parts of Europe. These were based on the study of the ancient Roman architecture.
  • The finest specimen of the new style was St. Peter's Church in Rome.
  • The buildings in the new style, many of which were churches, have been described as expressing ideals which were purely secular, joy in this life and pride in human achievement.