Archive for the ‘Renaissance’ Category

Renaissance Architecture

Monday, September 14th, 2009

The Renaissance was a time throughout Europe where attention was once more paid to the classic aesthetics of Ancient Greece and Rome and suddenly artists of all types desired to emulate these features.  These aesthetic appeals influenced both painting, sculpture, and even architecture.  While much of the influence of Ancient Greece and Rome on paintings started to die out during the 1520s, its influence on architecture lasted well into the 17th Century.  Symmetry, geometry, and proportion were all important qualities for the architecture to take on.  Columns, arches, and domes were common features which Renaissance architecture featured, replacing the starkness and irregularity of Medieval buildings.

The phase of Renaissance architecture went through a few phases, beginning with Quattrocentro, where the concepts of the architecture of the period were formed and certain rules were devised.  Space was first begun to be considered as an element of architecture.  The High Renaissance phase of architecture saw more elements from the classic architecture be used with certainty.  This led into Mannerism, where the architects began to experiment with forms as a way of emphasizing both spacial and solid relationships.  These architectural expressions began to filter out to the other countries across Europe, each country taking its own view on how to best represent the classic beauty of Ancient Greece and Rome in its own terms.

Italian Renaissance Artists

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Italy is widely considered to be the birthplace of the Renaissance.  This time period, which opened the eyes of the world to all of the wonders that science could provide and the beauty of not only the natural world, but of Ancient Greece and Rome as well.  The Renaissance is the time period between the Middle Ages and Modern Europe, allowing culture to take root and the beginnings of technology to flourish.  The art especially began to see new developments, with heavy emphasis being placed on showing things in a natural manner.  More attention was paid to light and shadow, contrasting shapes, and especially to human anatomy.

Some of the greatest artists of all time were from the Italian Renaissance, including both Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo.  Their paintings and sculptures have stood the test of time and are considered by many critics today to be the best examples of beauty available in art.  Raphael also made lasting artistic contributions, as his School of Athens is considered to be one of the strongest examples of High Renaissance art, along with Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Ceiling.  The Italian Renaissance started before the Renaissance spread to the rest of Europe and it produced some of the strongest and most talented artists that the world has ever known.  If one was looking for an example of beautiful art, the Italian Renaissance period would be sure to deliver.

Spanish Renaissance

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Spanish Renaissance - El Greco

The Renaissance was an influential time in Europe, ushering the land out of the Middle Ages and into what would eventually become Modern Europe.  It allowed interest in science to flourish as well as a redefinition of the terms of beautiful art.  While this movement generally started in Italy, it did spread across the rest of the land and one of the places most affected by the Renaissance was Spain.  During this time frame, from around 1492 until the late 16th Century, Spain was one of the major world powers and this gave the country the luxury to allow advances in many areas, from world exploration to science and the arts.

El Greco was one of the most influential painters to come out of the Spanish Renaissance.  He focused heavily on religious themes with his art, yet his style was a unique one which heavily foreshadowed art trends to come.  While his contemporaries were never quite sure what to make of his art, he found great admiration in the 20th Century, as his work is very similar to what developed with Cubism and Expressionism.  Luis de Morales is another famous artist from the Spanish Renaissance, producing a very famous painting of Madonna and Child.  He was often called “The Divine Morales” by his peers, due to the intense spirituality and realism given in his art.

Brueghel the Elder Inspired by Everyday Stories

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Pieter Brueghel was a Renaissance painter, he was born in 1525 and died in 1569 in the Netherlands. He was best known for his landscapes and peasant scenes which always depicted some every day event or story just as in the above painting of the local children playing.

In his later life Brueghel specialized in peasant life landscapes and he is known as one of the first painters to paint landscapes for the sake of their beauty and not as a backdrop for a portrait. All of his landscapes portray some kind of a story, as you can tell in the painting “The Triumph of Death.” He is known to have paid a great deal of attention to the manners and lifestyle of peasants, which was very rare in Brueghel’s time. He painted scenes that included agriculture, festivals, games, meals and even hunts.

His paintings are also filled with iconographic symbols of social and religious life in his time. As an example lets take “Children’s Games.” In this painting there are many references to the types of games children of the period played. His paintings today are priceless because they give us a glimpse of what life really was like during this period.

Oil Portrait – Mona Lisa

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008


Portrait Mona LisaThe Renaissance period proved to be a turning point of sorts for oil portrayers of the time. Based on a natural curiosity for nature and the classical Greek and Roman life – portraits of those times were greatly admired and encouraged. Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa painting was one of the most outstanding works of this period. It represents the face of an unknown woman who is smiling. However, there has been considerable debate as to the gender of the subject – because many of the features indicate a synergy between masculine and feminine. It is this subtlety and minute nuances which differentiated the great oil portraitists from the more mediocre ones. In fact it is said that no matter which angle you look at the painting, the Mona Lisa always keeps looking at you.


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