The Renaissance Art

Ms. McSharry


26 September 2014

The Renaissance Art

During the Renaissance, the way people saw the world was different from the way people

in nowadays do. Renaissance was the time of reformation. The value of money started to

increase, and many philosophers, artists, and scientists came up with new ideas about religion

and humankind. Not only the Renaissance was a time of cultural movement and innovation, but

also it was a time of political turmoil, religious conflict and chaos. People became more

materialistic and individualistic. They often displayed their ideas and the ways of their lives

through philosophy, literature, and especially art. Many artists, including the most famous artists

such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael, put their intentions and messages in

their works, and many works of Renaissance art had similar styles of drawing and were usually

depicted in religious images. The humanities, the significances, and the lives during the time

were all shown in the Renaissance art.

In European society during the Renaissance, capitalism and money became popular and

significant. Even though the people still praised for God, at the time, they praised more for

money. Their ultimate goal was gaining more money. Their loving money was also depicted in

Renaissance art. Quentin Matsys’ The Money Lender and His Wife depicts how important the

money was. In the drawing, a man who is counting his money and his wife who is reading her

Bible are sitting together. However, the wife’s focus is only on the money, not on her Bible. She

is distracted from reading her Bible because all her intention and interest are concentrated on the

money her husband has. The man and his wife are both fascinated and are fully focused on their

money. The aspect of their action shows that the money became more interesting than religion.

However, religion was still vital to the Renaissance period, and many artworks were

depicted in religious images. Most of the artists used similar styles and common topics in their

religious drawings. They normally drew Jesus at the center, Mary next to Jesus, and the twelve

disciples beside him. In those religious drawings, Jesus and Mary were always dressed in red and

blue clothes because the colors were only used for important figures. Leonardo da Vinci’s The

Last Supper is a typical religious picture created in the early Renaissance. In his painting, Jesus

is sitting at the center of the table. He is also wearing blue and red clothes, and next to him, Mary

is also wearing blue and red clothes. The twelve disciples divided into two groups of six are

sitting on each of Jesus’ left and right sides. In this picture, there are also three windows behind

Jesus which points out the Trinity. His drawing also has a story in itself. This is the moment of

the twelve disciples focusing on Jesus, and Jesus making a statement: “One of you shall betray

me” (John 13:21). It is easily detected that only one guy among the twelve disciples is putting his

elbow down on the table, hinting that he is going to betray Jesus. Like da Vinci’s painting does,

every religious painting has its own message or story and the common painting style of

Renaissance art. Many other artists also used similar methods and skills that da Vinci used.

In Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment, the God and Mary wearing red and blue clothes

are at the center of the painting. This painting’s story is about heaven and hell. People sent to the

hell in the bottom part of the painting all look distressed and angry. Even the colors and moods

used in the upper and bottom part are notably different. In the upper part, people are wearing

clothes, and the mood is brighter, but in bottom part, people are not dressed, and the mood is also

gloomy. This painting is not only depicting the religious aspect, but also depicting the aspect of

life and humanity.

The importance of philosophy was also often shown in the Renaissance art. Raphael who

was an active proponent of philosophy displayed his philosophical ideal in his painting School of

Athens. In his painting, Plato and Aristotle, the most famous philosopher and scientist, are

depicted on the center. Considered as important figures, they are wearing red