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The Renaissance Art
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
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Renaissance painters, Medieval philosophy, Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Painting, Art, The School of Athens, Quentin Matsys, Humanities, Italian Renaissance painting, Outline of the Renaissance
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