Humanism and Its Effects on Renaissance Art Essay

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Beginning roughly around the year 1400 an era in Europe began; one that would shape the ideas and the lives of men. This era of rebirth or renaissance came within the fifteenth century through the revival of classical texts. One central effect of the Renaissance was the production of a new intellectual idea: humanism. Humanism being defined as a, “[t]erm invented in the 19th century. . . [regarding] developments relating to the revival of Classical literature and learning in European culture from roughly 1300 to 1600” left its mark on all of Europe leaving nothing untouched not even the artist. Both northern and southern art would be affected by humanism but in different ways ranging from changes in the human form, new choices of…show more content…
From Pollaiuolo creator of the engraving Battle of the Nudes to Michelangelo's David the human form was not about reality but idealism the ultimate portrayal of God's ultimate creation. This perfected view of the human form can also be seen later in Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man and Michelangelo's muscular figures whether male or female. Humanism’s affects did not stop there. The topics of paintings also began to change. Botticelli’s Primavera and The Birth of Venus depict this change clearly. Both show mythological themes. The focus on these themes inspired Raphael and Titan to develop their famous pieces as the early Renaissance became the High Renaissance. From here interesting occurrences began to evolve. Humanism itself develops a new school of thought known as Neo-Platonism; an idea that mixes ancient philosophy and Christian truth. For example, the reaction to Botticelli's creations was that of others trying to find a religious meaning within the mythological topic. Slowly however, even this will fade as the Mannerist style develops. Along with the movement toward secular and eventually erotic portrayals of art the artist began to enjoy a new status. Duke explains that they became “practitioners of the high-status liberal arts” someone to be sought after, someone to study and someone to stand in awe of. Humanism’s affect spread north but there
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