Italian Renaissance Humanism in Art

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The Renaissance, as defined in Merriam-Webster=s dictionary, is the transitional movement in Europe between medieval and modern times beginning in the 14th century in Italy, lasting into the 17th century, and marked by a humanistic revival of classical influence expressed in a flowering of the arts and literature and by the beginnings of modern science. Many dramatic changes occurred during this time in the fields of philosophy, literature, and art. New emphasis was placed on enjoying life and the world around man, and talented individuals sought self-gratification through art and philosophy (Vary). In Italy, the Renaissance presented through literary and art themes a new humanistic conception of man. The rise of the Medici family also…show more content…
Petrarch=s style is close to those of the classical authors he studied, expressing his view accurately through the use of characters. His most famous contributions to the world of literature were his string of sonnets addressed to ALaura,@ who appeared to be a real person rather than a religious symbol (Mirkin). Pre-Renaissance writing primarily dealt with religious characters and symbols, therefore Petrarch=s sonnets began the stray from the Church and the belief that man could be his own person. Boccaccio is best known for his masterpiece Decameron, which consisted of 100 stories organized to give the impression of a total view of society. Like Petrarch, he gave accurate depictions of real life characters and situations. He described a group of men and women fleeing from a plague to the countryside that infested Florence. In seclusion, they hold story telling sessions that tie into Boccaccio=s own view of society (Vary) Before, this had been unheard of because author=s were supposed to write about religious issues and not their own personal feelings and views on society. Once again, this demonstrates the start of humanism and the displacement to the Church. The main characteristics of high renaissance art were classical balance, harmony, and restraint, revealed in masterpieces of Botticelli, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael. Under Medici domination, Florence became a signorial
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