Renaissance Ideals of Humanism Are Expressed in the Italian Art of the Period

970 Words Jan 23rd, 2007 4 Pages
Discuss how Renaissance ideals of humanism are expressed in the Italian art of the period, referring to specific works and artists. During the fourteenth century Italy witnessed notable changes, which throughout the next couple of centuries extended towards northern Europe. This was later described as the "Renaissance", "the cultural achievements through sixteenth centuries; those achievements rest on the economic and political developments of earlier centuries". (Western Society, 413) This was an era in which Europe emerged from the economic downfall of the Middle Ages and was followed by a time of financial growth, later leading to the Renaissance. But also, most importantly, the Renaissance was a period for artistic, social, …show more content…
On the other hand, the creation of the Vitruvian man clearly shows "humanists shifted intellectual emphasis off of theology and logic to specifically human studies". The development of this figure is a clear representation of the interest of architectures such as Da Vinci in exploring the human body rather than educating based on theology. Another significantly important artist of the Italian renaissance who expresses the ideals of humanism is Michelangelo Buonarroti in his piece "The David". The giant 17-feet tall sculpture, or contrapposto of David initially started by another artist who was biblically intended to represent a young shepherd who defended the city from the Goliath. However, abandoned and later rescued by Michelangelo, the sculpture's message innovated to represent the strength and divinity of the man. "The Renaissance ideals of humanism were expressed in the physical and psychological balance of the piece." ( The art piece of David shows the physical strength of a man somehow by exaggerating some features such as the hands. However, his face shows divinity and dignity of humanity, "Michelangelo captures the human emotions of confidence, determination, and hope in the face of David." ( He demonstrates his own view of the human form, "Michelangelo's David seems to encapsulate his dualistic view, that however noble the human body may be, it
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