The Renaissance period covers the 200 years between 1400 and 1600; although exact dates are still argued by many specialists. The word “renaissance” literally means “rebirth” and is the French translation of the Italian “rinascita”. The Renaissance style is primarily composed of a revival of the classical forms developed originally by the ancient Greeks and Romans and of the deepened concern for secular life – interest in humanism and assertion of the importance of the individual.
In art history, the Renaissance period corresponds to the start of the great Western age of discovery and exploration. At the time, there was great desire to study all aspects of nature and the ...view middle of the document...
Use of classical Latin was revived and more favored at this time. It was also a period of avid exploration. Painters, sculptors and architects demonstrated a sense of adventure and desire for great knowledge and new solutions.
Renaissance in Italy
Renaissance was first developed in Italy due to the fact that works of the ancient Greeks and Romans were readily available to the Italians. Such an example is the Italian language which evolved from the Latin of the Romans. Classical ruins and artifacts are also buried deep within the soils of Italy. Roman architectural designs were stated to be found in almost every town and city of Italy. Roman sculpture, in the form of marble sarcophagi covered with relics, has been known of for centuries.
The artistic revolution of the Early Renaissance or the “birth” of new interest in Classical Greco-Latin matured into what is now known as the High Renaissance. New styles and ways of thinking shifted into high gear right after the Early Renaissance. Historically speaking, this was the time when Medici ruled over Florence, the time of Dante’s writings, a time great wealth and enlightenment.
High renaissance in Italy is considered as the climax of Renaissance art from the years 1500-1525. Craven (1931) commented that the high renaissance was the “fullest bloom of art in the early decades of the 16th century” (pp. 52-53). Craven (1931) describes the High Renaissance as a “time of continual agitation and alarm, of inexpressible inequity, of contrasts and corruption, experiment and prosperity, and most important of all our story, perhaps the most complete emancipation of the mind of man from the fetters of authority and convention that the world has ever seen” (pp. 52-53).
Janson (n.d.) notes the High Renaissance period represents ideals in the depictions of human figure, the climax of the use of perspective space and strong influence of classical art. The period of High Renaissance is characterized by the explosion of creative genius. Renaissance paintings reached its peak in terms of technical competence, rich artistic imagination and heroic composition. There was harmony and balance in all forms of arts. Italian High Renaissance artists accomplished perfect harmony and balance comparable with the works of ancient Greece and Rome.
Renaissance Classicism was a form of art that showed the world as it was. It removed all irrelevant details in the picture. Moreover, the High Renaissance period was also considered as a natural evolution of Italian Humanism.
Why is it called the “High” Renaissance?
The period represented a culmination. The tentative artistic explorations of the Proto-Renaissance that flowered during the Early Renaissance burst into full bloom during the High Renaissance. The art of ancient times were no longer pondered at by the artists. They already had the tools, technology, training, as well as the confidence to step on their own directions. They were somehow assured...