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Humanities Essay

1284 words - 6 pages

Middle Ages and Renaissance Art
Western Governor’s University


It is interesting how two different artistic periods can compare to each other. When comparing Middle Age art to art of the Renaissance, I find a vast transformation of ideas and mentality between the two eras.
The Middle Ages, also called the Medieval period, lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. Christianity, religion and the church played an important role in life in the Middle Ages. Life seemed difficult in the Middle Ages. A vast majority of the population could read or write. The ...view middle of the document...

Some Gothic style architecture included pointed arches rather than rounded ones. Churches were larger and had larger stained-glass windows, so they seemed lighter inside. Also the ribbed vault to support the weight of the walls of a ceiling or roof and flying buttresses were common elements.
The Middle Ages ended with The Hundred Years War and The Black Death. The Renaissance began after the plague in the 14th and 15th centuries. Soldiers were returning from the Crusades. Religious beliefs that did survive went through many changes in the Renaissance era. Many began to doubt the church and what its leaders said. For the first time in larger numbers, people were beginning to look to scientific observation and note-taking for answers instead of relying solely on the interpretation of the church leaders. Feudalism faded away. There was new interest in ancient Greek and Roman art. Human beings were included in artwork. Artwork was no longer just a portrayal of religious themes. The Renaissance period gave rise to Humanism. Humanists believed that every human being had a reason to live. (Johnson, G. (2005). Life did not need to be miserable but instead beautiful and satisfying. Unlike the Middle Ages, humanism allowed for an individual’s merit to permit a person to succeed based on their own accomplishments.   There was renewed interest in science, the environment and philosophy. Symmetry became important during this period. In homes, some of the features of the period were courtyards, columns as support structures and domed roofs. New ideas, novel beliefs and new outlooks emerged. Society’s goal was for creativity, beauty, innovation and having a passion to live. In contrast, was no pursuit for beauty or creativity in the Middle ages. During the Middle Ages, beliefs and ideas were conservative. One of the primary goals of this era was Eternal salvation. People assumed that suffering was the path to Heaven. This was not considered true by humanists. Life was fulfilling and enjoyable and needed to be lived with involvement.
All these changes during the Renaissance influenced the advancement in philosophy, history, literature, and art. New techniques were created. Artists wanted to create more realistic looking art.  Artists learned how to artistically transfer virtual scenes into their works to look the same as in real life. For example, Renaissance artists wanted to translate three-dimensional artwork into a two-dimensional surface of a painting by using the linear perspective technique. This was accomplished by artists making objects in the distance look smaller. Shadings used in art made the works look more realistic than flat. Artists represented the human body more precisely as they glorified it during the Renaissance. Oil paints were used to create the realistic look also
Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral, is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic...

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