Renaissance Essay

1649 words - 7 pages

The Classical and Renaissance art periods are two of the most important and celebrated art periods in our history. The two periods were alike in many ways with only a few differences setting them apart. In the end, the Renaissance was a “rebirth” of the Classical art style, architecture and beliefs.
The Classical period was a time of spectacular architecture, philosophical pondering, and human development; taking place between 500 – 323 BC, Ancient Greece enjoyed wealth and power. The arts, literature, and drama thrived. The Classical Period made world changing discoveries in medicine, mathematics, physics, and astronomy. The city of Athens, one of the most powerful and influential ...view middle of the document...

Art in the Classical period sees changes in facial expression. Ancient Greeks believed that hiding their emotions was a noble quality of all civilized men, while the public display of human emotion was a sign of barbarism. Logic and reason are the dominant human qualities even during the most dramatic events. Sculptures which portray violent scenes show no facial expression; however, the enemies have dramatic facial expressions (Suzanne Hill 2006). The statues of the temple of Zeus at Olympia are a perfect example of the logic over reason approach. In this sculpture, it is very easy to tell who the Barbarian is and who the civilized Hellene is from the expressions on the statues faces. The Barbarian Centaurs show emotion, while the civilized Hellene is emotionless.
The Classical art period produced some of the most breathtaking sculptures the world had seen. Today, artist still travel to see the remains of architectural structures and sculptures of the Classical period. One of the most famous architectures of the Classical period was the Parthenon. A temple dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their protector. The construction began in 447 BC and was completed in 438 BC, although decorations of the Parthenon continued until 432 BC. It is considered the most important surviving building of the Classical period (Parthenon 2011).
Renaissance Art period meaning “rebirth” began in Italy during the fourteenth century and lasted through the sixteenth century. The renaissance period was the end of the middle ages and the start of the modern era. The fourteenth century started out with major catastrophes; the Hundred Years war, the black plague, and the uproar in the Catholic Church. Man had lost all confidence in his government, the church and mankind. In this depressing time the Europeans were searching for a new beginning, a culture rebirth – renaissance.
The Renaissance Art period brought change to the arts, culture, humanities and the science world. Scientist made discoveries that have made impacts on our natural world today as we know it. The renaissance thinker changed the way people saw themselves and how they saw the world around them. Humanism and education were pushed as a way to create well-rounded citizens who could actively participate in society also known as the “Renaissance Man”. They enjoyed the mind, beauty around them, power; the importance of the individual and believed mankind’s achievements should be praised.
This new intellectual movement gave motivation and inspiration to the artist to create new forms of art. The impact on the art world during the renaissance period was enormous. Artist were now looked upon as independent personalities and compared to poets and writers. Prior to the renaissance, the subject was religious, and the primary reason was to provoke a religious emotion in the viewer. Paintings were not realistic looking and they did not have perspective. Usually the main...

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