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Humanism Essays

Analyze the influence of humanism on the visual arts in the Italian Renaissance. Use at least THREE specific works to support your analysis. The Renaissance produced new ideas that were reflected in the arts, philosophy, and literature. Humanism was a literary movement that celebrated the individual. It also stimulated the study of Greek and Roman literature and culture. Petrarch and many other humanists would try to recover many of the classics, and soon realized how much classical heritage was lost. Art was a key part of humanism.
The art of the time was of people, and supported by the Medici family, who were patrons of the art. Humanism influenced many of the visual arts including sculptures, writings, and paintings. Humanism art showcased realism and the human form, and sculpture helped to emphasize that. A sculpture done in 1504 by Michelangelo was called David. This masterpiece illustrates true humanity as the sculpture is of a nude man. Another significant sculpture by Michelangelo is La Pieta. The sculpture is of a woman, sitting down holding a man in her arms.
The woman has an abundance of clothing on, while the man is barely clothed. The sculpture is realistic and focused on humanity and emotion, as the caring relationship between man and woman is shown. In addition, humanity is portrayed as the human body is depicted very well through sculpture. Humanism has been the fuel behind these classic sculptures. Writing was a very important characteristic of humanism. Petrarch was a humanist who searched for old manuscripts. He discovered many and realized how much classical heritage as lost.
He also wrote sonnets, and assembled Greek and Roman writings. A main writing of that time was The Courier by Baldassare Castiglione. It was a manual for men, teaching them how to behave with a woman. Men need to be able to impress their woman and be a true gentleman. In addition, they needed to show the woman that he knew everything and could do everything and be anything for her. An important writing of that time was Utopia by Sir Thomas Moore. Through the book, it is learned that “Society’s problems are created by society itself”.
Machiavelli wrote the book The Prince teaching dictators how to rule and maintain their title. He was sometimes misinterpreted, as people took his sayings very literally. A key event in 1455 was when Gutenberg printed the first book, the Bible produced by using the moveable type. Humanism was a main factor of these writings. They all relate to the bettering of individuals, which was what humanism was all about. Humanism helped to influence the art of writing, as it was a literary movement. Humanism truly influenced the painting and artwork of that time period.
About a year after creating David, Pope Julius II summoned Michelangelo to Rome to work on his most famous project, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The ceiling was very influenced by humanism as many angels and beings are portrayed in the nude, showing the celebration of the individual. Leonardo Da Vinci was a true Renaissance man as he was very talented and could do many things. He created the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. The Mona Lisa showcases humanity as the art of that time was generally of people. The Last Supper had a religious element to it as it portrayed the event, the last supper.
Renaissance artists embraced some of the ideals of Greece and Rome in their art. They wanted their subjects to be realistic and focused on humanity and emotion. Humanism influenced the art of painting in many ways as painting took humanism to a whole other depth. Sculptures, writings, and paintings were influenced by humanism as they portray the key themes of humanism. Renaissance art and literature focused on individuals and worldly matters, along with Christianity. The visual arts of that time were mainly of people and depicted the realism of people and truly celebrated the individual.

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