The Renaissance is a period of time in Europe, especially in Italy, where music, literature, and science had a style that was very distinct. The time period was sometime in the 1400s. It is seen by many as an ancient tradition that was very noble.
The style had a sense of tranquillity that was classical as well as scientific. Along with renaissance humanist philosophy, this art form began spreading all over Europe instead of being restricted to Italy. It was also an indicator when the changes started happening in the medieval period as the modern age ushered in.
The word renaissance means rebirth in French. This is because this period of time was seen by scholars as the age where classical ideas were combined with a sense of awareness of the nature around them. All of this can also be seen in medieval times as well, but they became more profound and dominant in the 15th and 16th century Italy.
Not only was art influenced but also the field of literature, theology, philosophy, and government among others. It is also believed that this is the most accurate depiction of man in history.
This period also witnessed many artists that would later go down in history as some of the greatest to ever have lived. Let us look at some facts.
Since artists were obsessed with accuracy, dissection of bodies was a common occurrence as this enabled them to learn as much as they can about anatomy. Artists such as Leonardo and Michelangelo studied anatomy through dissection, but their ethicality comes under question when the fact that only physicians had permission to dissect bodies is highlighted.
Although the techniques such as foreshortening and linear perspective were developed in paintings were made so that they looked as real as it can, the standards of beauty rose to the point where the perfect nature of these paintings didn’t accurately depict how people were at that time.
3. Leonardo and Raphael
After arriving in Florence, Italy, Raphael soon realized that his painting techniques weren’t quite as modern. Hence, he changed this by studying the artists that were there. One particular person that he studied very closely was Leonardo da Vinci.
4. The Sistine Chapel
Michelangelo, the painter of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, preferred sculpting. Although he had painters that could’ve helped him, he did it all by himself in a span of four years. He painted nearly 1000 sq meters.
The works and paints that were made between the 1860s to the 1970s are called modern art. In this period, the world witnessed developments in art that were never seen before. Many of these are now considered by many as some of the finest humanity has to offer.
It is during this period that traditions that were seemingly set in stone were broken and notions of what art stood for was questioned extensively.
In this article, we look at some of the best works that were produced during this art period.
Marilyn Diptych by Andy Warhol
The Marilyn Diptych contains 50 images of the actress Marilyn Monroe. The image is divided in two. The left side of the picture includes pictures that are evenly, although vividly, colored whereas the right side is made up of monochrome images of the actress. The interesting fact about the right side is that it starts fading away towards the end of the picture. Many believe this to be symbolic of the actress’s regression in moral standards. It was released in the year 1962, a few weeks after the death of the actress.
The Treachery Of Images
Created by Rene Magritte, a prominent figure in the surrealist movement, contains the caption “Ceci n’est pas une pipe,” which translates to “This isn’t a pipe.” The caption instructs the viewer that what they see is only an image and not the object itself.
Although Magritte’s fellow surreal artists focused more on the unnatural depiction of the world, there was a sense of ambiguity in the simple paintings that Magritte painted as they looked very real. The Treachery of Images was released in the 1920s as part of his world-image paintings.
Les Demoiselles D’Avignon
Les Demoiselles D’Avignon is regarded as the painting that ushered cubism as well as modern art, and it was created by Pablo Picasso in the year 1907. It is also considered by many to be one of the most influential paintings to be released in the 20th century. But at the time, it sparked many controversies mainly due to what the painting had to offer as it had five female prostitutes. When it was first exhibited in 1916, the name of the painting was changed as it translated to “The Brothel of Avignon.”
The Persistence of Memory
Created by Salvadore Dali, the painting features watches that are melting on top of rocks and trees. Employing concepts of hard and soft, the watches are shown to melt in order to represent the nature of the world, soft and hard.
Ever since the renowned artist Leonardo da Vinci unveiled what he considered his best work yet, there have been many that sought answers as to what the painting stood for. There is very little doubt that it is the most famous painting in the world.
The original dimensions of the painting are 30×21 inches, and many believe that the painting was commission by Francesco Del Giocondo to paint his wife, Lisa Gherardini in Italy.
Although he worked on the painting from the beginning in Italy, it was only during his days in France that he completed the painting. Some believe da Vinci completed the painting in the year 1517. King Francis I of France acquired the painting after which the painting became French property.
Here are some other facts about the famous painting.
People have speculated the reason for missing eyebrows and eyelashes. Some say they were lost during restoration by accident and others believe it to be an indicator of how da Vinci sought-after perfection. In his pursuit of perfection, the painting was never truly completed as he always brought in small little tweaks over the years. Plucking both the eyebrow and eyelash was a common phenomenon at the time of creation of the painting.
The identity of the woman in the picture has also been a source of debate as some believe it to be Lisa Gherardini and others believe it to be a self-portrait. Lisa Gherardini was the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. She was 24 years old at the time, and the couple had two sons.
Vincenzo Perugia was an Italian patriot who firmly believed that the painting belonged to Italy and not France. Since he was an employee at the Louvre, in 1911, Perugia stole the painting. The Mona Lisa was in an apartment building for two years. Police believed that Pablo Picasso was a suspect and because of this, he was jailed as well as questioned before Perugia’s identity was spread after his attempt to sell the Mona Lisa to an art gallery in Italy. This led to his arrest in the year 1913.
Since the painting is priceless, the Mona Lisa cannot be insured and is secured in a room that has a climate of its own in the Louvre, Paris. It is also located inside a bullet proof glass. The whole room is said to have cost around $7.5 million.
Happy, angry, and disgusted are only a few emotions that Mona Lisa’s smile has been associated with since no one can say for sure what it indeed is.