Sunday, May 1, 2011
When one thinks of the Renaissance Period they often envision knights on horseback or are transported back to medieval times. This is in part to groups that tour throughout the United States as the Renaissance Faire. The truth is that the word renaissance means rebirth, which is exactly what the European continent was about to embark on in the late part of the fourteenth and early part of the fifteenth centuries. The Renaissance period characterizes the movement from focusing solely on religion to a more secular outlook and focus on individuals.
The Renaissance period began in Florence, Italy and eventually spread to Northern Europe years later. One social and cultural similarity that the Italian and Northern European Renaissance shared was that they both shared a common religion, Catholicism, and both periods used religious stories and figures for their works of art. An example of religious figures being used as an inspiration for artwork in both Renaissance periods is Parmigianino’s Madonna with the Long Neck and Albert Durer’s Adam and Eve. Both of these pieces show the importance that was placed on religion. Another similarity is that both regions had a city that was the center of the art world where artist flocked to practice their crafts and confer with other artists. In Italy the artistic city was Florence and for Northern Europe area it was Flanders. A final similarity between the two Renaissance periods being compared is that both regions had access to the modern technology of printing presses. This permitted the creation of more books than ever before.
The Renaissance, for the Italians, was a rebirth of the classical learning of ancient Rome and Greece, and Florence’s leaders created an atmosphere that permitted all forms of the arts to flourish. There was also a new focus on individuals and the world in which they lived and less of a focus on the afterlife....