Painting and sculpture during Renaissance period:
-features of renaissance art
-famous work and analysis
-science and technology
you can write
Write the Renaissance Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and then analyze what the characteristics of the work
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Painting and Sculpture during Renaissance Period
Features of Renaissance Art
Renaissance art revived the values and classical learning of ancient Rome and Greece. Renaissance art was prominent from the 14th to the 16 Century. Famous Italian artists such as Michelangelo Buonarroti, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael are known for developing great works of art. The creators of Renaissance art were inspired by the goal of capturing individual experience, mastery of nature, and beauty of the natural world (CASA, 2017, par. 1). Nature mastery and beauty is a key element in Renaissance art.
Artists at the Renaissance period were eager to represent the natural world as realistically as possible. Giotto (1267-1337) is a Florentine painter, who is attributed to have represented the human body in a realistic manner in his paintings (CASA, 2017, par. 4). In addition, Masaccio’s (1401-1428) as one of the famous painter’s work was attributed with impressive works of art that were characterized by a significant degree of naturalism (CASA, 2017, par. 6). In another view, Leonardo avidly expressed classical values and humanist perceptions in his works (CASA, 2017, par. 9). Natural world is often represented in a realistic manner in Renaissance art.
Accomplishment of three-dimensional (3-D) art works was one of the strategies for producing works that represent the natural world (CASA, 2017, par. 7). Stereoscopy has a complex and eventful history. Three-dimensional (3-D) perspective was conceived long before the introduction of cinema. In the 3rd Century, Euclid declared that, “To see in 3D is to receive by each eye two dissimilar images of the same object” (Tricart, 2016, p. 23). 3-D perspectives reinforced the artists’ attempt to represent the natural world according to the principleof realism.
The 3-D perspective was well developed in Renaissance art. However, 3-D perspective is traceable to the employment of occlusion during the Paleolithic cave painting period (Brooks, 2017). Early painters in the Renaissance period had strived to portray realistic 3-D scenes.Some painters such as Duccio employed the occlusion strategy in to 3-D scenes on the picture plane. Paintings overlapped to show depth relations and the view point of the painting (Gillam, 2011). Occlusion was fundamental for development of 3-D perspective.
Famous Work and Analysis
During the Renaissance period, the Catholic Church was the key promoter and supported of the works of art. Popes, monasteries, and convents were the major supporters of the art culture. Besides, works of art were commissioned by courts, wealthy individuals, and the courts. The wealthy merchant families were not left behind, for instance, the Medici family were strong supporters and leaders in the works of art (CASA, 2017, par. 7).
The coming to power of the Roman Pope, Pope Leo X in late 15th to 16th Century encouraged the rise of great art masters namely Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael. The three masters had dominated the high Renaissance period. Pope Leo X came from the Medici family and the son of Lorenzo de’ Medici (CASA, 2017, par. 9). Thus, his predilection to works of art is not surprising.
By the 15th Century, Leonardo da Vinci had expressed his frustration of unsuccessful recreation of depth and shapes as perceived in the real world. In his research he observed that objects placed at various depths were not perceived in the same way by the right and the left eye (Tricart, 2016, p.23). Fortunately, the famous Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci is arguably the first global stereogram. When observed under a keen eye, Mona Lisa will generate an impression of the characteristic stereoscopic depth (Brooks, 2017).
The landscape behind and making the backgroundof Leonardo’s Mona Lisa painting portrays Leonardo’s imagination, plane motif-canvas, and the real world landscape (Carbon & Hesslinger, 2015). Mona Lisa is one of the cultural icons just like Michelangelo’s David sculpture. The dreamlike landscape is evident in Mona Lisa’s portrait. Leonardo appeared to have employed scientific concepts, for example, perspective to generate humanist realism in his artistic works. In consequence, Leonardo was able to emphasize correspondence in natural structure and form (Ball, 2017).
Apart from achieving stereoscopic artworks through Mona Lisa painting, Leonardo practiced visual art extensively and explored a wide range of subjects including geology, anatomy, flight, and hydraulics. Leonardo’s reputation is centered on his completed paintings such as The Last Supper (1495-98), Mona Lisa (1503-05), and The Virgin of the Rocks (1485) (CASA, 2017, par. 3& 9). Through creation of The Last Supper painting, Leonardo demonstrated his unique ability to depict shadow and light, landscape, and relationships between animals, objects and humans (CASA, 2017, par. 9).
In the 16th Century, the famous painter known as Jacopo Chimenti generated ‘stereo pair’ drawings. Jacopo’s two drawings of the same image could be perceived by the left and right eye in a dissimilar manner. Jacopo is renowned for painting the Florentine school (Tricart, 2016, p. 23).
Prophet Jonah’s painting in the ceiling of Sistine Chapel is one of the artistic works of Michelangelo. It depicts the urological vision of the artist as he developed the painting on the ceiling between 1508 and 1512. Representation on the figure of Jonah’s penis and the fish figure on his left thigh paints a curious similarity. The iconographic and pictorial analysis divulges light intensity on the pubic region. The painting also shows positioning of Jonah’s left hand on his pubic region and legs spread apart. A tube shaped piece of cloth conceals the pubic area. Besides, the angel positioned near Jonah appears to be looking on Jonah’s anatomy (Reiset al., 2012). Michelangelo’s depiction of Prophet Jonah reinforces the link between Renaissance art and advanced understanding of human anatomy. Besides, Michelangelo seemed to have been motivated by his religious convictions since he included an angel in Jonah’s painting.
It is believed that Giotto’s frescoes were used for decorating cathedrals in Rome, Assisi, Naples, and Florence. Masaccio’s frescoes were used for decoration of the Trinity in the Church of Santa Maria Novella in 1426. Besides, Masaccio’s frescoes decorated the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine chapel known as the Brancacci in 1427 (CASA, 2017, par. 4-6).
Majority of the wall paintings are found in caves. Some cave paintings dates back to the ancient times. For instance, the painting in one of the caves in Indonesia dates back to more than 40,000 years ago. It is the oldest existing evidence of human creative art (Cyranoski, 2014). Drawings in the cave, paintings, and engravings were made on immobile rocks surfaces 40 to 35 thousand years ago. Human migration routes in Far East, South East Asia, Wallace, and Australia are dotted with cave paintings (Aubert et al., 2014).
Cave paintings in Indonesia in an Island known as Maros Karsts of Sulawesi depicts a painting tradition that is compatible with paintings made in Europe in about the same period. The earliest cave paintings in Maros dates back to 39,000 years on uranium series dating (Aubert et al., 2014). The cave paintings located in Ajanta and Bagh (both in India) are some evidences of human migration. Cave paintings in Ajanta and Bagh were influenced by the Buddhist culture and religious beliefs. Painting knowledge and skills appeared to have been transferred from caves located in Ajanta to South-East Asia (Singh & Arbad, 2013). Wall paintings thus developed through cave paintings.
Techniques applied in the development of Renaissance art include development of 3-D works of art through carvings, drawings, and paintings (Tricart, 2016, p. 23).Painting technology at the Renaissance period was advanced. Analysis of old paintings reveals layered painting patterns. It depicts continuous painting restoration of art works. Recent analysis of the Renaissance statues at Abatellis Palace, Palermo (Sicily) demonstrated gold foil layers and color layers. Colored layers are visible through the application of X-ray fluorescence, and ultra-violet fluorescence. Subsequent paintings and color layer are useful for identifying and characterizing original materials. X-ray fluorescence is an invasive procedure for studying strati-graphical structures and chemical composition (Alberghinaet al., 2012, p. 68).
The chemical analysis demonstrates that Egyptian Blue is the first artificial dye developed more than 4500 years ago. The ancient dye is a bright blue crystalline substance. Analysis and reproduction enable scientists to reconstruct the past. Chemistry knowledge and skills as much advanced since the naturally existing cuprorivaite is extremely rare. Egyptian blue is a common paint in ancient tombs, paintings, and mummies’ coffins. The dye was used widely in Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia, and the Roman Empire (McCouat, 2016).
The emergence of modern technology such as infrared technology has revealed that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to Renaissance art. More can be observed from the works of art developed in the Renaissance period with the use of infrared technology. It is clear that Renaissance artist selected and used a unique set of dyes with impressive properties. Unseen details can be visualized under near-infrared technology. X-ray photography and laser technology are also fundamental in revealing fine details in drawings and paintings (Stromberg, 2012, par. 1).
Science and Technology
Jacopo’s works might have inspired Sir Charles Wheatstone (the English inventor, 1838-1895) to develop a stereoscope based on mirrors positioned at right angles. About the same time, Jules Duboscq (a French optician) and Sir David Brewster (a Scottish inventor) designed and developed a simpler prism-based stereoscope. The stereoscope did not capture public attention up until the introduction of photography. In 1839, Louis Daguerre, the French inventor, and artist filed a ‘daguerreotype’ patent as the first photographic method that could have been commercialized (Tricart, 2016, pp. 23-4).
Brewster ruled that focus on distance and focal length must be equal on both lenses. Besides, he noted that the distance between the two lenses should be equal to the distance in-between the two eyes (Tricart, 2016, p. 25). Brewster’s observations are still relevant in the field of optics in the modern times.
Cinematography, 3D technology and imaging technology had a humble origin in the early part of the 20th Century. The digital age is believed to have begun in 2000. The advent of digital technology had a fundamental transformation of 3D technology and visual arts as a whole (Tricart, 2016, p. 23). Scientific and technological advancements include development of imaging technology that has helped scientist to capture more details about the Renaissance art.
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Aubert, M., Brumm, A., Ramli, A., Sutikna, T., Saptomo, E.W., et al. (2014). Pleistocene cave art from Sulawesi, Indonesia. Nature, 514(10), 223-227. Doi:10.1038/nature13422
Ball, P. (2017). Art: Under Mona Lisa’s smile. Nature, 32(6). Doi: 10.1038/546032a. Retrieved on June 20, 2017 from, http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v546/n7656/full/546032a.html
Brooks, K.R. (2017). Depth perception and history of three-dimensional art: Who produced the first stereoscopic images? Iperception, 8(1), 1-22. Doi: 10.1177/2041669516680114.
Carbon, C-C., & Hesslinger, V.M. (2015). On the Nature of the Background Behind Mona Lisa. MIT Press Journals, 48(2), 183-184.
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McCouat, P. (2016). Egyptian Blue: The colour of technology. Retrieved on June 20, 2017 from, http://www.artinsociety.com/egyptian-blue-the-colour-of-technology.html
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Singh, M., & Arbad, B.R. (2013). Architectural history and painting art at Ajanta: Some salient features. Arts, 2(3), 134-150. Doi: 10.3390/arts2030134
Stromberg, J. (2012). New technology reveals invisible details in Renaissance art. Retrieved on June 20, 2017 from, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/new-technology-reveals-invisible-details-in-Renaissance -art-125725013/
Tricart, C. (2016). 3D Filmmaking: Techniques and Best Practices for Stereoscopic Filmmakers. Boca Raton: CRC Press.