Renaissance Ideas Influence Renaissance Art
The Renaissance in Italy produced extraordinary achievements in many different forms of art, including painting, architecture, sculpture, and drawing. These art forms were used by talented artists to express important ideas and attitudes of the age.
The value of humanism is shown in Raphael’s School of Athens, a depiction of the greatest Greek philosophers. The realism of Renaissance art is seen in a portrait such as the Mona Lisa, which is an expression of the subject’s unique features and personality. And Michelangelo’s David shares stylistic qualities with ancient Greek and Roman sculpture.
Classical and Renaissance Sculpture
Michelangelo Influenced by classical statues, Michelangelo sculpted David from 1501 to 1504. Michelangelo portrayed the biblical hero in the moments just before battle. David’s posture is graceful, yet his figure also displays strength. The statue, which is 18 feet tall, towers over the viewer.
Da Vinci The Mona Lisa (c. 1504–1506) is thought to be a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, who, at 16, married Francesco del Giocondo, a wealthy merchant of Florence who commissioned the portrait. Mona Lisa is a shortened form of Madonna Lisa (Madam, or My Lady, Lisa). Renaissance artists showed individuals as they really looked.
The Importance of Ancient Greece
Raphael The painting School of Athens (1508) for the pope’s apartments in the Vatican shows that the scholars of ancient Greece were highly honored. Under the center arch stand Plato and Aristotle. To their right, Socrates argues with several young men. Toward the front, Pythagoras draws a lesson on a slate and Ptolemy holds a globe.
Renaissance Science and Technology
Da Vinci Leonardo da Vinci filled his notebooks with observations and sketches of new inventions. This drawing from his notebooks shows a design for a spiral screw to achieve vertical flight. Leonardo’s drawing anticipated the helicopter.
1. How do the works of Renaissance artists and architects reflect Renaissance ideas? Explain.
2. Look through books on architecture to find examples of American architects who were influenced by the architects and buildings of the Italian Renaissance. Share your findings with the class.