Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Art Review: A Somewhat Incomplete Sample of the Renaissance

"Renaissance". It is a French word that means rebirth. I'm using it for today's Sunday Art Review post in reference to the European Renaissance that took place between the 14th and 17th centuries- a fairly broad period in history. A great deal has been written about the Renaissance. Volumes in fact. Libraries, University courses and museums are dedicated to this subject, so I could never cover it here in my humble Sunday Art Review post. I certainly don't pretend to be an art expert, yet I did study Art History and have toured many of the great museums of the world. During the Renaissance, a tremendous amount of self awareness and social debate erupted. Man was discovering more about the world, the human form, and how things worked. The shocking notion of science was considered in some circles to be an affront on God and his Church. Yet many artists flourished and were embraced by the rulers of the day- Kings, Queens, Dukes and Popes. In terms of art, it resulted in stunning attention to detail, to depict a realistic representation of life. I thought I would close out the month of May with the Sunday Art Review: A Somewhat Incomplete Sample of the Renaissance. Olivia, I expect you to weigh in, correct me or add any other thoughts here). The first image, above left is "Diana and Actaeon" by Italian artist Titan. I hope you enjoy these other masterpieces:

above: Seems a bit cliche, but it IS an important piece. "The Last Supper," Leonardo Davinci

above: Henry VIII of England, by Hans Holbein the Younger .

'Mars and Venus United by Love,' Veronese

Madonna with the Child Reading, by Jan Van Eyck.

above: Venus and Cupid, by Lorenzo Lotto
I hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse into the Renaissance. I also hope it inspires you to read more, visit a library or museum and just appreciate the incredible expression of this era. Anyone care to mention their favorite Renaissance artists or works of art in particular?
-Rick Rockhill


Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

the carnival pride has artwork like this all over it. it is a beautiful ship!

smiles, bee

Anonymous said...

Just a thought but I think that's Last "Supper" not "Summer"

Palm Springs Savant said...

Anonymous- Whoops, thanks you are right! I made the correction!

Kathy said...

Beautiful art! Thank you for the showing.

Anonymous said...

Love the art history. If I had my druthers back in my college days, I would have been an art history major.

Diane J Standiford said...

I'm a Monet lover and modern:Rothko

Tea N. Crumpet said...

What does the hand cupped by the breast mean in the paintings? You see this all the time.

Olivia said...

Ah, with my art history fading into the background and my QC skills coming to the fore, I can honestly say I have nothing to add, other than that you have now made Titian into Titan.

I appreciate your confidence in my knowledge, and all this while I was pretty scarce in the blogosphere.

I suppose I will just add that the Renaissance was a rebirth of art to the realism that the Greco-Romans also knew, but which was nearly lost during the Middle Ages.

Something really wonderful about all of them, with Veronese's vivid colors thanks to his white primer coat. (I think?)

And the rich oils of van Eyck, I remember learning that you could push oil around all day on the canvas and it wouldn't dry out.

Well, I said more than I'd expected but am now having heavy eyelids so must be off to the Land of Nod.

Sheila said...

I love Sandro Botticelli's Primavera, which I have to say is worth a trip to the Uffizi alone.

You always have such great posts and I am afraid I have missed some good ones.

Palm Springs Savant said...

Olivia- thanks for weighing in, I just knew you'd have some fabulous insights. My apologies to Titian, oh well.


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