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Essay on The Shift Between The Middle Ages And Renaissance

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The shift between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance was characterized by great socio-economic, political, and religious changes. Politically, the feudal system of the Middle Ages was exchanged for a more stable centralized republic/monarchy system that gave the people more freedom and input. Religiously, secularism became more important as stability gave people a chance to concern themselves with the “here and now” rather than simply the “hereafter.” Socially, there was a shift from dogma and unshakeable belief to humanism and the ability to interpret things for oneself. The Middle Ages began around 400 CE and lasted until 1400 CE while the Renaissance began around 1200 and continued until 1600. The 200 years that overlap between these two periods contain many pieces of “transition” art in which it is obvious that the change is beginning to take place. These collective changes that took place in this period dictated change in art as well. There were changes in iconography, style, purpose, and patronage that facilitated the overall transformation of art from a sense of illustrating what you are told to believe is true to optical realism and conveying how you yourself interpret that “truth”.
During the Middle Ages, feudalism served as the “governing political, social, and economic system of late medieval Europe.” Feudalism consisted of feudal liege lords giving land and protection to vassals, common men, in exchange for their allegiance and military service. Although this principle may at first sound like a fair trade, it in actuality restricted the entire society and took away every bit of their independence. In essence, this system could even be compared to a “mini-dictatorship” because the common people relied on ...


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... fabulous piece remembered long after his time. This was accepted instead of looked down upon because of the shift from dogma to humanism that took place between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
The shift between the Middle Ages and Renaissance was documented in art for future generations. It is because of the changes in art during this time that art historians today understand the historical placement and the socio-economic, political, and religious changes of the time. Art is a visual interpretation of one’s beliefs and way of life; it is through the art from these periods that we today understand exactly what was taking place and why it was happening. These shifts did not happen overnight, but instead changed gradually though years and years of art, and it is through them that we have record of some of the most important changes of historic times.



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