How The Middle Ages Influenced the Renaissance.

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The High Middle Ages (1001-1300)

In the Middle Ages, art was centered around the Church. The purpose of art was to glorify the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Altshuler, 2009, p. 127). Art was not made to produce a feeling it was made simply to tell a story. Artists were usually sanctioned by the church to complete specific works. All artists were male with the exception of some women who did embroideries (Altshuler, 2009, p. 127). Many different types of media was used during this time including; paint, embroidery, stain glass, relief statues and more.

Artwork in the Middle Ages contained certain characteristics. In all forms of media, the figures in the piece were usually disproportionate. Their heads would appear larger than their bodies or one figure would be unusually bigger than the other figures. In addition, artists rarely obtained a correct perspective for their paintings. The paintings do not evoke a sense of reality because the perspective is normally wrong or completely absent. Generally, the most important figures in the piece were made larger and seemingly in front of everyone else. Another characteristic of this period is the unrealistic and very similar faces all of the figures have. Most faces contain long noses and very square manly features. Even children and young women have mature masculine faces. The long square nose is found on most figures. Without perspective and the correct proportions, the art seems to look very flat and unrealistic.

Art in the middle Ages was produced for one of two reasons. It depicted either religious scenes or scenes of war. Art’s only purpose was to tell a story. As long as the story was clear, the artist had done his job. This is why the art has a flat, unr...

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...wo portraits demonstrate the differences between Middle Age art and art from The Renaissance extremely well. The earlier painting is flat, disproportionate, and unrealistic. On the other hand, the later painting is three-dimensional, proportionate, and realistic.

References

Altshuler, T., & Janaro, R. (2009). The Art of Being Human. New York, NY: Pearson.

Raphael. (1510). The Alba Madonna [Painting]. In: Altshuler, T., & Janaro, R. (2009). The Art of Being Human. New York, NY: Pearson.

Unknown (12th Century), Portrait of the Madonna, [Painting], In: Altshuler, T., & Janaro, R. (2009). The Art of Being Human. New York, NY: Pearson.

Unknown (2011). Renaissance Art. Wikipedia.org. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaissance_painting

Unknown (2011). The High Middle Ages. Wikipedia.org. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Middle_Ages

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