Magnificent Minds of the Renaissance

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Magnificent Minds of the Renaissance

The renaissance era of the 1500's was a time of artistic, philosophic, and scientific wonder and inspiration. Several new discoveries were made in the areas of science, and assumptions on the world and universe around them were expressed by philosophers. Many individuals had been gifted with artistic creativity and skill. The astonishing achievements of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael are considered momentous to the Renaissance period. In this paper, I will talk about the endeavors and achievements of these three amazing Renaissance men.

Born April 15, 1452 in the small Tuscan town of Anchiano to Ser Piero, a wealthy Florentine and Caterina, a peasant woman, Leonardo enjoyed a very happy childhood. He benefited from the best educational and artistic institutions in Florence. Leonardo wanted to understand and experience more of the world and universe. He used his experiences and desires to understand all aspects of the world and began recording his impressions of life in art. His art, and the personality it reveals, is of universal interest, and like all great art should be re-interpreted for each generation (Clark 40).

In 1482, Leonardo relocated to Milan where he serviced the duke, Ludovico Sforza until 1499 when he fell from power. He was known as pictor et ingeniarius ducalis (translation, painter and engineer of the duke) in the royal household (Encyclopedia Britannica n.pag.). Leonardo was highly esteemed and well liked in court circles. Leonardo was kept busy painting, sculpting and designing the court festivities. During this time, he also consulted as a technical adviser for architecture, fortifications, and military matters. “As he would throughout his life,


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...rosoft Encarta n.pag.). The Stanza della Segnatura located in the first room of the Vatican, took Raphael about 4 years to create. Each wall is decorated with scenes suggesting personifications of Theology, Philosophy, Poetry, and Justice (Microsoft Encarta n.pag.).

The second Vatican chamber, the Stanza d'Eliodoro, contains scenes representing the triumph of the Roman Catholic church over their enemies(Microsoft Encarta n.pag.). Upon the death of Pope Julius II, Raphael was made chief architect of Saint Peter's Basilica and later appointed director of all the excavations of antiquities. Due to his busyness, only the third chamber, the Stanza del Incendio, was completed by him. Raphael provided the designs for the fourth chamber.

Raphael died on his 37th birthday, leaving behind an unfinished Transfiguration located in the Vatican (Elder – n.pag.).

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