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Medieval Art Essay

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Emotional, expressive, detailed, incredible, and magnificent: these are just a few

words that help capture what is medieval art. The artists behind these pieces of artwork

helped to shape culture, as well as creating vivid visual depictions of Bible stories,

portraits, and landscapes. Some of the most famous pieces of artwork come from the

medieval period, especially the Renaissance. Artists were widely popular at this time, so

artwork was spreading everywhere and changing history. Imagine how different today’s

culture would be without famous paintings such as Michelangelo’s mural on the ceiling

of the Sistine chapel, da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and the Last Supper. Medieval art is used

today as one of the greatest examples in teaching
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Michelangelo did a brilliant job of manifesting a

work of elegance, beauty, and one in which every character in the painting is expressive

and has an emotional presence. To this day, the room where this painting is found

continues to hold great significance to the Catholic Church, and it is even where they

elect the new pope!

An additional famous work of medieval art, actually the most famous painting in the

world, is the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. It is an iconic painting that we use today

for memes, costumes, and Snapchat filters. Though people love to make fun of this

painting, to look at it from an artist’s perspective, one can see all of the little details that

da Vinci took the time to paint. Some people might ask, “Besides its detail, why would a

painting of a woman be so famous?” Well, probably one of the reasons this painting is

most famous is because it was stolen! It was never a popular painting until it was taken in

3Lynch

1911 from the Louvre in Paris, and it became instantly iconic. Pictures of the piece of art

were printed in newspapers around the world as law enforcement searched for the

painting. Once the painting was recovered two years later, the Mona Lisa had
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Only Leonardo da Vinci could have known. This painting was also an

artistic feat in Florence because it was the first portrait painted in Italy with oil and was

also painted on wood. Years later, another artist made a reproduction of the Mona Lisa,

but he drew a mustache on it. Maybe that could be part of the reason why many people

show so little respect for the Mona Lisa today, although one can see that even though the

portrait is of a woman, it does have masculine qualities. Recently, people from Madrid

found another painting that an artist did of the Mona Lisa. They discovered that this artist

was actually sitting right next to Leonardo and copying him stroke by stroke. The only

difference in this painting is that it has brighter colors and takes on more of a feminine

approach to the portrait. The Mona Lisa definitely shaped history and is known to

everyone around the world!

Although not as three-dimensional as the painting in the Sistine Chapel, but definitely

one of the best when it comes to capturing every aspect of the story, is Leonardo da

Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper. This picture displays Jesus sitting at the table with

the twelve apostles. One can obviously identify which man is Jesus in the picture,
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