The Art of the Renaissance

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Though the Renaissance era included all of Europe, Italy was the cradle of the movement. The cities of Florence, Rome and Venice were of great importance to this period. Major artists created art mainly in these three. As the center of Italy, Rome held the residence of the Pope and many other important factors. Throughout history, the Roman Catholic Church was very insistent on promoting their ideas. During this time, they used artists and their creativity to promote the Bible and other aspects of their beliefs. Artists were paid, or commissioned by patrons (often the Pope) to create art they wanted. One of the most ambitious patrons was Pope Julius II, who realized the impact visual images had on people’s ideas (Kleiner, 599). Pope Julius II was called the warring Pope, because he often went and involved himself in wars. He also held very humanistic ideas. Because of this, Michelangelo’s relationship to Pope Julius II was very different from his relationship with Pope Leo X, who succeeded Julius II. Julius, because of his adaptions to humanistic thoughts, he let Michelangelo express himself to the fullest, even when forcing him to paint the Sistine Chapel. Leo X, however, was very critical of everything Michelangelo set out upon. This resulted a strained relationship, and eventually abandonment of projects that were supposed to be completed. It is clear that Pope Julius II had a liking for Michelangelo, while the Medici’s looked on him as a type of lowly artist subject to their will. Evidently, Leonardo Da Vinci is considered a “Renaissance Man” because of his talent in almost every area. A “Renaissance Man” is someone who is able to do a little bit of everything. That is exactly what his life was; a dedicati... ... middle of paper ... ...t their women. A common myth that has circulated is that the women were raped, because the Latin word used in the histories was raptio, which actually means abducted, not raped or violated. Aside from the myths and stories, the tale lends any artist an interesting subject to create. Interestingly enough, Cellini’s Saltcellar of Francis () surprised me because of the small creatures at the sides of the golden people (Neptune and Tellus, the sea and the land). Created to be a salt dish for Francis I of France, the piece is ornately decorated with tiny jewels and different colors. What surprised me about this piece was the little horse-dragon near Neptune’s left side. With the head of a horse, feet like fins and scales of a fish, it reminded me of more fairy tales and mythological creatures, which shows what a diverse era this Renaissance period was.

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