Humanism emerged during the 14th century and became a central component of Italian art and culture in the 15th and 16th century centuries. Its influence quickly changed the Italian gothic art style by reintroducing Greco-Roman art forms that lead to the Italian Renaissance. For instance, Donatello was the greatest sculptor of the early Renaissance period, and was particularly known for introducing the humanist style to Italian art. Donatello’s bronze statue of David made him the first Renaissance sculptor to portray the nude male figure. The statue portrayed the beauty of nude Greek gods, something that would’ve been condemned by the Church in the middle ages. However, this appealed to Donatello’s patrons, the Medici, since it was a revival of classical statuary style. As a result, Donatello’s humanist style would influence later artists such as Sandro Botticelli 's B...
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... not. Overtime, artists like Masaccio experimented with linear perspective like in his work Holy Trinity where the vanishing point is at the foot of the cross, pulling two views together, with one view looking up at the Trinity and the other down at the tomb.
As we can see, the Italian Renaissance was a revival of Greco-Roman ideals integrated in art and culture. The Medici helped start this significant movement by pushing neoplatonic/humanist philosophies as well as commissioning many works of art resulting in the development of artistic characteristics such as chiaroscuro that helped balance the lightness and darkness in a painting. Contrapposto, which was a realistic approach to the body’s stance, and finally, linear perspective that originated from architecture and made it’s way to two dimensional paintings creating the illusion of distance and space.
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