McKay 1

Kayla McKay
1/2/2017
1B
Renaissance Research Paper Renaissance Culture

The time period after the Middle Ages were a time of rebirth. It was the period where things

began to look up, and the values of life increased. The style of clothing people wore, taste in

artwork, the classes of the people, as well as the general public shifted drastically from the

depressing, struggling atmosphere, known as the Dark Ages, to a more open-minded, and

enlightened period called the Renaissance.

The time before the official Renaissance, was called the “proto-Renaissance” from 1280-1400.

The Italian scholars revived the Roman culture, in the aspects of their ideas and achievements.

(history.com). In the 14th century, a plague put the continuance of the Renaissance on hold, and

did not have a comeback until until the next century. Artists such as Lorenzo Ghiberti (c. 1378-

1455), Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446) , and Donatello (c. 1386- 1466), provided a new

interest for art. The renaissance could be summarized as a time of “political stability and growing

prosperity, the development of new technologies” (history.com). The renaissance also

influenced more roles in philosophy, literature , and art. “Though the Catholic Church remained a

major patron of the arts during the Renaissance–from popes and other prelates to convents,

monasteries and other religious organizations–works of art were increasingly commissioned by

civil government, courts and wealthy individuals. Much of the art produced during the early

Renaissance was commissioned by the wealthy merchant families of Florence, most notably the

Medici”(history.com).

The art during the renaissance was more realistic, the artists used “perspective and

foreshortening to create an illusion of three dimensions” (reference.com). New oild paints were
McKay 2

created, which lead to the invention of the oil-on-canvas, which is a different medium and easier

to paint on than the wet plasters that were used beforehand. “Throughout the Renaissance, artists

applied the disciplines of science and math to improve old techniques” (reference.com).

Christianity had a large influence on on the Greek and Roman art, which is included in the

renaissance art as well. The artists used science and math to create depth and show realism,

which lead to a summary of this era to be “ both scientific and creative”(reference.com). The

terms realism,perspective,classicism,secularism,individualism are all of what the artists made

sure were included in their works, which were either sculptures, paintings, drawings, or murals.

“The goal of most Renaissance at was to show the importance of people and nature, not just

religion”(theitalianrenaissance-byhelenlo.weebly.com). The art was influenced

mostly by classical art instead of medieval. With classical and renaissance art, the motive was to

portray lifelike activities, and to show the world as it is. Some characteristics of art from the

renaissance would include religious and nonreligious themes, the figure held facial expressions

to show emotion, full backgrounds to show perception, and the colors were arranged in a way to

respond to light. “Renaissance art sought to capture the experience of the individual and the

beauty and mystery of the natural world”(history.com).

Renaissance applied 99% to the upper class, the had the opportunity to spend their time

learning. The lower class was predominantly illiterate , and mainly excluded the common/

peasant people. The lower classes were too concerned by day-to-day living to participate in this

movement. The men also practiced virtu,”the quality of being a man”, which is basically having

great integrity. The women were what we call “housewives” today, they were told to stay at

home and take care of the house, and have sons, daughters weren’t desired because the parents

would have to provide a dowry, which most peasant homes couldn’t afford. The higher education
McKay 3

of women wasn’t supported as much as men’s was, they only learned what they needed to know

to fulfill their roles as women in society. If a woman would want to have a higher education,

they couldn’t have a home, children, or a social life. They would have to choose between one or

another. Men believed women were disorderly and in order to keep their disorderly conduct

away from the people, they made the women’s lives revolve around housework. Even though,

the women were confined to one field of of work, the men were allowed to explore. Their social

class gave the opportunity for men to become businessmen, fishermen, or politicians, but most

followed in their father’s line of work.

All in all, the renaissance was a time of rebirth, it allowed people to be seen as an individual,

as well as new inventions. The people of this time, though only the upper class experienced this

era, it was an improvement from the middle ages. It had music, artwork, as well as political

change, some of which some people still practice today.

Work Cites:
1. https://www.reference.com/art-literature/characteristics-
renaissance-art-354c2
2. history.com
3. en.wikipedia.org
McKay 4

4. Vlib.iue.it
5. https://quizlet.com/18643339/10-characteristics-of-renaissance-art-flash-
cards/
6. http://theitalianrenaissance-
byhelenlo.weebly.com/renaissance-art.html
7. historysage.com
8. https://prezi.com/rc84jl3rvuq2/daily-life-during-the-renaissance/