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The Jewels of the Renaissance By Mari Summers

  in Arts and entertainment | Published 2016-11-29 08:21:53 | 174 Reads | Unrated

Summary

The Renaissance became a pivotal point in the entire human culture. As religious austerity gave way to new life-asserting values, it brought down the strict limitations of Medieval art and replaced them with passionate, free-spirited forms of artistic expression.

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The long-awaited liberation

The Renaissance became a pivotal point in the entire human culture. As religious austerity gave way to new life-asserting values, it brought down the strict limitations of Medieval art and replaced them with passionate, free-spirited forms of artistic expression. The new movement was mainly represented by four figures – Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rafael and Donatello. Their key works, still regarded as an example of technical excellence and powerful creativity, should be familiar to every person who has an interest in art.

Four
artists – four masterpieces
 

  1. ‘Mona Lisa’ by Leonardo da Vinci

The most glorified achievement of the Renaissance, ‘Mona Lisa’ still captivates our minds with her elusive charm and enigmatic smile. A woman whose beauty has conquered the entire world was the wife of a wealthy silk merchant, Lisa del Giocondo, although there are several alternative versions as to the painting’s origin. Be as it may, we keep discovering new depths in this simple yet so profound portrait that seems to be a bit different each time we give it another look.

  1.  ‘Creation of Adam’ by Michelangelo

Illustrating a famous Biblical myth, this stunning fresco on the vault of the Sistine Chapel depicts naked Adam extending his hand to receive a spark of life from the God’s finger.  This near-touch is deeply intimate and solemn. We can clearly see a metaphor of spiritual birth here: painting his ‘Creation,’ Michelangelo wanted to remind us that we truly live only when there is God inside us, no matter how we interpret that notion.

  1.  ‘Sistine Madonna’ by Rafael

This extraordinary oil painting depicts the Madonna with the Christ Child in her arms, surrounded by Saint Sixtus, Saint Barbara and two winged cherubim. Dressed in flapping cloaks, with a serious and a bit sad gaze, she treads on clouds carrying her precious gift to the people. She seems to anticipate her son’s tragic fate, but is ready to make this sacrifice anyway. Direct eye contact with the viewer and intense emotionality single this painting out among other Rafael’s works.

  1. ‘David’ by Donatello

Being the first full-height free-standing nude statue since the times of the Ancient Rome, the bronze ‘David’ represents the legendary defeater of Goliath with his foot on the giant’s head and a huge sword that used to belong to his enemy in his hand. Aside from knee-high boots and a hat decorated with laurel leaves, he is absolutely naked. The delicate and ample figure of David is an expression of pure beauty as well as the might of God who assisted him in his miraculous victory.

 

21pbn

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