High Renaissance and the Amazing Artists
How it works
“In week two we discussed the High Renaissance and the amazing artists, arts, and styles that were brought up during that time. The High Renaissance was a time period beginning in the 1490’s in the Italian states that truly had amazing artistic production. This time period was greatly dominated by three famous and intellectual artists named Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci. This time period flourished for about 35 years, from the 1490’s to 1527. The High Renaissance originated in order to represent the artistic peak of the Renaissance, and became to be the most flourishing societal high point.
It was the most reviving time of classical art along with sincere inquiry in humanities. The artistic creations during this time were enlightened from a perceptive knowledge of anatomy, science, and architecture.
During this time they also included techniques from the Early Renaissance artists such as linear perspective, accurate portrayals of human anatomy, the foreshortening of figures within a superior view to give off a genuine viewing understanding from below. Additionally, the High Renaissance was a rise of two new styles known as Sfumato and quadratura by Leonardo Da Vinci. Sfumato was the blending of tone and color, and Quadratura were ceiling paintings so people could get a different view of paintings. What the High Renaissance artists truly wanted to resemble is the visual, symmetrical, and compositional perfection. Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the most influential artists during the High Renaissance. He contributed to the High Renaissance through portraits and religious paintings.
Additionally, he was the one that created the new styles of art such as, Sfumato and Quadrature. His two most famous artworks of this time period were the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper. The Mona Lisa is an example of the style of Sfumato. The Mona Lisa was a painting painted from the year 1503-1519. Till this day people are still fascinated by the way Da Vinci painted this painting. This painting was painted so precisely with so much perspective and patience. The Mona Lisa is a portrait of women named Lisa del Giocondo the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, a Florentine Merchant. It was intended to be for them to hang in their home in order to celebrate the birth of their baby, but Da Vinci ended up keeping it until it reached the Louvre museum. Lisa Del Giocondo is portrayed as very intimidating in the painting. She is facing the observers, her eyes follow the eyes of the viewers, and her mouth smirks at the viewers at every angle they look at her making the essence of her smile very hard to determine. Additionally, what is so fascinating about this painting is that she is a reflection of the background of the painting.
The curves of her hair and clothing are a indication of the way he painted the valley in the background. This painting really was one of the major influences of the Renaissance because it restructured contemporary portrait painting. The Last Supper was painted from the year 1495-1498. It is also one of the worlds recognizable paintings. It portrays a very dramatic scene from the moments in the gospels. The painting is painted also with such perspective and composition, which is a technique that was also practiced in the Early Renaissance and continued in the High Renaissance. In this era, loads of paintings were painted in churches, and so too was the painting of the Last Supper. It resembles a very significant and crucial time in Christian history. Da Vinci started to paint this painting on the wall of the dining hall of the church Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. The painting so clearly portrays the reactions of the apostles learning the fact that one of them are going to betray Jesus. This was a very customary scene that was so perfectly reanimated. In the painting the group of gospels are sitting behind a long rectangular table with christ sitting in the middle of them.
Christ is portrayed in linear perspective so it could show the viewers that he is the central figure. Judas the one that betrayed Jesus, was shadowed in the painting in order to resemble the fact of “betrayal”. He so precisely depicted the apostles reactions and emotions with lots of movement. Altogether, the painting of the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper frankly presented what the High Renaissance symbolized which was religion and humanism. In week three we discussed the time of Mannerism which was also known as the Late Renaissance. The Mannerism time period began in the 1520’s and ended in the 16th century. One could identify this time period as European art that depicted stretched out proportions, drastic stylized poses, and unclear perspective. This style of art began in Florence and Rome, and then spread to central and northern Europe. The High Renanassassiance truly portrayed a time of perspective, harmony, and beauty, however Mannerist artists could not excel on those techniques. Mannerist artists honestly rejected perfect proportions and harmony, and they started to go forth with using artificial colors, emotionalism, unclear meanings, illogical settings, and a lot of elongated figures. However some were able to portray beauty and elegance in their paintings as well.
In short, the Mannerist era was known as “anti classical” and “anti renaissance” style. A few main artists that utilized these techniques were named Jacopo da Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, Parmigianino, Giulio Romano, Bronzino, Tintoretto, El Greco, Toledo, and many more. Parmigianino, a gifted artist, mastered in Mannerist style paintings. He had a touch of elegance in his paintings with the addition of elongated forms. Unfortunately he passed away at a very young age, but he created lots of artworks that are known till this day. One of his famous artworks is a portrait of himself called Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror. He wanted to paint this painting because he wanted to show the outside world his skills and talents as an artist, and to get customers. He used a convex panel and a convex mirror in order to paint this painting. The painting shows Parmigianino as a elongated figure with his hand upfront. He certainly symbolized the Mannerist style with his imperfect proportions. Another one of his paintings is called Madonna with the Long Neck. He succeeded in representing the Mannerist style in this painting as well. It was painted in the year 1534 and finished in about the year 1535.
The painting displays a women, also known as Madonna or Virgin Mary, who was Jesus’s mother. She is painted with a very elongated neck, and baby Jesus laying on her lap. On the right of her stands six angels admiring her and the baby. Though the meaning of his painting is a little unclear, it is said that this painting is a resemblance of Jesus being saved. Baby Jesus is laying on Madonna’s lap with outstretched arms and closed eyes, signifying his liberation from death.
Additionally, he wanted to make the background of the painting a church due the significant role Mary played in the church. Even though when first looking at the painting you might find it deceptive, you later will find elegance and beauty in it. Parmigianino achieved his works in Mannerist style such as with elongated configuration, but also made sure to add refinement to it as well.”