Italian and Norhten Renaissance

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Date Submitted: 09/22/2011 05:19 AM

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Renaissance was one of the most colorful and exciting times in history. It was a time during which artists broke away from the restrictions of medieval art. “Through this period (1400-1600) artists, sculptors and architects created works of art which have never been surpassed by technique and concept. “ (Westfall, T.1929) “The word “Renaissance” means “rebirth”, a return to the ancient world values that were rediscovered and achieved the harmony for which a century of painters and sculptors had striven” (Ruskin, A. 1968)

“Interest in the “antique” was in itself not new”.(Woods, K. 2007).It is quite wrong to imagine that the rebirth of Greek and Roman art caused the rebirth of Renaissance. The opposite is true. The artists worked so passionately for a revival of art that they turned to nature, to science and to the antique art to realize their aims. However, crucial developments also helped. The invention of the printing press encouraged literacy and helped to spread new ideas. Greek manuscripts become more widely available and were translated. This opened a new deep world for scientists and philosophers.

It is important to understand that this movement appeared in Italy and then spread all over Europe. Northern Renaissance is the term used to describe the Renaissance in northern Europe, or more broadly in Europe outside Italy. Even if the Italian and Northern Renaissance emerged in the same period their characteristics are quite different. So, it would we fair to analyze this movement from 2 point of view: The Italian and Northern Renaissance.

Italian Renaissance

“As we know, in the Middle Ages everything including art was in connection with the church and church buildings.”(Gombrich 1955). Today is very difficult to imagine what a church meant to the people of that period. The church was often the only stone building anywhere in the neighborhood. Plague, wars and poverty that followed the fall of the Roman Empire...