How Contemporary Art Owes The Renaissance Essay

, Research Paper

How Contemporary Art owes the Renaissance The following essay will discuss how the Contemporary World owes a debt to the Renaissance era. The word Renaissance means rebirth , a perfection of sorts, which is exactly what the contemporary world strives for each and every day. Many different advances began during the renaissance, and continue to develop today. Some of the different advances that began were; technology, education, business-finance, the importance of individuality, and compartmentalization of our life. During the fifteenth century, the time of the Renaissance, a society based on trade and banking began in Flanders. Trade guilds were set up to control manufacturing, as well as the production of works of art (246). In Flanders, the people wanted to learn new things as well as expand their minds. The Northerners, on the other hand, didn t really care to much about this. So while Flanders expanded and moved on to the Renaissance, the Northerners stayed in the Gothic era until the sixteenth century.In the Renaissance age, the concept of humanism came about. The title humanist was originally applied to a teacher of humanistic studies, which included rhetoric, grammar, poetry, history, and moral philosophy (247). Christianity now became a part of the humanistic quality. The human potential for achievement and excellence was sought out by humanists. Humanism influenced all areas, not just Flanders. Soon everyone was taking up the idea of humanism. It played an important role in the development of art theory. Artists took classical works of art and used a literary approach to it. Painters were no longer seen as people expressing their feelings. They were seen as educators, they used mathematics and scientific perspective within the paintings. This opened a new level of discussions on art, and gave artists a new dignity (248). Artists now studied other famous works, in order to better themselves, thus showing the importance of striving for excellence. They began to create self-portraits, showing their new level of self-consciousness. Intellectual and scientific activity flourished over the years. Movable type had been established between 1450 and 1456. The first book completed with this type was the Gutenberg Bible. Woodcuts began to be used for illustrations in books, which helped develop the sciences (249-250). Knowledge reached a new level due to this new idea of printing, things could be done over again in exact detail.

Today s society continues to strive for excellence as did the Renaissance society. The contemporary world owes a debt to the renaissance era, because without their continuing efforts to make their society a better place to live, we today would have nothing. The use of trade guilds back then, is now today known as the division of labor. Many labor unions had been established after the Renaissance. In the renaissance, there were two classes of people, rich or poor. The rich took over the economy, as the poor tried to live in the society which was run by wealthy people.Before the Renaissance, people were into one thing and one thing only, either they were busy with work, raising a family, religion, or education. It was very rare if one person did two things at once. Once the Renaissance era began, the compartmentalization of ones life went into effect. This meant that people would work, receive an education, have religious duties to uphold, along with juggling other things around. Society today continues to have that outlook on life. Sometimes too many things are better than one.Individualism today is very important. This also started in the Renaissance, which was a way for people to have their own identity and be happy with themselves, because they tried their hardest and did their best. People were able to judge themselves, and Be all they wanted to be , not what people expected of them; do to their social status. In the contemporary world, people want to be themselves and express themselves every way possible.People today still work for what they want to be. Although some people are pushed by others, all in all people due what they want to do and strive for excellence in whatever areas interest them. The perfection that everyone wants is what keeps people busy. The world continues to grow every day, and in every aspect. The Renaissance started the growth, and as long as people have the desire to achieve and excel, that growth will continue on through the future.


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