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Renaissance North vs. South

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By lovelylo
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Developing Europe into a powerhouse, the Renaissance marked complete cultural transition of Europe out of the Middle Ages and identified a societal change of values and ideas reflected in the art and literature of the time period; the “rebirth” in Southern Europe, however, differed from Northern Europe. As both the North and South had access to newly printed materials courtesy the printing press, they did share commonality of thought- both supplied predominant Christian artistic themes, had an artistic ‘center’, and provided systems of guilds and patrons. The Southern, or Italian, Renaissance began during the 14th century and “inevitably, trade and commerce brought Italian ideas northward, where they influenced the artistic traditions” beginning the 16th century Northern Renaissance (Benton and DiYanni 53). The South focused on a return to the concept of humanism and revival of idealist, classic Greek and Roman values, but the North focused on the common man and daily realities of life. Centered around Florence then later Rome, aided by the patronage of the Medici family in the Early Renaissance and Popes in the High Renaissance, and inspired by Greek and Roman mythology, the Southern Renaissance movement emphasized humans (their capacities, values and worth). Italian artists made the viewer delve into the inner working of the human mind and their subject matter primarily consisted of gods and goddesses displayed with symmetry, balance, and linear perspective. Known for his goddess depiction, elegant use of flowing lines, pictorial space, and antique “revival of the nude” prohibited in the Middle Ages, was “master of line” Sandro Botticelli with his The Birth of Venus tempera (Benton and DiYinni 16). In his painting commissioned by the Medici’s, Botticelli equates Venus with Christ’s mother Mary and her birth with that of the human soul- signifying the importance...

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