• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"The Renaissance Is An Important Landmark In The History Of Art, But In Other Respects It's Significance Is Negligible." Discuss.

Extracts from this document...


Paul Gillen 2nd MA History Module A Essay Tutor: Chrissie Urquart "The Renaissance Is An Important Landmark In The History Of Art, But In Other Respects It's Significance Is Negligible." Discuss. The Renaissance was a very special period in the history of humankind. It is one of those periods in history where a melting pot of brilliant individuals and revolutionary ideas came together at the same time, by chance? Who knows, yet this period shows remarkable advances in our species unrivalled until the last century being even more special due to the background of the middle ages from which it came. However it is too common today to dismiss the Renaissance as purely an art based era where the likes of Raphael and Da Vinci were the only heroes. In this essay I hope to establish that this was not the case, although Art was at the forefront it was a mere cog in the grand wheel of the Renaissance. I will look not only at art but at education, innovation, politics and commerce along with its impact on the regions in which it occurred in order to ascertain a more rounded or universal view of the Renaissance period. ...read more.


The Universal Man was a bi-product of the search of Humanism. He who was a Universal man would be of all the sciences. The gentry folk of the period would strive to have wisdom and become virtuous so they would be a rounded individual and in turn would become famous. As before fame was usually graced upon the deceased, the rich individuals and families wanted to show everyone that they were important; often going to the extremes of producing artworks and medals of themselves to be circulated. "Having heard the whispers of imagination and desire from those who praised the artists and scholars they searched for their own following" (Hale) Under most circumstances Leonardo Da Vinci was seen as the perfect example of the universal man. He encroached in all aspects of the intellectual being. Famous for the Mona Lisa and that smile people yet ignore the way he deals with the geology of the background in that and in most of his early works, the most famous being 'Virgin of the Rocks'. His depth and vision were amazing as he delved into mathematics such as the platonic solids, exploring the underlying forms of reason. ...read more.


Adam Ferguson noted that the progress of fine arts had generally made a huge part in the history of prosperous nations while John Millar pointed out that Florence led the way in manufacturing as well as in the arts. In addition Adam Smith planned to write a book about the relationship between the arts and sciences and society in general in which it was very likely - as in his wealth of nations - the city states of Italy would have played a prominent part. At as first glance the contemporary Historian would immediately dismiss the claim that in other respects, outside of art, the Renaissance contribution was negligible. Although it is obvious that the artistry of this period is exclusive and at the forefront of most people's mind, to neglect the various cultural, social and economic aspects of it is a grave mistake in the historical context. The Renaissance was the catalyst for the Reformation, which is ultimately important in revising the impact of religion and its consequences in the last few centuries. Socially it could be said that the renaissance exported the ways and means of education and provided the world with the forbearing university system. Economically, the expansion of commerce brought the beginning of modern day trading and is noted for being responsible for such endeavours as Marco Polo' expeditions and the discovery of the Americas. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Art section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Art essays

  1. The Development of Landscape Painting in the Italian Renaissance.

    With the panorama, however, the problem of uniting the foreground subject with the distant setting soon arose, producing two solutions by 1460. The first was to place the foreground figure on a plateau or elevated terrace that dropped away to the broad landscape below.6 Pietro Perugino uses this method in The Vision of Saint Bernard (c.

  2. Why did the Renaissance start in Italy during the 15th century?

    philosophy, known as humanism, which challenged the teachings of the medieval Church. Renaissance thinkers made human beings, and human achivements, their main concern. They cared more about life in this world, than about eternity. Most humanists did not reject altogether.

  1. Compare and contrast the northern with the Italian renaissance.

    Eventually, northern writers such as Erasmus of Rotterdam and the English Sir Thomas More, criticized their mother Church, to find ways to better it. Erasmus' Latin translation of the New Testament played a major role in the 16th century northern movement to understand the life of the early Christians.

  2. The boundaries between culture and nature have collapsed and the body has become flexible

    The cultural construction of the ageing woman. To write, as a woman in her fifties, of experiencing ageing may seem a little premature, living in a Western society in which life expectancy for women is approaching eighty and my own mother is in her ninety-first year.

  1. The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci

    system, and I may venture to state that I have devoted especial care and thought to the due execution of this responsible task. The beginning of Leonardo's literary labours dates from about his thirty-seventh year, and he seems to have carried them on without any serious interruption till his death.

  2. Art - the Modern Age era

    Da Vinci has arranged the disciples into groups of three and illustrated their hand motions giving to give this piece an aesthetic feeling. The viewer's eye is taken on a journey through the oval-shaped composition of the piece, but it is clear that Jesus serves as the vital magnet.

  1. William Powell-Frith - Derby Day (1852).

    His shirt studs are also missing. The way he clutches his two hands at a knot in the lining of his trouser implies the failed attempt of Frith's young gentleman to be wary of such pick pocketing, further suggesting the young man's naivety.

  2. CheongSam- the history

    High collar: The collar of the Cheongsam is high and tight fitting, not simply for prevent coldness, but also for beauty. The collar of the Cheongsam takes the shape of a semicircle, it's right and left sides being symmetrical. It was known to flatter the soft and slender neck of women.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work