Botticelli Leads the Renaissance Revival of Classical Themes in Painting (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: Botticelli leads the Renaissance revival of classical themes in painting, incorporating secular and historical subjects in addition to traditional religious themes.
Summary of Event
Two traditions basic to the Western mind, the classical and the Christian, have become so interwoven that to some extent they have always vied for expression in the fine arts. While classical writings embodying the general Hellenic values of antiquity remained an integral part of the medieval heritage, they were kept in a role more formal than inspirational. Christian Humanism preferred to find a fresh outlet for itself in a new literature, architecture, painting, and sculpture.
Italian Humanists of the Renaissance period, searching for a secular consciousness in the models of antiquity, branded works of medieval Christian Humanism barbaric and Gothic. Consequently they cultivated a new interest in trying to understand Greek and Roman culture by studying antiquity’s belles lettres for their aesthetic merit rather than for their instructional value in technique and form. Art at their hands showed awareness of man’s creative powers and breathed a spirit of individualism and secularism which medieval corporatism and spiritualism had all but buried.
A love for the magnificent, stimulated by the affluence of the new rich, provided a spirit of luxury, splendor, and power. A thirst for...
(The entire section is 1056 words.)
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