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How Italian Culture Affected Painting Before and After the Renaissance

The prominence of Christianity in Italian culture meant that most if not all Italian painting centered on Christ or other religous and biblical figures, however, during and after the Renaissance, Italian painting branched out to include other subjects.
by

Quinn Dunlea

on 1 October 2012

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Transcript of How Italian Culture Affected Painting Before and After the Renaissance

How the Renaissance Shaped Italian Painting Italian Art and Culture Common Subjects and Styles Pre-Renaissance Italian Painting Religion, Politics, and Family Pre-Renaissance Italian Culture New role of religion in Italy Post-Renaissance Italian Culture New style, new subjects Post-Renaissance Italian Painting FIN Causes and Effects Renaissance Before the 1400s, the only subjects of painting were biblical in nature. This was due to the idea that the only images worth painting were ones that glorified God, so most artists depicted stories from the gospels or portraits of Christ and the Virgin Mary.
The only other forms of painting done were portraits of rich citizens and their families. This was because they could afford to sponsor an artist.
Another common practice among richer citizens was to have the artist paint them with their family's patron saint or paint a small devotional portrait of the saint that could be carried around Common Subjects Before the Renaissance, artists painted in a very flat style, often in profile. There was no depth or shading in their portraits, and in the rare landscape everything was distinctly two-dimensional.
Another common issue in the paintings of pre-Renaissance italians was the lack of accuracy in depicting the human body. Many paintings were just anatomically flawed and lacked any proportion.
The paints themselves were not always of a high quality, causing issues with durability of paintings Common Styles Religion was central to Italy. Catholicism was prominent in their society not only socially but also politically. The Vatican wielded immense clout in Italy. The Papacy was a vied for position amongst the elite families.
In addition, almost everyone was Catholic. Many of the people of Italy were extremely devout and pious. Because of this, there was a great demand for religious depictions.
Italian society was centered around the family, both immediate and extended. Family pedigree was a big deal, and many rich or elite families had portraits done displaying their lineage, often including biblical references or allusions. Influence of Religion and "Family Values" Some of the causes of the Renaissance were:
The black plague. The decrease in population meant that those that remained had a much better chance of climbing up the social and economic ladder into the middle and upper classes and more opportunities for employment.
The new-found wealth of many merchants and traders. This influx of money led to more economic prosperity. Also these newly rich families often sought to establish themselves by spending money in the arts.
Renewed interest in old texts. This revival of the classics increased knowledge of mathematics, architecture, and the sciences.
Causes Some of the effects of the Renaissance were:
Humanism. This new, more secular world view was a big product of the Renaissance.
Libraries. The enthusiasm for the classics created a demand for copies and translations of old texts, housed in a public place. Thus, libraries were created.
The Gutenberg Press. Once again, the passion for literature meant that printers had to improve their methods. This led to the innovation of movable type.
The Artistic Revival. Increased economic prosperity, new knowledge of geometry and anatomy, and the increased availability of subjects due to humanist ideals made Renaissance Italy a haven for art. Effects The rise of humanist ideals in Italy meant that many things became more secular. Religious rigidity began to fade and was replaced by a more open, inquisitive mindset.
Education and literature occupied a far larger role in the new Italy. More science was studied due to the new ability to question the church's teaching as they related to the natural world
New role of religion Line Perspective!!! This added dimension to previously flat paintings.




Nudes!!! Humanistic ideology made nudes socially acceptable again. From this rose a new accuracy in anatomy. New Style New subjects were ordinary life, average people, nature, and landscapes. These new subjects did not necessarily replace biblical scenes, however they did come into their own far more than previously. This was because of the idea that God was present in everything beautiful and thus painting nature still served to glorify God. Most importantly, all paintings now incorporated dimension and emotion. New Subjects http://prerenaissancearthistory.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/cimabue-crucifix.jpg
http://www.lifeinitaly.com/art/renaissance.asp
http://arthistory.about.com/cs/arthistory10one/a/early_ren.htm
http://www.shsu.edu/~his_ncp/Renn.html
http://arthistory.about.com/cs/arthistory10one/a/high_ren.htm
http://www.library.ubc.ca/finearts/Images/medieval/italian_crucifix.jpg Sources
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