Religious Beliefs During The Renaissance

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Renaissance art has one remarkable characteristic: reality and humanity. All the works of the Renaissance revolved around this theme. This includes human senses, human beliefs, human sexuality, and human worldviews. The works of this period all required to break the feudal theocracy and asceticism. Break the feudal system to the person spirit even the body blockade. Much of the work of this period was dominated by religion, with many critics saying that religion served as a shield. I disagree. Anyone who knows anything about the west knows that religion is a big part of their life in the west. The religious art of the Renaissance, in the final analysis, can be said to be a kind of people’s religious art, not the religious art of the church under the feudal system. Let’s be clear about this first. The characteristics of artistic techniques in the Renaissance period are mainly reflected in the fact that the first thing is the realistic fax, and the techniques of expression based on scientific theory and practical investigation, such as the law of human anatomy and perspective. Pay attention to colorific harmony and nature more on style and technique, not stick to one pattern. On achievement and influence, the western painting art with Europe as the center is the most outstanding. It is unique, its own system. In Italy, the birthplace and center of the Renaissance, it can be traced back to the 14th century. This period was called the ‘Renaissance’ because of the need of the new bourgeoisie to develop the capitalist economy, a great ideological liberation movement occurred that advocated the revival of the classical culture of Greece and Rome, in order to oppose the feudal ideology and Christian theology. This movement, centered in Italy, gradually spread throughout Europe, promoted the disintegration of feudalism and the growth of capitalism in Western Europe, and human society began to move towards modern times. This is the greatest, most progressive change that mankind has ever experienced. As a result of this period advocated to attach importance to the value of human as the core of humanism, artists gradually emancipated their thinking from the long-term shackles of Christian theology, dare to explore, on the one hand from the Greek, Roman classical art to absorb nutrition; On the other hand, through practice and scientific exploration, the method of perspective was invented to solve the problem of representing three-dimensional space on the plane. At the same time, the reform of oil painting materials and techniques, greatly improve the artistic expression of oil painting, so that the western painting techniques to depict the objective objects have been an unprecedented improvement.

‘Primavera,’ a wooden tempera painted by the Italian painter Sandro Botticelli between 1481 and 1482, is now in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. It expresses the beauty and elegance of spring through the characters in Roman mythology. Although a work of myth, it follows certain traditions of religious painting. Botticelli suggested the theme was related to marriage by dressing Venus in a headscarf, the dress of a married woman. It depicts Venus, the goddess of beauty in full dress, looking ahead with a slightly sad face, on the quiet orange grass in the morning, where flowers are blooming everywhere. Above her head was Cupid, the flying Cupid, blindfolded, aiming at the chaste maiden, trying to lead her into love with his golden arrow. Cupid’s arrow is pointing to the graces, Venus garden is their maid, a symbol of beauty, adornment, the joy of the three goddesses, lacey, Leia, together Rossini, bathed in the sunshine of forest, is dancing hand in hand with each other, through the veils clothes reflect a rich beautiful posture, lightsome and elegant dance rhythm brings to the world the joy of life. Apparently, the gods were singing for the coming of spring. The pursuit of beauty and the awakening of love are the themes of this work. It is a hymn to the victory of Venus’ love, reflecting the affirmation and praise of the classical culture of Greece and Rome during the Renaissance. The decorative composition of the plane and the vivid and exquisite description of the characters reflect Botticelli’s unique artistic style. Through the ‘humanity’ of Venus, the painting shows the physical love embodied by the wind god and the spiritual love embodied by the three loves, as well as the harmony between the two. The oldest pigment, tempera, was used. Sandro Botticelli was an Italian Florentine painter at the end of the 15th century and a pioneer of Italian portraiture. By the 19th century, his style was once again highly regarded as a prelude to Raphael. His religious humanism is obvious and full of secular spirit. Later in the painting added a lot of classical mythology as the subject of the work, the style is elegant, beautiful, delicate and moving. In particular, he adopted a large number of pagan subjects opposed by the church and boldly painted naked figures, which had a great influence on his later paintings.

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The Last Supper is a well-known large-scale fresco, painted by LEONARDO DA VINCI on the walls of the Dominican academy cafeteria of Santa Maria Delle Grazie in Milan during the Renaissance, and is the most famous of all works on the subject. The characters in the picture, the expressions of fear, anger, suspicion, disavowal and so on, as well as the gestures, eyes, and behavior, are exquisitely and vividly depicted. The composition of the whole painting is also perfect. The disciples were in groups of three, related and different. In the processing of picture space and background, perspective is very skilled. In this painting, Da Vinci conceived the subject in such a way that he symmetrically designed the body movements of the six disciples on both sides: along the table sat the twelve, forming four groups, with Jesus sitting in the center of the table. He spread his hands in a sad gesture, indicating that someone among the disciples had betrayed him. Most of the disciples jumped up in excitement, but Jesus was so calm. We can see his clear outline against the background wall of the window, through which we can see the quiet scenery, the blue sky like a halo around Jesus’ head. The six disciples around Jesus are at the center of the story. Leonardo inherited the cartesian treatment of religious themes by telling a vivid and true story in his paintings. This secularization of religious themes was further developed in the 15th century. At that time, many painters liked to show biblical stories in the real world of the here and now, often with pictures of themselves and their friends in them, and they were proud of that. Leonardo used a parallel perspective, using the most traditional of compositional conventions, to keep the central focus on Jesus’ bright forehead. Jesus stretched out his hands and lowered his eyes. He had finished and was silent. But his gestures had an irresistible spiritual appeal, calling and inspiring introspection and contemplation. The work USES excellent light and shade techniques, and all the characters are captured in mysterious and quiet light and shadow. Perhaps it was Leonardo’s unsuccessful attempt at this ingenious ‘pantomime’ 15 years ago that left his ‘the three wise men’ stuck in the sketch stage forever. Finally, the masterpiece ‘Last Supper’ successfully unifies the new achievements of art with the excellent artistic traditions and the inherent cultural content of the subject matter.

Michelangelo created a huge painting of Philosophy (School of Athens) for the Sistine Chapel in Rome, with more than 300 figures, divided into the center and left and right sides of the three parts. The central part is bounded by the original roof decoration, divided into 9 parts, each part is separated by the handsome young body. On each side of the center were painted six prophets about four meters high, as well as other Christian religious stories. Although the theme of the whole painting is from the Christian religious legend about god’s creation of the world, the figures are mostly religious figures, but they are not obedient slaves and sinners preached by Christianity, but strong and heroic figures. This is the result of Michelangelo’s humanist expression of religious themes, reflecting the painter’s praise of human fitness, strength, and wisdom. Therefore, it is not so much an illusory legend of god’s creation as Michelangelo’s recreation of religious legends.

Madonna of the meadow is one of the outstanding representatives of Italian Renaissance painting. Raphael used religious themes to express female images combining reality and ideal to celebrate the perfection and beauty of human nature. The figure in the picture is amazing, the Madonna looking down on the two children, her expression is unforgettable. But if we look at Raphael’s sketches for this painting, we begin to realize that this was not his greatest concern. In his mind, of course, these places were to be painted this way, and he tried and tried again and again to find the right balance between the characters and the right relationship to bring the whole picture into extreme harmony. In the picture, everything is in its proper place and the gesture and harmony that Raphael finally obtains through his efforts to explore seem so natural, so effortless, that it hardly attracts our attention. It is precisely this harmony that makes the Madonna more beautiful and the children more lovely. Raphael’s famous series of religious paintings of the virgin combine religious devotion with secular beauty.

The Renaissance was a movement in Europe that took humanism as a guide, revived the culture of ancient Greece and Rome, and opposed the progressive revolution of religion in the middle ages. Because religion was so powerful, the Pope had great power, and artists had to make art in the guise of religion. In the painting, we can see their pursuit of a better life and their resistance to abstinence. Therefore, the long middle ages created a rigid and dark religious status quo, ‘human’ liberation needs time. Therefore, a large number of paintings still focus on gods and religions. But the humanist’s point of attack is not religion and theology per say, but its decadent components, the components that impede the liberation of humanity. However, perhaps the ultimate concern and ideal expounded by Christianity are considered to be in no essential conflict with humanism. So, for the sake of purity, not only could humanists continue to practice, but the Pope could also become humanists. Therefore, painters still choose painting as a way to promote and popularize their beliefs. However, this kind of religious painting has been quietly transformed into ‘secularization’ with the Renaissance, and the widespread religious painting has been ‘utilized’ again, subtly guiding and changing people’s understanding and acceptance of humanistic religion.


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