How Humanism and Individualism Shaped the Renaissance

Paula N. Stevenson

Throughout history, distinct changes in society caused artwork to alter style; these moments designate the beginning and end of a style period. By examining, the Renaissance, the shift of interest from religion to the individual, provides the framework behind the period ideals: humanism and individualism. During this period, art also became more physiological, aligning itself with the humanism and realism to be found in this period's artists. As artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Piero della Francesca delved into their scientific and mathematical discovery. Art followed and reflected each man's exploration of places and principles where he had never been. Religion continued to hold its place in reflected artwork and sculpture, while mixing with mythology, and then further into naturalism. Artists style became intentional and purposeful during the Renaissance. One outcome, seemed to be re-designing landscape, persona and events into a more literal and personal form of art. This drew criticism as much as it did admiration. It is interesting to follow the 'life' of art through the Renaissance period, as it met with the same social resistance as did political, scientific, and inventive realms. People tend to resist change, and art actually stimulates change as much as any other social system. As a result of the societal stimulus that art played in the Renaissance was pivotal to giving birth to the 're-birth', making this one of the most 'brilliant and expressive' periods in history.

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