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Humanism and artists


Humanism gave the art of the Renaissance its unique quality. Artists often worked with non- religious subjects, and even religious themes were not only glorifying God, but also Man.


NOTE!


Artists during the High Renaissance achieved a high degree of realism,


but the emphasis was much more on the humanist idea of ideal beauty, harmony and balance.


Innovations in painting


and sculpture Developments included:


* Correct proportions in the human figure * More natural facial features and expressions * A greater range of human movement * More natural interaction between figures * A striving towards ‘ideal’ beauty


Oil painting


Italian artists were now using oil paint in preference to tempera. This helped to make colours richer and to achieve a more naturalistic effect. Oil paint was applied either to a wood panel or to a cloth base, such as linen.


Artists of the High Renaissance


The three great artists of the High Renaissance in Florence and Rome were:


* Leonardo da Vinci * Michelangelo * Raphael Sanzio


258 APPRECIATING ART: SECTION 2, PART 3


Fig. 22.1 Baptism of Christ, 1472–5, by Andrea del Verrocchio, oil on wood, Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Legend has it that when Verrocchio saw Leonardo’s angel, he stopped painting and concentrated only on sculpture.


These artists were very famous in their own time and patrons felt honoured to have them. This gave them much more freedom to explore their own ideas.


Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)


Leonardo da Vinci was the oldest and most famous of the great Renaissance masters. He was an artist of exceptional ability and his innovations in painting influenced Italian art for more than a century after his death.


He was the ultimate Renaissance man. In addition to being a painter, Leonardo was also a sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, inventor and writer. A good deal of his time and energy were devoted to scientific interests.


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