What Are Three Themes That Become Important During the Renaissance?

February 14, 2024

What are three themes that became important during the renaissance?

The Renaissance rediscovered classical art, literature and architecture, revived knowledge of ancient Greco-Roman civilizations, and produced some of the greatest artistic masterpieces of Western history. It also spawned renewed study of the classics and inspired new ideas that shaped science, politics and society. The Renaissance also saw a return to the humanist values of self-improvement and achievement through education, a respect for classical culture, the enjoyment of secular pleasures, and a belief in the potential of the individual.

Renaissance artists developed a new style of painting that was more realistic than the stylized Byzantine art of the Middle Ages. They observed the natural world and began to paint realistic human figures whose gestures showed emotions. The sculptors of the Renaissance often recreated classical statues and created new pieces that embodied classical realism and idealism, most famously Michelangelo’s David (1504).

Theater slowly evolved from the informal roving troupes that were characteristic of the Middle Ages to become a respected profession. Renaissance playwrights adopted new literary techniques, such as soliloquy, where the actor spoke directly to the audience and allegory, which treated abstract ideas in very concrete ways. Many Renaissance writers authored their works in the vernacular language of their homeland, such as England’s Geoffrey Chaucer and Spain’s Cervantes and William Shakespeare of England.

The era also saw a new emphasis on the value of commerce, which gave merchants greater wealth and power than nobles, who had to rely on inherited status. Many merchants beautified their cities and commissioned paintings by famous artists, including Leonardo da Vinci and the painters Raphael, Botticelli and Donatello. Unlike medieval thinkers, who were consumed with guilt over sin and believed that only the Church could save them, Renaissance humanists encouraged the enjoyment of worldly goods and pleasures.

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