A Comparative Analysis of Renaissance Arts

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Introduction

The term renaissance in context of art is considered as paintings, decorative arts and sculptures during the period of European history. The period emerged in a distinct style format in Italian province during the 1400s with parallel developments in science, philosophy, literature and music. This study takes that period into concern and shows a comparative analysis of paintings of Botticelli and Michelangelo, namely the Birth of Venus and David. The study will take style, innovation and creativity as factors for comparing the paintings. In addition, the context of contributions to the Neo-Platonism will also be highlighted for supporting the analysis.

Comparative analysis

Style

Technical aspects vary widely for both the artworks by Botticelli and Michelangelo. The artwork of Botticelli dates back 1485 CA and has been drawn using the tempera on canvas technique[footnoteRef:1]. The composition actually provides a visualisation of the goddess of beauty and love stepping on the land, on the Cyprus Island. Use of Scallop shell indicated purity and perfection as a pearl. Dated back to the 15th century, the painting was made on canvas widely used by Botticelli for decorative works, destined towards noble houses. Inspirations have been considered from classical statues and the use of nakedness reflects the light of glory being perceived from the painting. [1: Campos, Daniela Queiroz, and Maria Bernardete Ramos Flores. 'Vênus Desnuda: A Nudez Entre o Pudor e o Horror.' Revista Brasileira de Estudos da Presença 8.2 (2018): 248,276,248A-276A. ProQuest. 18 Nov. 2019.]

On the contrary, aspects are quite different in the case of David created by Michelangelo. Referring to various renaissance artists, Michelangelo preferred art works through concept of sculpting. Within the renaissance art movement, the David was created though stone carving subjecting top fantasy figures[footnoteRef:2]. Through his sculpture, the relationship between Greek mythology and Renaissance art were rectified. The use of herculean physique with sinewy body reflected the power to be shown in future. Use of religious themes and concrete figures were utilised in designing David to display the emotion relations also. [2: Gülzow, Jörg Marvin, Liat Grayver, and Oliver Deussen. 'Self-Improving Robotic Brushstroke Replication.' Arts 7.4 (2018) ProQuest. 18 Nov. 2019.]

Overall importance

Both the paintings, Birth of Venus and David, are with varied significances. In context of Birth of Venus, the impressive mythological composition is takes to be centered over introducing naked body of Goddess Venus emerging from seashell. The painting practically embodies a new hope, dawn of civilisation, shifts in social and cultural background along with changes in geopolitics and civilisation rebirth[footnoteRef:3]. The painting readily signifies the renaissance to showcase inner beauty which is a factor for self -development. Aside from the fact, are found constraints such as inspiration for love and passion for the human nature from the painting. [3: Oloidi, Wole. 'HISTORICAL DOCUMENTATION OF EVENTS THROUGH VISUAL LANGUAGE: THE OCHIGBO'S PAINTINGS IN RETROSPECT.' Global Journal of Social Sciences 15.1 (2016): 63-71. ProQuest. 18 Nov. 2019.]

Contradicting to the harmonica and physical love concept, the David painting signifies victory and triumph over the evil. A strict focus on balance, harmony and ideal forms are portrayed through this sculpture. The sculpture is with significance portraying Florence symbol with flattering courage and historic preservations with unexpected strength[footnoteRef:4]. A clear definition of renaissance can be found from this sculpture of Michelangelo showcasing masterpiece. It also symbolizes the civil liberties defences which were embodied in the republic of Florentine with independent threats. [4: De la, Puente Luna. 'Painting the Canvas of the Great Andean Uprising: Recent Research on the Age of Tupac Amaru.' Latin American Research Review 53.2 (2018): 381-7. ProQuest. 18 Nov. 2019.]

Innovations

Both the artworks can be defined as being innovative however in their own ways. In the David sculpture, Michelangelo has taken the converse concept of the Goliath story. The story depicted David as young and subtle and however clothed. On contrary to this, Michelangelo stated the concept and rather showcased David as a tall and heroic figure with bare body. Competition was raised on account of such innovative style in his period which set new standards. The artist also depicted the use of marbles and sandstones which was actually not commissioned for sculpting. Such challenging behaviour also outlined his innovative behaviour.

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On the contrary, the Birth of Venus painting showed a new kind of art signifying iconic renaissances. The masterpiece has taken the innovative concept of Christian themes alongside the blend of classical myths. It reflected the values of Neo-Platonism through the beautiful rendering of classical artwork materials. At a glance, it can be well analysed that this kind of work showcase fluidic brushwork which has been done fluently by Botticelli. The integration of details is helpful to create various levels of meaning. These have been depicted through both the symbolic and allegorical aspect for engaging the viewer.

Creative differences (Neo-Platonism)

Neo-Platonism is termed to be a platonic philosophical strand emerging within the third century AD against the Hellenistic religion and philosophical background. From the neo platonic interpretation, Birth of Venus was a symbol for physical love and also a celestial goddess being an inspiration for intellectual love[footnoteRef:5]. The interpretation readily accepts the painting through arguing that it signified physical beauty contemplation which fuelled the human mind for spiritual beauty comprehension. Inspiration from this concept is taken and similar works by Botticelli are recommended as wedding paintings. The interpretation is considered to recommend suitable behaviours bride and groom. [5: Berlekamp, Persis. 'REFLECTIONS ON A BRIDGE AND ITS WATERS: FLEETING ACCESS AT JAZIRAT B. 'UMAR / CIZRE / AIN DIWAR/REFLEJOS SOBRE UN PUENTE Y SUS AGUAS: UN ACCESO RÁPIDO A JACIRAT B. 'UMAR / CIZRE / 'AIN DIWAR.' Espacio, Tiempo y Forma.5 (2017): 107-40. ProQuest. 18 Nov. 2019.]

However, comparing it with Michelangelo’s David, from the Neo Platonic interpretation, the painting was aimed to bring out pre-existent for’s out of the material at hand. Beauty is termed to be a kind of concord and harmony which forms the whole structure from a mixture of fixed numbers. The interpretation states the David painting contemplates the dividing ideas which put humans closer to gods. The uses of the naked inform is symbolic to the reflection of soul beauty. In an overall analysis, from the Neo Platonic interpretation, Birth of Venus indicated physical love to be a component for human behaviour[footnoteRef:6]. On the other hand, David indicated the struggle of soul for freeing itself for achieving the almighty visions. [6: Strijdom, Johan M. ''Senses': Assessing a Key Term in David Chidester's Analysis of Religion 1.' Journal for the Study of Religion: JSR 31.2 (2018): 161-79. ProQuest. 18 Nov. 2019.]

Contribution to Renaissance art

On the surface level, the David painting of Michelangelo can be merely termed to be highly interpretative for Renaissance as the sculpture depicts a heroic naked figure of a male. In reality scenario, the composition holds more politics and complexities. The renaissance concept depicts mastery of illusionism and humanism, which has been clearly depicted from the David sculpture[footnoteRef:7]. Further, the sculpture is also putting stress over the mental nature of David’s victory rather than physical nature. With reference to renaissance art, David has been portrayed as a strong-willed body ready for death fights. [7: Etro, Federico. 'The Economics of Renaissance Art.' The Journal of Economic History 78.2 (2018): 500-38. ProQuest. 18 Nov. 2019.]

In a similar context, the Birth of Venus also makes suitable relevance’s to the renaissance. The European movement made a mark after medieval values end. The stress was majorly provided over the importance of the natural world, humanism and individualism[footnoteRef:8]. As the term renaissance literally reflected rebirth, the focus for this painting was shifted on the birth of love. The depiction was in turn was portrayed by a naked beautiful woman enraging life through a tropical scenery landscape. On a thematic sense, the central women are significant for beauty and express the European opinion of beautiful women being epitome of love. [8: Looser, Diana. 'Viewing Time and the Other: Visualizing Cross-Cultural and Trans-Temporal Encounters in Lisa Reihana's in Pursuit of Venus Infected].' Theatre Journal 69.4 (2017): 449-75. ProQuest. 18 Nov. 2019.]

Conclusion

From the above study, it can be readily concluded that both the paintings reflected their own connections with the renaissance and showed varied aspects. From the comparison, it can be concluded that while on one side, the Birth of Venus signified love; on the other hand, David portrayed victory. Both of them are argued with context to Neo-Platonism along with overall structural aspects. In addition, both of the paintings are found to comply with their own style of appearances and histories. The birth of Venus while signified the connection of physical love through artistic paintings, David on another hand indicated mastery of sculpture.

Reference list

Journals

  1. Berlekamp, Persis. 'REFLECTIONS ON A BRIDGE AND ITS WATERS: FLEETING ACCESS AT JAZIRAT B. 'UMAR / CIZRE / AIN DIWAR/REFLEJOS SOBRE UN PUENTE Y SUS AGUAS: UN ACCESO RÁPIDO A JACIRAT B. 'UMAR / CIZRE / 'AIN DIWAR.' Espacio, Tiempo y Forma.5 (2017): 107-40. ProQuest. 18 Nov. 2019.
  2. Campos, Daniela Queiroz, and Maria Bernardete Ramos Flores. 'Vênus Desnuda: A Nudez Entre o Pudor e o Horror.' Revista Brasileira de Estudos da Presença 8.2 (2018): 248,276,248A-276A. ProQuest. 18 Nov. 2019.
  3. De la, Puente Luna. 'Painting the Canvas of the Great Andean Uprising: Recent Research on the Age of Tupac Amaru.' Latin American Research Review 53.2 (2018): 381-7. ProQuest. 18 Nov. 2019.
  4. Etro, Federico. 'The Economics of Renaissance Art.' The Journal of Economic History 78.2 (2018): 500-38. ProQuest. 18 Nov. 2019.
  5. Gülzow, Jörg Marvin, Liat Grayver, and Oliver Deussen. 'Self-Improving Robotic Brushstroke Replication.' Arts 7.4 (2018) ProQuest. 18 Nov. 2019.
  6. Looser, Diana. 'Viewing Time and the Other: Visualizing Cross-Cultural and Trans-Temporal Encounters in Lisa Reihana's in Pursuit of Venus Infected].' Theatre Journal 69.4 (2017): 449-75. ProQuest. 18 Nov. 2019.
  7. Oloidi, Wole. 'HISTORICAL DOCUMENTATION OF EVENTS THROUGH VISUAL LANGUAGE: THE OCHIGBO'S PAINTINGS IN RETROSPECT.' Global Journal of Social Sciences 15.1 (2016): 63-71. ProQuest. 18 Nov. 2019.
  8. Strijdom, Johan M. ''Senses': Assessing a Key Term in David Chidester's Analysis of Religion 1.' Journal for the Study of Religion: JSR 31.2 (2018): 161-79. ProQuest. 18 Nov. 2019.
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