Renaissance- the rebirth of classical arts and the ‘age of discovery.’ The style adopted its features from classical Roman architecture and was modified in time. Most secular outputs of art and architecture belong to the masters of the Renaissance period. An era that witnessed global explorations with cultural transformations.

1. 60 Churches of Florence

The city of Florence is marked as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. It holds its beauty by over sixty churches lying within the city walls. One would find a church every ninety meters walking down in the locality which in number exceeds any other city of the period. The churches here are characterized by distinct materials, techniques, and by the majestic delight, they offer.

60 Churches of Florence
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore ©in.pinterest.com

2. Great Italian power conflict

Rome and Florence were inflamed by rivalry during the Renaissance on the grounds of culture, political status, and architectural significance. The Florence Cathedral starting in 1296 was stated to be the greatest church of the era. The church was meant to demonstrate the flourishing supremacy of Florence to the rest of Italy. Rome in its response constructed the St. Peter’s Basilica to epitomize its power and ambitions and mark its lead on the Christian out-front.

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Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore ©www.britannica.com
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St. Peter’s Basilica ©www.whatalifetours.com

3. Learning Linear Perspective

New aesthetic effects were achieved by the Renaissance artists through the development of new techniques and artistic approach towards the methods of composition. The humanists of the Renaissance period used the virtues of Vitruvius to formulate their principles of harmonious architecture.

Alberti gave the principles of proportion and symmetry, essential to the beauty of architecture. One of the greatest artistic developments of the period is that of a linear perspective. Brunelleschi and Alberti’s studies gave a new way to represent three-dimensional drawings to all other artists in Italy.

Learning Linear Perspective
Painting by Pietro Perugino ©www.invaluable.com

4. The Divine Rivalry

Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci were the masters of the Renaissance era. The two artists were in direct competition when they were hired to paint vast battle scenes on the wall of Council Hall. At the time of commission, Leonardo was in his late 50s and a well-known artist around Europe while Michelangelo was just 29. Differences and disagreements gave rise to a cold war situation between them. The conflict on and off leads to two unfinished works on the grand wall. Unlike the other, Michelangelo’s painting was finished later. Leonardo after leaving this work unfinished began a trend and was tagged as a non-finisher.

The Divine Rivalry
Painting depicting the Divine Rivalry © www.earlybirdbooks.com

5. Coming out of the Dark

The Great Roman Empire declined in 476 CE and Renaissance emerged in the 14th century. The period between came to be known as ‘the middle ages.’ Italian scholar Francesco Petrarca found a huge loss of good literature during this time and termed this period as ‘the dark ages.’ The cultural and economic degradation of society remarked this period.

The rise of the Renaissance is phrased as ‘coming out of the dark ages.’ The rebirth of cultures, scientific discoveries, and architectural marvels of the Renaissance era signify this period in history.

Coming out of the Dark
The Tempietto ©www.wikidata.org

6. Planar Classicism

Planar Classicism can be called the revival period of the classical elements of architecture. Rounded arches, column orders, and domes from the Gothic period gain a new outset here with the rejection of intricacy and implied coherence with simplicity and proportions.

Walls from this style have a character of minimal embellishments with minor physical depth and least intrusions. Planar Classicism (Flat Classicism) styles the façade by dividing it into distinct sections with the use of planar elements. A string course running between the stories is a characteristic feature here.

Planar Classicism
The Palazzo Farnese ©www.essential-humanities.net

7. Florence Double Dome

The cathedral of Florence took about 140 years for its completion and the dome took 16 years alone. This cathedral signifies the power and dominance of Florence in the Italian Renaissance. Inspiration from the Roman Pantheon could be seen in this domed cathedral.

Fun fact- The designer of the Florence double dome Filippo Brunelleschi was born in 1377, by that time the cathedral had completed 80 years under construction. Brunelleschi won the design competition for a dome with a simple egg concept without showing plans.

Florence Double Dome
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore ©www.filippo-brunelleschi.com

8. High Renaissance

A span of about thirty years that denotes ground-breaking art and architecture is termed as the High Renaissance. This period redefines classical art with a rising culture of humanism. New distinct means to communicate the social standing through paintings, sculptures, and buildings were created. Roman projects by Raphael, Michelangelo, Bramante, and Leonardo da Vinci are major highlights from this period.

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Mona Lisa ©www.wikimedia.org
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St. Peter’s Basilica ©www.whatalifetours.com
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David of Michelangelo ©www.walksofitaly.com

9. Protestant Architecture

The protestant approach had far-reaching political, cultural, and economic effects on the Renaissance society. The principles of art and architecture during the period experienced modifications as a result of the social division of the Cristian community. French architecture underwent maximum revision during the two centuries of protestant thinking.

The architecture during the protestant period is very varied with no particular style of its own. The banning of religious statues and paintings made the altar disappear from the churches. The interiors were reorganized and now the emphasis was shifted to the communion table. The presence of a large number of windows still brightens the interiors and brings life to structures.

Protestant Architecture
Comparison ©www.stream.org

10. Il Divino Fresco art

Renaissance was a period where the privileged of the society became patrons to the artists. This gave artists the freedom to create beyond the usual. Michelangelo was one such pioneer of the era whose works were acknowledged and appreciated. Il Divino is his fresco painting in the Sistine Chapel that gained world recognition. The colors beautify the ceiling of the chapel. His painting on the altar wall has several hundred figures depicting the Second Coming of Christ and took more than 4 years for its completion.

Il Divino Fresco art - Sheet1
Sistine Chapel ©www.vrscout.com
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Sistine Chapel ©www.vrscout.com
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Compulsive speaker and an attentive ear to the other side of the story. She believes in the power of architecture and stars.

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