Where Does It Come From

The Renaissance art movement was a revival of classical learnings. Marking a shift from abstract forms of art to more representational ones. Renaissance paintings, sculptures, and drawings greatly emphasize the individual experience and the human condition. The Renaissance art movement originated in Italy in the 14th century when the Italians rediscovered the ancient Romans and Greeks’ writings, art, and architecture and sought inspiration from them.


Impact on the World

Renaissance art was all about human expression. Before the Renaissance period, Medieval art was restricted to dull color schemes and was only used to represent the powers of the Church. Renaissance Art, however, was all about public opinion and emotion. Renaissance art showed the world that art could be used to reflect human sentiments and moods, allowing artists to let their creativity run free and depict scenes of war, love, and even fantasy with their works.

“Every renaissance comes to the world with a cry, the cry of the human spirit to be free.”

—Anne Sullivan Macy

“Shakespeare wouldn’t have been any good if he’d stayed in Stratford. He had to go to London to be bathed in the full current of the Renaissance.”

—John Dos Passos

Impact on Literature

The Renaissance put humans at the center of all art and gave value to this-worldliness instead of the otherworldliness. Whether it was non-fiction or fiction prose, poetry, and most importantly drama, Renaissance Literature was inspired by the Greek and Roman manuscripts found in Italy, and writing, in general, became way more secularized with writers such as Shakespeare and Ben Johnson who used literature to shed a light on the society and all its goods and evils.


Impact on Music

Before the Renaissance era, music was mostly composed to be played for the church and was subjected to a lot of constraints in terms of form, rhythm, instruments, and harmonies. Music was instrumental to the Renaissance period because it allowed artists to use the art form as a mode of expressing their emotions. Spanning from 1400 to 1600, one of the most popular Renaissance musicians was a Venetian printer named Ottaviano Petrucci who published the first collection of polyphonic music that breaks away from tradition and combines two or more tones or melody lines. Polyphony went on to become a huge part of Renaissance musical forms and gave rise to all kinds of new music.

“During the Renaissance, women were not allowed to attend art school. Everyone asks, where are the great women painters of the Renaissance?”

—Karen DeCrow

Impact on Fashion

The Renaissance movement brought a lot of excitement to the fashion industry and allowed designers to experiment with bright, bold colors, using their clothes to make statements. Renaissance fashion reflected a person’s social status and included brand new pieces such as stockings, hair accessories, and plenty of colors incorporated in a single outfit. The wealthiest people in society would wear clothes made out of silk and fur to show just how luxurious their lives were.

“[how can anyone] be silly enough to think himself better than other people, because his clothes are made of finer woolen thread than theirs. After all, those fine clothes were once worn by a sheep, and they never turned it into anything better than a sheep.”

—Thomas More, Utopia

Impact on Pop Culture

The Renaissance is a period of great cultural significance, which is why it has gone on to be celebrated in numerous aspects of pop culture over a vast timeframe. Some of the most famous Renaissance-inspired works of pop culture in the modern era include the poster for ET. It depicts a visual play on Michaelangelo’s ‘Creation of Adam’. Another monumental reference is the names of the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They are an American media franchise created by the comic book authors Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. (Michaelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael) are character names that pay homage to some of the biggest Renaissance artists in the world, showing just how influential the art movement has been to the world.

“Since the Renaissance, people have had to get used to living their life on a random planet in the vast galaxy.”

—Jostein Gaarder

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