There is a debate as to how different the Renaissance truly was from the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages or "The Dark Ages" is seen as a time of cultural decline, but how much really changed?
The Italian Renaissance changed Art foreverShow moreShow less
The Italian Renaissance experienced a revival of Greek and Roman antiquity. Philosophers sought to reconcile pagan writings with Christian thought. Humanism fostered a strong belief in individualism and the great potential of human beings.
Religion remained at the forefront of everyday life, literature, and art. But Renaissance art saw the emergence of different genres and more common objects.
A characteristic of Renaissance art and literature was the celebration of the individual. The beginning of the Renaissance saw an emergence of self-portraits or portraits as an artistic genre. It was common for princes and other wealthy people to commission portraits of themselves-- often made to reflect how they would wish others to view them.
Objects and people of everyday life became the more popular subject matter of paintings as well. Renaissance artists wanted to not only capture natural beauty but attempted to "surpass nature in beauty."
Religious images and themes still dominated the art world as people sought God and religious meaning out of everything. But, these images still had Classical symbolism, such as using imagery from Roman mythology to depict Christ or other Christian figures.