about renaissance essay

Essay Overview:
This assignment asks you to identify a work of art from the Renaissance, using the timeline indicated in the book. Your analysis must be a description of the work – using elements of design, as we have discussed in class. Be sure to include a title, the name of the artist and a date for when the work was created. Be sure to identify the work as either Southern or Northern Renaissance and explain how it either typifies or defies the conventions of the Renaissance.

Please be sure to focus on the work and not on the biological information of the artist.

This paper must be at least three (3) doubled-spaced pages, prepared with one-inch margins. 12-point font in either Times/Times New Roman must be used. MLA formatting is required. Any source must be properly cited and include a works cited page. Be advised, this submission is subject to Turn-It-In anti-plagiarism software. A failure to comply with the University’s Policy on Academic Integrity will result in the issuing of a zero and the work-in-question will then undergo a review by Student Conduct. See the Student Handbook for details.

The purpose of this analysis is to look closely at one work of Renaissance art, or do a comparison of two related pieces, in order to better understand the Renaissance. An example is as follows: The color, shapes and subject of Raphael’s Madonna exemplifies the style of High Renaissance.
Contrasting the design styles of Brunelleschi and Ghiberti, and recognizing how their respective work ultimately influenced the iconic Renaissance structure, the Duomo.
Be sure to focus on the work and not the general biographical information of the artist.

Topic Suggestions:
Here are some suggestions for the Renaissance Essay. You are free to come up with your own. Do not select a topic that is too large – you will end up with a very general approach. Even the topics below can be narrowed. Please let me know what your topic will be before you begin writing your essay. Please do not choose to analyze one work that is in the text as we may be discussing it in class. Instead use that work as part of a larger thematic analysis or comparison.

Famous artists such as Titian, Brueghel, Donatello etc – if you choose this option, either analyze one work in depth and explain how it exemplifies both the renaissance and his/her style or choose 2-3 works and show the similarities between them. For example, Van Eyck is known for his incredibly rich colors and representations of fabric and texture.

Portraits: The Renaissance marks the rise of the portrait – narrow your focus here and choose an interesting aspect of portraits – fashion, jewelry, etc. Consider one portrait artist and perhaps look at two or three of his/her portraits for themes or changes throughout their life.

Woman artists – do a search and see what names come up! For this topic, it would be interesting to see how they became an artist in a time when most women did not and also to see what they focused on.

A theme such as nature, science, medicine etc as seen in a few renaissance paintings

A character such as David (think of the sculptures we looked at in class) compare/contrast different interpretations

Representations of Mary: She becomes a very popular figure in Renaissance Art – known as the “Cult of Mary”. The art suggests artists become interested in her as the human figure in the Biblical story. Look for different representations.

Angels and Demons: The Renaissance leaves the simplistic representations of medieval times behind and gives us a complex range of angels and demons – trace one such image.

Figures from Myth: Italian Renaissance reimagines the Greek Gods and Goddesses. Look at the images of one of them – how are they different from the ancient images? Compare different portrayals of Zeus, Venus or other mythical figures.

DaVinci – His journals: Any one of his many interests as seen in the journals.

You could use your major to select a topic, such as:

Graphic Design: The Golden Ratio, the Fibonacci sequence, or the camera obscura? Look these up as they will definitely increase your knowledge of design and art.

Culinary Arts: Food symbolism in Renaissance paintings, the genre of still lifes with food – you will love these and it is fine if you choose paintings that are a bit later in the Renaissance.

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