TheRenaissance, born from a strange mixture of Roman values, medievalpiety, and a unique respect for commerce and entrepreneurialism, hadled to other movements like humanism, the Scientific Revolution, andthe Age of Exploration.
they reflect the tragedy of human destiny." Some of Michelangelo's marble carvings have a flawless beauty and polish, testifying to his absolute technical mastery.
The arts in Northern Europe (notably Flanders, Holland, Germany and England) also underwent a renaissance, particularly in oil painting, printmaking and to a lesser extent wood-carving, although this so-called Northern Renaissance developed somewhat independently due to the Reformation (c.1520) and the consequent lack of religious patronage from a Protestant Church that took a dim view of religious painting and sculpture.
After a long hiatus following the harsh reception of The Renaissance, Pater published Marius the Epicurean, the hero of which became the model for the Aesthetes at the time. This was followed by a series of 'Imaginary Portraits', plot-less descriptions of fictional individuals who exemplified specific emotions or ideas in an often historical setting. His ideas having found their place in the growing Aesthetic movement, Pater began to write more prolifically in his last years.
While his later writings would gain him wide-raging respect, it was in Walter Pater's early works that first gained him some notoriety. While essays such as 'Coleridge's Writings' and 'Leonardo da Vinci' were well received, 'Conclusion,' closing his collection entitled The Renaissance, was extremely controversial. The view that finding the rare moments of joy and ecstasy should be the purpose of life was considered by many to be counter to Christianity by subjugating Heaven to these mortal experiences. While Pater was reserved and even apologetic regarding the reception of this short essay, the views he expressed in it remained with him and were expressed in later writings, regardless of continued criticism.
Overall, The Cambridge Companion to Renaissance Humanism provides a comprehensive introduction to a major movement in the culture of early modern Europe.
The art historian Anthony Blunt said of Michelangelo's works like (1497-9, marble, Saint Peters Basilica, Rome), (1501-4, marble, Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence) and (1513-16, marble, Louvre, Paris) that they possessed a "superhuman quality" but also "a feeling of brooding, of sombre disquiet...
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The big difference between Gothic and Renaissance sculptors is that the names of the latter are now world-famous, while many of the former are unknown.
Pater bore a marginalized identity, asserting relatively revolutionary claims yet was still caught in the self-censorship of a more conservative society than Oscar Wilde’s, a generation later. His “Conclusion” proved too radical, especially considered independently of the rest of The Renaissance, for the majority of Victorian society. Yet, as a whole, he is never explicit enough in his writing to be definitively called the father of queer theory, a title occasionally bestowed upon him. His effusions on male beauty, so-called “positive indications of homosexual feeling” are just as often a celebration of universal or androgynous beauty, the transcendental effect of great art where the viewer is able to find beauty in form, the intended gender ultimately irrelevant.
Literature, like all other human activities, necessarily reflects current social and economic conditions. Class stratification was reflected in literature as soon as it had appeared in life. Among the American Indians, for instance, the chants of the shaman, or medicine man, differ from the secret, personal songs of the individual, and these likewise differ from the group songs of ritual or entertainment sung in community. In the Heroic Age, the epic tales of kings and chiefs that were sung or told in their barbaric courts differed from the folktales that were told in peasant cottages.
The ideas and principles described in the introduction and conclusion of The Renaissance codified a growing reaction to the romantic movement in art and literature. Described as the Aesthetic Movement in Britain and the Decadent movement in the rest of western Europe, followers of the movement embraced the concept contained in the quote heading this page and expanded on it, creating works which emphasized beauty over message for the sake of illiciting the most intense emotion possible. As such, social-political or moral messages were considered base distractions from pure sensation, and therefor unworthy of attention.
It is clear that Walter Pater admired Giorgione’s life and works. “Giorgione is but an illustration of a valuable general caution we may abide by in all criticism.” Pater goes on throughout his essays in The Renaissance to encourage readers to appreciate art by experiencing it fully, not by trying to judge it by its relative aesthetics or accuracy.