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Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado

- World History -
Renaissance Art

Raphael's School of Athens
Sums up the spirit of the Renaissance. Raphael pays respect to the great thinkers and scientists of ancient Greece gathered together at one time in a mythical school setting.

In the center are Plato and Aristotle. Plato points up, indicating his philosophy that mathematics and pure ideas are the source of truth, while Aristotle points down, showing his preference for scientific of the material world. The small arch over their heads makes a halo. There's their master, Socrates, midway to the left, ticking off arguments on his fingers.

It was also to show that Renaissance thinkers were as good as the ancients. The bearded figure of Plato is Leonardo. Raphael himself is pictured, next to last, on the far right, with the black beret. Michelangelo is the brooding, melancholy figure in front leaning on a block of marble.

Raphael, The School of Athens
RAPHAEL: School of Athens, center view.
Click the painting for an enlargement and complete view.

Sandro Botticelli - Birth of Venus
Venus' naked body is to be innocent, not sensual. According to myth, Venus was born from the foam of a wave. Still only half-awake, this fragile newborn beauty is kept afloat on a calm shell while the winds come to blow her to shore, where the maiden waits to cover her. It is in pastel colors to make the world itself seem fresh and newly born.

Botticelli, The Birth of Venus
BOTTICELLI: The Birth of Venus, 1485.
Painted for the Villa of Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici.
Click the painting for an enlargement.

Simone Martini - Annunciation
After Giotto started, art went back to the old ways for the rest of the 1300s. The angel appears to sternly tell. Mary, that she'll be the mother of Jesus. In the center is a vase of lilies, a symbol to tell us Mary is pure. Above is the Holy Spirit as a dove about to descend on her.

Painted for an altar in Siena Cathedral, Florence - 1333


He didn't think of sculpting as creating a figure, but rather as unlocking the God-made figure from the prison of marble around it. On Christmas morning, 1972, a madman with a hammer entered St. Peter's and began hacking away. The damage was repaired, but they had to encase it in bulletproof glass. This is Michelangelo's only signed work. He overheard some people praising it, but attributing it to a second-rate sculptor form a lesser city. He was so enraged he grabbed his chisel ad chipped his name in the ribbon running down Mary's chest.

MICHELANGELO: Pieta; close-up of the Mary's face.

Michelangelo sculpted David, a symbol of divine victory over evil, when he was 26 years old. The statue captures David as he sizes up the enemy. David is a symbol of Renaissance optimism. He's no brute, but a civilized, thinking individual who can grapple with and overcome problems. The reason he is shown so big is because it shows the power of God.

Last Judgement
The Last Judgement. 1534-1541
Altar wall of Sistine Chapel

Click art for an enlargement
David. 1501-1504
Marble, approx. 13' 5" high
Click art for an enlargement

Sistine Chapel Ceiling (1508 - 1512)
The Sistine Chapel is the personal chapel of the Pope; it is also where new popes are elected. Michelangelo turned down the project at first; he said he was a sculptor, not a painter. It is a bunch of frescoes. With frescoes, painting on wet plaster, if you don't get it right the first time, you have to scrape the whole thing off and start over. There are 600 square yards, with every inch done by his own hand. The ceiling shows the history of the world before the birth of Jesus.

Creation of Adam
The Creation of Adam. 1508-1512
Section of ceiling of Sistine Chapel

Last Judgement (1535)
Last Judgement was painted 23 years later. The Renaissance optimism was fading. The Reformation had begun. Michelangelo himself was questioning the goodness of man.

The painting is about Judgement Day. The dead at the lower left leave their graves and prepare to be judged. The righteous, on Christ's right hand (the left side of the picture) ascend to the glories of Heaven. The wicked on the other side are hurled down to Hell where demons wait to torture them. Charon, from the underworld of Greek mythology, waits below to ferry the souls of the damned to Hell.

No one is smiling. It's the terrifying figure of Christ who dominates the scene. His expression is completely closed, and He turns his head, refusing to even listen to the whining slibis of the damned.

Circular staircase at Sistine Chapel
Mr. Sedivy at the base of the circular staircase at the Sistine Museum.

1. What Was the Renaissance?

2. Personalities of the Italian Renaissance

3. Renaissance Art

4. The Protestant Reformation

5. Martin Luther, Lutheranism

6. John Calvin, Calvinism

7. Anglicanism and King Henry VIII

8. French Huguenots,
Summary of the Protestant Reformation

9. Renaissance and Reformation Quotes

10. Most Important Invention of the Renaissance

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Related Information
The Life, Art, Anatomical Studies, and
Inventions of Leonardo da Vinci

Historical Periods of
World History Class Study

| Prehistory | Mesopotamia & Phoenicians |
| Ancient Egypt | Greece | Rome |
| Medieval History | The Renaissance |
| Exploration | National Monarchies |
| The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment |
| Colonial America and American Revolution |
| The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era



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Mr. Sedivy's History Classes
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