The High Renaissance is often referred to as the dawn of the epoch of the modern art. Those were great times of changes in the world of art and in the minds of people. The three geniuses of the Renaissance, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Rafael, were the cornerstones of the new era, the era when the boundaries between the art and life began to vanish.
The film The High Renaissance portrays the major peculiarities of that remarkable period focusing on the most important works of the masters of the High Renaissance. The film starts with the impact of Rafael on the development of art. It is stressed that Rafael was among the first artists to create such lively images in motion, using such bold and bright colors, light and shade. Then Leonardo’s works are depicted.
His precision and attention to any detail are pointed out. It is also stated that Leonardo’s affection to science enabled him to develop new forms in painting. Michelangelo’s genius is justified by his magnificent sculptures which were revolutionary works of marble. The film also reveals the art of such prominent Venetian artists as Titian, Tintoretto and Palladio. It is underlined that the artists revealed the peculiarities of the contemporary society. The works revealed the principles of humanism and people’s progress.
Sayre also claims that the period of High Renaissance was marked by increased naturalism, Humanism and growing affection to Greek philosophy (Sayre 418). Remarkably, any painting or drawing of Leonardo is very naturalistic because he was not only an artist but a talented scientist.
For instance, his Battle of Anghiari is astonishingly naturalistic (Pic. 1). Michelangelo’s works are also very naturalistic. For instance, his David seems to be a living young man due to exclusive precision of the artist. Of course, only the development of science could be the appropriate background for such divine works of art.
Pic. 1. Battle of Anghiari
The art of the twentieth century also revealed the changes in the contemporary society and responded to emerging scientific and philosophical thoughts and trends (Sayre 461). One of the great examples of the symbiosis of art and science is June Wayne’s lithography. This remarkable woman was the one to bring to life almost forgotten technique of lithography.
Moreover, the lithography obtained a new life due to the affluent energy of the artist. She promulgated quite revolutionary thesis since it was inacceptable to mix the work of a printer and an artist for centuries. Some critics even try to compare Wayne’s works to a craftsman’s works.
However, Wayne is the artist which proves that art is an indispensible part of life which is in every sphere of humans’ life. She can be compared with the three giants of the High Renaissance since her precision, the use of scientific knowledge and attention to details enables her to create unique works which really extend the boundaries of art. For example, her Fable Series (Pic.2) reveal her absolutely magnificent technique.
Moreover, Wayne can be compared to Rafael since she also creates new forms new medium to express her artistic vision of reality. It goes without saying that the contemporary arty should reveal the development of science because scientific discoveries open up new horizons for the development of humanity. It is the major aim of art to notice the slightest changes and possibilities for humans’ development.
Pic. 2. Fable Series: Tower of Babel “C”
Sayre, Henry M. A World of Art, 5th edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc, 2007.
“The High Renaissance.” Art of the Western World. Dir. Geoff Dunlop. WNET/New York, 1989. DVD.