Italy means art. It is where 70% of the world’s artistic heritage is to be found. It’s where the Renaissance was born. It is due to the great number of peoples that passed through the territory of the country leaving their trace and influencing over its cuisine, architecture and art. Speaking about art, we should focus on particularly known historic period of time from the 14th to the 17th century, called the Renaissance. This was a period of a cultural flowering and rebirth of ancient Greece. At that time Medieval dogmas were a bit left aside in order for art and science to flourish and develop. And one particular family, i.e. The House of Medici, contributed greatly to all this. Their astute flair of banking and commerce, scent of art and diplomatic skills helped them turn into the Godfathers of the Renaissance whose cultural heritage has always expired and evoked admiration up to now all over the world.
The Renaissance has always been associated mainly with painting and its brilliant artists have still been among the most famous painters worldwide. As the examples are too many, I would emphasize on only several of them. And who are they?
Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, or better known as Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) is probably one of the first greatest painters of the Renaissance. He worked for the House of Medici in Florence for a long time. He worked on his masterpieces in the literary and philosophical environment created by Lorenzo il magnifico (Lorenzo the Magnificent). Of course, when Sandro Botticelli’s name is mentioned the first thought that comes to our mind is that if his “The Birth of Venus” (la Nascita di Venere), “The Spring” (La Primavera) e “Pallas and the Centaur” (Pallade ed il Centauro), all being on display in Uffizzi in Florence. Sandro managed to find and strike a balance between reality and myths through allegorical scenes.
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483-1520) is especially known for his frescoes in the Vatican Museums commissioned by the Pope. His elegant and refined style is very explicitly shown in his best known work – the School of Athens (la Scuola di Atene). The Renaissance fresco painting depicts all of the greatest scientists, philosophers and mathematicians of Classic Greek Antiquity represented through Raphael’s contemporaries. Plato (Leonardo da Vinci) and Aristotle (Giuliano da Sangallo) are in the centre. Heraclitus (Michelangelo) is alone and thoughtful as usual while Euclid (Bramante) and Raffaello himself are also among the well known astronomers and other great minds of that time.
Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (Titian in English) (1490-1576) was one of the most notable Venetian painters. His most famous painting is the Venus of Urbino in which a young and beautiful, naked woman is depicted. She is identified with Goddess Venus. Then his Man with a Glove (Uomo con guanto) and the Portrait of Charles V (il Ritratto di Carlo V) are among his other most well known paintings.
Michelangelo Merisi (or Amerighi) da Caravaggio (1571-1610) is one of the greatest artists of the period between the Renaissance and Baroque. He established one whole school of the so-called painters- Caravaggisti owing to his revolutionary style full of intense contrasts between lights and shadows. His paintings are sometimes too violent. At a time they are sensual. But it’s true they are always realistic and original for their epoch. Unfortunately, Caravaggio was too adventurous and rebellious. Because of his ferocious and wild character, he died after having been wounded in litigation, only at the age of 39.
If I go on, this post will turn into a novel. That’s why I will stop here and continue the topic in future. And you yourselves can guess who the “suspects” will be. Sure… Leonardo da Vinci e Michelangelo Buonarroti.