The “Renaissance” was a cultural movement along Europe which is consider the gate to the “Modern world.” The Renaissance produced a splendor in the arts and sciences never equaled, what is today known as the Golden Age. Renaissance comes from a French word which translates to “Rebirth.” It was a period of many discoveries, and it’s even known as the gate to the new world. The fact that a few of the most famous masterpieces of the time have a religious meaning, lead us to believe that it is doing justice to its name. People are being born again, with a new believe, making Christianity more popular. Many of the changes experienced on this time period, were inspired by the rebirth of the classical art and intellect of ancient Greece and Rome.
The work of art that I chose to be the centerpiece of this essay is “The last supper” by Leonardo da vinci (April 15, 1452- May 2, 1519). He was a painter, sculptor, architect, inventor, military engineer and draftsman. He is known as a leading light of the “Renaissance” since he inspired many younger artists with his unique style of art. He did not receive a formal education besides basic reading, writing and math. The last supper is one of Vinci’s most famous art work. According to the bible, the last supper is when Jesus Christ announced that one of his own will betray him, “I Tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.” Leonardo decided to paint this moment because it reflected a moment of his own, when he was betrayed by some of his people. Leonardo decided to paint with oil, therefore his painting deteriorated quickly as we can see on the image below.
Near 1495 Ludovico Sforza asked da Vinci to paint “The last supper.” Which was later located in the back wall inside the dining hall of the monastery in Milan’s “Santa Maria delle Grazie.” It took him around 6 years to finish this art work. On the image, we see Jesus sitting with his twelve apostles in the moment when Jesus taught them to offer the bread and wine as a sacrifice of the sacrament of the Eucharist which during the Mass, becomes the body and blood of Christ. During supper, he asked his apostle to continue doing this supper on his honor, and ever since then it has been performed in Christian Churches. What made this painting even more interesting and eye catching, is the fact that when he painted it back then there was no image at all of how everything looked. He got this idea, all of it out of his brain, just the way he pictured it he put in on paper and became this beautiful and successful masterpiece, which is today one of the most well-known art works in history.
For purpose of comparison I chose “The last judgement” by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni better known as “Michelangelo.” He was born March 6, 1475 and passed away February 18, 1564. He was an Italian sculpture, architect, painter and poet. During the renaissance time period, we made some of the world’s greatest work of art, that is why he is so well known today. On “The last judgement” he put together a vision of what it will when Jesus returns. This painting represents the moment where the prophecy is fulfilled. In Christianity, the bible talks about how Jesus will return and separate the good from the evil. “All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left”. This is the moment that all Christian await, the moment to be saved and judge. The most interesting thing about this painting is, that most the artworks are about moments that already happened or something they are looking at the moment. Michelangelo put together beautifully the way he sees the last judgement to be. Michelangelo was considered the greatest living artist in his lifetime, and still today he is known as of the greatest artists of all time.
There is over three hundred characters in this painting, which in centralized by Jesus Christ. The bible talks about how the angels will play the trumpets and only those that are safe will hear it, on this painting a little bit above the ground we see a group of angels playing the melodies of salvation, these trumpets will also arise the death so they can be judge as well as the people standing on earth. We can see the angels punishing evil people and pushing them to the ground. We can also see well known saints such as Saint Michael whom is known as the angel that fights evil. Right next to Jesus Christ is Virgen Mary, “Hail Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.” She was the woman that God chose to carry his son, and in the painting, she is standing right next to him, like a mother always does, stand by their son.
“The Baptism of Chris” was also made in collaboration with da Vinci. I decided to add this art work to my paper because I feel that this is where everything began. Here is where Jesus was Baptized and was “reborn”. Although da Vinci worked on this painting, it was mainly done by Andrea del Verrochio. The painting was made of tempera on woods at Verrocio’s studio. On this artwork we can see a total of four people, in addition to the doves above and God’s hands spread open. We see Jesus Christ, and John the Baptist putting holly water on Jesus’s head. It is very interesting because on the bible says, that Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River and his head was submerged in the water instead on pouring water on his head as it is showed on the picture. There is no doubt that Verrochio is a talented artist, but it is also very noticeable that da Vinci skills were more delicate. “Verrocchio had already done the main work. Leonardo painted an angel who was holding some garments; and despite his youth, he executed it in such a manner that his angel was far better that the figures painted by Verrocchio. This was the reason why Andrea would never touch colors again, he was so ashamed that a boy understood their use better than he did.”
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