The Renaissance is considered the rebirth of culture for the 1400’s. In this time period, so much had changed in the forms of both the arts and literature. The Renaissance provided those with a sense to explore things in depth. They explored the artistic culture of the time, dove deeper into critical thinking and humanism itself. In the pieces talked about below, much of the context ties back into the whole Renaissance era and what it was truly about.
One piece of literature that dates back to the Renaissance and is laced with the thoughts and expression of the Renaissance is “The Prince” by Niccolò Machiavelli. In this piece by Machiavelli, he talks about the traits a political leader should entail such as those to a prince. In this piece, humanism is incorporated a great deal, especially when talking about the traits of a particular person in such a stance in life. He talks about how the prince is human and he has to be able to connect with other humans to be able to do well in his position. “…one who becomes a prince through the favour of people ought to keep them friendly…” “…one who, in opposition to the people, becomes a prince by the favour of the nobles, ought, about everything, to seek to win the people over to himself, and this he may easily do if he takes them under his protection (Machiavelli 45).” Becoming one with the people and being friendly to them, he will win their favour and that is showing one main part of the Renaissance era of humanism. This piece of writing shows that there is always going to things moving through politics, but if it is for the people it is human nature. This piece shows you how literature can help explain and guide people.
The Three Walls of the Romanists written by Martin Luther is a great piece of literature for the Renaissance era as well. This piece talks about the Roman Catholic Church and its views. Due to the Renaissance, more people started to open their minds about religion and everything that goes along with it. Within the piece, it talks about the “walls” that the Church follows but are not valid anymore. Those walls were broken down little by little with Luther’s supporting evidence. One wall that he broke down was that the temporal power has no jurisdiction over the spirituality. Another one was that no one may interpret the scriptures but the Pope. “…we are all one body though each member does its own work, to serve the other. This is because we have one baptism, one Gospel, one faith, and are all Christians alike; for baptism, Gospel, and faith, these alone make spiritual and Christian people (Luther 1).” He uses such verses to show what change needs to be done and debunk the rules of the Catholic church in that time.
Titian, Sacred and Profane Love (1513-1514) is a great example of the Renaissance period as well. This artwork shows the human body in all of its glory. Two women and a child are sitting on a bench. One of the women is naked and one is clothed in typical Renaissance era clothing. No matter the state of the woman, both are admired for their body because it is natural. There are similarities in both of the women such as the face of both. They also both have long ginger hair curled. The way their faces are constructed though is not how they used to paint before this time. The focus of the painting is the women and the child but shows so much. I believe that the painting is showing how the two might have lived. The woman clothed in white linen might be more sacred, she might be more involved within the Church. The woman naked might have been one “rebelling” per say in this time. She was exploring new things such as religion and the new ways of the Renaissance.
Through the Renaissance, so much changed and progressed to time now. The influence that it had on art and literature to this day is still found. Through the Renaissance, religion has progressed a lot to and we can thank that era for opening up the doorway for our religious beliefs to be expressed freely.
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