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Unformatted text preview: HUMANISTIC TRADITIONS Professor Coverston Expressive and Refective Humanities: Chapters 17-24 I. Chapter 17, Florence and the Early Renaissance A. EXPRESSIVE HUMANITIES: Figure 17.16, David (Donatello) Donatello s statue, David , was created as a representation of the Biblical Fgure just after slaughtering Goliath. This realistic-looking Fgure, constructed around 1440 CE, stands fully nude and in the classic contrapposto stance, making David ap- pear vain in his victory, a young boy who conquered a Philistine giant. B. REFLECTIVE HUMANITIES: Humanism, revived in the Early Renaissance Humanism, the foundation for our class even, revolves around studying the actions of humanity in relation to himself, others, and the rest of the world around him. Drawing away from speculation on faith and divine matters, humanists would strive to become greater intellectuals, possessing many talents (through studies on Roman classicism) and shaping what would be called the universal man. C. REFLECTION ON THE CULTURE, PEOPLE, AND TIME Human understanding, reecting particularly on naturalism, was the target of the common people during the early Renaissance period. Learning of the ancient Greek and Roman texts became something admirable, promoting literacy and a great understanding of the arts in general, encouraging citizens to marvel at the human mind and its potential in the world. Humanism, the primary philosophy of the time, was far more optimistic than their medieval predecessors. Donatello s famous David statue mirrors these ideals for reviving the an- cient artistry of the classical periods. Built with realistic proportions, this sculpture draws admiration for its depiction of life in its true, unexaggerated beauty. Even the charac- ter s pose and open nudity echo the admiration of the ancient Romans, a common as- pect of this humanist movement. II. Chapter 18, The High Renaissance in Rome A. EXPRESSIVE HUMANITIES: Figure 18.11, Creation of Adam (Michaelan- gelo) This beautiful painting, found in the Sistine Chapel in Rome, depicts a contrast between God and Adam, a division between heaven and earth. On one side, Adam reclines, barely holds out his arm to meet God, Who extends His arm fully in or- der to awaken Adam with life and energy. B. REFLECTIVE HUMANITIES: The true nature of humanism: self-interest Niccolo Machiavelli, a critical writer of the High Renaissance period, wrote The Prince in order to instigate the ideals of originality throughout art, literature, music, and, he especially notes, in politics. Humanism, he believed, stemmed from a desire to go against the Fow, rejecting conformity and seeking the greatest of benets for oneself, even at the cost of others or one s own morality, painting a much more narcissistic idea of the Renaissance people....
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