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Secular Art.docx - Secular Art Contrasted with the...

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Secular ArtContrasted with the conception of the sacred, is that ofthe profane. The termcomes from the Latin compoundprofanum, literally meaning before or outside thetemple. Thus profane in its most general sense has meant that which is not holy, orthat which does not pertain to a place marked off or an object related to religiouspractice. The modern idea of art has its roots inthe Italian Renaissance. Throughthe study of the art, poetry, philosophy, and science of ancient Greece and Rome,Renaissance humanists revived the notion thatman, rather than God, isthemeasure of all things. The dependence on the Church gave away to the confidencethat humans can shape their own individual destinies and the future of the world.As the society was moving away from the dominance of the church, Renaissanceartists started turningtowards the profane, depicting ordinary mundane scenesand objects. The Renaissance saw an increase in monumental secular works, butasecular, non-sectarian, universal notion of artarose in 19th century WesternEurope. From the beginnings of recognizableavantgardein the nineteenthcentury, art has been antithetical to religious observation. It was claimed that artpossessedits own intrinsic valueand should not have to be made to satisfy anyedifying, utilitarian, or moral function.[3]Thus, secular art can be defined as art that has no religious reference points and is,in fact,oblivious to organized religion. Having an aesthetic appeal in a non-religious context, it neither denies or affirms the existence of God, but focusesonhuman agency. AsSartrewrote,“Indeed, everything is permissible if Goddoes not exist, and as a result, the man is forlorn, because neither within him norwithout does he find anything to cling to.”[4]Yet, even secular art can bedeeplyspiritual, but not in the religious sense. Various theorists have discussed how art,in general, has a certain spiritual prestige, an aura or indefinable magic.

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renaissance, 2nd millennium

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