The Renaissance And Da Vinci Essay Research

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The Renaissance And Da Vinci Essay, Research Paper Renaissance is a word used by historians to describe a period in European cultural history that began in Italy around 1400 and lasted until the end of the 1500s. This word, which is French, means rebirth. The Renaissance was the rebirth of classical literature, the rebirth of art, and the revival of learning. The entrance of Europe into the Renaissance signaled the collapse of the feudal system and the beginning of a new era in history. This period also led to new types of thinking such as Humanism, or the belief in active rather than contemplative life. The Renaissance was motivated, in part, by the results of the Crusades. The revival of trade due to the Crusades led to a great exchange of ideas throughout Europe. The

invention of printing also gave rise to learning because knowledge became available to all people, not just nobility. Because of this revival of learning, a new type of man formed. He was a Renaissance man. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines renaissance man as [a] man who has broad intellectual interests and is accomplished in areas of both the arts and the sciences. There were many Renaissance men ; such as the great William Shakespeare of England, Raphael, Michaelangelo, Cervantes, and Leon Battista Alberti; but perhaps the greatest mind of the entire Renaissance was that of a man known as Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo da Vinci had a thought process well ahead of his time, which aided him in the creation of inventions, and revolutionary theories that

demonstrated his position as the epitome of the principles responsible for the Renaissance movement. Da Vinci worked during a term of the Renaissance known as the High Renaissance. Among the artists most frequently associated with this period are Rafael and Michaelangelo, and of course, da Vinci. The three were presumably in a competition to gain the most recognition, and any could be rightfully named the greatest artist of the era. Rafael, perfected earlier Renaissance discoveries of color and composition, and created almost ideal representations of the Madonna and child. Michaelangelo and the glorious Sistine Chapel in Rome assert his artistic astuteness. However, what set da Vinci apart from the others was his diverse interest in both the intellectual and artistic. Da Vinci

has been described as perhaps the most versatile genius who ever lived, Leonardo reached the heights of human achievement. Not only one of the greatest painters of the Renaissance, he was also a talented scientist, designer and musician (Who and When 46). Da Vinci was born the son of Ser Piero da Vinci in Vinci, Italy on April 25, 1452. He was an illegitimate child. His father was a notary and his mother a peasant. Shortly after his birth, Ser Piero took custody and decided to raise Leonardo as part of his household. His mother then moved to a neighboring town and married. Her new marriage eventually supplied Leonardo with seventeen half brothers and sisters. Da Vinci had a keen interest in music, modeling and drawing as a child. These interests further fed by access to many

scholarly texts owned by his father, were soon developed. However, da Vinci preferred direct experience and practical application as opposed to formal learning. Claiming to be an artist, Leonardo was indulged by his father to paint a round shield. On it, he decided to paint a monster head, so he went out and collected some specimens ranging from lizards to bats to maggots. He became so enthralled with his art that he failed to realize that his specimens had begun to rot. The result was a disgusting monster head exhaling smoke and gas. Upon showing the finished work to his father, Ser Piero was shocked by its realism and knew Leonardo was to be an artist ( Renaissance Man). Recognizing his son s talent and preference, Ser Piero apprenticed Leonardo to the workshop of Andrea del