Monday, September 22, 2008

Science, humanism, and artistic production in 15th century Italy

The relationship between science, humanism, and artistic production in 15th century Italy:

A good portion of the art produced in 15th century Italy was linked to the growing interest in humanism. Humanists were interested in gaining all sorts of knowledge that included medicine, engineering, and science. Many of the artworks of this time even seemed to have a mathematical and scientific quality. Politics also greatly influenced the art that was produced. Because of the instability of politics during that time, power was largely in the hands of the dominant families such as the Medici and the princely courts. These were the people who held the power and they envisioned themselves as political and also cultural leaders. They had the capabilities to commission works of art to reiterate their desire to gain recognition along with fame and increasing their power. They were also able to spend a great deal of money on these artworks and in addition to that they were able to choose the subject matter. This had much to do with the direction in which art was going during this time period. With this also came an increase in portrait paintings. Because humanism emphasized individual achievement and recognition it made sense that people would start to commission portraits.

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