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The Renaissance- Lecture #2 Intellectual Themes as Expressed Through Art or Great Artists and Their Works.

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Presentation on theme: "The Renaissance- Lecture #2 Intellectual Themes as Expressed Through Art or Great Artists and Their Works."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Renaissance- Lecture #2 Intellectual Themes as Expressed Through Art or Great Artists and Their Works

2 I. Reason Donation of Constantine by Valla Donation of Constantine by Valla –Historical criticism New Translation of the bible by Erasmus of Rotterdam New Translation of the bible by Erasmus of Rotterdam –Reinterpretation

3 Reason (cont.) The Prince - Machiavelli The Prince - Machiavelli –Born in Florence –Served in government positions both in the Medici family and as part of the short-lived Republic –Lived through the internal and external political turmoil of the Italian city states  Balance of Power and Habsburg-Valois Wars

4 Reason (cont.) Side note of interest… Torture under the Medici Revival

5 “When evening comes, I return home [from work and from the local tavern] and go to my study. On the threshold I strip naked, taking off my muddy, sweaty workday clothes, and put on the robes of court and palace, and in this graver dress I enter the courts of the ancients and am welcomed by them, and there I taste the food that alone is mine, and for which I was born. And there I make bold to speak to them and ask the motives of their actions, and they, in their humanity reply to me. And for the space of four hours I forget the world, remember no vexation, fear poverty no more, tremble no more at death; I pass indeed into their world. “ Reason (cont.) After finally losing a gov’t position, Machiavelli said of his life:

6 Reason (cont.) In Exile Under the Medici Revival, Machiavelli wrote The Prince Goal was to win him back a job with the Medici’s… Goal was to win him back a job with the Medici’s… …and to give Italian rulers a way to be stronger to avoid foreign dominance …and to give Italian rulers a way to be stronger to avoid foreign dominance Basic Idea? Basic Idea? –A ruler must be willing to act immorally to retain power and do what is ultimately right for the state

7 “ Whoever desires to found a state and give it laws, must start with assuming that all men are bad and ever ready to display their vicious nature, whenever they may find occasion for it… …Hence it is necessary for a prince wishing to hold his own to know how to do wrong, and to make use of it or not according to necessity." Reason (cont.)

8 Reason (cont.) Political Ideas “the ends justify the means” IF the ends are the stability and health of the state “the ends justify the means” IF the ends are the stability and health of the state Separated ethics from governing Separated ethics from governing Politics by cold hard calculation (Realism) Politics by cold hard calculation (Realism) People are basically bad, so a leader must impose goodness on them People are basically bad, so a leader must impose goodness on them Better to be feared than loved as a leader (why?) Better to be feared than loved as a leader (why?)

9 Reason (cont.) Examples of Machiavelli’s Thought in Action “I say that every prince ought to desire to be considered clement and not cruel. Nevertheless he ought to take care not to misuse this clemency. Cesare Borgia was considered cruel; notwithstanding, his cruelty reconciled the Romagna, unified it, and restored it to peace and loyalty. And if this be rightly considered, he will be seen to have been much more merciful than the Florentine people, who, to avoid a reputation for cruelty, permitted Pistoia to be destroyed. Therefore a prince, so long as he keeps his subjects united and loyal, ought not to mind the reproach of cruelty; because with a few examples he will be more merciful than those who, through too much mercy, allow disorders to arise, from which follow murders or robberies; for these are wont to injure the whole people, whilst those executions which originate with a prince offend the individual only.”

10 Reason (cont.) First Political Scientist but wait, Plato and Socrates and Aristotle thought about gov. too… but wait, Plato and Socrates and Aristotle thought about gov. too… –Philosophy v science – Realist---- Is/ought –Goal is not to get ruler into heaven, but to deal in the practical

11 Reason (cont.) Was Machiavelli machiavellian? Machiavelli argued that a leader could break with morality for a greater good, not just for selfish reasons Machiavelli argued that a leader could break with morality for a greater good, not just for selfish reasons Machiavellian became an adjective to describe ruthless self-serving governance Machiavellian became an adjective to describe ruthless self-serving governance

12 The Focus on Reason Led to Realism in Artwork Nudity Accuracy of Nature Even Mary and Jesus are portrayed as realistic appearing humans

13 Math to figure perspective

14 Fore- shortening

15 Single Point Perspective

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17 Use of light and dark

18 II. Humanism Oration on the Dignity of Man- della Mirandola Oration on the Dignity of Man- della Mirandola –Man is unique in that ‘he’ has choice to become godlike or beastly –“There is nothing to be seen more wonderful than man. ” –Humanist ‘anthem’

19 Humanism (cont.) Petrarch Father of humanism Father of humanism Wrote letters to dead classical authors Wrote letters to dead classical authors Reviled scholasticism Reviled scholasticism One of the coiners of ‘Dark Ages’ One of the coiners of ‘Dark Ages’ “Like a black army of ants from some old rotten oak, they swarm forth from their hiding places and devastate the fields of sound learning.” “Like a black army of ants from some old rotten oak, they swarm forth from their hiding places and devastate the fields of sound learning.”

20 Humanism (cont.)

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22 III. Secularism and Individualism The Courtier – Castiglione The Courtier – Castiglione –How one in the court of the king should win favor and influence –“Renaissance Man”

23 Secularism and Individualism (Cont.) Artists enjoy great status Secular Subjects of the Art

24 The Baptism of Christ Leonardo da Vinci Artists sign their work, and even…

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26 Sforzas

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29 And Always, Always, this link back to the Classical times

30 The School of Athens- Raphael

31 Michelangelo as Heraclitus

32 Leonardo Da Vinci as Plato


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