The Cahnging Role and Status of the Artist 1300-1600 Essay

2147 Words Dec 18th, 2008 9 Pages
The Changing Role and Status of the Artist 1300 – 1600

To explore the changing role and status of the artist during the period 1300 – 1600 we have first to look at the period of time prior to this. For a thousand years before, Rome had ruled most of Europe, bringing new developments in technology, education and government, but after Rome fell to invaders in 542 CE, Western Europe became stagnant, a period we now term as the Middle Ages. Ordinary people did not venture far from their hamlets. Local lords ruled with fear and intimidation. Learning took place only in religious houses, and generations grew up ignorant, illiterate, and superstitious of outsiders. Artists and merchants during this time formed organisations called
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According to humanists, life was full of beauty, waiting to be enjoyed.

Wealthy merchants and nobles began educating their children in accordance with the Humanist programme. According to Humanism, education should stimulate student’s creative powers.

New techniques in art were employed with astounding results. Perspective, making distant objects in a painting smaller than those close to the viewer, made scenes appear three- dimensional. Careful shading, made objects tlook round and real, rather than flat. Using human models helped artists portray the body far more realistically than had been seen in Medieval art.
In fact, Renaissance art glorified the human body, again emphasizing the importance of the individual.

Piero della Francesca 1415-1492 probably was born and died in the very small town of Borgo San Sepolcro, Tuscany, to Benedetto de Franceschi, whose trade was a shoemaker, and Romana di Perino da Monterchi. He may have learned his trade from one of several Sienese artists working in San Sepolcro during his youth. Oil paints were thought to have been introduced at this time. As oil paint takes much longer to dry than water based paints, artists could play with the colour and shading, creating incredibly realistic pieces of work. Piero was one of the first known artists to use this medium.

The painting illustrated Fig.2 has a look of a stage set, Piero della Francesca has mastered the art of perspective and the foreshortened angel

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