Role of Art and Politics in the Italian Rennaissance

Greg Murphy 10/10/00 Paper 1 The Relationship Between Art and Politics During the Italian Renaissance During the Renaissance, art and politics were two very powerful and celebrated arenas of Italian culture. Art at this time was seen as a connection that was being established between the surreal and everyday life. Art was the most obvious sign of the awakening that was occurring to pull these people out of the Dark Ages. People, such as da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Cellini were celebrating this awakening through magnificent paintings and sculptures. Politics and political structure were also taking on great changes. This is evident through the excessive warring and violence that was so prevalent during the Renaissance. In Italy, the Pope came to assume a great amount of political power, which he used to influence other leaders and conquer neighboring lands. While these two areas of Italian culture seem to be very different, it is through the individuals that were the leaders of these respective fields that made them come to be very similar. Artists and politicians, during the Renaissance, were seen by people of the time to be almost mythological figures capable of greatness. Artists were hailed as saints for the beauty they were able to create. Politicians were worshiped because they were able to display power over the people they ruled. It is when these two very powerful groups of people get together that this relationship is fully understood. Artists, during the Renaissance, were often very poor and could only survive on how good their work was. This became irrelevant when we talk about the greatest artists of the time who could command a great amount of money for any of their works. In many cases it was the politicians or wealthy families who would pay these artists to create a work of art specifically for them. The Medici family was famous for this towards the end of the fifteenth century. The Popes of …

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