What Does the Renaissance Signify for the Arts?

Art and freedom

Tashima Agrawal
Writers’ Blokke
3 min readOct 17, 2022

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Photo by Europeana on Unsplash

When we hear the word ‘Renaissance’, our minds immediately drift back to our History lessons in school. Renaissance was a period which began in Europe in the 14th century. The French word has its origins in Latin (re-nascentia). Renaissance simply translates to ‘rebirth’ or ‘revival’. Renaissance was a period of new discoveries and exploration in diverse fields including science, navigation, literature, architecture, painting and a lot more and thus, it was a period of great cultural progress. It originated in Florence, Italy when Italian writers started taking an interest in ancient Greek and Roman art.

Before the Renaissance, European nations were in strict authority of the Roman Catholic Church. The way of life was very spiritual. The Church controlled all the activities of the people. The art from the pre-Renaissance period also predominantly focussed on divinity and God. Paintings, literature and drama depicted scenes from the Bible and showed God as the Almighty and the Supreme while the humans depicted in art were shown to be the devotees of God. There was no deviation of any form from the set rules of the Church. Those who questioned the rules or went against the Church were punished severely.

However, once the Renaissance movement spread to Europe, the people started exploring art and science beyond the lens of faith and spirituality. Scientists such as Copernicus and Galileo Galilei gave new theories which changed the way people looked at the world. Explorers such as Sir Francis Drake and Ferdinand Magellan explored the whole world and discovered new colonies. Artists started creating human portraits and portraying day-to-day life in their artworks. Hence, a lot of great works were produced during this period which include Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting ‘Mona Lisa’, Raphael’s ‘School of Athens’, the wonderful ceiling art of ‘Sistine Chapel’ by Michelangelo and many more. Religion and God continued to be a subject of artworks but at the same time, artists were allowed to explore other themes and subjects. Thus, it is only when the authority and restrictions of the Church were removed that there was immense progress in Europe, be it artistic or scientific.

Photo by Calvin Craig on Unsplash

However, the purpose of my article is not to demean the Roman Catholic Church and the faith and beliefs of the people. It is only to assert that art truly flourishes when there is freedom. Art thrives when there are no restrictions imposed. However, again, this does not mean that people should use their creative liberty to hurt each other’s sentiments and use art as a propaganda.

We are living in an age where new content is created every second. We are in a constant pressure to innovate as there are so many options to choose from today. We can notice a lot of our favourite applications churning out continuous updates in the name of innovation and creation. However, the creation of art is something which takes its own time and cannot be given any deadline. However, of course, in today’s world, we cannot follow this. There is a constant pressure to create, update and innovate.

However, the Renaissance signifies the importance of freedom to bring out the best of the artistic abilities.

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Tashima Agrawal
Writers’ Blokke

Hi, I am Tashima Agrawal, a student. I love reading and writing on various topics and want to learn and share, inspire and get inspired......