The Adoration of the Magi
Image courtesy of
The National Gallery of Art, U.S.A
Time Period: Mid-15th Century
The fifteenth century marked the beginning of the Renaissance or "rebirth," a period when the oppression of the Medieval ages was lifted. As the terror of the plague slowly passed, culture once again began to flourish. 1453 marked the fall of the Byzantine Empire, leading to a great migration of the scholars to Italy and the Netherlands. Thus Italy became home to many thinkers and artisans. People began to have more freedom of thought and were able to be more creative. Art became more important and not only the nobles and the religious authorities, but also the rising middle class of merchants, bankers and contractors were able to commission works of art. Italy was one of the first countries to exhibit signs of the Renaissance through intellectual thought, discoveries, and the new style of art.
Effect on Faces and Figures:
During this time, perspective drawing was discovered, incorporation the idea of the horizon line and vanishing point. Many discoveries were made pertaining to human anatomy as well. Proportions were on its way to accuracy, but as seen when comparing Dontatello's David with Michelangelo's David, the proportions of the Early Renaissance was not quite there. The perspective of some of the figures changed as well. In Gothic art, figures generally have their faces towards the audience. This changed in the Early Renaissance with Botticelli's Adoration of the Magi where many of the figures have their backs to the viewer.
Donatello, Piero della Francesca, and Sandro Botticelli