Berlin, Germany

Renaissance Art and Thought: Renaissance Florence

Language: English Studies in English
Subject area: arts
University website:
Art is a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts (artworks), expressing the author's imaginative or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power. In their most general form these activities include the production of works of art, the criticism of art, the study of the history of art, and the aesthetic dissemination of art.
The Renaissance (UK: , US: ) is a period in European history, covering the span between the 14th and 17th centuries. It is an extension of the Middle Ages, and is bridged by the Age of Enlightenment to modern history. It grew in fragments, with the very first traces found seemingly in Italy, coming to cover much of Europe, for some scholars marking the beginning of the modern age.
The Black Artist's role in America is to aid in the destruction of America as he knows it. His role is to report and reflect so precisely the nature of the society, and of himself, in that society, that other men will be moved by the exactness of his rendering, and if they are black men, grow strong through this moving, having seen their own strength, and weakness, and if they are white men, tremble, curse, and go mad, because they will be drenched with the filth of their evil.
Amiri Baraka, Negro Digest, vol. 14, no. 6 (April 1965), p. 65
The men of the Renaissance were in a peculiar situation... What they saw behind them... were the peaks of classical antiquity... the summit of human reason... since lost. ...[T]hey were governed by... this ancient outlook which at one level represented a static view... and at another level... involved a theory of decadence... under a system that might be described as cyclic. This antique-modern view... found explicit statement... in the writings of Machiavelli. ...Within any city or state or civilization... the natural operation of time was to produce internal corruption... a process of decandence. [I]n a parallel manner... bodies would decompose and the finest fabrics in nature would suffer putrefaction. ...[T]he current science chimed in... for in both realms... compound bodies had a natural tendency to disintegrate. ...[A]t the Renaissance it was almost less possible to believe in what we call progress than it had been in the middle ages.
Herbert Butterfield, The Origins of Modern Science (1949)
Art hath an enemy called Ignorance.
Ben Jonson, Every Man out of His Humour (1598), Act I, scene 1.
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