Sample Arts Essay Paper on Renaissance

The end of the Medieval period heralded a new perspective of the world. It marked the beginning of a new era, the Renaissance period, which was a rebirth of many things known to man at the time. Most importantly, Renaissance marked a new era in art, which digressed from the traditional form in the Medieval period. While Medieval art lacked in perspective and depth, Renaissance art was had a more vibrant and realistic form, that has since informed subsequent art forms. Even more important is that the Renaissance period changed the role of the artist, in addition to introducing a new philosophy responsible for the change in the role of the artist.

Medieval period artists had a role to play in capturing the nature of the world. However, even in their work, the world considered artists craftsmen; nothing more than laborers creating objects. The Renaissance, however, redefined the role of artists, wherein great artists were equated to great people. The role of the artist therefore ultimately changed from that of a craftsman to that of greatness and opulence.

In every sense, to command respect, merchants had to show their power. Commanding the finest of talents, affording costly materials, building amazing buildings and owing the best in what imagination could capture in reference to art attested to the wealth of the merchants. Only the best of artists could execute such masterpieces, essentially shifting the role of the artist from a craftsman to a hired professional.

Further, the role and position of the artist was dependent on a number of non-aesthetic factors such as level of education and proper mannerism. Artists with a combination of the two factors commanded the respect of patrons of the Renaissance. Moreover, the Renaissance brought with it class and households, which played host to all kinds of learned individuals including poets, philosophers, mathematicians and scholars. Only the most privileged of artists would get admission to these households.

Although most artists continued to work with their hands, had paints soiling their clothes and hands, the most distinguished and learned of the artists would be excused. Moreover, their role was also changing as much as the art which was more realistic, had perspective and illusion of depth. Their role transcended craftsmanship to becoming a means of searching for the meaning of existence. Artists became historians, their work having historical allusions; philosophers through their works antiquated philosophy;and  scientists through scientific theories and astrology.

At the center of the change in artist’s role was humanist philosophy. As a philosophy humanism places emphasis on the value and agency of humans, whether as individuals or collective beings. Humanism catapulted art and artists into their distinctive roles of not just the works of a craftsman and a craftsman respectively, but as mythical creations that needed the inquisitive eyes of critics and experts, who wold assist the general public unravel the mysteries contained therein in pieces of art. Humanist philosophy therefore pushed artists, who then had to live to the expectation of the humanists. Humanists saw more to art, they interrogated the idea behind the art, seeing art as a product of independent thought and inquiry. The idea, according to humanists, therefore required exploration, a process that would then enable the humanists unlock the mythical or historical significance, scientific theory and platonic ideas invisible to the general public.