Rogers described medieval society as one dependant upon obedience and structure. In what ways was it different from the Renaissance? What brought about these changes?

Essay by malta_babeCollege, UndergraduateA, June 2006

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The Medieval Ages and the Renaissance were two distinct periods, though there is no clear-cut line that separates them. During this overlap a lot of changes took place, in which order and justice were re-established. When I picture the Middle Ages, I picture a lost time period where people were ignorant and did not know how to stand up for themselves, while in the Renaissance, although it is bursting with art, colour, life and talent, people where more conscious that they had a choice in things.

Medieval society was very much centred around God. Any art was an imitation of what god had once created and the Church was the "Supreme" ruler. One may even go as far as to say that the Church was a dictator and scared people into thinking what the Church wanted by using God and Hell as their tools. The Church thought very much for itself and the Pope was a "King", with his own army and land.

Though the Church did bring some form of obedience and structure in the Middle Ages, to the point that people were very Holy, it followed a different structure completely to that in the Renaissance. In contrast, the Renaissance was an age very much centred around humanism and man himself. This is easily seen from famous paintings of this time, such as that of Portormo's portrait of Alessandro de Medici, some painting even exposed the full, natural beauty of man (or women), such as The Birth of Venus by Botticelli. The Church did pay some artists to portray the gospel using paintings, such as Raphael's Madonna. In the case of Raphaello's Madonna and Portormo's portrait of the Alessandro de Medici, these artists were commisioned to create these paintings. This was known as patronage and was very...