Society Revelaed Through Art

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Society Revealed Through Art In the early 1400s the world woke up. The Renaissance is known as the awakening and rebirth of art. More then ever before, art expressed the new thirst for knowledge in areas of literature, science, mathematics, music, exploration and philosophy. This crucial time set the precedence for the way art would influence and reflect social development in Western Europe.

It is said that Raffaello (Raphael) Sanzio's art depicted images that epitomize western learnings as the High Renaissance society understood it. Raphael was commissioned to decor the papal apartments in the Vatican in 1508 by invitation of Pope Julius the second. One of his greatest works was the papal library known as the Stanza Della Segnatura, where the four walls within the room represented theology, law, poetry and philosophy. These walls represent the four rising High Renaissance ideals of human knowledge. Raphael was able to meet the request of the Pope to be portrayed as an intelligent, educated and cultured man as well as a wise, divine and inspired religious authority.

He achieved this request by painting the walls of theology and philosophy to face each other. The wall of philosophy, also known as, School of Athens reveals the social changes that were taking place during the High Renaissance. His style exposed the influence of Leonardo and Michelangelo. The human body appeared to move freely implementing concepts of foreshortening, perfect proportions and perspective. The figures in School of Athens are great philosophers, such as Plato and Socrates, from the antiquity. They are seen disusing concepts and theories as their gestures denote their doctrines fusing Christian and pagan elements. Raphael's art communicated moods and ideas of the time. People were interested in developing knowledge and looked to the antiquity as a source for inspiration. In Giorgio Vasari's...