The beginnings of modern life as we know it
The Renaissance period was of course a profoundly influential period, not just for art but for many other social, cultural and scientific developments.
It must have been an incredibly exciting period to live in. Trade and travel became easier. New countries were discovered and there was an increased understanding of astronomy. New technology like the printing press meant a proliferation of literature, such as poetry, novels and new and philosophical ideas.
It was a period of relative stability and prosperity, with a new wealthy class emerging. But at the same time, there was increased interest and respect for the Greeks and Romans, their knowledge, philosophy and values.
Renaissance art is both legendary and pivotal in the history of art.
The High Renaissance framed between about 1495 and the date of its own invasion and sack in 1527, Rome, The Papal State, took the place of Florence and laid claim to its artistic preeminence.
At the same time, Rome became the artistic capital of Europe. The popes, living in the opulent splendor of secular princes, embellished the city with great works of art, inviting artists from all over Italy and providing them with challenging tasks.
Famed artists of the time such as Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo changed the status of artists for the first time, from one of a humble craftsman to that of creative genius. Artists during the short duration of the High Renaissance produced works of such authority that generations of later artists were instructed by them.
New paints, such as oils, meant new mediums to work in. New techniques such as perspective, use of light and shadow and improved composition meant a new realism.
Painting, sculptures, architecture and decorative art flourished, influenced by the Greeks and Romans but also with an element of enchantment with nature and natural beauty.
And behind every work of art, was a story. Sometimes mysterious, often symbolic, philosophical or religious. Understanding the art of the Renaissance period sheds a light and understanding not just on the period itself but on life today as we know it: it explains attitudes, styles, concepts. It explains how and why we evolved into the society we are and what from the past, still influences us today.
The new Triumph of the Renaissance Tour
All of which is why we are excited about our next art history tour at the National Gallery - Triumph of the Renaissance, which is run by Sanela Tomlinson. It will be a journey from Italy to the Northern Europe of Early and High Renaissance art by masters such as Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian and more.
Making art relevant
The aim of the tour is really twofold. It’s a luxurious look and examination of some of the greats of this time, which will leave you with a deeper understanding of both them and art in general.
If you’ve ever spent time in a gallery but felt you were really only skimming the surface in terms of appreciating and understanding the genius and beauty of some of the works of art, this tour is ideal.
Each artist and his work will be explained in a compelling and very memorable way. The stories behind the work will unfold for you like the pieces of a puzzle falling into place. You’ll start to understand the social and cultural significance and recognise Renaissance concepts in today’s world.
Art Tour details:
Saturday the 12th of January 13:00 - 15:30 with Sanela Tomlinson
The ticket is £30 and you can book your place via this link. The ticket includes a networking after the lecture and tea/coffee/lunch in the museum restaurant (food and beverages are not included).