Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance Research Paper
Peter Stuyvesant set up the Harlem village in 1658. The man who was a governor in the Dutch republic named the new establishment after a popular Dutch city known as Nieuw Harlem. The new village took almost 6 miles of Manhattan 96th Street.
In the first two centuries following its establishment, famous New York residents who had big tracts of land in the area took residence in the establishment. Towards the middle of the 19th century, the wealthy farmers abandoned the farms since they had lost their productivity. This opened the door for downtown New Yorkers to reside in the land.
This had been made easier by the newly laid railroad network. Within a short period, Harlem was transformed in to one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the whole of New York. There were many religious, learning and artistic establishments, which gave the area a rich cultural background. (Angelfire)
By the turn of the 19th century, people were so optimistic about an upgrade of the existing transportation network in the area. This gave rise to heightened speculation in the real estate industry something that led to exaggerated market rates and the subsequent disintegration of the sector at the beginning of the 20th century. Taking full credit of the collapse, an American by the name of Philip Payton entered into contracts that saw him acquiring property owned by whites for renewable leases of five years.
In turn, Philip and his friends rented the property to Black Americans who considered Harlem a better place to reside. Within a short period, Harlem had been transformed in to an establishment for blacks only. This was heightened by the animosity that existed between whites and Negroes in the period that preceded World War 1. (Poets. Org)
By the time the war had ended, blacks from every part of America were moving to Harlem. Among those who were moving to the establishment included black poets, critics, literary anthologists, painters, illustrators, musicians, composers and actors.
Within a short time, Harlem became a sort of an urban artistic center for black Americans. However, the increasing population and high demand soon gave way to skyrocketing rental prices. This left culture as the only prospering thing within Harlem. A few years after World War 1 ended, Harlem became to black artists what Mecca is to Muslims.
The activities that they engaged in are what came to be termed as the Harlem Renaissance. What influenced most of the participants was the style that Europeans and white Americans were using in their literature and music. To most of the artists within the renaissance, the only topic they addressed was the experiences of blacks within an American society that was predominantly white. (Hill 20)
The music and writing style within the Harlem Renaissance carried the same theme of black experience in light of a white society. Within the Harlem, all the club experience carried the same colored theme. This made African Americans to create a self-awareness attitude something that brought a greater rift between blacks and whites.
As a young man, Langston Hughes had settled in Harlem while pursuing his college education. From his early days, Langston had a flair for poetry and he read a wide collection of poems from various authors. By the time he settled in Harlem, he was on his way towards becoming an established poet.
Although Langston’s poems, spoke of the experiences of black Americans in light of a white culture, he took a different route from the rest of his counterparts in the Harlem renaissance. Where his counterparts would focus on only one genre of writing, Langston decided to mix two or more genres in a single work.
A good example is his first book of poetry known as The Weary Blues. In the book, Langston mixed jazz, blues and a light touch of traditional verses. This was a complete new level of writing that other poets in Harlem were not used to. This became a great influence for future works produced within the Harlem Renaissance. (Poets. Org)
Another thing that made Langston Hughes to be of great influence to the Harlem renaissance was the success he acquired as a poet within the movement. This especially came in 1930 after he published his first work of fiction known as Not Without Laughter.
This was achieved with the help of a rich white woman known as Charlotte Mason. The novel was such as success that Langston bought his first car. Considering that he was only 28 years at the time, this was a great inspiration to other writers in the Harlem to work hard.
During this time, most artists in the Harlem Renaissance were not doing very well and Langston’s success must have been a big morale booster. Besides poetry, Langston also wrote novels, short stories, newspaper articles, and drama. This ability to write in almost all genres made him acceptable across the cultural divide. (Solloway, Bacon, & Muscanell)
In his writings, Langston used simple plain language laced with jokes, insight, and intellect to express his thoughts. Instead of complaining about the plight of back Americans in his works, Langston praises the two important aspects of the African culture namely their dark skin and their rich music. Instead of seeking to become equal to whites as most of his black artists sought, Langston appreciated and praised being African.
This can be seen in some of his most famous poems like I, Too, Sing America. This acceptance of his being a black American received criticism from his fellow artists who claimed that he paid attention on living as a low-class black in America. Despite the widespread criticism, Langston Hughes influence was so immense such that upon his death in 1967 the street leading to his house that was formerly known as 127th Street was renamed Langston Hughes Place in his honor. (World Class Poetry)
After experiencing many upheavals in its history, Harlem has evolved in to a region of Manhattan where Black Americans live in an isolated manner. Although the standards of living were pathetic at the beginning of the 20th century, a bunch of artists managed to give Harlem a different outlook.
Their literary works defined Harlem way of life and the general black experience in the context of white tradition. It is widely believed that Langston Hughes gave genuine and loud voice to the black society. Although this is still an opinion that is open to criticism, one thing that is undisputed is that very few artists if any within Harlem could articulate the adversity of and lowliness of black Americans as succinctly and fittingly as Langston did.
Despite their somewhat direct manner, it is important to consciously analyze every single word in his poems since the words he uses are highly effective and often carry a hidden meaning. It is also true that Langston Hughes is a respected icon in Black American literature. It is therefore without doubt that he helped in ushering the Harlem Renaissance and gave the African-American voice a much-needed respect and acceptance.
Angelfire. Kari’s Thoughts on Poets of the Harlem Renaissance, n.d. Web.
Hill, Christine. Langston Hughes: Poet of the Harlem Renaissance. New Jersey: Enslow Publishers, Inc, 1997. 16-21. Print.
Poets. Org. Langston Hughes, 2010. Web.
Solloway, J, Bacon, A, & Muscanell, M. James Langston Hughes (1902-1967). Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance, n.d. Web.
World Class Poetry. Langston Hughes. The Black Poet Laureate, 2008. Web.
Sculptors of the Italian Renaissance Research Paper
The historical perception of the distinction between Sculptors of the Italian Renaissance and others is traceable back to the great historical artists like Donatello and Michelangelo.
They are arguably big sculptors of the Italian Renaissance, who were both original and catalysts for revolution. Their works have realism through implementation of versatility, emotional and psychological effects. These aspects are evident among current sculptors.
“Significance of Sculptors of the Italian Renaissance” This is a research investigating and analyzing the different arguments on philosophical nature of Sculptors of the Italian Renaissance, from various art histories to the current state of affairs, with the aim of providing a personal point of view regarding the subject matter.
Purpose/Significance of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the consequences and key concepts involved in the development of Sculptors of the Italian Renaissance and offer personal suggestions or opinions over the issue of relationship between various historical stages.
Objectives of the Study
This research paper lays down the need for finding the background of the understanding of various Sculptors of the Italian Renaissance over the relationship as presented by diverse great artists. The study is equally an assessment of differences of sculpture work at different times.
Significance of the Study
The key topics to be covered entail the focus over Sculptors of the Italian Renaissance. This is in the aim of finding the reasonable conclusion on this type of work.
The Procedure of the Study/Research Methodology
The paper highly utilizes the literature reviews to enable better understanding of the topic. Preparation of the research over the chosen topic will enhance and quantify the research as a study topic and prepare for respondents.
Information collected will equally tabulate and assist in ranking the findings from various eras, and help to narrow the scope to the objectives of the research. The analysis of findings will then draw conclusions from generally analyzed data in the literature review.
The Sculptors of the Italian Renaissance is arguably one of the most reflective and productive period regarding the history of art. Some of the outstanding fields of Italian art include architecture, sculpture and painting. The early nineteenth century marked the revolution of art history. Good example of the sculptural work was by Donatello (Meyer& Konody, 2010). The Italian renaissance saw a great combination between science and art.
Today we celebrate heroic artists like Michelangelo and Titian who had genius personality that currently emphasize the need for enhanced creativity in artwork. According to Woods (2007), “Some men were both artists and scientists, notably Leonardo da Vinci and Piero Della Francesca. It is doubtful whether they would have understood our distinction between art and science.”
Sculptors of the Italian Renaissance have a close connection to architects. Like the cases of paintings, there is a great rebirth or revival of other forms such as sculptures and architectural designs.
According to Detroit Institute of Arts (1995), traditionally, painting was a revival and the need for revert to appreciation of nature, reinforcement of architecture was in the course of the pressure for ancient histories or classical influences and renaissance of the sculptures was because of both the paintings and architecture.
The revival of sculptures is traceable to the sixteenth century when art historians like Giorgio Vasari promulgated art. In line with Detroit Institute of Arts (1995), sculptors lack distinctive accuracy due to historical classical influences.
Arguably, Nicola Pisano and the son, Giovanni Pisano were Italian architects and sculptors who form the basis of renaissance sculptural work. The art presents great ancient monuments such as the Roman Sarcophagus that gives the historical tale concerning Phaedra and Hippolytus in Pisa (Detroit Institute of Arts, 1995).
Nicola work gave a combination of classic with Gothic elements, while the son, Giovanni had some reactions against classical tendencies and the reaction is evident in current international Gothic styles (Detroit Institute of Arts, 1995). Although the themes in Giovanni’s work are highly medieval, he has good advancement toward faithfulness to nature (Detroit Institute of Arts, 1995).
The successors included paint artists such as Giotto, thus the Italian Renaissance present him as a fighter from the classical approaches through his own renditions and personality. According to Cox (2009), “The inscriptions he left on his work, especially the pulpit in the cathedral of Pisa, show an extraordinary sense of his own worth.”
Artists have the tendency to leave behind self-praising unique signature on their works but Giovanni had a unique style of exalting his personal style compared to other artists of his style and time.
Italian Renaissance has outstanding designs of simplicity and clarity. The artists carry on the aspects of individuality and self-consciousness. They present individual concepts or traits as a signature and expression of showing importance. The sculptural work is a huge revolution from the simple and direct work to enhance the illusions of space, charm and elegance for instance the grouping of objects to achieve architectural effects.
Italian Renaissance is a conceited in Today’s advancement of sculptural work such as Dale Chihuly’s glassware. His contribution to artwork extends to greater heights today. The sculptor is reputable for enhancing change of glass art gallery from their original premise of solemn studio environment to better establishments where the lifestyles of art world involve the collaborative endeavours and a dissection of work forces within creative environments.
He embraces the strategy of pulling a team of artists together with exceptional practice of glass blowing skills that is the foundation for complex multipart sculptures. His artwork places him to the leadership position concerning advancement of the blown glass from the confines of small, precious objects to highly structured sculptures and environmental arts.
According to Taragin (1995), Dale Chihuly was an art student at Florence who turned to be a prolific artist whose work balances content to properties of the glass material such as transparency or translucency.
Today, sculptors of Italian Renaissance also use different material and style as a paramount strategy of enhancing creativity. Style emerges and gets it influences through the captivating processes that get over the boundaries, which separate all forms of arts.
A good example of uniqueness is Dale’s room-sized installations of organic/plant like, freestanding sculptures that stylistically explore colour, contours and, assemblage fitting both indoor and outdoor. The artwork ranges from single and general structures to site specified or customized installations.
Some of his unique but best and famous artworks include small designs or large sculptures placed on various surfaces to bring out the natural effects. The current styles incorporate the plastic polymers for the outdoor environments.
Today, the sculptural Italian Renaissance has a wide vocabulary of exiting new elements depicting creativity. The blown forms have styles in terms of type of material, colour, texture and shapes.
The artwork on paper reflects new interests due to incorporated prominent line element in majority of his styles. Some of the sculptural works such as blown glass depict optical moulds, thus producing surfaces with repeated ribbed designs. Another significant part of the style is the elongated sculptures with linear forms.
We are able to enjoy a wide range of Italian Renaissance today especially in our lifestyles such as chandeliers, towers in our streets, and through art paperwork demonstrating similar linear qualities. Whether a sculptor communicates through pencil, painting or blown glass, the same style of attenuated lines still dominate the composition.
A person mesmerized by Italian Renaissance sculptural artwork cannot miss distinctive by unique styles as well as signatures. The artwork is formal, elegant, and extravagant.
It also has a variety of dramatic emotional and visual effects due to incorporated colour themes, baroque, dazzling, and enormous appeals that traditionally lacked in majority of the art forms. Evidently, the imagery style of an artist is strongly evident even when there is some historical decorative aspiring in an art form. Initially, the aspect of harmonizing distinctive element to form decorative artwork was not evident in majority of the artworks.
For a glass blower such as Dale Chihuly, the diversity of form in terms of colour, design complexity and interplay with glass transparency the outcome is a very different world of design. Italian renaissance has always had a strong engagement to nature and thus has brought out the engagement with nature in such a perfect and impressive way.
Cox, K. (2009). Old Masters and New. South Carolina, SC: BiblioBazaar LLC
Detroit Institute of Arts. (1995). Italian renaissance sculpture in the time of Donatello: An exhibition to commemorate the 600th anniversary of Donatello’s birth and the 100th anniversary of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Michigan, MI: Founders Society, Detroit Institute of Arts.
Meyer, A. & Konody, P. (2010). Donatello. South Carolina, SC: BiblioBazaar LLC Publishers. Print
Sayre, H. (2007).A World of Art. Fifth Ed. New Jersey, NJ: Pearson,
Taragin, D. (August 1995). Racine Art Museum: Curator. The Detroit Institute of Arts, Toledo Museum of Art. Vol. 56, No. 8, p. 10-14. 4 Nov 2010.
Woods, K. (2007). Making Renaissance art. London, UK: Yale University Press. Print
Artistic Renaissance Humanism Critical Essay
Renaissance Humanism: During the period of 1400 and 1650, the humanism term was used for main social philosophy and intellectual and literary works.
“Expansion of trade, growth of prosperity and luxury and widening social contacts created great interest in worldly pleasures, in spite of formal adherence to ascetic Christian policy.” In that case people welcomed such classical writers or artists who conveyed same social values and secular attitudes in their creative works (Kreis, 2008, 1).
In 1808, a German educator, F.J. Niethammar described the term ‘humanism’. It was to describe some scientific and educational study programs.
“The term ‘umanista’ or ‘humanist’ was described in the fifteenth century that told about a professional group of teachers who were related to the subject called ‘studia humanitatis.” Humanism never opposed logics but it was not in favor of Scholasticism(Hooker, 1996, 2).
“The man of renaissance lived in two worlds-the world of the medieval Christian matrix, in which the importance of every phenomenon was eventually indomitable through similar point of view. The man felt himself deferring between reason and faith” (Kreis, 2008, 3).
Beauty was understood a major part of life and humanist cult of beauty was explained that made it simple that humanism is above everything.
It was called an aesthetic movement. The aestheticism became the major element that superseded supernatural and scientific elements. “The man became the part of everything and he dealt with an ideal life which was no longer an escape from monastic kind of life rather it was a full participation in rich and varied human relationships” (Kreis, 2008, 4-5).
About Johannes Vermeer:Among all the Dutch Masters of Renaissance age, besides Rembrandt of course, Johannes Vermeer is maybe the most popular today. He was born in October 1632 and died in December 1675, lived and worked in Delft.
Though his life was short lived but he left most exquisite paintings in Western art. Until the end of nineteenth Century, he remained relatively obscure and was not much known in his own days, as he produced not many paintings, may be around forty five of which only thirty seven are known today (Liedtke, 2011, Para 1).
His works are rare and portray figures in interiors. His work is distinguished by the poetic quality of images and the effect of strong and bright colors. Though Vermeer’s work was famous in The Hague, Antwerp and Amsterdam but nearly half of his work was acquired by Pieter van Ruijven (Pioch, 2002, Para 2).
Very little is known about Vermeer or his teacher and evidently he himself had no pupils. His teacher could either be Leonaert Bramer or Carel Fabritius of Delft. He was a respected member of the Delft painter’s guild (Liedtke, 2011, Para 2).
“Vermeer’s father was a silk weaver but by about 1630 became an innkeeper and art dealer. He got married in 1653 to a wealthy catholic divorcee and converted to their religion” (Liedtke, 2011, Para 1). He moved into his wife’s house in the heart of Delft. He died at a young age of forty three leaving his wife with eleven children and his paintings. Though his paintings commanded high prices but due to the miserable Dutch economy of 1670’s made his last few years miserable(Liedtke, 2011, Para 1).
Vermeer’s original concept was not like today’s balanced composition. In the period of 1950s and 1960s the Dutch genre painters most commonly used the theme of a woman at her toilette. Vermeer’s famous painting ‘The Young Woman before a Mirror’ in 1962 was an iconographic work. “He made some critical changes in his composition according to the revelation of neutron autoradiography”(Janson, 2011). He concentrated his vision on the upper part of the composition.
“He reshaped the bluish clothe of the still life and removed many black and white floor tiles and many other complex structure of table” (Janson, 2011). That is why the viewers mainly focus on the upper portion. His major modification was to exclude the musical instrument like cittern (Janson, 2011).
According to Arthur Wheelock, “in the present work the artist minimized the apparent physical activity of the figure, portraying her at the moment she has the ribbons pulled taut.
Her thoughts may be inward, but they are expressed through her gaze, which reaches across the white wall of the room to the mirror next to the window. The whole space between her and the side wall of the room thus becomes activated with her presence.
It is a subtle yet daring composition, one that succeeds because of Vermeer’s acute sensitivity to the placements of objects and to the importance of spaces between these objects”(Janson, 2011).
In the painting ‘The Young Woman before a Mirror’ the most exclusive modification was “the exclusion of a large wall map that surrounded the standing girl absorbing her from into the rest of the composition and eliminating the direct line of her gaze towards mirror” (Janson, 2011). Wheelock mentions that “the map, representing the physical world, and the musicalinstrument, referring to sensual love, would have given a context for interpreting the mirror and the pearls negatively rather than positively.
Indeed, the sensual earthy connotations are similar to those associated with ‘Vrouw Wereld” (Janson, 2011). “The Vrouw Wereld (the Lady World) was a well-known allegorical figure dating back to medieval times who personifies worldly pleasures and transience.
By removing the map and musical instrument, Wheelock proposes that Vermeer transformed the image into a poetic one evoking the ideals of purity and truth,” which actually have been the main qualities of renaissance era (Janson, 2011).
The importance of mirror in his paintings: Normally the mirrors can be associated with many innovative meanings and associations.“They are used generally as the symbol of wisdom and self-knowledge built at the same time they can be associated with vanity, an unhealthy amount of self-regard” (Janson, 2011).
Renaissance artists are popular for using the mirrors more objectively to analyze reality. The Roman goddess Venus’s characteristics also can be associated with the use of mirrors as in the olden time, “the mirrors could be related with the world of women” (Janson, 2011).
“From the Renaissance, Vanity and Deception were the connotations the mirror carried most often rather Truth and Prudence”(Janson, 2011).
There is no evidence about Vermeer’s interaction with his colleagues. He boldly did not follow the innovative themes and painting techniques as his colleagues did. His paintings reflect his character and nature and present him as a quiet and balanced person. He seems to be an “even-tempered, confident, controlled and likely graced with above average social skills” (Janson, 2011).
Hooker, Richard. 1996. “Humanism.” WSU. Web.
Janson, Jonathan. 2011. “The Complete Interactive Vermeer Catalogue.” E V.co. Web.
Kreis, Stever. 2000.“Renaissance Humanism.” The History Guide. Web.
Liedtke, Walter. 2011. “Johannes Vermeer.” Heilbronn Timeline of Art History. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Web.
Pioch, Nicholas. 2002. “Vermeer Jan.” WebMuseum, Paris. Web.
The Renaissance and Religion Essay
The renaissance is a very interesting era in the history of humanity. It is an era which has been associated with many discoveries and changes in the life of mankind. To have a clear picture of the significance of the renaissance it is better to slightly examine the way of life just before 1400.
Before 1400 and actually the early part of 1400, the Roman Catholic Church had a great influence on the society. The church was supreme in every way and commanded unrivalled authority on both religious issues and politics. The pope wielded immense influence on political leaders and kings likewise. What was communicated from the pope was final regardless of who the subject was.
The Catholic Church was the only church in the world and its branches were in many countries. It is also worth noting that the church was the wealthiest organization and this wealth was acquired by means which were later found to be unacceptable.
Payment for services rendered by the church was very frequent actually there was not a single activity that the priest would preside over without any payment being done weather it was a funeral, baptism or any other. Selling of indulgence and some pieces of artwork representing saints was a common practice.
This sounds ridiculous and this is where the Renaissance man comes in. The church had used some weird philosophy to tame the thinking of the society to view the pope and the church in general as divinely superior to them and that the pope had the power to determine whether a person could access heaven or not. With this nature of thinking people were subjected to a rigid way of life where everything started from and ended with the church.
The wakeup call
The Renaissance period can be said to have stirred people to wake from some kind of sleep they were in. The renaissance period was a time when humanism for the first time was experienced. It must be pointed out that renaissance was very secular but not necessarily evil as such. It has also been pointed out that the renaissance weakened the influence of the church but helped to spread it further; the roman church was weakened as reformations broke up all the over Europe.
The renaissance was an invitation to reason and question issues about life – the church was questioned about some of its practices and it was found wanting. According to Kreis (2008), “the return to favor of the pagan classics stimulated the philosophy of secularism, the appreciation of worldly pleasures, and above all intensified the assertion of personal independence and individual expression.”
It is recorded that man started to appreciate the pleasures of this world and less depended on supernatural teaching from the church. This period has often been described as the “germinal period of modernism” with the Renaissance man being said to have “stood at a point midway between medieval supernaturalism and the modern scientific and critical attitude.”
The renaissance brought in great surprises to humanity as reasoning and thinking was put to test producing great works in the fields of “art, literature, exploration, mathematics, science and religion.”
People were able to think independently testing new ways and ideas which originated from their minds and not from the church. Some of the achievements of this period are still a great inspiration today for instance the great Mona Lisa was an art work of this period. The renaissance brought in secular thought to people helping to reduce the influence that the church had on their lives.
Kreis, Steven. “Lectures on Modern Europe Intellectual History.” The History Guide, 2008. Web.
“The Renaissance and the Church.” All About Renaissance Faires. Web.
Think. “Religion.” Oracle Think Quest, 2010. Web.
- Renaissance, The Renaissance and the Church, (All About Renaissance Faires).
- Think, Religion, (Oracle Think Quest, 2010).
- This statement refers to the famous reformations which took place all over Europe for instance the efforts of Martin Luther the reformist helped a lot to show that the church was misleading the congregation.
- Kreis, Steven, Lectures on Modern Europe Intellectual History, (The History Guide, 2008).
- Kreis, Steven, Lectures on Modern Europe Intellectual History, (The History Guide, 2008).
- Kreis, Steven, Lectures on Modern Europe Intellectual History, (The History Guide, 2008).
- Think, Religion, (Oracle Think Quest, 2010).
Art During the Renaissance Essay
The word renaissance refers to a change of state or a revival. It is in context the change in cultural activities recorded among the European countries in the early times beginning from fourteenth century to the seventeenth century. The cultural change brought transformation in many aspects of lives.
Among the aspects transformed were economics, politics, social dynamics, religion, art and philosophy. This paper seeks to discuss a defining aspect of renaissance in a personal perspective. The paper will examine the state of art as a defining element of the renaissance period. It will examine the changing aspects of art that took place during the period.
Art- The Defining Element of Renaissance
Art is the category of elements that are “subject to aesthetic criteria”. It refers to the things that pertain to skills and techniques, involving emotional appeal in a significant way. Renaissance in general took place in the fifteenth and the sixteenth century. It was a moment of change that saw the transformations of the historical middle period human beings to the current modern man.
Though the artistic revolution is considered in this article as the major element of the renaissance, it was a result of the revolutions in the other elements such as the scientific, philosophical and the linguistic advancements. The advancement of knowledge and themes was a motivation to the development of better techniques and styles in the field of art.
The identity of the art as a form of creation and respect accorded to the artists for their skills became a boost to the development of art during the period. The artistic renaissance can be distinguished into three categories: the first category is known as the early renaissance followed by high renaissance and lastly the late renaissance.
The new era of art in Italy was marked in Florence. The developments saw the inclusion of mathematical aspects that enabled a three dimensional representation in painting. This development was achieved as early as the fifteenth century. The then early painting methods were at best crude. There were two commonly used methods: tempera and fresco. One technique, the tempera, involved painting on a dry plane.
Colors from items like vegetables and eggs were used to copy expressions from drawings. Another technique, the fresco, was done on wet surface. This latter technique was mostly used in paintings for church use. On drying of the plaster used, the drawing colors became part of the painting.
The evolution saw the establishment of a painting school that trained on a two dimensional picture production. The religious paintings at that moment brought about sense of respect and nobility and triggered peoples’ emotions and interest on the painted pictures; most of this was in respect to religion.
The high renaissance began in the time of the renowned Leonardo da Vinci. The paintings of the time were more enhanced with more identifiable originality. The artistic qualities like landscaping and expression of attitude and gesture was then evident in the paintings.
The paintings were expressed in “simplicity; austere rejection of the incidental and the merely pretty; nobility and grandeur in the figures involved in actions of depth and significance.” The art of painting was taken a notch higher by the introduction of oil paints. Further developments followed into the spread of art revolution to outside Italy.
According to Paoletti and Radke, the field of art had developed significantly by the fifteenth century. They depict a painted picture of an organized scene that involved quite a number of aspects.
The description, according to the authors, was a painting of the 15th century. This illustrates how drastic the developments were during the renaissance period. The evolution by this time had taken a totally different dimension with clarity in the paintings. Other important developments were the introduction of tempera, oil paintings, mosaic and stained glass among others.
The developments also saw a variety of styles and tone to express emotions and situations. Different styles were introduced on different subjects depending on whether they were devotional or narrative. The art renaissance was an effective element during the 14th century in urban centers where Christian religious monuments and designs of structures was a necessity.
According to Brotton, a study in England indicates that art and individuality were celebrated as “defining features of renaissance.” Elements like politics, science and economics have dismissed on the grounds of being irrelevant to the aspect of renaissance.
Art has been accredited by appraisal words like “the pleasure of the sense and the imagination.” Art in its aspects was more identified as an element of the change than the other aspects.
During the renaissance artists represented the observable features of the world in a more precise and natural way. Though in a negatively perceived way, the artistic monuments that were put in churches were the major reason for the protestant movement that saw the revolt against the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic Church however still used the artists to make appeals to people.
The protestant movement was perceived as a break through to real worship among Christians and the perceived freedom of worship can be attributed to the art presentations that were put in the catholic churches.
Besides the religious revolution, art is still being used to pass religious information in terms of paintings even at the current time.
Graham also recounted that the patrons of renaissance in Italy competed among themselves in artistic works that, in their opinion, would give them immortality. A very important aspect about art was raised; patrons of renaissance themselves identified art as a tool to immortality.
The association of the patrons, not just of art but of the entire renaissance, to associate with art is enough credibility. The association of art to immortality can also be seen as the status that was accorded to art at that time. The interaction of these patrons with the artists accorded status not only to the artists, but to the entire field of art.
Another credit to the art aspect of renaissance is the information about Filippo Breunelleschi. Fillippo who is identified as the first great architect of renaissance was an artist. The status accorded to him and the fact that renaissance is considered to have origins in Italy is an indication that art was the origin of renaissance.
It can therefore be argued that art was the basis for the movement and a credit to art over the positive effects of the cultural movement that followed. In a probably personalized view, art was identified as a way that was used to represent God and the earthly elements that he created. Art was also used to express science for example the concepts of anatomy. The events of renaissance also led to discoveries and triggered pleasure among people.
Renaissance was an event of advancement in different aspects of life. It is believed to have originated in Italy as early as the 13th century. It was a continuous process categorized into three periods. The development of art as well has its origin was associated with the city of Florence in Italy.
The development of art was not an exclusive or independent aspect but it incorporated within itself aspects of mathematics. The products of the art like paintings also became significantly valuables in religion. The artists were accorded status for their work and this is an indication of how important art was.
Its inclusion in scientific representation of anatomy and religious representation gives it diverse backgrounds that originate from its origin. Art can also be identified as a source of information.
It has emotional and intellectual attachments that elicit reactive actions like the religious revolution that was as a result of artistic placements in churches. Art was therefore a central element of renaissance and the other elements can be seen to have been products of the development in art.
Brotton, Jerry. The Renaissance: a very short introduction. New York, NY: Cengage, 2006.
Eurasia, Carrie. “Italian Renaissance Art.” The World Wide Web Virtual Library, 1999. Web.
Fitzpatrick, Anne. The Renaissance. Mankato, MN: The Creative Company, 2005.
Graham, Andrew. Renaissance. California: University of California Press, 1999.
Hay, Denys. The Italian Renaissance in its historical background. Cambridge: Cambridge, 1977.
Paoletti, John & Radke, Gary. Art in Renaissance Italy. London, UK: Laurence King, 2006.
Pioch, Nicholas. “La Renaissance: Italy.” The Public Library and Digital Archive, 2002. Web.
Putatunda, Rita. “Italian Culture: Renaissance Art and Artists.” Buzzle, 2011. Web.
- Hay, Denys., The Italian Renaissance in its historical background, Cambridge: Cambridge, 1977.
- Pioch, Nicholas. La Renaissance: Italy, (The Public Library and Digital Archive, 2002).
- Eurasia, Carrie. ITALIAN RENAISSANCE ART, (The World Wide Web Virtual Library, 1999).
- Paoletti, John & Radke, Gary., Art in Renaissance Italy, London, UK: Laurence King, 2006.
- Brotton, Jerry., The Renaissance: a very short introduction, New York, NY: Cengage, 2006.
- Fitzpatrick, Anne., The Renaissance, Mankato, MN: The Creative Company, 2005.
- Graham, Andrew, Renaissance, California: University of California Press, 1999.
- Putatunda, Rita. Italian Culture: Renaissance Art and Artists, (Buzzle, 2011).
William Shakespeare and the Renaissance Period Research Paper
The renaissance was a movement which occurred in Europe between the 14th and 17th century that mainly affected the culture and the lifestyles of people (Mason 5). Due to its nature, the renaissance period is viewed as a transition between the middle ages to the modern era. William Shakespeare’s and the Renaissance are inseparably associated due to the playwright’s impact on the period. The essay shall analyze how the famous playwright’s works influenced the renaissance.
During this period, a lot of changes took place in religion, education system, politics, culture, and lifestyle. It is during this period that Europeans moved away from their traditional beliefs and embraced modern ideology. During the middle ages, people tended to believe that God was the Supreme Being and that he had the absolute power of the whole world.
However, people started to develop different ideologies concerning religion during the renaissance era. Even though they still believed in God, they also began to question his relationship to humanity, an ideology that threatened the influence of the Catholic Church in society.
Shakespeare and the Renaissance. General Information
William Shakespeare was among the people who brought about a lot of changes during the renaissance period in England and transformed literature, thus affecting later culture. His biography evidences that Shakespeare (1564-1616) was among the most prominent poets and authors who ever lived (E-Notes.com 2011).
He is the most famous writer of all times with his works being used even today in many societies in the world. He started his career in London in 1592 when the theatre in England has just begun to flourish.
Due to his excellent work, he had a broad audience, mainly composed of people from the middle class who flocked to the theatres to see his work (McEvoy 92). The most famous and important plays Shakespeare wrote during the renaissance are Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, and King Lear. Before his retirement, he had made a lot of innovations in the genres, comedy, drama, romance, and other forms of performing arts, which we still use up to the present moment.
How Did Shakespeare Impact the Renaissance Period?
Shakespeare is usually referred to as the Renaissance man due to the contributions he had on the lives of people during this period. As stated earlier, there were a lot of cultural changes during this period. Most of these changes were initiated by the elite people in the society who felt that the rights and freedoms of individuals in the community were being violated.
These people noticed that the few people of the upper class were using the law and religion to their advantage, which led them to benefit more from the available resources as compared to the other people of the society who composed the bulk of the community. This led to the emergence of a group of philosophers, artists, writers, and scholars who were inquisitive about their surroundings.
As a result, these elite people advocated for equality of all people in the society, raising a lot of issues that affected the economy, religion, and political stability of the community.
To protect their dignity, the government started to persecute such people and tried to minimize the influence of the movements which such people had created to fight for people’s rights. To avoid persecution, most of these people hid under the umbrella of the public and used public means to air out their grievances and ideologies. William Shakespeare was among the people who embraced the renaissance.
Through his works, he brought out various issues that were affecting society. He brought out the problems which the monarch and the general community were facing, geographical zealotry hand the effects of the renaissance period in the society. While doing so, he also entertained his audience.
The people loved his works because he touched on the key issues which were affecting them at the individual level and as a society. That is why his works were very famous during those days and still are at the present moment.
Shakespeare is credited with having brought about various innovations in the world performing arts. Some of these innovations were used to accommodate the information which he was passing to his audience about the renaissance.
Unique Characters by William Shakespeare in the Renaissance Period
Shakespeare, for example, changed from the traditional two-dimensional writing, a technique that was being used during the pre-renaissance drama and created human characters in his plays that were psychologically complex (Jamieson 2011).
These characters could think and make decisions independently without being influenced by their elders, society, or the law. They did what they felt was right at that point and time, and at the end of the play, these decisions made them successful. Through such plays, Shakespeare was advocating for people to have freedom of choice so that they can choose what is right and avoid what they felt was wrong. This humanism concept was brought out in his work entitled Hamlet.
The renaissance also led to a disruption of the social hierarchy in society. People who were protected by the law because they belonged to a royal family or the monarch were viewed more or less the same as any other individual in society. Shakespeare, therefore, had a chance to explore the character of every individual in the community regardless of the social class which the individual belonged to (Jamieson 2011).
In his plays, he had characters of people from the monarch, the rich, the elite, business people, and peasants. He focused intensely on their lives, their achievements, and failures. In so doing, people started to realize that people faced more or less the same problems regardless of their social status. Thus, William Shakespeare’s plays contributed to renaissance culture by creating complex characters.This, therefore, led to the growth of the spirit of equality among all the individuals of the society.
Shakespeare also utilized the information and knowledge he had concerning the classics, which were of Greek and Italian origin. Initially, these works had been banned from circulation by the Catholic Church.
Shakespeare used this information while writing his literature. Due to this, he was able to put forward the culture of foreign societies in his plays, which not only attracted people from these origins to his audience but also made the English people familiar with foreign customs.
They could, therefore, adopt some aspects of such cultures bringing about the integration of cultures. Some of the things which people adapted were dressing, architecture, accent, cuisine, and music. Thus through the works of Shakespeare, people became aware of what was going on in other societies and cultures (Cody and Spirincorn 18).
William Shakespeare’s contributions to the renaissance were of great significance. He was not just a writer but an advocate of change in the lifestyles of people of Europe, just like the philosophers, artists, and other scholars. Through his works, the popularity of literature, plays, and poems increased.
This is because they all were talking about various issues which the society was facing. As a result, therefore, Shakespeare used his works to enlighten the public on what they were facing and means through which they could face such oppression. This led to the emergence of modern society in which we are living now.
Cody, Gabrielle and Sprinchorn, Evert. The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama. Sussex: Columbia University Press, 2007.
E-notes.com. William Shakespeare. E-notes.com. Web.
Jamieson, Lee. The Renaissance in Shakespeare’s Time. About.com. Web.
Mason, Antony. Everyday Life in Renaissance Times. New York: Black Rabbit Books, 2005.
McEvoy, Sean. Shakespeare: The Basics. Indiana: Taylor & Francis, 2006
Classical and Renaissance Humanities Art Analytical Essay
One of the foremost characteristics of Classical artistic style, associated with Greco-Roman antiquity, is the fact that it is being concerned with the celebration of bodily perfection.
This can be explained by the fact that Greco-Roman artists of the era were convinced of the existence of dialectical relationship between the concepts of aesthetic/intellectual finesse, civil virtuousness and the notion of physical health, as such that organically derive out of each other.
According to Yalouris (1960): “(Greco-Roman) statues of gods and heroes exemplified youthful strength and tended to show episodes that emphasized their physical prowess… Simply clad, or naked like the hero, the noble and free citizen was represented by a body of marvelous proportions and calm expression” (p. vii).
The earlier mentioned aesthetic feature of Greco-Roman sculptures (and Classical art, in general) appears to be the consequence of the fact that, throughout the course of Classical period of Western history, the continuous development of philosophic thought has not been affected by any form of ideological/religious oppression, whatsoever.
In its turn, this naturally prompted Classical thinkers to promote an idea that the physical constitution of one’s body is indeed being reflective of his or her mind’s workings, which is exactly the reason why most survived Classical sculptures simultaneously emanate the spirit of physical strength and intellectual self-confidence.
The validity of this suggestion can be well illustrated in regards to the marble sculpture of ‘Spearbearer Polykleitos of Argos’ (440 B.C). As it can be seen on the picture, the depicted ‘Spearbearer’ appears to be no stranger to physical exercises. His naked body is being perfectly proportionate, in anatomic sense of this word.
The expression on man’s face radiates calmness and the strength of his resolution to remain in full control of its destiny. This, once again confirms the soundness of an idea that Classical art cannot be discussed outside of what happened to historical/intellectual preconditions for this particular artistic style to thrive, such as the continuous progress in variety of empirical sciences (medicine, anatomy) and the absence of ideological obstacles, on the way of this progress.
However, the adoption of Christianity by Romans in 4th century A.D. produced a powerful blow on the ideals of artistic Classicism, as these ideals were absolutely inconsistent with the dogmas of newly adopted religion from Middle-East. After all, the very essence of Christian doctrine is being concerned with the ‘destruction of flesh’ as the pathway to heaven. This was exactly the reason why, after having obtained legal status in Roman Empire, Christians instantaneously preoccupied themselves with destroying what they considered the artistic emanations of ‘paganism’.
As it was pointed out by Bourgeois (1935): “Christianity strived to annihilate the antique – classical sculptures were smashed as idols in untold numbers as being too dangerous to the new faith to survive” (p. 7). Therefore, it does not come as a particular surprise why, during the course of Dark Ages, when Christianity enjoyed an absolute dominance in Western intellectual domain, the very concept of art undergone a dramatic transformation.
The Classical ideals of bodily perfection, embodied in Greco-Roman antique sculptures, were replaced by the ideal of ‘Christian humility’, which is why the images of Jesus and countless Christian saints, depicted on Catholic and Orthodox icons through 5th-14th centuries, radiate the spirit of physical inadequacy, suffering and death.
Nevertheless, once Christianity’s ideological grip onto Western societies began to weaken, it resulted in gradual resurrection of Classical aesthetic ideals –hence, the artistic/cultural movement of Renaissance, which from French literally translates as ‘revival’. Just as it used to be the case with Classical Greco-Roman art, Renaissance art celebrates bodily beauty and establishes dialectically predetermined links between individual’s physical appearance and the extent of his or her existential adequacy. This is the reason why Renaissance artistic masterpieces (particularly sculptures) are not only being anatomically accurate but also charged with the same humanist spirit, as it is being the case with Classical examples of art.
The legitimacy of this statement can be explored in relation to Michelangelo’s sculpture ‘David’. Whereas; medieval artists used to depict David as having already accomplished victory over Goliath, Michelangelo’s David is only getting ready to a fight. David’s facial features leave no doubt as to the fact that, prior to beginning to work on this sculpture;
Michelangelo closely studied Greek depictions of God Apollo – narrowed skull, particularly high forehead, blond curly hair, protruding chin. The proportions of David’s naked body are close to ideal. Just as it is being the case with ‘Spearbearer’, Michelangelo’s ‘David’ appears to be in perfect physical shape.
Thus, it is not only that David’s posture alone provides spectators with the insight on the strength of his resolution to fight Goliath – while observing ‘David’; they get to realize where such his resolution originates. Just as ancient Roman and Greek philosophers, Michelangelo was well aware that healthy spirit could only reside in one’s healthy body.
While referring to this particular Michelangelo’s artistic work, Murray and Murray state: “Michelangelo’s choice of subject was not the battle itself but nude studies of the warriors preparing to fight: it was a hymn to the perfection of male beauty and virility” (p. 241). Therefore, there can be few doubts as to the fact that Classical and Renaissance artistic styles are not only being closely related – the latter is nothing but logical continuation of the first.
The same can be said about many latter Western artistic styles, which have clearly been influenced by Renaissance art, such as Romanticism and Realism. For example, just as it is being the case with Renaissance paintings, most Realist and Romanticist paintings feature perceptual depth, realistic coloring and the anatomic life-likeness of depicted human figures.
It goes without saying, of course, that despite Renaissance art being concerned with exploration of the same aesthetic ideals as it used to be the case with Classical art, it nevertheless operates with Christian themes. Apparently, during the course of 14th-15th centuries, the power of the Church was still considerable, which is why such prominent Renaissance artists, such as Giotto di Bondone, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, had no choice but to utilize Biblical motifs as thematic framework for their art.
This art’s relation to Christianity, however, appears utterly superficial, as the very essence of how of how Biblical fables are being represented by earlier mentioned artists stands in striking opposition to Christian worldview.
Therefore, it will only be appropriate to conclude this paper by reinstating once again that, despite the fact that there is a gap of thousand years between the historical periods of Greco-Roman Classicism and Renaissance, these two periods are being interrelated in rather inseparable manner.
This point out to the fact that the apparent similarity between Classical and Renaissance artistic conventions is not being accidental, but as such that derives out of the very nature of how intellectually liberated Westerners assess the aesthetic significance of surrounding reality.
In its turn, this also explains why even today, both artistic styles are being commonly regarded as archetypical of the Western sense of artistic finesse.
Bourgeois, S. (1935) Italian Renaissance sculpture. Parnassus, (7)3, 7-8.
Murray, P. & Murray, L. (1963). The art of the Renaissance. New York: Praeger.
Sporre, D.J. (2009). Perceiving the arts: An introduction to the humanities (9th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Yalouris, N. (1960). The sculpture of the Parthenon. Greenwich, CT: New York Graphic Society.
The Renaissance and Its Cultural, Political and Economic Influence Essay
Renaissance which is also referred as the rebirth is the period that started in the 14th century and ended up in the 17th century. The period was marked by increased interests and development in Art, literature, politics, science, religion and music.
The period was characterized by surge of interest in classical learning and values. Renaissance is usually taken as the bridge that linked the medieval era and the modern civilization. Although Renaissance resulted to great changes in many intellectual undertakings such as political and social upheaval, it is mostly remembered for its great contributions in art and music.
This period is marked with discovery of new continents, great growth in commerce and invention and applications of innovations such as paper printing, gunpowder and use of marine compass. The era is regarded as a period of revival of classical learning after a long time span of cultural stagnation and decline (Brotton, 2006).
The rebirth of Renaissance is believed to have started in Italy as early as in the 14th century. The resurrection of Renaissance in Italy is believed to have been influenced by a number of factors among them a favorable language. During this period, Latin language was considered as the language of scholars.
Due tom its complexity, it was not a common language to many people by then and thus not very appropriate language for the learning process. Many people required a simpler language to understand higher knowledge that was associated with the Renaissance. This resulted to the growth of national vernacular language all over Europe that greatly facilitated the spread of the ideology of the new scholars.
Italy was the first nation to produce great writers in the Renaissance period. England on the other hand developed Standard English that was highly influential during the Renaissance in the learning process. Germany also took the opportunity to translate the bible into Germany language which greatly helped many Germans to read and understand the bible better (Guisepi, n.d).
The great scientific growth and development during this period boosted the Renaissance period greatly. The interactions of Christians and Arabs as they traded helped the Christians learn mathematics, chemistry and experimental science from the Arabs who were more knowledgeable in these concepts.
The new knowledge they received from Arabs enabled them to become more critical with issues. Equipped with the scientific knowledge, people started to accept and apply only what seemed logical to them. Thus, this learning transformed the views of many people who started to question some traditional beliefs which they had learned from the church about certain national phenomenon (Guisepi, n.d).
Some scientific inventions such as the invention of art of printing helped greatly in transmitting knowledge during the Renaissance process. This is because the printed materials was distribution and accessed more easily by many widely and by large number of people.
This strategy was widely intensively used to educate people about the new and modern concepts that were related to the modern civilizations. Similarly, the invention of magnetic compasses helped in the discovery of new continents such as the Africa continent. This in turn amplified the European trading routes which enabled them make more profits.
The invention of gun powder transformed the politics in Europe greatly. Formerly, the Middle Ages were characterized with the supreme monarchy in Europe where nobles were the one who were summoned to provide military support to the king during crises instances. With the invention of gun powder, the European politics greatly changed as kings started to assume the political power that was being exercised by the nobles. This in turn promoted establishment of centralized governments in many parts of Europe.
The growth in trade and commerce also greatly helped in the Renaissance. New trading routes and cities emerged. The merchants were known to travel a lot and thus were greatly instrumental in the spread of the ideas of the modern civilizations as they traded in the new cities established.
The Renaissance influenced Europe culturally, politically and economically. The renaissance was really very instrumental in the areas of scholarship, art, music and architecture. The renaissance was associated with revisiting the knowledge of Greece and Rome to rediscover this knowledge and apply it in the cotemporary context.
This facilitated many universities being established in many parts of Europe where many politicians were educated on the classical knowledge under Guicciadini. The impact of Renaissance on art was great. By the use of Humanism which focused on humanity, the modern concepts that were learned enabled the artist to break from art- dictated art of the Middle Ages and embrace the secular worldview.
In addition, architecture developed greatly which enabled the traditional architecture of the middle ages being replaced by more modern human-centric architecture that was highly embraced all over Europe. Similarly, the Renaissance resulted to enhanced growth and development in trade and commerce that resulted to emergence of banking facilities in many parts of Europe.
Enhance trade in turn resulted to emergence of urban centers and cities such as Florence and Venice cities that eventually transcended to become empires.
Other European nations such as England and Spain followed suite to establish their own cities. The establishment of cities resulted to a great change in European politics which necessitated the idea of diplomacy. Many people in Europe and especially Italy studied diplomacy during the Renaissance period.
It was from Italy that the concept of permanent, resident ambassadors originated during the Renaissance period. The concept of diplomacy enables Italy to maintain very important international relations up to date (Craig, Graham, Kagan, Ozment, & Turner, 2009).
The Protestant Reformation was a European Christian reform movement that resulted to the establishment of Protestantism as a constituent part of the contemporarily Christianity. The movement was initiated as a protest towards certain catholic rituals, doctrines and ecclesiastical structures of the Catholic Church.
The protest resulted to a Counter Reformation movement which was headed by Jesuit order. The Counter Reformation resulted to reclamation of many parts of Europe which include Poland, parts of England back to Catholic faith.
The reason that motivated the reformation to initiate in Germany is because Germany was the first nation that translated the bible into Germany language which enhanced the Germans to understand the bible when they read it more effectively. Well understanding of the bible prompted Germans Christians to start questioning some Catholic rituals and doctrines which they considered to contradict the Christianity teaching as expressed by the bible.
The scientific discoveries that accompanied the Renaissance enlightened people greatly. One of great discovery is the Copernican theory which suggested that the sun and other planet rotated around a central sun. This discovery faced a lot of resistance from many scholars and also from the theologians who contested with this discovery as they claimed it contradicted what the bible stated.
This fact was proved later when Galileo invented telescope that was used to clearly view distant objects. The civilizations that was associated with Renaissance was enlightened people could not any longer take anything for granted, but did their best to look for relevant facts to support ideas (Cronin,1992) .
Brotton, J. (2006) The Renaissance: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Prentice Hall.
Craig, A. M., Graham, W. A., Kagan, D., Ozment, S., & Turner, F. M. (2009). The heritage of world civilizations (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Cronin, V. (1992). The Renaissance. London: Oxford University Press.
Guisepi, R.A. (n.d). The Renaissance Beginning and Progress of the Renaissance. Web.
Harlem Renaissance Compare and Contrast Essay
The cultural movement period referred to as the Harlem Renaissance, which occurred during the 1920s and 1930s, was full of astonishing literary creativity. Most of the activities of these writers were based in the ghettos of Harlem, New York City, which was largely a cosmopolitan community consisting of rural farm laborers, African-American experts, musicians, and hustlers.
Two of the artists who emerged during this period were Zora Neale Hurston and James Langston Hughes. There is tension that exists in the works of these artists.
Hurston is regarded as one of the prominent literary professionals of the Harlem Renaissance. As a pre-eminent novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist, through her works, she endeavored to explore the black culture in order to affirm her pride in the race (Haskins et al, 59). Her works were first noticed with the publication of short stories such as “John Redding Goes to Sea” and “Spunk” that focused on black art and literature.
The short stories were published in African-American literary magazines. In 1931, she collaborated with Langston Hughes in the production of the play “Mule Bone,” which was never published because of the tension between the two writers, and in 1934, she authored her first novel, Jonah’s Gourd Vine, which was well received. However, some critics said that it was uneven. Her second novel, “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” is considered as her greatest work.
Nonetheless, it received mixed reviews as some accused her of failing to represent the African-Americans as victims of the myth of inferiority. Her other works include Moses, Man of the Mountain (1939), Dust Tracks on a Road (1942), and Seraph on the Suwanee (1948), and they reveal her increasing conservative ideas in her later years. This made her to be alienated from other writers of the Renaissance period.
She was a utopian who believed that the African-Americans could attain sovereignty from the white supremacy that was prevalent in the United States then. However, in all her literary works, she did not address the bigotry of the whites towards the African-Americans. This resulted in the tension with her contemporaries.
And when this issue became the central theme among the black authors in the civil rights movement after the Second World War, her works did not receive attention. Hurston further watered down her own standing by barring the civil rights movement and throwing her support to the ultraconservative elected officials.
James Langston Hughes was one of the prolific writers of the Harlem Renaissance who authored poems, plays, short stories, and novels. He first received attention with the publication of the poem “The Negro Speaks Of Rivers” in 1921, which received a cordial reception. In 1926, he wrote The Weary Blues, which did not generate many controversies.
Fine Clothes to the Jew, which was published in 1927, was heavily criticized because of its title. However, he felt that it symbolized a major step forward in meeting the objectives of the Renaissance. In his works, Hughes stated that he was ashamed of being a black, especially at a time when blackness was considered inferior. He investigated the black human condition in detail and he was mainly concerned with the uplift of the forgotten black race.
Therefore, he recorded the powers, resiliency, audacity, and the funny side of the African-Americans as a component of the general American experience. In contrast to Hurston, these aspects pervaded his works in poetry and fiction. His works were against racial discrimination and expanded the black’s image of itself. His insightful views mainly focused on his delight in the black identity as well as its unique way of life.
In addition, he emphasized the significance of racial consciousness and cultural nationalism. He was one of the few African-Americans who championed this ideology as a way of inspiring the upcoming black artists. He became a role model because of his calls of appreciation of the diverse black folk culture and black aesthetic that also earned him worldwide reputation.
Some of his other works that drew incredible attention include Not without Laughter (1930) and The Ways of White Folks (1934). In his life, he wrote more than thirty-five books whose influence is evident in the writings of other authors published after the Harlem Renaissance.
Besides the different ways that they dealt with the racial segregation problem in the U.S. at that time, the two writers also had divergent political views that set them apart from each other. Hughes supported the notion that Communism was the solution to the racial discrimination problem in the United States. Most of his poems in the 1930s commended the political system that existed in the Soviet Union.
On the other hand, Hurston disagreed with this philosophy and embraced black conservatism. She stressed on patriotism, self-help, and independence and her writings showed these. The communist ideas that were brought forward by Hughes could not assist in solving the racial segregation problem in the United States at that time. As Hurston pointed out, solving the problem required ardent effort from both the blacks and the whites.
Haskins, James, et al. Black stars of the Harlem Renaissance. New York: Wiley Publishing, 2002. Print.
The Renaissance in Europe Report
Renaissance was considered to be a time where there was exercise of a lot of inventiveness in art, structural designs, science, and writing in literature. This period lasted in Europe at an approximated period of three centuries between 1300 and 1600 which led to the interventions of the printing press as well as telescope.
There were also construction of beautiful buildings and great practice of theater thrived during this time. It is a new birth which happened through the resurrection of the dead ideas and taking a new state of action. In this exercise humanism was promoted in that there were changes which were made on the human role and figure. Therefore, humanism development during the renaissance period was considered as an attempt by the renaissance artists to perfect the perfect man.
To start with, there were visual and the literal work which were done by different artists such as the Da Vinci, Bellini, Van Eyck, and Titian among others which were meant to show man in a more perfect light. The whole reason behind the renaissance artists was the representation of nature in their work where the standards were however deviated into the reflection of the human beings as the central focus.
Through the art work, there was also the achievement of beauty which happened to surpass the humanistic values by then. In the exercise, there was the revise of the artistic treasures as well as the intellectual ones that lead to more inspirations into artistic greatness (King, 2003).
Da Vinci in his work portrayed the ideal and the real human efforts as it was possible to view into the inner essence presented in the paintings. He therefore made a change on the way paintings and the carvings or sculptures which were made by presenting misty scenery in the set backgrounds such as the Mona Lisa yet she had no eyebrows.
Bellini also a renaissance artist brought the human work of art on paintings in the realization of a different degree through the production of softening effects on his work. In his paintings, there were synchronization of colors, presentation of light, and the mood.
Van Eyck perfected the perfect man through oil painting sighting which was associated with the limitless effect. In his paintings, there was presentation of any form of emotional status. Before then, tempra which was composed of just one layer was not used in paintings but Van was among the first artist to use it followed by the use of the oil layer.
In conclusion, renaissance is said to place and value human beings in the central positioning of the life’s phase and there was therefore an infusion of ideas and thoughts which were promoted by the acts of art with creation values. The art work achievement was seen as one way which indicated the human ingenuity through his efforts thus it promoted meeting of their daily needs. The civilization which happened in Greek was no longer considered as partial influence.
A return into consciousness was experienced on people’s ancient culture which was made possible by the high desires which were held in the re-production of their culture where the renaissance artists played a very significant role on the same. Therefore, the perfect man was finally perfected through promotion of order, sense of balance and also harmony in the development of the humanism and renaissance (Duiker & Spielvogel, 2006).
Duiker, W. J., & Spielvogel, J. J. (2006). The Essential World History. New York: Cengage Learning.
King, M. L. ( 2003). The Renaissance in Europe. New York: Laurence King Publishing.