nd tried todetermine the meaning of life? How about why the renaissance got its name?Probably not, and that is why I’m here today to tell you about theorigins, the locations, and the how the passage of the Lower Renaissancecame to be in the High Renaissance, and finally into mannerism.
The termHigh Renaissance is coined from a combination of things. The most directterm would be from the exploration of different means of preserving art,ie, wood, marble, bronze, fresco, ect.Imagine yourself in the year 1490. The renaissance has ended here.
Political and religious turmoil have swept through the city like the BlackDeath. The death of Lorenzo de Medici, otherwise known as Lorenzo theMagnificent, has taken its toll, and one extremely religious monk hasgotten the attention of the people. The extremist monk Fra Savonarola hascast down and spit upon Lorenzo, claiming that his works of art that werecommissioned had caused the moral decay of the city, and his radicalbeliefs led others to believe that the last judgment was being rained downon the city of Florence if they were not to change their ways.Many others have now joined in on the lead of the possessed monk, onthe mission to rid the city of the evil art forms. The Medici family wereexpelled from the city and forced to flee to Rome. At this time the monkorganized the first “Bonfire of the Vanities”, putting to ashes most of thepriceless art work that we can only begin to dream of today.
The fireswere supposed to rid the city of sac-religious items within the city. Withfewer followers in the year 1498, Fra Savonarola was put to the same end asthe works of art that he hated so much, as he was burnt in the streets ofFlorence. During the turmoil, almost all of the greats, trained in theFlorence school, fled the city, in a twist of fate, looking for fame andfortune.Most of the artists landed in Rome, but some stayed in Florence,Milan, and other various areas of Italy. Rome, however, was the place tobe at this time. Popes, in greed of reputation sought to out do otherpopes from the past, with great works of commissioned art.
Spending as muchas possible seemed to be the norm, and most artists didn’t have a choice ofbeing called to the Vatican. Normally the invitation was sent to theartist via armed guards of the Vatican army. If they refused thecommission, even though it was definitely financed way below the cost ofprivate parties, they would be put to death, and a few were, claiming thattheir art was not to be enjoyed by a Pope that would kill them if theyrefused.But, however, most artists did accept the tasks at hand, with asimple nod, a kiss on the papal ring, and a few muttering words. This wasMichelangelo Bounarroti of Florence to Pope Leo. He didn’t want thecommission and the pope threatened to have him imprisoned and thenexecuted…
he reluctantly agreed to do the task.Such were the ideas of the Popes during the High Renaissance. Cruel,unjust, and completely out of their mind, going to war with any countrythat wouldn’t pay taxes or even revolted from the Catholic Church,historians claim that this period of time didn’t last very long at all.They think that this period of time started around the 1480’s with some ofLeonardo’s first inventions, and either ended with the sack of Rome, orRaphael’s death in 1527. A grand total of 40 or so years, gave way to theworlds greatest works of art.It almost sees as if art asked its self this very question. Oh whatthe hell, we can never top the high renaissance, so why even bother? Sothere was a period of time between the baroque period and the highrenaissance called Mannerism or the late renaissance.
This idea popped upfirst in Florence, then Rome, and then over the rest of Italy. The termmannerism was actually coined in the 20th century. This was basically aloss of momentum for the period. Mannerism also represents Renaissance artgoing out, as they say, not with a bang but with more of a quite whimper.
So as you can see, there are many parts to understanding theRenaissance. To understand