Paintings of the Renaissances

by Jim ~ April 22nd, 2010. Filed under: Chapter 12: Renaissance and Exploration.

The things that survived the most from the Renaissances, without a doubt are the paintings. From this era, especially in Italy, some of the greatest pieces of art ever drawn still live on. The works can only be described as masterpieces and will always live in infamy.

The two masterpieces from the Renaissances that represent the time period are:

The first one that deserves to be mentioned without a doubt  is Michelangelo’s work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Click Here for another picture of the masterpiece.

The Chapel Ceiling depicts various stories from the bible across the ceiling.   The most widely known painting on the ceiling is the Creation of Adam. In total Michelangelo had painted 9 stories from the Book of Genesis.

It took Michelangelo about four years to complete his masterpiece, after being commissioned to repaint the Sistine Chapel in 1508. The ceiling is almost 68 feet tall, meaning Michelangelo built special scaffolding to get up to the ceiling and paint. Overall on the ceiling, Michelangelo and his assistance had painted more than 3000 figures. The ceiling is approximately 131 feet by 43 feet.

During his time painting the ceiling, his assistant, Jacopo I’Indaco, had invented a new way to make plaster that helped fight against mold. Mold was a problem that Michelangelo feared would destroy his work.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper

Click Here for a bigger picture of it (also with the coloring)

This painting depicts Jesus’s last supper before he was crucified. He has just told his followers that one of them will betray him and the Romans will kill him. That is why they are all stunned.

It took Leonardo 3 years to complete his master piece, he started in the year 1495 (meaning he finished in 1498). It stands an impressive 15 feet by 29 feet. It was painted in the dining hall at Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. Leonardo was commissioned to paint it by the Duke Ludovico Sforza and the duchess Beatrice d’Este.

Without a doubt, this painting holds the records for the amount of theories and conspiracy about it. People have thought up all sorts of crazy hypothesises, including that one of the people was actually Mary Magdalen but they made Leonardo cover her up.

Both these works are very religious. This proves that even though the Renaissance is hailed as a humanistic era and a return from the over-zealous “dark ages”. The soul of humanity still rested in the church, not in science.

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