TRS 220: Topic 9:

Religion in the Renaissance

The Spirit of the Renaissance: Religion, Individuality, and Creativity

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The Economic Foundations of the Italian Renaissance:  Cities

Boccaccio and his Transformation of Fiction

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Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron (1352)

Boccaccio pleaded that there should be a divorce between art and moral values in his treatise on the defense of poetry

 Three typical students in TRS 220 (Late in the semester)

David ca. 1450

Andrea del Castagno

National Gallery

Washington, DC

The Art of the Fifteenth Century:  A Reflection of the Soul of the Age


A thirteenth-century image of David and Goliath

Donatello, David

Donatello sculpted the marble David ca. 1409; the bronze David ca. 1430.  Cosimo de' Medici commissioned the bronze David  and placed it in the courtyard of the Medici Palazzo in Florence.

Marble David One

Bronze David  Bronze David Side Bronze David Back

Verrocchio, David 

Verrocchio's David was sculpted ca. 1465


Click on photo for entire cartoon



Michelangelo, David


David David's Torso David's Head David from below David from side

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St. Denis, Beatrice of Bourbon ca. 1380 King John the Good, ca. 1360 Jean Fouquet, Two Stephens ca. 1440 Sandro Botticelli, Giuliano de' Medici Rogier Van der Weyden, Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy
Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa
The gaze of Mona Lisa
Art historians have recently discovered the person who posed for Leonardo when he painted the Mona Lisa.  The art historical world has been in shock ever since.  Click here to see Leonardo's model.
Antonello da Messina, (ca. 1430-1479) portraits: Portraits of anonymous men


Portrait One Portrait Two Portrait Three Portrait Four Portrait Five


Portraits of men and women become very common after the second half of the fifteenth century.  Many of them are of people who were not of great importance or note and today remain anonymous. Notice that many are expressive psychological studies and connect directly  with the viewer.  The sitter is no longer just an object to be viewed.  The viewer becomes a part of the dynamic.  A few examples:

Portraits of Women

Domenico Ghirlandaio, Giovanna Tornabuoni

Bartolommeo da Veneto, ca. 1500, Portrait of a Young Woman (Lucrezia Borgia?)


Sandro Botticelli 1445-1510, Anonymous Young Woman Sandro Botticelli, 1445-1510,? Simonetta Vespucci? Leonardo da Vinci, Portraits of Women  

Agnolo Bronzino, ca. 1530, Portrait of a Lady in Green


The Religious Paintings of  Michelangelo Merisi from Caravaggio (near Milan), known as Caravaggio (29 September 157118 July 1610)-

Portrait of Caravaggio by Ottavio Leoni, Chalk, Biblioteca Marucelliana, Florence

Click on Portrait for Caravaggio's Religious Paintings


The Summit of Papal Power

The Building of a New Saint Peter's








General Characteristics of Renaissance Society

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Lorenzo de' Medici and the Papacy in the Fifteenth Century

1. Importance of the Individual
2. Loyalty to the State
3. Separation of Politics and Christian Morality (Machiavelli)

4. Secularization of Society

5. Role of the Aristocracy and the Importance of Wealth
6. Ideal of Leadership (Machiavelli)

7.  The Church and Clergy no longer Dominate the Arts, Culture and Learning