The Influence of Humanism Ideas


The Influence of Humanism Ideas and Renaissance on Art, Culture and Society

Renaissance refers to a period when western civilization was developing, and this marked the transition to modern times from medieval times. During this time, music, literature and some fields of science were greatly affected. There was a rediscovery of Roman and Greek literature during the 12th century and this took place across Europe.


In turn, this led to the extensive development of the 14th-century humanist movement. The humanists who were mostly Latin and Greek believed that all individuals were significant to their societies. The new interest in humanism brought about changes in the sciences and arts, and they formed common conceptions concerning the Renaissance.

In the Renaissance period, art made use of perspectives, which means that artists added three-dimensional depth in their work. The artists had expanded their ideas and rediscovered about the vanishing point, horizon line and linear perspective. The artists were even interested in playing with light and the manner in which it creates shadows and hits objects.  This light was used to draw the attention of the viewer to a key point when painting.

Furthermore, the Renaissance artists wanted to ensure that the viewer had an emotional experience with the artwork. They wanted to come up with visual rhetoric that could inspire the faith of individuals and make them become better people. Lastly, the artists wanted to come up with objects that could ensure that people in the artwork looked realistic. They thus went ahead and sort ideal human forms, measured proportions and studied the anatomy of humans. Therefore, the artists started to connect with the viewer’s feelings and thoughts (Celenza 38).

The Renaissance had a great impact on the development of modern culture and society in many ways. It is because it had a natural extension with regards to artistic expression. As a result of the Renaissance, the focus was shifted to humanism and this meant that people would no longer focus on the church’s dominant ideas (Haskins 20). Religion had a key influence throughout the Renaissance period, but people began to recognize scientific inquiry and human potential that shaped many cultures and western history. Some of the principles that still exist are those of Machiavelli and Boccaccio da Vinci, among others that still have an influence on society and the world at large.

Even before the start of the Renaissance, many writers focused on issues which were religious. Many texts instructed its readers on how to live in a pious manner as well as the life of Christian heroes. However, during the Renaissance, new writers were influenced to break the existing tradition and present a realistic view of life. The effects were mostly seen in political thought and literally meaning and style. This ensured that common people could enjoy the traditions and tales that existed at the time.

A key figure known as Giovanni Boccaccio was known for his works and as his many contributions to literary setting and categorization. He deviated from the norms that existed during the Renaissance and came up with lofty characters. They were able to deal with life issues instead of having characters that appealed to average and down to earth people. His famous masterpiece is known as The Decameron, which had 100 tales about some guests who had gathered in a house during the Black Plague. The guests all told each other stories about many of the issues that were taking place during the Renaissance period (Celenza 52).

Leonardo da Vinci is another prominent figure that existed during the Renaissance period. He was a famous thinker as well as an artist that had an impact up to date. With regards to art, da Vinci sought to promote realism through the representation of a human figure. He chose not to paint grandiose and lofty religious figures, but rather show the human figure in its true form.

An example of such a painting was the Mona Lisa an image that still recurs even in modern society. It is no wonder da Vinci is among the pioneer painters that showcased reality when coming up with his paintings. Da Vinci was able to prove that science and art could be combined together in order to influence some certain aspects of society (Celenza 58).

Rome and Florence also experienced the Renaissance in their own unique way. The two often are referred to the locations, which experienced the High Renaissance and for a good reason. Many artists had ambitious projects and this range from the frescoes by Raphael in the papal palace, to the rebuilding of the Roman St. Peters as well as the Sistine Chapel painting by Michelangelo. All these events took place during the Italian Renaissance and Leorando da Vinci made another impact with reference to art when he came up with the painting of the Last Supper.


Furthermore, the sculptures and paintings of this period were extremely graceful and beautiful, and sometimes they were quite complex. The figures wanted to convey the fact that human beings were created and were an echo of God’s perfection. This shows that artists wanted to convey their ideas to other people and the method that would have the most impact would be through the effective use of art (Celenza 63).

It is evident that emphasize on the Renaissance humanism created a more balanced and new approach to how religion would be handled. Renaissance writers and artists shaped how people thought with regards to culture. An example is how da Vinci taught people on the importance of combining art and science and a writer such as Francis Bacon taught people how to use modes of inquiry and knowledge.

These humanistic concepts assisted individuals in knowing more about themselves. If the Renaissance figures did not exist, it is hard to imagine how the world would be today. Luckily, today people can observe and experiment because they have the freedom to think and thus consider art to be a true reflection of reality (Earls 45).


In conclusion, religion played a key role in the Renaissance period as people were becoming more involved with the arts. In turn, some of the most famous artists known to mankind evolved and they were able to come up with artworks that influenced the society as well as the existing culture. Also, the humanist ideas that prevailed during the 17th and 16th century made people focus more on a well-rounded education. In turn, there was a rise in the number of people who engaged in various art forms. The artistic styles improved as the artists were now able to appeal and attract those who viewed their art pieces. Indeed, the Renaissance period had a great impact on art, culture and society.


Work Cited

Earls, Irene. Artists of the Renaissance (Artists of an Era). New York: Greenwood, 2004.Print.

Haskins, Charles. The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1927. Print.

Celenza, Christopher. The Lost Italian Renaissance: Humanists, Historians, and Latin’s Legacy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.Print.





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