Comparison between Greek and Renaissance Art


Greek and Renaissance art works play a significant role in understanding human civilizations. The Greek and Roman art played a significant in shaping the artifacts during the renaissance period.  Although the two civilizations occurred at different periods, there have several similarities and differences.  The two were similar because they allowed members to express their feelings in a creative way. Similarly, the civilization differed with regards to world views, object of reflections, and   the manner in which visual and performed art were conducted.

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Greek and Renaissance art elements are similar in many ways.  For instance, in both periods, art was used to allow individuals express their emotions and thoughts.   Both cases provided a form where life experiences and knowledge were expressed. Moreover, in both cases, artistic elements symbolized hidden meanings that could be interpreted through proper reasoning and careful evaluation. In this context both cases involved activities for creating visual, auditory, and artworks that expressed imaginations of people, conceptual and technical skills.

Besides, it covered performing arts, such as dance, music, and theatre as well as visual art, such as architecture, drawings, paintings, and sculpture. Additionally, in both cases, expressions and experiences were preserved in a certain peace of art that was handed over from a generation to another. As a result, the Greek and Renaissance provided a foundation upon which modern artists grounded their works.

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There are many differences between Greek and Renaissance artistic elements. To begin with, the major difference between the two periods is reflective of ideas and beauty of time. The Greek art was characterized by mythologies and gods, while the Renaissance period was shaped by humanistic philosophy that put emphasis on the relationship between men and other men. Greek artistic elements were characterized by idealized figures of young, athletic men and women with sensational poses. On the other hand, the figures of the Renaissance period were unique as it depicted regions figures that symbolized Christian’s heroes and heroine. In this regards, Renaissance is known as the era of revival because as it saw Greek and Roman art coming to play. For instance, Pallazzo Rucellai and David are found to have both Greek and Roman elements.

The Renaissance period is characterized by increased interest in educational activities. It also entailed the revival of Greek and Roman artistic elements that formed the foundation of liberal and humanistic thinking. The epoch was also shaped by political stability, economic development, and technological innovations (Jardine et al.4). The advocates of the school of thought looked back to ancient Greece and Rome as a basis that could help in shaping visual and performed arts.

Whereas Greek art displayed mythical and paganism spirits, many Renaissance works were displayed in religious functions, such as in the Catholic Mass after being donated by various patrons. In this regards, works of Renaissance emphasized in depicting Christian figures, hence been employed in devotional works (Seznec 23). It is clear that many Renaissance works were painted into rituals and associated with religious functions.

Greek elements were shaped by human interaction with the deity while Renaissance art was humanistic in nature. They attached more significance to the place and value of human beings in the universe. Moreover, during the time of renaissance advocates of the period saw themselves as a revolutionary attempt to refine Greek art. It is evident that in ancient Greece, the subject matter of art is depicted in myths, war, intellectual figures, and statues of goods among others.  On the other hand, Renaissance artists were more liberal.

Greek art emphasized on naturalistic and idealized depiction of a human body. For instance, nude male figures were the focus of innovation. Together with Roman works, they form classical art. It is evident that Greek influenced Roman art and both acted as an inspiration for the renaissance. Greeks have been described as idealistic, imaginative, and spiritual (Panofsky 14). In most cases, the works emphasized individual antagonism with gods, oneself, and the state.   From the works, artists managed to show that attempt to solve challenges could result to justice, harmony, and peace in the society.

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In the Greek tradition, stories were based on myths, history, good and evil, marriage among others.  On the other hand, the Renaissance dealt with human relating to other human beings. It is also evident that the subject matter of most artists revolved around new knowledge and scientific discoveries.  At the same time, comedy dealt with contemporary events.  It is also evident that main actors were chosen by lot while others are chosen by actors and playwrights, the categories of the art included speech, recitative, and song.  On the other hand, the renaissance included dancing, singing, and playing musical instruments.

In conclusion, Greek and Renaissance art works play a significant role in understanding human civilizations. Art elements were important in a society because it enables people to preserve their distinct legacies and express their feelings. The renaissance had several commonalities with Greeks since the latter formed the basis of their reflection. The Greek art depicted images that symbolized gods and myths, while Renaissance art element was humanistic in nature.

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  1. Jardine, Lisa, and Jerry Brotton. Global interests: Renaissance art between East and West. Reaktion Books, 2005.
  2. Panofsky, Erwin. Renaissance and renascences in western art. Routledge, 2018.
  3. Seznec, Jean. The survival of the pagan gods: the mythological tradition and its place in Renaissance humanism and art. Vol. 38. Princeton University Press, 1995.
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