Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Renaissance started here

This is one panel from the door to the Baptistery across the courtyard from the Duomo Cathedral in Florence. There is always a crowd of people around this door and you might walk by and say, "well it is a pretty door in bronze, by why all the fuss?" The "fuss" is that is could be said that the Renaissance started here, in the competition to produce these panels of this door as the artists of the time discovered perspective as wonderfully displayed by Ghiberti, a contemporary of Michelangelo. Prior to the Renaissance, artists would depict objects within their paintings or carvings further back in the distance by placing them up higher in the frame. That is why pre-renaissance art work looks strange to us. We are looking for perspective and everything is located within one plane. The Renaissance and the discovery of perspective kick started a revolution in art and in thought that continues on to this day. Interesting how art sparked science and it all started with the competition to carve these frames, which Michelangelo later called the "Gates of Paradise".