Good Example Of Research Paper On Contribution Of Women In The Renaissance
Renaissance appears to be one of the brightest periods in the history of human society. It was a time when, after a long domination of the Church, humanity returned to a life of joy and bright content. The most important requirement was humanists demand for freedom from the domination of the Church, its dominance in the economic, political and spiritual life. Humanist Movement meant attempt to create a new secular culture, an opposite statement of church-feudal culture of the early Middle Ages. The main values of the Renaissance epoch were also the freedom of person’s mind, which would enable a person to freely develop his abilities and creative power.(Charles 34)
Compared with antiquity or medieval culture, the culture of the Renaissance appears to be feminized. During the previous epochs, woman was supposed to complete only her natural functions, and as far as all women were devalued their participation in public life was strictly limited, therefore, any woman was eliminated from the role models. Even Laura Petrarca who worshiped woman, compared her with the devil.(Pater 11)
The Renaissance was an important milestone in the history of world culture. The focus was set on the man himself. The epoch of Renaissance defines a new ideal of beauty, especially female beauty. For the first time in human evolution women became an exceptional part of society. Women beauty was no longer treated as a diabolical temptation, and the body of woman was no longer considered to be a sinful vessel. It is very interesting that in an enlightened environment of Renaissance woman stops to be limited by the narrow range of tasks, that were ordained to her by nature.(Charles 43)
The epoch of Renaissance manifested the return of femininity. After the ban on makeup that was promoted by almighty church in the Middle Ages, the fairer sex began to put make-up on the eyes, eyebrows and eyelashes with red lead. Lips and nails became to be bright pink, and some of the girls even tinted their nipples. It became fashionable to lead a new ideal of beauty, which was a blonde woman with curvy and rounded shapes, healthy pink shade of skin and bright face. Mandatory nuance to the beauties of that time were the golden hair that necessarily had to be tidy and had to have neat appearance. It was so important that the majority of woman impregnated with a mixture of saffron and lemon, and stayed for some time in the hot sun, in order to lighten their hair.(King 15)
The development of the ideas of humanism and education had a significant impact on changing perceptions of the social roles of men and women in society and the arts. Although initially in the writings of humanists it is not recognized that there is an opportunity to consider women equal with men, however, the concept of humanity, showing the person as an individual with his own views, aspirations, self-consciousness has had a great influence on the formation of new gender relations.
There is a pattern that appears to be the main evident when visiting any art gallery world level, whether the Metropolitan Museum, the Uffizi, the Hermitage or the Louvre: the quantity of paintings that were created by women artists is immeasurably lesser than the quantity of painting created by male artists. Even though women made significant contribution in the culture of the Renaissance epoch.
In the Vasari Corridor, which can be called the Pantheon of master painters, and which houses more than 700 portraits of famous Western artists from the early 16th century, only 7% of the collection is dedicated to women. We tend to think that a woman in the arts plays role of a model and a muse, but not a creator. Become almost immortal questions "why no great women artists?" Or "why there were so few?" Questioned the very existence of women's artistic talent, but success in art does not always depend on the individual factors such as talent, but also on the public factors. The truth is that history knows examples of woman who were brilliant artists, and who achieved their world recognition through their iron will to overcome unimaginable obstacles.(Charles 32)
Of curse, the heyday of the Renaissance epoch was the result of work on most of the men, while women were suffocating their creativity behind the walls of their own homes. Decent women were excluded from public life and appeared in public only in the church, because all that was required of women of that time is to be obedient, humble and benevolent. Expression of female identity and creativity was limited by weaving tapestries, and doing different types of handicrafts, such as embroidered with gold and silver thread. The "real" creators who were male neglected these crafts and bestowed their attention. However, in the early 16th century there was one Italian who broke this rule and became the first great painter woman of the Renaissance.(Pater 27)
Propertius de Rossi was born in 1490, and she had a goal that was absolutely insane for that times She wanted to be a sculptor, but a hammer and chisel were considered to be archetypal masculine instruments. Nobody could even imagine that a woman may have sufficient physical strength and intelligence for such a courageous profession. Anyone wishing to become a sculptor started out as an apprentice of a more mature and eminent master where it took years to complete the process of perfecting skills in his studio. For a woman, it was impossible. But Propertius was very toward and found a way around the obstacles encountered in front of her to develop her skills.
Most women artists did not dare to speak openly against the traditions and instead of free practice in the art were choosing to practice behind closed doors. Perhaps, in this hard to believe, but one of the places where women could freely engage in the arts, and where women's creativity is encouraged and appreciated at its true worth, were monasteries. For women of the Renaissance cloisters were the place where they felt free from their obligations towards family and society, and that was the only place where a woman could devote herself to the study of literature, music and other arts.(Hunt 43)
In the monastery of Santa Maria Novella there is a painting the «Last Supper», that was written by the sister Suor Plautilla Nelli. Its length is 7 meters, and it is the only painting of the «Last Supper», created by women artists.
Could Renaissance woman become an independent, professional artist, have their separate workshop, earn money and compete with men in the struggle for orders? There is one city in Italy where this was possible. Bologna, which became home to the world's first university to offer a wider legal freedom and liberal views on the education of women.(Hunt 45)
Lavinia Fontana was born in the family of the artist who was not noble. But fortunately she had access to the needed materials - paints, brushes, canvas, - but, more importantly, her father, a teacher Bolognese School, gave her art education, which allowed Lavinia become the first artist in the history of working outside the monastery yard or on a par with male colleagues. Commercial art of the 16th century was under the complete control of influential guilds, which excluded the possibility for women to study painting. It seemed Lavinia expected fate of many other girls her age: marriage and family chores. But she was able to discover their talents.(King 35)
One of the most successful paintings of Lavinia was а «Portrait of the Gozzadini Family.» At first glance, the «Portrait of the Gozzadini Family» glorifies wealth and position of a royal family, but for the veneer hides a brutal family drama. In the center of the painting depicts a father, promised to leave his entire fortune inherited one of the daughters, who will be the first to give birth to a boy. This was the reason for this "race procreation" between the sisters, which was won not by Laudomiya but but Dzhenevra.(King 36)
Lavinia Fontana worked in Rome at the invitation of Pope Clement VII, Pope Gregory XIII was her patron, and Pope Paul V posed for her. In addition, she was elected as a member of the Roman Academy, and some of her portraits were attributed to the authorship of Guido Reni, which indicates a high level of skill. However, a career was made primarily due to her talent and notable Italians, who commissioned the artist portraits and generously paid for her work. Paintings of Lavinia is a look at life by mothers, daughters, wives and widows eyes.
Unfortunately, in those days, in the hierarchy of art family portrait genre was much lower than historical or biblical epic. Therefore, despite the fact that Lavinia Fontana made history as the first professional artist, her works remain undervalued.
In order to take their place in history, women artists had to draw something of much larger scale. Artemisia Gentileschi was born in 1593 in Rome, she was a daughter of the artist. From the very beginning of her career she painted epic scene: her first work, written at age 17, became the biblical scene «Susanna and the Elders.» With her art artist proved that a woman, strong in spirit, able to withstand the harsh trials and troubles. Epic story and an impressive scope of Artemisia’s works symbolize her boundless faith in her own skills and fortitude of character that helped to overcome the pain and youthful adversity and come to the professional recognition.
Charles, Victoria. Renaissance Art. [New York]: Parkstone International, 2007. Print.
Hunt, Jocelyn. The Renaissance. London: Routledge, 1999. Print.
King, Margaret L. Women Of The Renaissance. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991. Print.
Pater, Walter. The Renaissance. Luton: Andrews UK, 2011. Print.
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