The Renaissance Period

The Renaissance Period

Neo-Renaissance is an artistic movement that was born in Florence during the 15th century. Renaissance Revival architecture is a collection of 19th century architectural styles that were neither Greek Revival or Gothic Revival but rather drew inspiration from a variety of other classic Italian styles. This includes Baroque, Classical, and Renaissance architectural styles. The Basilica di San Miniato al Monte and the Ponte Vecchio Fontana are some of the most well-known styles from this period. Other notable styles include the Ionian style as well as the Roman Style, the Greek revival as well as the Gothic revival and the Italianate style.

The Neo-Renaissance architectural style was criticized for putting too much emphasis on the visual form instead of the actual purpose of a building. However, as Joseph Schumpeter pointed out, there was more going on in the architecture of the day than just aesthetics. The Neo-Renaissance art revolutionized a forgotten culture that had been long neglected by its creators. Through its designs people began to understand that beauty was not only in the sense of visual beauty, but that beauty was also located in the details in the interplay of form and function.

In the Renaissance period, Florence became the capital of the European Renaissance. It was here that many of the greatest artists lived and worked including Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Gorgios Dejanos, Jan van Gogh, and Michel Boucher. It was also a significant center of political activity at the time. Renaissance architecture has often been described as a plan to blend the aesthetics of the Greek and Islamic worlds, to produce one art form that combines both East and West. The result was a time of freedom, individualism and appreciation for the individual’s artistic abilities.

Neoclassicism, also called Romanticism was a reaction to the excesses of the French Revolution. It was a movement that had merits. The French became too concerned about their freedom of speech following the French Revolution. They also had a tendency to attack other people. In response the French people went on the streets in demonstrations, burning property and threatening the clergy. The French government took control of all universities, public buildings, and the press, and began to suppress any artistic expression.

This new style was fueled by a desire for simple and a desire to go back to an earlier time before the modern world had overtaken the Renaissance. This resulted in an abandonment of the elaborate, egotistical, and over-stated architecture of the time. The importance of simplicity was emphasized by the Neoclassics who, for the most part, considered themselves radicals. Neo-Renaissance After adamantly eschewing the excesses, and styles of French architecture, the most significant attraction of the Neoclassics was their desire to design architecture that was based on natural materials. Neoclassicism is now considered to be the best art of the period.

Neo-Renaissance art would eventually disappear from Western society however, it had created some of the most impressive artwork and architecture. While the Neoclassics did not disappear completely but their influence on Western art cannot be ignored. Today, buildings, artwork, furniture, and clothing all bear traces of their influence.


Neo-Renaissance architecture has the hallmarks of the Neoclassics. It is characterised by symmetry, rectitude, and a sense for balance. Neoclassicism was also extremely attuned to nature, specifically the physical world. The Vitruvian Man is one of the most popular Neo-Renaissance sculptures. Vitruvius is regarded as the founder of the modernist movement. His Vitruvian man is seen at the entryway of the Temple of Vitruvius, an ancient Roman temple built in the marble, limestone, and plaster that resembles huge, life-size statues.

Neo-Renaissance art was criticized by both classical and postmodernists for not having any real artistic merit. For example, Domenico Dolce, after studying a number of the works of Vitruvius, criticized their “stature”. He felt that the statues were too simple and slender to be worthy of their highly stylized forms. Botticelli and other artists would refine the Neoclassicism movement to create new concepts like Futurism.

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