Massacio, Ghiberti, and Brunelleschi From the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries, Europe experienced an artistic movement called the Renaissance. Italy, during the rule of the Medici family, seemed to be the center of the movement. In Florence, Italy the cathedrals are home to the art and innovations of three major contributors of the period, Massacio, Ghiberti, and Brunelleschi. Brunelleschi’s Duomo, on the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral, is a familiar site to the Florence skyline. The dome is modeled after the Pantheon in Rome.
One of the elements of Renaissance art is the revival of the Classical Greek and Roman art and architecture. Massacio’s Holy Trinity, which is in the Santa Maria Novella and also makes use of the linear perspectives that were used by Brunelleschi, is representative of the Renaissance as well. The arches in the painting are Classical in design which is reminiscent of the arches of the ancient Romans. The clothing and figure styles in the Gates of Paradise by Ghiberti are definitely influenced by the Classical sculpture and the architecture in the sculpture are like those of that time period. Most of the works of the Italian Renaissance are in existence because of the famous powerful family by the name of Medici.
Many of the most famous artists of the Renaissance period were sponsored by them. Had it not been for the family of Medici Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, and Ghiberti, just to name a few would not have had the financial means to give their artistic and innovative talents to the world. Lorenzo Medici was one of the Medici family members who were responsible for the sponsorship of the great artists in Florence during the period. However, the family produced several Popes and it was through their influence that many artists received commissions from to do work for the Catholic Church. Many other wealthy families wanted to follow the lead of the most powerful family in Europe and therefore, copied what the Medici family and became sponsors of great artist too.
The Medici family understood the importance of art and had the foresight to use their power in the church and government to make sure that the talent in Italy would flourish. Music is an important part of church services in the twenty first century whether it is in a large church with many instruments, or in a service in a third world country where only the human voice is used. In fact, there are many churches that have completely revamped their services to only have praise and worship music and very little if any preaching. Because music has become so prominent in the service and many see music as their way to worship, completely eradicating music in the twenty first century church service would be the death of the church. One of Massacio’s famous paintings is The Tribute Money. The painting tells the story of Jesus instructing Peter to find a fish which will have a coin that will be the exact amount to pay the tribute for Jesus and Peter. The painting is famous because it tells a story that gives the hope that God will provide precisely what a person needs in life.
The painting is interesting because it is not sequential, yet it is obvious what the meaning of the story is. At the far right, Peter is extracting the coin, the center is Jesus and his disciples being confronted by officials to pay their tribute, and at the left of the painting Peter is actually paying the tribute money. The vivid colors and the lifelike characters add to the popularity. Praise and Folly, written by Eramus, is written about the corrupt practices of the Roman Catholic Church in fifteen nine during the Reformation. In the essay he states that poets are self conceited, lawyers are nitpicky hair splitting and wordy, scientist find people who believe them, theologians think that they are exempt from sin, the heathens are vigilant, and the monks shrink away from money and put too much confidence in ceremony.