Early Renaissance (Style & Civilization)

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9780140137569: Early Renaissance (Style & Civilization)

The Early Renaissance was dominated by the optimism with which man had begun to view himself and the cosmos. The world was no longer seen as a mass of unmanageable, unruly chaos but as a universe harmoniously planned and arranged by God. God was still at the centre, but mankind also had its rightful place, with the potential not only to fall but also to rise to divinity. Man's growing self-awareness is expressed in the painting of the time by a concern for clarity and realism, a desire to discover the underlying truth of the cosmos and to explore the splendour of the human form. In his book, Michael Levey discusses this age, from the art of Jan Van Eyck, Piero della Francesca and Ghirlandaio, through to Botticelli and the sharper psychological insights of Leonardo Da Vinci, whose work crystallized Early Renaissance ideals and projected the achievements of the Renaissance into the stormy brilliance of the next century.

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