Greek and Renaissance civilizations demonstrate a profound outlook on humanity’s greatest potential. Both eras are crucial to the evolution of humanity’s aptitude to interpret art and beauty. In each culture, there’s an expressed importance of aesthetic beauty to the human figure and significant advancement in intellectual and creative abilities.
There is a Latin phrase “mens sana in corpore sano” that translates to “a healthy mind is in a
healthy body”— the primary essence of Greek society. As profound appreciators of the optimal human form, Greeks paid much attention to their figures which reflected in their idolized sculptors of gods and goddesses.
The Renaissance, however, was an enlightened period of artistic brilliance after the gruesome and violent Middle Ages. The Middle Ages played a crucial role in the development of the Renaissance art and its view of humanity after centuries of Christian reign. The collective belief in a vengeful god destroyed mankind’s ability to see beyond the limit of religion, let alone find hope in art.
People were murdered simply for thinking differently or outside of the confines of
Christianity, such as Galileo. During The Renaissance, Christianity was still a large influence but there was relief in its stronghold of artistic expression. Hope was to be found once more in the developing independence of the self and creativity could be explored through images of gods and goddesses once again.
As an example, The Triumph of the Virtues by Andrea Mantegna portrays images of humans, angles, and humans with animal-like bodies. The most important feature of this painting is that it expresses humanism— a concept that further enhanced the philosophical and intellectual expansion of humanity at the time.