Depictions of characters and events became the main staple of Humanist painting
Petrarch, is considered as the first great humanist. Petrarch .believed .and hoped to better the world by the study of classical literature. To promote the study of classical literature, he collected ancient texts during his travels. He studied and imitated them in Latin writings of his own, and then attempted to extend their teachings to as many other people as possible (Kreis, 2008).
Aside from Petrarch, a number of scholars in Florence collected and studied ancient works, lectured about them, imitated their style, and made the city a centre of humanistic learning. Among them were Boccaccio, the scholar Niccolò Niccoli, and above all the Florentine government leader, Coluccio Salutati. They applied classical literary standards to everyday writing, laying a foundation for later literary development (Steele, 2009).
As humanists rediscovered classical literature, subjects of sculpture were classical figures the most prominent of which is Plato. Humanists hoped to make Plato a new guide for Western thought, just as scholastic thinkers had based many of their ideas on the work of Plato’s student Aristotle (Davies, 1997)
C. Paintings and Murals
Humanists saw Roman history as a glorious episode in their own national past, a past that had been interrupted when Germanic and other peoples invaded the empire beginning in the 5th century. Depictions of characters and events became the main staple of Humanist painting and murals (Ehrstine and Schade, 2004).
Renaissance .humanism .is based on the belief that humanity and society could be improved through a new kind of education based on a study of the classics. As such, art during this time was heavily influenced by depictions of classical literature, people and events.
Davies, Tony (1997). Humanism: The New Critical Idiom. Routledge: UK.
Gay, Peter (2001). The Party of Humanity: Essays in the French enlightenment. W. W.
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Proctor, Robert (1998). Defining the Humanities Indiana University Press: US.
Tremblay, R (2010). The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles. Prometheus Books: Surrey, London.
Ehrstine, G. & Schade, R. (2004). German Literature and Language: Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. 2004. Retrieved May 04, 2010 from
Kreis, J. (2008) Lectures on Modern European Intellectual History. Retrieved on May 4, 2010. from http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/humanism.html
Dolhenty, J. (2009) The History of Philosophy Timeline. Retrieved on May 5, 2010 from http://www.radicalacademy.com/adiphilhumanism.htm
Steele, S. (2009) The Impact of Humanism on Renaissance Art. Retrieve on May 5, 2010 from:http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1616326/the_impact_of_humanism_on_renaissance.
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