Sample essay on why was florence the focus of the renaissance

The renaissance was a rebirth that happened in the styles that were used in art in the 14th and 16th centuries in Europe. The period witnessed a unique form of art in Italy, where the sculptures and paintings adopted new techniques from various artists. Other exemplary forms of art such as literature and music also experienced a revolutionary change in Italy in the same period. According to the literature, “ Gardner’s art through the Ages,” the art in Europe had a Gothic sense to it. It was referred to being monstrous and barbaric by the historical art figure, Giorgio Vasari. During the Renaissance, artists developed new creativeness that was devoid of the Gothic forms of art and adopted art that was more in synch with their economic and social cultures at the time.
Florence was the ultimate symbol of the renaissance. The city was the first to experience the changes in the history of the way art had been done for centuries, thus making it an important art symbol. The city used art for economic purposes, especially in the trade that involved the textile industry. The merchants who constituted the ruling class were responsible for the artistic guilds that represented a birth in new forms of art. The guilds done by the merchants represented the trades in the cities and formed forums for the exhibition of art. The merchants had a sense of power and dominance and often competed with each other on who had guilds that represented the best art.
As a result, there was the continuous development of art in the city, where new and better forms were established. The art spread to other parts of Italy and other artists too relocated to the City of Florence to explore a new world. From such a history, the City is inferred as the birth place for European art, and consequently gave rise to the Renaissance. Without the trading activities in Florence, the art Renaissance would not have occurred. Most of the craftsmen that were important in the Renaissance also emanated from this city. For instance, an artist like Coppo Di Marcovaldo, famous for his painting titled “ the last judgment,” was born and raised in Florence.
Another example is the work of Sandro Botticelli, who was also a resident of Florence and painted the beautiful piece that showcased men and women attired in some of the materials from the Florence textile industries. The city provided historical galleries that ensured the great artists of the time showed their work and changed the face of art.
One would not mention the city of Florence and the renaissance without mentioning the Medici family. The family played a paramount part in the development of art in the city. Giovanni de Medici was wealthy, and he established various business entities in Florence. Because of his position, he was undeniably expected to participate in the city’s vibrant public life. The arts formed part of the public life in the city, and Giovanni naturally assumed patronage. He was succeeded by Cosimo de Medici, his son. The son was responsible for the commissioning of various artistic buildings among which was the famous cathedral in Florence City.
Furthermore, he involved the use of artists in the painting and appropriate decoration of such buildings in the city. Through him, there were various artistic antiques that were established in the buildings of the cities. He used a lot of resources to support art and ensure that it remained significant through his reign. His grandson, Lorenzo, made sure that Florence became one of the most artistically unique and magnificent cities at the time. The architecture in the cities incorporated the works of different artists who made it unique. Artists like Niccolo Tribolo and Michelangelo greatly benefited from the patronage offered by the Medici family. The latter was responsible for sculptures that were hoisted in the famous cathedral. Such sculptures included the Apollo one that was a curving of David from the bible and male torso. The family also oversaw the introduction of the use of stone in sculptures, brought to life by the Saint-Etienne sculpture.
The first half of the quattrocento involved art that had not grown to the capacity of uniqueness as was the case in the second half. The style in the works of art had aspects of individualism, and mainly portrayed the ideas of the particular artists. The first half had not established a uniform in the trends of the arts that were represented in it. Every artist painted their ideas and danced to their music. The literature represented had not yet adopted a particular form of rhetoric style as was the case in places such as Greece.
However, in the second half, the art grew to adopt a uniform style. The artists sought to do art that had a meaning to the political, cultural and economic aspects of Italy, and especially Florence at the time. Even though every artist had their voice in art, they each represented the common phenomenon in the City at the time. From the interpretation of their art, one could see that they all had the same message of the economy and culture of Italy at the time. For instance, artists like Tommasso Mosaicco who represented the first half had their ideas on aspects of humanism and fresco painting. Such artists were not driven by common phenomena, but rather, were influenced by their mentors in the early times. The art they did represented their thoughts, which were coupled by ideas borrowed from their mentors.
Likewise, the first half was influenced by aspects of competition from the different artists. They intended to outdo each other in their individual forms of art, and that was perhaps one of the reasons that made the art in the Renaissance develop. For instance, artists like Lorenzo Ghiberti and Florentine Baptistery were involved in the competition of their individual arts. Because of such competition, the art in the first half experienced a rapid expansion and led to the rise in different forms of art. There was the adoption of oil paintings, use of stone, bronze and growth in fine art.
The second half did not witness a lot of growths and was at a stagnant point. The reason is that, as opposed to the explorative nature of the artists in the first half, the second half was a representation of things that had already been done. The ideas in the second half were the same as those in the first but were only refined to a higher degree of art. The first half art had a raw sense about it that was refined by the art in the second half. The phase had artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci, who were only responsible for the continuation of great works from the first half of the quattrocento. The artists in this phase did not exhibit exquisite signs of uniqueness but refined the unique arts in the first phase.
Correspondingly, the art represented in the second phase was a representation of aspects in the Italian society, as opposed to the individualistic approach in the case of the first half. In addition, the second half had painting that incorporated lyrical aspects to it. Such were the paintings from the likes of Filippino Lippi. He decorated the city of Florence in a musical and narrative format. Furthermore, the art in the second half saw the rise of the formal teaching institutions of art, which was unlike the case in the first half.