Renaissance Erotic Art
Rebirth of Erotic Art
The Renaissance changed everything. After over 1000 years of censorship, artists were taking back their freedom.
The Renaissance began around the 14th century simultaneously in both Northern and Southern Europe, though the North was undoubtedly influenced by their Southern counterparts. They are often referred to as the Northern Renaissance and the Southern Renaissance, since both were independent of each other, but showed the same signs of cultural awakening which is synonymous with the Renaissance.
Renaissance paintings are characterized by their use of perspective as artists began seeing the canvas more as a window to a scene rather than a flat surface. Proportions became far more realistic, and several sophisticated painting techniques were developed including sfumato and chiaroscuro which greatly improved the realism and depth of the paintings.What Triggered the Renaissance?
The Renaissance is characterized by thinkers and artists of all walks of life looking back upon the wisdom of the ancients, such as the Greeks and Romans, including their writings, philosophy and art.
It would be hard to identify a single element that triggered the Renaissance, though I believe there were at least two major factors. Firstly, the increase in trade in both Northern and Southern Europe which increased the level of wealth. Secondly, the development of a sophisticated printing technique by Gutenburg in Germany, which resulted in the rapid spread of ideas and increased the level of education of poorer classes. The result of these two things was widespread prosperity and education.The Age of Discovery
The Renaissance also coincided with a period in history known as "The Age of Discovery" which began around the 15th century. "The Age of Discovery" is characterized by the intensive exploration of the world by Europeans as they attempted to map the entire planet, and find new trade routes for precious metals and spices from Asia and Africa. This increase in trade was the primary source of Europe's new found wealth, as well as a possible source of new ideas putting modern thought into perspective.End of the Middle Ages and the Return of the Beautiful Nude
The Renaissance marked the end of the Middle Ages (also known as the Dark Ages) and the stranglehold the censors had upon art since Roman times, a period of nearly 1500 years. Up until that time, the Church was Art's largest patron, and so the majority of the works produced were centered around Christian themes and very rarely any nudity or eroticism unless it was directly associated with sin or Hell. As was the focus of a previous article, the ancient Greeks and Romans loved nudes and erotic art, but when Christianity became widespread, so did the censorship of art and modesty in regards to sex in general. This lasted for over a thousand years!
Things began to change when artists took inspiration for their ancestors.