The Renaissance: Studies of Art and Poetry
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The era now referred to as the Renaissance represented an unparalleled blossoming of art and culture. Take a tour of the period through the imagination of Walter Pater, one of England's most renowned art historians and critics. In this volume, Pater turns his attention to a series of Renaissance masterpieces in visual art and literature. An informative and engaging read for fans of early modern art and culture.
aim and achievements of what, as Christian art, is often falsely opposed to the Renaissance, were another result. This outbreak of the human spirit may be traced far into the middle age itself, with its qualities already clearly pronounced, the care for physical beauty, the worship of the body, the breaking down of those limits which the religious system of the middle age imposed on the heart and the imagination. I have taken as an example of this movement, this earlier Renaissance within the
stillness of evening, sometimes wandering among them month after month, till at last their pale ashen colours seem to have passed into his painting; and on the crown of the head of the David there still remains a morsel of uncut stone, as if by one touch to maintain its connexion with the place from which it was hewn. And it is in this penetrative suggestion of life that the secret of that sweetness of his is to be found. He gives us indeed no lovely natural objects like Leonardo or Titian, but
gets spoiled here; but God owed me this; in my youth I suffered too much." Destined to assert and interpret the charm of the Hellenic spirit, he served first a painful apprenticeship in the tarnished intellectual world of Germany in the earlier half of the eighteenth century. Passing out of that into the happy light of the antique, he had a sense of exhilaration almost physical. We find him as a child in the dusky precincts of a German school, hungrily feeding on a few colourless books. The
simple without being niggardly; he desired to be neither poor nor rich. Winckelmann's first years in Rome present all the elements of an intellectual situation of the highest interest. The beating of the intellect against its bars, the sombre aspect, the alien traditions, the still barbarous literature of Germany, are afar off; before him are adequate conditions of culture, the sacred soil itself, the first tokens of the advent of the new German literature, with its broad horizons, its boundless
in this marriage of the Hellenic element; and that element, in its true essence, was made known to him by Winckelmann. Breadth, centrality, with blitheness and repose, are the marks of Hellenic culture. Is that culture a lost art? The local, accidental colouring of its own age has passed from it; the greatness that is dead looks greater when every link with what is slight and vulgar has been severed; we can only see it at all in the reflected, refined light which a high education creates for us.