Early Renaissance through the Baroque Era

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Early Renaissance through the Baroque Era

Introduction

The Renaissance, (meaning rebirth), and the Baroque (meaning misshapen pearl) eras have been influential in some aspects of modernity, and these eras are believed to play a significant role in the contemporary future. These areas include the field of music, art and architecture, literature, religion and other social fields. The impact of some events, individuals or innovations can still be experienced today and will still be influential in the future. Men such as Giovanni Boccaccio, Leonardo da Vinci and Giovanni Gabrieli have been of considerable influence to modernity and the future, in the literature and political arenas, art and architecture, and in music respectively.

Giovanni Boccaccio

Before the famous works of Geofferey Chaucer and William Shakespeare, Giovanni Bocccaccio had done many literary works in Latin and Italian. He was born in 1313 although there are discrepancies pertaining to his exact place of birth. He is also believed to be from an illegitimate relationship between his father, a merchant and an unknown woman. He is believed to have grown up in Florence, where he received tutoring from Giovanni Mazzuoli. Mazzuoli also gave Boccaccio an exposure to Dante’s works. Although his father had tried to get his son’s interest into the banking sector, Boccaccio managed to convince him into the arena of law. Boccaccio engaged in the study of law for approximately six years, at the Studiun based in the city (Symonds 25). Unfortunately, he did not enjoy law more than he enjoyed banking. He therefore started his true vocation after his studies. He mostly wrote epics and poems although he also wrote a book of 106 women biographies. He engaged in Italian humanism, which involved interaction with the Florentine government.

Boccaccio is known for the Decameron, a literary work he as a representation of the era of Black Death, a plague that killed millions of people. This is a collection of one hundred tales. There is also the story of the seven women and the three men known as lieta brigata. When he was in Naples, he wrote many works including Teseida, Filostrato, Filocolo, La caccia di Diana, and Terza nima. In this same period, he was highly influential in the formation of the Sicilian octave, which was a crucial influence in the works of Petrarch, another influential scholar. When he returned to Florence in 1341, he came up with works such as Comedia delle ninfe fiorentine. One of the key influences of classical mythology was written 1360. It was known as the Genealogia deorum gentiliium. This remained influential for at least 400 years (Symonds 35).

As earlier noted, the works of Boccaccio became influential in the works of Shakespeare and Chaucer. Shakespeare has become very influential in the modern literary works of plays and poetry. The main influence had taken place through tragic works, a common feature in the Genealogia, the Decoran and poetry. The works of Shakespeare will still be influential three hundred years from today. This is because the use of literary styles used in his works is quite classical and has been influential for more than five hundred years. Poets and playwrights still use tragedy in order to convey certain themes or in order to enhance their works. This trait started with Boccaccio, and that is why he is still influential in modernity through Shakespeare.

Leonardo da Vinci

The Mona Lisa portrait and the painting of the Last Supper bring the name Leonardo da Vinci in most people’s minds. He was and still is very influential in the works of art/painting, sculpting, biology, engineering, science and invention, just to mention but a few. He was born in 1452, in Vinci, in the Republic of Florence by peasant woman. Although he was an illegitimate son, his father was a wealthy man known as Messer, Piero Fruosino di Antonio (Nuland 48). He learnt through receiving informal education in mathematics, geometry and mathematics. The man who apprenticed Leonardo into painting was known as Asndrea di Cione or Verrochio. In Verrocchio’s workshop, Leonardo training in other skills of carpentry, mechanics, plaster casting, chemistry, metallurgy, metal working amongst others. Although he was talented in many fields, he is mostly remembered for his role in the artistic field.

Peter Paul Reubens and Carravaggio amongst other artists look up to Leonardo for inspiration. These artists have done many works including paintings, drawings and works of sculpture through Leonardo’s inspiration. As well identified, Leonardo was had an interest in biology. Through his paintings/drawings, Leonardo was able to depict the human anatomy. These drawings have been used by modern doctors and other practitioners in the arena of human anatomy/biology in order to do further studies on the human body, especially the heart.

Most scholars describe Leonardo as the man who woke too early while the others were still asleep. His efforts of trying to bring up science did not stir up any curiosity from the other people. However, when he started portraying his ideas through painting and other art works, he started arousing interest. He was the first who defined the phenomena of perspective as the function of the eye (Nuland 15). This is well brought out in the Mona Lisa portrait. This phenomenon has been used in many aspects today either by the artists, the scientists or in any other fields.

As Leonardo’s inventions and works have been used for more than five hundred years, they will continue to be used in the next 300 years (Nuland 57). This is because they form the foundation of principles used in diverse fields. As earlier noted, the principles founded on the phenomenon of perspective spread out to all fields. Since this is a foundation in topics and fields, which will last through the centuries, his works will be influential even in the future. The Mona Lisa portrait coveys that one person can look at one thing in different perspectives or he can be looked through different perspectives, yet he/she is still the same person.

Giovanni Gabrieli

The field of music cannot fail to recognize Giovanni Gabrieli as he was present in both the Renaissance and the Boroque eras. Although the exact year of birth is not definite, his accomplishments are still experienced in modern times. He was born in Venice and is said to have studied with his uncle who was a composer. His uncle was known as Andrea Gabrieli. This was one of his early exposures to music. Orlando de Lassus of Munich also influenced him as he stayed with him from 1579 to around 1584 (Chartelis 5). After his return to Venice, he became the principal organist in Siant Mark’s Basilica, which is also known as San Marco di Venezia. He also took the central composer’s post when Claudio left the position. The post of organist in Scuola Grande di San Rocco, a post he later took, was maintained through out his life.

He majored in composing sacred songs and vocals. Organs are still played in modern times. These songs have guided me most composers, especially the churches that still use organs, until today (Chartelis 92). These same songs were used in the classical eras where its influence is still felt even today. These same principles will be used in the future as they have formed the foundation of the principles used in classical music.

Conclusion

These three individuals are only part of many more people who made a significant impact kin the Renaissance and the Baroque period of which the impact is still significant today and in the future. Their works in literature, art and music forms a foundation in the styles and the works seen in these modern days and in the future. These periods are remembered as a foundation to modernity.

Works cited

Charteris, Richard. Giovanni Gabrieli and His Contemporaries. Farnham (GB: Ashgate, 2011. Print.

Nuland, Sherwin B. Leonardo Da Vinci. New York: Viking, 2000. Print.

Symonds, John A. Giovanni Boccaccio As Man and Author. New York: AMS Press, 1968. Print.