Dean O'Brien's Blog

Picturing the Body: The Renaissance Ideal of the Body

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When I first look at images from the Renaissance period they show the body as something which is a work of art.  Something to be admired, almost praised.  Obviously the work is of a spiritual nature.  This may sound like a cliche, but I honestly believe that they thought of the body as a temple.  Something of beauty and awe. Looking at ‘David‘ the work contains strength and power.  The ideal seems to give praise to the body.  I know that Michaelangelo dissected corpses to have a greater understanding of how the muscular system worked.  Perfection of the body seemed to be paramount.

When looking at paintings such as ‘The Creation of Adam’ there is a grace and almost surrealistic feel to what I am seeing.  Perfect bodies in a dream like world.  Although it was no secret that Michaelangelo held strong religious values he was keen to show this through the work which was produced.  Possibly attempting to show how perfect God had made man.  Whichever way one views these images and the way in which the body is depicted, it is clear that the body was something to be worshipped and adored.


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Written by Dean O'Brien

February 1, 2011 at 1:27 am

Posted in Picturing the Body

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