Sunday, May 14, 2006

From the renaissance to the end of western thought

When I planned our recent
vacation I thought that we'd
stop at places where I could
point out the what happened
in the trajectory of history,
from Rome to Venice to Florence
to Paris. From Ancient Rome
to the Middle Ages to the
Renaissance and up to the
modern age. Maybe my wife
and I could learn something
while vacationing.

I really didn't know enough art
history to know that the beginning
of the Renaissance could be
localized to a city, and a person.

The doors in this picture were
installed in the Baptistry in front of the Cathedral in Florence.
They were designed after a competion between Ghiberti and Brunelleschi
and several others to decide who would design the bronze doors.
Ghiberti won the competition and designed and made these doors,
with scenes from the old testament. The work took 20 years, and
the panels change from the flat perspective of medieval art to 3d
perspective of the renaissance. Ghiberti then went on to design
the "gates of paradise", which are the doors on the side of the baptistry
facing the cathedral. Brunelleschi gave up metalwork and art,
and learned architecture. He designed the Cathedral dome,
which is a story from a motivation course, when life gives you lemons,
build a giant lemon shaped dome and amaze the world.

It amazed me that all these events happened in one town, so quickly
after 800 years of things not changing. Similar times as today, where
I remember not having color TV as a boy...and right now I'm listening
to phil collins on my ipod while blogging on a wireless network in my
mexican hotel room.

The downside of change is that I just watched a show on TV where a
tattoed idiot paid another idiot to shoot him to create "body art".


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7:26 AM  

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