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History

Changes in the Human Figure in Art

You likely noticed that during the two hundred years covered in this weeks study there were radical changes in how the human figure is depicted in Italy, from something that was highly stylized to an idealized form that looked more real yet was strongly influenced by the Classical Age of ancient Greece and Rome. In Northern Europe, however, depiction of the human form remained somewhat stylized.

Use the textbook and/or online sources to locate and capture three works of art.

  • one from the Early Renaissance (fourteenth century, 13001399)
  • one from the Northern European Renaissance (fifteenth century, 14001499)
  • one from the Italian Renaissance (fifteenth century, 14001499)

Your works of art must either be all paintings or all sculptures.

First, place images of your selected works in a Word document. Then do the following:

  1. For each work identify:
    • The artist
    • Title of the work of art
    • The date(s) it was created
    • The medium or materials used to create the work of art, such as oil paint, marble, etc.
    • Where the work is located now.
  2. In a well-developed paragraph, provide at least two important historical facts about each work.
  3. In another well-developed paragraph, describe how each artist depicted the human figure, supporting your observation using art historical vocabulary from this week’s reading.

Then, In a 610-sentence concluding paragraph:

  • Compare and contrast how the depiction of the human figure has changed. Be sure to note such things as general appearance of the figures; their body types; whether the figures have been stylized, elongated, or idealized; and whether their clothing, colors, and other visual details have changed.
  • Based on your reading and what you learned from the historic facts you have for each work of art discuss what may have been influencing factors behind these changes.
  • Offer a citation of your sources for each image and the information provided as appropriate.

 

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