In todays society most people who are asked to name a great artist of all time reply with names such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Michaelengelo. These people created their genius masterpieces during a time of growth and change in Europe known as the Renaissance. I think that the Renaissance came about when it did for many reasons such as changes in the church, new money, trading, education, and humanism. Some of these same changes in our society have made it possible for us to have the new innovations in art we have today.
First, during the time of the Renaissance the Catholic Church was making great changes and the Reformation was right around the corner. Before this time people devoted much of their time and lives to trying to live by the church so they could have salvation. I think that was once the people became freer to live their lives they found new interest in things like art and education. On the other hand, I dont think that they lost total devotion to the church because they took many voyages to new lands in order to try and convert others. These voyages led to another change in their society, money.
It seems to me that before this time the aristocracy were the only ones who played a part in the making of art. I imagine that this was because the lower class had to use their money for things to survive with. This all began to change in the Renaissance because of things like trading. The people of these countries formed what is now the middle class, so they now had the wealth to invest in art and the other great achievement of the Renaissance, education.
I suppose that since the people now had more money and less time spent on religion they started to take interest in educating themselves with things like the classical times, science, and math. The printing press was even invented during this time which helped to spread these ideas. I think that this has a great deal to do with the amount of money that was spent on art. I cant imagine that the leaders of the towns would have been so quick to hire these artist to make their creations if the people of their society could not have found out about it like they could with the new press.
Above all of these things I have mentioned I think that the idea of Humanism that spread during the Renaissance was the main reason why society accepted and wanted these masterpieces. Humanism led the people to think that one man can achieve any amount of greatness and glorification. Therefore, I think the society was looking for people to achieve this greatness and praising them when they did. A great example of this is that they gave these masterminds outstanding ability the same level of recognition that they gave to literary geniuses. I would think that people such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Michaelengelo would have probably still made masterpieces (maybe not so much by using science) even if these things were not happening in their society, but I do not believe they would have been as public about them as they were if the people of their society would not have been encouraging such work.
In todays society I feel that people do recognize artist like they were back in the Renaissance, but just with different kind of art. Just as the science changed the art of the Renaissance it has greatly changed art in todays society. People look at art not so much as what people actually draw with their hands, but more of what they do with their fingers when using a computer or camera. Even though to me this kind of art is just not as astonishing as the work of the Renaissance geniuses, it can be very eye appealing.
In conclusion, I can not imagine that if Da Vinci or Michaelangle had lived during a different time, for example the Feudalism times, they would have had neither time nor knowledge to make the masterpieces they did. I think that without the societal values that came about during the Renaissance we would not be studying and enjoying it as much as we do today. I can only hope that in the future when people read about our society when studying humanities they can acknowledge the fact of how the computer and things like our economy formed our kind of art.