Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Those Same Tricky Questions

In our homeschooled World History course, Miss C is learning about the Renaissance.  I ordered this DVD set, called "DaVinci and the Mysteries of the Renaissance" because it not only addressed the life of Leonardo Da Vinci, but also because it included several other videos on the arts and sciences of the time.  Today, we watched the video titled "The Artists."

And here's what struck me.  Looking at the art of the 14th and 15th centuries raises the same questions artists ask themselves today.  What is art?  How does culture impact art, and art reflect society?  If a patron enables an artist to make new work, what does the artist owe the patron?  To what extent would or should an artist vary his or her vision to please the audience?   It's really rather humbling to recognize that artists like Michelangelo and Da Vinci and Bruneleschi and Titian stumbled over these same issues.

If you can find The Artists video part of this series (check your library!), it's well worth watching.  There are lots of comments by current artists and art historians, talking about how artists of the period help us understand why art is important.  The video doesn't just address art history -- it addresses art's place in our lives regardless of the age in which we live.


  1. Interesting that this discussion goes back so far! Sounds like an excellent course. Have you tried any of 'The Great Courses'? My husband and I have a few of their courses and really enjoy them.