Renaissance Ideal. click on the links below to view additional Renaissance works. One is a self-portrait by the German artist Albrecht Durer. Another is the portrait of an Italian woman, Simonetta Vespucci, by the Italian artist Sandro Botticelli or a member of his workshop. The sculpture is of the Venetian general Bartolommeo Colleoni by Andrea del Verrocchio (the link for the Colleoni sculpture provides 12 views of the sculpture and its restoration. Click through to see closeups.) You will also find links for the portraits of Pietro Bembo, Pope Julius II, and Doge Francesco Venier, the ruler of Venice.
As you study the art, you may want to consider the following: Baldasar Castaglione wrote about the ideal male and female courtier. Niccolo Macchiavelli wrote about the ideal ruler. How were these ideals expressed in the portraits and sculptures of actual Renaissance people? How would you describe the expressions of the subjects in each of these portraits? Do any of them exhibit the qualities prized by the humanists – individualism, virtu, self-confidence? What other traits did the artist choose to emphasize? What differences do you see in the portrait of the woman compared with those of the men? Would Botticelli’s Simonetta have made a good member of Castaglione’s court?
Write a response essay (500 words) sharing your observations of the paintings/sculpture and how, in your opinion, they reflect/express Renaissance ideals. Please make reference to four of the pieces, one of which must be Simonetta.