The Italian Renaissance: To the Glory of God or Man?

My earliest memories of Italy are of Venice. In such a strange and magical world, I felt like Alice in Wonderland; as a child, I chased pigeons around St. Mark’s Square, while my father painted watercolors of the scene. Later, as part of my art history studies, I traveled frequently from Salzburg, where I studied, to Umbria and Tuscany, learning about the art treasures in churches, monasteries, and museums. When I finally moved to Florence to study classical sculpture, I lived among famous masterpieces in the very city that is full of stories about the cradle of the Renaissance.  Innovations such as linear perspective, the use of human anatomy, and the understanding of light and shadow made the Italian Renaissance a fascinating phenomenon, culminating in Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” in the Sistine Chapel in Rome. However, it is not only the innovations that make us marvel at this influx of masterpieces, …

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