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Posted on May 31st, 2012, by

Michelangelo, Tintoretto and El Greco are unquestionably three outstanding artist of their epoch. All of three artists produced a profound impact on the painting as well as art at large not only of their time but also on the further development of art. Traditionally, they are believed to be the major representatives of the Renaissance art and, what is more, their works were, to a significant extent, revolutionary and marked the beginning of the Renaissance period in art. In order to better understand the significance of their works, it is necessary to discuss the major works of these artists.

However, before discussing their works, it is necessary to briefly dwell upon the epoch when they were created.

Michelangelo, Tintoretto and El Greco were influenced or, to put it more precisely created the new style in painting and, in a way, their works are thematically and stylistically similar since they worked in the similar epoch and were influenced by similar environment since all of them either lived or spend a part of their life in Northern Italy, the cradle of the Renaissance. As a result, their style became more anthropocentric and less focused on the worshipping of God, though religious themes still remained central in their works.

In this respect, it is worthy of mention Michelangelo’s “The Last Judgment”ť. The painting is based on the Biblical legends. In fact, the painting depicts the second coming of Christ and apocalypses. Unlike traditional paintings, this work was really revolutionary and severely criticized for its naturalism.  Michelangelo depicts human figures naked that was totally unacceptable to the conservative part of society of that epoch. In such a way, the painter combine the traditional divine plot of the last judgment with naturalism of depiction of humans. This work was so provocative that it was later redone and the genetalia were covered by the artist Daniele de Volterra but the innovative ideas of Michelangelo had already influenced and changed the art of that epoch.

Less provocative and revolutionary is the work by El Greco “The Burial of the Count of Orgaz”ť. In fact, it seems to be quite logical that El Greco failed to be as revolutionizing as Michelangelo was since El Greco created this work inSpainwhich was an extremely conservative catholic country. At the same time, even in this painting it is possible to notice the clear distinguishing between the heave and earthly life of human. The paining is dedicated to the Count of Orgaz known for his philanthropy, charity and respect to the Catholic Church. The painting depicts the separation of the soul of the count from the dead body and its transition to the heaven. It is worthy of mention that the painting is compositionally divided into two distinguishable parts: in the upper part is the heaven, while in the lower part are depicted humans. In such a way, El Greco distinguishes two totally different worlds: illusionary heavens and the real earthly life and in such apparent reference to the traditional human life makes this work similar to the one of Michelangelo discussed above.

As for Tintoretto’s “The Miracle of St. Mark Freeing the Slave”ť it should be said that this work is created in a more traditional style than the two paintings discussed above. Nevertheless, it is also characterized by the high level of realism since, while depicting the salvage of a slave by St. Mark, Tintoretto manages to paint the scene on a kind of proscenium which seems to force the action out of the painting towards the spectator who is thus involved into the amazement of the crowd standing in a semi-column around the protagonist.

Thus, it is possible to conclude that the three paintings demonstrate the new trends in the painting of the Renaissance characterized by high level of realism in depiction of the scenes which in the case of El Greco and especially Michelangelo transforms into a kind of naturalism.

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