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Visual Arts & Film Studies
Pages 4 (1004 words)
Neo-Platonism is the modern term used to describe the philosophy and ideas of Roman and Greek Platonists as oppose to ideas of Plato himself. Neo-Platonism is still rooted on Plato’s thoughts but is more religious and mystical rather than rational and practical. …
Neo-Platonism seeks the existence or relation of the ideal or The One in the human life. This is what renaissance artists such as Botticelli, Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo are trying to depict through allegories in their art.
Botticelli, to start with, was one of the early artists to reflect neo-Platonism in his works. He used symbols and figures from pre-Christian beliefs to convey neo-Platonist ideas. Take one of his paintings for example, the Primavera which translates as spring. This painting includes nine figures from Classical mythology. On the center is Venus coupled with Cupid. On their right are Zephyr, Chloris and Flora and on the left are Mercury and the three graces. The figures on the right represent the coming of spring, nature and its beauty. In contrast to that are the figures on the left which represent reason and the pleasures of human life. These are two different points which harmonizes on the center figure.
Being a prime mover of neo-Platonism in art, Botticelli’s techniques are yet to be developed. The symbols he portrayed are literal and, for the educated and elite, too obvious. But even at this point he has already defined the essentials for neo-Platonism, the fusion nature and grace. Then came Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael. They both relate ideas in their own way. Leonardo focused on structure and Raphael on evoking emotions. Leonardo is known on our time as an inventor and a scientist, and these qualities can be seen through his art. He was a master of proportions, shading, depth and ways of making his work look “real”. Even outside of the standard of beauty as long as his work looks alive, for him, achieves the harmony of neo-Platonism. ...
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