In this paper, I am going to analyze and discuss the painting Lamentation of Christ. It was made by Andrea Mantegna Renaissance painter. Firstly, I am going to give information about Renaissance period, then painter and painting’s representation and final step I give my opinions and thoughts via the topics we talked and discussed in the class.
Renaissance is known as the historical period between the Middle Ages and the Reformation. The renaissance started as a cultural movement in Florence, Italy from the 14th– 17th centuries. It started in Italy then spread all over the Europe. The origin of the term Renaissance is French and the lexical meaning of renaissance means re-birth. This rebirth refers two different meanings. First one is the rebirth of classical learning and science with the rediscovery of ancient texts and the second one is the rebirth of a Europeanism culture in general. 
Renaissance is the period when the works of Ancient Greek philosopher and scientists were taken through translation, the empirical reminiscence of life, the focus on human life (humanism), the spread of knowledge through the massive sharing of knowledge and radical changes. The examination of Ancient Roman and Greek artifacts provides that a reestablishment of bond in art, science, philosophy and architecture. The Italian Renaissance represents the beginning of artistic and scientific development in this period. The achievement in paintings, sculpture, architecture, literature, music, philosophy, science and exploration made Italy a European leader. In this way, Florence which offered a free thought and art environment, made a great contribution to the development of artistic art. Free thinking and humanistic philosophy in Florence diminished the influence of the church and created own human terms in painting, architecture, sculpture etc… The Renaissance era has completely changed the painter’s ideas, painting techniques and what they want to describe in their paintings. The translation and learning of Roman and Greek antiquities changed the intellectual and artistic development of the Renaissance period. This development of classical learning led to the birth of the philosophy of humanism. Renaissance Humanism can be described by famous philosopher Protagoras ‘Man is the measure of everything’ and simply, it meant that any person could shape his own character and affect his own future or destiny as he/she lived his own life. It is humanism in this sense that it is based on human beings and that is what it is, the tendency that brings about the meaning of place and its meaning in this world. In another sense, humanism has emerged as an attempt to orient and reassess the sources and understandings of antiquity philosophy. Humanist thought is the cornerstone of the Renaissance because humanism has gained meaning as a new world view and a sense of life of the modern man who came to the new square in a basic and widespread sense. Thus, this new worldview has an influence that completely changes the art and intellectual thought. Like other work of arts, humanism and renaissance have also caused great improvements in the art of painting. In general, the term of Renaissance has provided the developments of oil painting, perspective technique and natural coloration in the paintings. The perspective puts the third dimension in the paintings and distinguishes the art from the work done up to the Renaissance. Based on the principle of eye deception, they created three-dimensional display on two dimensions. However, the Renaissance painters not only use perspective, but also used color tone in paintings. In this way, dimensions are obtained by driving the colors light and dark so it created a relief effect. thus, drawing art went out of from the mindful and abstractive mindset of the Middle Ages and bringing painting closer to reality and it has become more realistic with the new painting techniques of the Renaissance.
We see Andrea Mantegna as one of the artists who are both influenced by the Renaissance and who has direct effect the Renaissance. Mantegna was an Italian painter and engraver. Thanks to Andrea Mantegna’s knowledge of archeology and roman history, he was able to bring a personal perspective to the art of painting and bring new ornaments.
In painting, we see Jesus Christ was sent down from crucifix. Christ lying on a marble block and his body emerges as the first person or figure to perceive but in painting there are three more figure. One of the mourner person is Virgin Mary, next to her Saint John is there and the third mourner Mary Magdalena. She is located behind the Virgin Mary. Her face was drawn hardly visible.
However, when we are examining the subject of visual culture in class, we have defined the act of looking as impure, dogmatic and changeable because visuality and culture can vary according to time, space, knowledge, the way of seeing and who sees what. As I mentioned in the paragraph describing the Renaissance period, people’s intellectual mentality has changed completely in that era. In historical development, we have seen that people discovered new things and used these things. Also there are some developments of philosophical thought and the changing of people’s intellectual considerations. This people’s intellectual change caused their visual culture to change too. In my opinion, changing and development brought about by renaissance period and these developments and discoveries have changed visual culture totally so it is an example of how visual culture can change. For example, when I researched painting art before the Renaissance, there was no aesthetic anxiety, there is a symbolic and abstract idea in paintings at that time or in the early periods. When Christianity did not become widespread, the subjects such as Jesus’ life, suffering, and crucifixion were not processed. So, Andrea Mantegna and other early Renaissance painters have changed their visual culture by changing the sensation of image.
The most remarkable thing in the composition is the representation of the body of Jesus Christ. Despite the use of perspective, one of the new drawing techniques created by the Renaissance period, but Mantegna’s painting is not drawn exactly perspective, parallel or from top view. Mantegna did not comply with the rules of perspective to distort the integrity of the drawing If he had drawn from the right angle, his feet would occupy a large space in the painting and the painting would not give the required emotion. So, Mantegna drew feet below and smaller than the original size. He used foreshortening which is visual effect or optical illusion to give viewer a visual perspective. The body of Christ is drawn very close to the field of view of the observer looking at it. It can be related to Kant’s ideas. The angle we see is not actually reflecting the reality, it is not. But it seems to us to be correct. However, like Holbein’s The Ambassadors painting, not only playing with perspective also positioning itself is important in here. For example, the position of his head which falls to one side is giving the observer the feeling of sadness and Christ’s suffering. Also, when we look the painting, Mantegna used pale, dark colors in painting and usage of colors gives the viewer a morgue feeling. As I told the paragraph about the Renaissance, colors were used to create a more realistic impression. Like representation of body by playing with perspective, again colors give a sense of mourning. In my opinion, it is also related to perception of colors. Closely Goethe’s opinions, colors do not just enhance visual perception, psychologically brings human minds ideas, feelings and impressions. So, when we look the painting, Mantegna’s painful representation comes first and gives viewer sensation of reality. To sum up, as we discussed in the class, the quality of an object can be unregarded when we focus on what it feels.
From my point of view, as I have explained in my paragraph about the Renaissance, the influential humanist idea at that time has pushed the supreme figure to portray it as an ordinary person. His genital area, muscles, neck, body wounds, hands and feet are especially highlighted and noticeable like a normal human body. However, Mary Magdalene’s hardly visible face can be considered as a spectacle thing because of Mantegna’s representation of her. Maybe he wanted to attract notice their relationship because she was one of Christ’s follower. Not to be sure, but I think it’s a hidden message because of the way he portrayed her.
Lastly, it is becoming authentic when it comes to the effects of the turnaround and other periods. It became a cultural value and its uniqueness and originality gives the painting this status.
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 HISTORY OF THE RENAISSANCE. Accessed November 17, 2017. http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ac88.
 Renaissance art. (2014). Encyclopedia Britannica
 Wundram, M., & Walter, I. F. (2016). Renaissance. Germany: Taschen.
 Crary, J. (1988). Techniques of the Observer [Abstract]. The MIT Press,45, 3-35. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
 Julier, G. (2006). From Visual Culture to Design Culture. From Visual Culture to Design Culture,22(1), 64-76.