Humanism embodied by Mary Magdalene

Her venous feet.

Her depressed top torso.

Her only two teeth.

Her misaligned and slanted eyes.

Her mangled locks of hair.

Her embodiment is humanism.

Her impact on your ethos will be the venue for the power of the art.

The sculpture titled Mary Magdalene, created in Florence, is the epitome of humanism art. Created by Donatello, the artistic work shows Mary Magdalene, an important figure in biblical literature, in her natural and human state. Beauty is copious in this statue, but none of it would be considered by merely aesthetic. If one were to view art that was pleasing to the eyes, then they can look upon Donatello’s David statue. If one were to view art that pleases their ethos and compassion, then they can look upon Donatello’s Mary Magdalene statue.

Humanism is the underlying definition of the Renaissance movement. In years previous, art was used to show humans in their superficial condition with chiseled bodies against gorgeous backgrounds. However, the advent of humanism displaced the standard style of art. Humanism has a core of realistic philosophy. To please the art purchasers who favor humanistic styles (for example, the powerful Medici family), artists created art that would fetch them a pretty dime as well as be recognized. Donatello demonstrated his ability to be both supportive of realism as well as surrealism.

Created during a period of 1453 to 1455, the statue is considered to be Donatello’s “most expressive” works. The expression could be created by the amount of time dedicated to the project or the expense of resources used. It is more agreed, however, that the power of the statue’s expression comes from its ability to connect with the observer.

Our ethos creates compassion and empathy for a fellow human who has been unlucky. The demonstration of Mary’s pleading hands and her malnourished body stirs our inner feelings. Ethos is targeted by humanism. Humanism and empathy co-relate. The sculpture is my favorite work of Renaissance art because it utilizes, and also demonstrates, humanism in pure form.


About adamjohnmiller

Learning about art. One lesson at a time! Name: Adam J. Miller Class: Art 200x
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4 Responses to Humanism embodied by Mary Magdalene

  1. I like the description of this work at the beginning of your post. It takes a flat picture and makes it more three-dimensional for your readers. The links to humanism are good as well, there is no doubt that this is the type of work that embodies humanism. Good work also, in picking something other than a painting!

  2. lbschlutt says:

    I also think you met the criteria that we had to do for the class. It clearly is humanism on the structure and her whole body and face is shown. That is what makes this artist interesting to me. You did a really good job explaining it as well.

  3. Jessica says:

    I really like this statue. Unlike many of the statues that I associate with the Renaissance period, this one shows the rawness of life. Instead of being polished and refined, it slightly coarse and grotesque, mirroring reality. I believe this Mary Magdalene really embodies humanism style like you said.

  4. amyinaction says:

    I did the same statue as my Renaissance piece. I also feel that this piece embodied Mary Magdalene repenting for her sins and the humanism that was prevalent in the Renaissance era.

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