Visual History of the World

(CONTENTS)
 

 


HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION & CULTURE

From Prehistoric to Romanesque  Art
Gothic Art
Renaissance  Art
Baroque and Rococo Art
The Art of Asia
Neoclassicism, Romanticism  Art
Art Styles in 19th century
Art of the 20th century
Artists that Changed the World
Design and Posters
Photography
Classical Music
Literature and Philosophy

Visual History of the World
Prehistory
First Empires
The Ancient World
The Middle Ages
The Early Modern Period
The Modern Era
The World Wars and Interwar Period
The Contemporary World

Dictionary of Art and Artists

 




The Early Modern Period

16th - 18th century


 


The smooth transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age is conventionally fixed on such events as the Reformation and the discovery of the "New World," which brought about the emergence of a new image of man and his world. Humanism, which spread out of Italy, also made an essential contribution to this with its promotion of a critical awareness of Christianity and the Church. The Reformation eventually broke the all-embracing power of the Church. After the Thirty Years' War, the concept of a universal empire was also nullified. The era of the nation-state began, bringing with it the desire to build up political and economic power far beyond Europe. The Americas, Africa, and Asia provided regions of expansion for the Europeans.
 



Proportions of the Human Figure by Leonardo da Vinci (drawing, ca. 1490)
is a prime example of the new approach of Renaissance
artists and scientists to the anatomy of the human body.

 

 

 

 

Human sacrifice

Main
the offering of the life of a human being to a deity. The occurrence of human sacrifice can usually be related to the recognition of human blood as the sacred life force. Bloodless forms of killing, however, such as strangulation and drowning, have been used in some cultures. The killing of a human being, or the substitution of an animal for a person, has often been part of an attempt to commune with a god and to participate in divine life. Human life, as the most valuable material for sacrifice, has also been offered in an attempt at expiation.

There are two primary types of human sacrifice: the offering of a human being to a god and the entombment or slaughter of servants or slaves intended to accompany the deceased into the afterlife. The latter practice was more common. In various places in Africa, where human sacrifice was connected with ancestor worship, some of the slaves of the deceased were buried alive with him, or they were killed and laid beneath him in his grave. The Dahomey instituted especially elaborate sacrifices at yearly ceremonies related to the cult of deceased kings. Excavations in Egypt and elsewhere in the ancient Middle East have revealed that numerous servants were at times interred with the funerary equipment of a member of the royal family in order to provide that person with a retinue in the next life. The Chinese practice of burying the emperorís retinue with him continued intermittently until the 17th century.

The sacrificial offering of humans to a god has been well attested only in a few cultures. In what is now Mexico the belief that the sun needed human nourishment led to the sacrifice of thousands of victims annually in the Aztec and Nahua calendrical maize (corn) ritual. The Inca confined wholesale sacrifices to the occasion of the accession of a ruler. The burning of children seems to have occurred in Assyrian and Canaanite religions and at various times among the Israelites. Among the African Asante, the victims sacrificed as first-fruit offerings during the Festival of New Yams were usually criminals, though slaves also were killed.

Accusations of human sacrifice in ancient and modern times have been far more widespread than the ritual practice ever was. The ancient Greeks told many myths that involved human sacrifice, which has led some researchers to posit that rites among the Greeks and Romans which involved the killing of animals may have originally involved human victims; at the end of the 20th century, however, archaeological evidence did not support this claim. Some early Christians were falsely accused of cannibalism, consuming sacrificial victims at nocturnal feasts, a misunderstanding probably due to the secrecy surrounding the Eucharistic rite and the use of the words body and blood. From the Middle Ages until quite recently, Jews were often maliciously accused of having sacrificed Christian children at Passover, an accusation which has been termed the blood libel.

Encyclopaedia Britannica

 




Sacrifice of Isaac


 


Albrecht Altdorfer



 


Albrecht Altdorfer



 


Caravaggio


 


Caravaggio


 


Tizian



 


Rembrandt Van Rijn


 


Rembrandt Van Rijn


 


Rembrandt Van Rijn


 


Rembrandt Van Rijn



 


Rembrandt Van Rijn


 


Untitled



 


Untitled



 


Master Bertram


 


Untitled



 


Untitled

 

 

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