Tonight we had an Italian feast, prepared for us by Daddy Chef (I love having a husband that can cook!), to celebrate the Italian Renaissance that we have spent the last couple of months studying. When we couldn't fit a single more bite in our bulging belly's, the kids each gave a small presentation on their favorite piece of art that we have learned about thus far. Anna gave a short power point on Michelangelo's "David" and Robert, William, and I did a short play about Leonardo da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa. Alahna talked about "The Vision of a Knight" by Raphael and she had her's typed up so that I can easily share it with you. I am so proud of all of their presentations, but was especially inspired by Alahna's and now I am shamelessly bragging by sharing it with you.
By Alahna Petersen
The renaissance, a beautiful period of recreation and rebirth. The actual meaning of renaissance is rebirth. Out of all the artist and outstanding thinkers, scientist, and works of art my favorite is “The Vision of a Knight” by Raphael and that is what I am going to talk about. The reason I like this piece of art so much is because it shows the major two decisions in life, peace or war. In this picture Raphael has a knight sleeping between two different paths divided by an olive tree.
On one side you have the path to war, depicted by a woman dressed in armor prepped for battle. She offers him a sword and a helmet. This path is rocky and hard but in the distance you can see a beautiful castle representing the riches and happiness you get for fighting for a good and righteous cause that you believe in. There are many rocks and bumps on this path indicating the hardships involved. On the other hand if you fight for gain and riches instead of a good cause there remain more hardships along the way.
On the other side there is a fair maiden dressed in rich cloth proffering him an olive branch indicating the pathway to a peaceful life which is nice but often unsatisfactory. On this path there are gentle valleys and hills and a peaceful lake at the end. Showing the peace and tranquility you will gain at the end of the road. Though peace is good, sometimes if you’re being lazy and ignoring the right thing to do you will find riches and peace are not always the best course of action.
In my opinion, Raphael captured perfectly the different meanings of peace and war, which is why this is my favorite piece of art. The renaissance was a wonderful time in which many brilliant ideas, men and causes were born. It was a time of learning and understanding. Many of the principals found and made in the renaissance are being lost and forgotten in this modern day. I choose to fight for this cause, to remember and learn and see the beauty in the world. I choose the path to war to fight for the works of art lost to time, their meanings forgotten. This is what I choose. What will you do?