Renaissance Art

Renaissance Art

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The use of Renaissance Art as an Image Macro, Meme, or Parody.


The Renaissance marks the period of European history at the close of the Middle Ages and the rise of the Modern world. Early Renaissance, mostly in Italy, bridges the art period[1] during the fifteenth century, between the Middle Ages and the High Renaissance in Italy. It is generally known that Renaissance matured in Northern Europe later, in 16th century.


Renaissance Art memes have been showing up on the internet since around 2009 with memes like The Last Supper Parodies, Joseph Ducreux, and Give Her The Dick. Since then many other image macros and parodies of Renaissance Art have surfaced. Even though Renaissance Art didn’t become popular on the internet until much later, Terry Gilliam of Monty Python’s Flying Circus[2] was using Renaissance Art in his cartoon sketches in the late 60’s. The famous foot in the opening credits is taken from Agnolo Bronzino’s “Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time”.[3]

Notable Examples

Renaissance Celebrities

The site Worth1000 has had contests[4] for modern celebrities in old art and has produced many of the Renaissance Celebrity images.

Chinese State TV Censorship

In 2012 CCTV censored the private parts of Michelangelo’s David during a newscast about an exhibit at the National Museum of China.[5] Because of the government’s anti-vulgarity Internet censorship campaign and their decision to censor the content of TV and online photo albums. Images of Renaissance paintings where censored on the grounds of indecent display of nudity. The Chinese internet reacted by photoshopping garments over nudity in classical artwork.[6]

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