The artists of the dark ages were neither blind nor indifferent to the perfection and transcendent beauty of classical ancient Rome that lay half-buried strewn in their midst.
Medieval artists didn’t know they were “medieval” relative to those ruins, yet the humanists who subsequently began fostering a classical revival knew full well they were different. No previous Western art movement became so self-conscious. What started as a myth of ancient revival began unfolding in real time before their eyes. It became clear: civilization was entering a Renaissance.
Expressing this insight, 14th-century poet Petrarch wrote: “When the darkness breaks, the generations to come may contrive to find their way back to the clear splendor of the ancient past.”…
Source: The Epoch Times
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