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Author Topic: The Renaissance, Da Vinci and Classical Traditions  (Read 804 times) Average Rating: 0
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88Devin12
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« on: November 21, 2009, 02:54:52 AM »

As I've been exploring more and more what I want to do in my life as an architect, I've discovered that I've found a love and passion for classical architecture, including those renaissance and post-renaissance revivalist styles. I've also begun thinking that instead of being simply an artist, as the current post-modern architecture world views architects as being, I've been looking back to older examples of architects such as Vitruvius, Palladio and Leonardo Da Vinci. These men were not just architects, but many other things as well, especially Leonardo Da Vinci.

So I was wondering, should there be any problem between Orthodoxy and this part of my secular life? That is, if I value Renaissance and western views on architecture, and even hold Da Vinci and these others as models, would there be any conflict or problem with Orthodoxy and an Orthodox mindset?

I know Da Vinci did some questionable things, but the man was a genius and I haven't ever heard of the Orthodox Church condemning most of his actions for any reason.

As an Orthodox Christian, is it okay and right for me to hold classical and renaissance-style views in my secular profession?
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augustin717
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2009, 03:16:01 AM »

The Church doesn't micromanage your life like that. Only the sects do it.

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Pravoslavbob
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2009, 01:02:25 PM »

So I was wondering, should there be any problem between Orthodoxy and this part of my secular life?

Oh my goodness, no.  In no way, IMHO!  We should be ready to appreciate the beauty and goodness in all cultures.  There are so many wonderful and beautiful accomplishments that have come to pass in the history of Western civilisation.   "....Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."   ( Philippians 4:8 )  We just have to be careful not to swallow all of the precepts on which various civilisations are based, and to do our utmost to baptize the wonderful elements found in all human culture.  It is an extremely difficult tightrope to walk between the temptations of sectarianism and modernism (just accepting whole-hog our culture's values without separating ourselves from these values) but I believe this is what we are called to do: it is part of our witness (martyria) to the world concerning the Truth. 

For more about this kind of tension that we face as Orthodox Christians "in the world but not of the world", I would recommend looking at some of the essays in Fr. Alexander Schmemann's book Church, World, Mission: Reflections on Orthodoxy in the West

By the way, I share your admiration for Renaissance architecture.  I remember how glorious and wonderful I found it just to stroll through the city of Rome several afternoons, in glorious full sunlight and to admire the elegant simplicity of the buildings and fountains and squares.  I think the West has a lot to teach us about things like public spaces and architecture.  Of course, I find so much to admire in architecture in Orthodox countries as well! 
« Last Edit: November 21, 2009, 01:33:02 PM by Pravoslavbob » Logged

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Pravoslavbob
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2009, 03:34:10 PM »

I am very surprised (judging by the lack of posted replies) that few seem to be interested in the questions that this thread engenders.
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2009, 04:06:05 PM »

This does have some interesting points.  I had not replied before because I hadn't seen it and then I don't understand why drawing on the works of Da Vinci and other classic works would be not acceptable.  Leonardo was a genius and I'm not sure what of his works would be unacceptable.  The work related to war, perhaps?

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"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

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