Wedding Images of the Renaissance

The renaissance period is alive in present day, in the form of photos. The photography captures the moments in an exceptionally clear way giving the real representation of the times of the renaissance period. One of the most essential components of this period is the wedding ceremony. Weddings are clearly represented in the photography. For example in one of the paintings of Botticelli known by the name “Primavera,” the main theme is a wedding ceremony believed to have been painted to show the wedding celebration in of one Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco in the year 1482.

The picture Primavera shows, the celebration of the spring season, at the same time it is filled with symbols such as Venus who is the ancient Goddess of love (Malaguzzi & Botticelli, 2004). The painting captures the emotion of love between Chloris as she is seized by the God of wind. The bond between them leads to transformation of Chloris to Flora the goddess of flower. The goddess of wind is said to have raped Chloris, and as a sign of apology, the god of wind transforms Chloris to Flora and hence Chloris and Flora are the same person.

This work shows clearly that, in the renaissance period, there was marriage which was markedly celebrated among the members of the community. In the painting Primavera, there is a fight between Venus and Mars. Venus represents the goddess of love while mars represent the goddess of war. Venus prevails over mars thus; it is clear that love is stronger than war. Love is the glue that binds together man and woman hence a marriage is born between the two people out of love.

The same painting of Botticelli, the goddess of love Venus is drawn at the middle. This is a symbol that love is the most essential thing in any, marriage. The love defeats even the war and hence the institution of marriage was exceptionally strong even during the renaissance period. As much as the renaissance period regarded marriage relatively high, cases of unmarried women were so rampant. The Duke of Ubino, for example, had a painting that showed a woman who is believed to be her mistress. This is a clear representation of how men and women of the time had a lower show of respect to the marriage institution. The situation in Venice, as well as that of Florence, was equally unpreventable. According to Hagen & Hagen, the population of Venice was about 140000 people, and in this population, 20% of the women were prostitute. The numbers are a clear representation of the number of women who were not yet into the marriage.

In Venice, love was more valuable than security, the family members especially the man was to ensure that their families were safe. The family ties in one way were breaking loose since the demands of the family were getting higher by day. This pressure forced men to go out of their way and get mistresses who would be the valve through which the excess stress was relieved.

It is in view of many people that women did not experience the renaissance, for example, according to Kelly and Simon, many of the historians are not ready to discuss the issue of whether the women ever had their renaissance. The historians continue to say that, this is the period that came with modernity but, unfortunately, the woman continues to be isolated in all aspects. The art in renaissance paintings continues to give minimal information about the feminist enterprise. The works in the renaissance period were more inclined to one gender, which is the male gender, while the female were given extremely little attention.

The renaissance period in the words of Simon, in reference to the art work of the Quattrcento Florence, considers the period to be out to outline the male history. This leaves the female gender entirely out of the revolution of that time. To further support the disparity between the male and female gender, approximately all Florentine paintings, the work was based on the male while the female were only included in paintings that were meant to be a donation. The ignoring of women and diminution is shown further where, the portraits of the male were represented in larger frames where on portraits of an unidentified man was found to measure three quarter length.

The female portraits are only found in profiles, and this persisted for a long period which changed in the late 14th century where women got equal representation as that of their male counterparts. This move changed the profile format, to a situation where the paint faced the viewer.

Renaissance period as much as it is considered the time of rebirth and revolution of times of the dark ages, man is still held tightly to practices that are detrimental in terms of equality between men and women. In this period, the women had almost equal rights with men counterparts. In the inception of the renaissance, the women lost this advantage and had their rights go down substantially. This discrimination is more prominent among the people of the upper class, unlike the lower class. Women from the upper class were considered as property. At the early ages, women were the property of their fathers while, at the latter stages, the ownership was passed down to the husband.

The emotions of women were not to be expressed. This means that the woman was socially considered to be of lesser importance in the society. She had the opportunity to get some learning, and could only be allowed to do this for a short duration, and when the husband came they were forced to drop from it. The role of the woman was to remain submissive to their husband and do all that the husband requires of them.

In Venice, women had different roles; in regard to this, women were categorized into two groups, courtesan women and patrician women. The women could be allowed to mingle in the men gathering. Even though, they had these privileges, they were closely followed by their husband so as, to know their every move. Women were not trusted, and this can be the reason as to why the women were being monitored.

Discrimination was also highly rampant in Venice where places were designated for each gender. For example, the basement floor was specifically set aside for use by the men in activities such as business and storage of their properties. On the other hand, the woman’s place in Venice was in the kitchen and bedroom. It should be clear that, in this context, the bed room should not spell the place where they participated in a sexual act with the husband, but it was deemed as the place for child birth. This in itself is totally degradation of the woman in the society as it was experienced in many places during the renaissance period. As much as the men were married they did not show much respect to their loved ones.

The wives and women, who were married to the mighty people in Venice hence called noblewomen, were still monitored, and the only privilege they got despite the heavy surveillance is that they were accorded substantial respect in the society. In Venice, marriage was a highly prestigious institution and the married couple had a house under their name. The respect to the wives was for their responsibility at the household level. The patrician women in Venice were of a lower level as compared to the noble women, the only occasion they came to a level ground was during the dinner table. In such occasion, all the women both noble and the less noble, served the same purpose. The noble would be give an opportunity to sit aside and have a chat while the courtesans would be engaged with men as an item of entrainment. The roles of women would at the time be switched, but the courtesans would be used by the unmarried men as well as the unfaithful married men in sexual interests.

In Venice, again as it is prominent in the renaissance period, women had to be submissive and respectful to their husbands. This meant that a woman would not be tolerated if they cheated with other men. On the other hand, a man going out with other women was conceder as usual, and no effect would arise from that. This was illustrated by the presence of courtesans who were used in the place of a wife. While the man had all the freedom to move around, the women were left at home where their main roles were to take care of their children, as well as their husbands.

On social ground, the Venetian woman was totally downgraded. Even the government of the time would not entertain any form of comment or view from the woman. The woman was segregated and confined in their house hold, and the furthest they could reach was only the neighborhood. The men domineering society had the women occupied so much that, parents with daughters were highly advised to keep their daughters busy with activities such as knitting with the aim of protecting them from losing their virginity.

Despite this surveillance, to women; it is ironical that when the English men arrive in Venice, their first visit is overwhelmed by the number of courtesans in the streets (Rosenthal, 1992). In fact, one of the white men was shocked that the majority were so loose that they would open their quivers for any arrows that came their way. The social ties of Venice can thus be said to have been falling apart in that time. In Florence just like in Venice, a women’s place was behind closed doors. Women were not allowed in public places. The men used the excuse that the women were to remain at home to safeguard their chastity and ensure that the blood line remains pure. The ownership of property was no different like many places in the world. At the renaissance period, women of Florence had no rights to own any property. Property ownership was left for the male gender as the role of the women was to cater for the family.

Segregations of women are represented by the portraits of women of Florence who were always shown standing by the window of their houses. This seclusion was so prominent that one French visitor noted women in Florence were so enclosed than in any other part of Italy. The bitter pill of oppression was enforced from all divides, on one hand the husbands were always breathing under their wives’ noses.

In view of the church, religion has unusually stringent rules top monitor the females than they had for the men. The church is of the conclusion that, it is the evil of the first woman that landed man in sins. According to Brown (2001), the women were so lowly regarded that one person once said that women should be used like the chamber plots that are hidden after one piss in them. Brown continues to lament that Florence was the worst place to be born of a woman. He says that if one wanted to get their way, being a woman will stand as a big obstacle to that wish. Women would only acquire property through the male linage. The man is to be highly regarded and, in fact, in Florence “the honor of men should reside in the public image, reside, service in the personal virtues of their wives,”.

Weddings in the renaissance period heavily relied on the dowry which was used to determine the women’s destiny. Unlike the present day, where wedding and marriage is heavily dependent on the agreement between two people, in renaissance one had no opportunity to choose who to get married to. The marriage was a social and economic contract that was between families. This institution as represented in many renaissance portraits was for the purpose of continuation of the family linage.

This can be logical since, during that time the living conditions were relatively poor. In this connection, out breaks of plague were common and hence; people were afraid that their families were at the risk of being extinct. Apart from continuing the linage the woman was considered as a vessel through which family ties would be extended to the member of other families with desirable traits such as; wealth, nobility and political influence. In such cases, Brown says that the women acted as the glue with which social ties were made.

In conclusion, it can be said that renaissance period, as much as it was the rebirth of times and linked the people from the times of the dark ages to the rebirth. The evolution came with its advantages, at the same time; it saw the upholding of oppression of women. The women are regarded lowly, and men used them as items to satisfy their needs. The men were also erotic, and drawings of women in a degrading manner were a common scenario in that rebirth of time. The censoring of unappealing photos was something of the past.