Read some reflections and essays written by eighth grade students.
Cole: Why should we care about the past? Why do people like Leonardo Da Vinci and Isaac Newton matter? They are dead, anyways. Well, let me tell you why they are important.
These people not only matter, but they are very important. For example, Filippo Brunelleschi discovered [linear] perspective which is used today in many things, such as architectural drawings and art. And then there is Johann Gutenberg who invented the printing press, and although we don’t use that today, it led to the invention of the typewriter and the printer. These are just some of the inventions that changed and shaped our society.
Funny thing, all of these amazing people were born in a certain era, a time called the Renaissance. This is not just a coincidence, for the Renaissance was a time for an easier life [than life during the Middle Ages]. People had more money and they didn’t have to work as much, and due to these factors, ideas flourished. People funded sciences, art and other great ideas.
Things we take for granted and don’t even think about, we would not have if it weren’t for these brilliant people and their brilliant minds. So next time someone asks a silly question, such as “Why are these people are important?” explain to them what I just explained to you, and tell them about Frances Bacon, the famous philosopher, or Artemisia Gentileschi, who painted some of the first portraits in history. Tell them about the Renaissance and the people from this era. And don’t take things for granted because without the past, we wouldn’t have the present.
Sarah: Italy made the greatest artistic contribution to the world. Three major Italian artists were Giotti di Bondone, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo.
Giotto di Bondone was considered the most important painter of the 1300’s. All of his paintings were religious and according to nature. He painted famous pieces such as Flight into Egypt, Madonna in Glory, and Nativity: Birth of Jesus. Bondone’s career ended in 1337 when he died.
Leonardo da Vinci was known for being one of the greatest artists in history. He created very well known works of art like the Mona Lisa. Some of his paintings also had a religious side such as The Last Supper and The Head of Christ. Before da Vinci died in 1519, he painted his last piece Horse and Rider in 1508.
Though he painted many pieces, Michelangelo also sculpted. His sculptures and paintings are known all around the world. His famous paintings were David and Goliath, The Last Judgment, and Creation of Adam. His famous sculptures were of Pietn, Bacchus, and David. Michelangelo died in 1564.
All in all, it is clear that Italy contributed the most to the world artistically because of Giotto di Bondone, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo.