We cannot imagine a world where the only faces we recognize are those with whom we have physically come into contact. Yet that was the situation in Medieval Europe when, with power vested in the Church, the glorification of man was frowned upon.
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This changed in the Renaissance when, for the first time since antiquity, we see the representation of an individual that could be called ‘true to life’; a person of flesh and blood, capable of movement, of emotion.
Shirley Smith graduated from the University of East Anglia with a first class honours degree in the History of Art, specializing in the Italian and Northern Renaissance. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a lecturer at the University of East Anglia and for the Department of Continuing Education at the University of Cambridge.