AP Accidental Renaissance


So if you don’t know, there is this thing called Reddit.  Basically an open forum where people gather around an interest of theirs, and then while there, they can stumble across other crazy things.  Gaming brought me to Reddit, but r/evilbuildings keeps me coming back.

Now if you have never been on Reddit, let me just warn you, its like the rest of the internet:  a dark abyss that will swallow all that is good and decent in you.  And there are also cat pictures (r/aww).

One of the sub-forums there is r/accidentalrenaissance, and this thing is amazing… and the basis of our next homework assignment.


For your next homework assignment I want you to find (not create) a photograph that would fit within the Accidental Renaissance parameters (see below).  To find such a photo, you could peruse photos that are

  • taken by you in the past
  • taken by a friend in the past, but shared with you
  • taken by a family member in the past, but shared with you
  • taken by a stranger on the internet, and illicitly and creepily borrowed by you  Photos taken for/used by news outlets can be amazingly good for this assignment.

What does Accidental Renaissance Mean?*

What we mean by Accidental Renaissance is a photo that inadvertently (that is, NOT on purpose) resembles a painting similar in composition, style, lighting, and/or subject to Renaissance-style art.

We recognize there are many related art movements between the 14th and 19th centuries including: Baroque, Neo-classicism, and Romantic. All of these styles are appreciated and welcomed.

What an Accidental Renaissance Photo is:*

  • A photo that accidentally resembles the types of art popular from the 14th-19th centuries.
  • Composition: triangular/pyramidal figures, dynamic, asymmetrical composition, foreshortening, and of course the use of the Fibonacci sequence or Golden Ratio
  • Lighting: Featuring use of sfumato (blurring/softening of outlines) and/or chiaroscuro (strong contrasts between light and dark)
  • Subject: Landscapes, people, scenes, that feature one or both of the above

What I don’t want:

  • Images that were staged for this assignment
  • Images that heavily rely on Photoshop, filters, or any other form of photo manipulation
  • A Tableaux Vivant
  • Images that are already on r/accidentalrenaissance ;)

Let me know if you are having any issues or need help.



*The examples and descriptions above all come directly from r/accidentalrenaissance.

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