We take plenty of photos but for most of us, it's pretty difficult to get good at it. No matter how hard we're trying. Others, however, can produce a spectacular image even when they're not.
The subreddit r/AccidentalRenaissance is the biggest online "gallery" for these works — it showcases photographs that inadvertently resemble well-composed Renaissance-style art.
"We recognize there are many related art movements between the 14th and 19th centuries, including Baroque, Neo-classicism, Romantic, Dutch Golden Age, etc. All of these styles are appreciated and welcomed within this subreddit!" the moderators of r/AccidentalRenaissance write.
Stuck My Arm In The Coop To Sneak A Pic Of The Hens Settling Down At Dusk One Night- “Magic Hour”
To further explain Accidental Renaissance, the people who look after the subreddit provide these descriptions:
- Composition: triangular/pyramidal figures, dynamic, asymmetrical, 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.
Billie Holiday Performing "Strange Fruit" In NYC's First Ever Integrated Club, 1939
A representative of the mod team, u/Openminded_skeptic, told Bored Panda that "the most popular subjects appear to be scenes with crowds of people doing things like protesting, marching for a cause, or otherwise expressing themselves; highly saturated, photos of people, livestock, or interesting architecture featuring chiaroscuro and many times sun or light rays highlighting a portion of the photo; and photos featuring politicians or world leaders seem to be fairly popular."
The Winner Of The Miami Street Photography Festival Award By Paul Kessel
As of today, the community has 816K members, or as they call themselves, universalis personae. u/Openminded_skeptic describes them "as passionate and invested in the subreddit and the subject of Renaissance-esque photography, sometimes to the point of getting into spirited debates in the comment section on whether a particular photo is or is not either accidental or Renaissance!"
u/Openminded_skeptic attributes the popularity of the subreddit to the universal appeal of the period. "Renaissance-era art was really about humanity's rebirth, culturally, economically, politically, and artistically," they said. "I think that's something that never goes out of style."
Girl With Goose
Indeed. Art, architecture, and science were closely linked during the Renaissance, and often these fields even fused together.
For example, artists like da Vinci incorporated scientific principles, such as anatomy into their work, so they could recreate the human body with extraordinary precision. Architects such as Filippo Brunelleschi immersed themselves in mathematics to accurately engineer and design immense buildings with expansive domes. And scientific discoveries by Galileo, Descartes, and other forward-thinking pioneers led to major shifts in thinking.
Renaissance art was characterized by realism and naturalism — artists strived to depict people and objects in a true-to-life way, and these pictures achieve that too.