Since the first prehistoric cave painting, and perhaps much before that, the human race has always used art as a form of expression. With the passing of each historical period came new technologies and techniques and were all influenced by the unique style, characteristics, and social conditions of those periods. Even though, each period discovered new forms and unique styles of art most historical periods were influenced by an earlier period of history. In this essay, I will explore the relationship, style, and influences of the Renaissance and Baroque periods and will also compare and contrast a work of art from both periods to further explain the relationship between the two eras.
The Renaissance period started in Italy and took place between the 1400’s and the 1600’s. In French, the term Renaissance means rebirth, which is an accurate way to describe that period since it was then that many people chose to break away from the stagnation, incertitude, and extreme hardships that occurred during the Middle Ages and plagued most of Europe. The Renaissance period is noted for being a time when the population sought educational reform which increased literacy and many were able to master more than one skill set. This led to an intellectual, economic, and artistic revolution that transformed several European nations such as Italy, France, Spain, and several others. During this time, there were several developments within the Catholic Church, such as scandals and controversy. Because of that, many people were driven away from the traditions of the church and sought more freedom of expression and individualism. As economies improved, there was more wealth and a desire for self improvement which greatly influenced the arts.
While religion and the church were still a great influence during the Renaissance, interest was shifted to scientific study, the human form, and expression of thought, which heavily influenced the arts. Because of this, new painting and sculpting techniques were developed during the Renaissance. Artists began using new techniques such as linear perspective, rules of proportion, balance, and physical presence. One of the main characteristics of Renaissance art includes an adoration and praise of the human figure and nature. Paintings were more realistic and had linear perspective, and a great focus was placed on light and shadow. For architecture a great emphasis was placed on geometry, accuracy, and symmetry. Also, with nostalgia for Classical architecture, placement of columns was symmetrical, and the use of arches and domes was very popular. The Renaissance period produced some of the most famous artists and masterpieces that are not easily replicated today.
The Baroque period took place during the 1600’s and the 1700’s and was embraced most strongly in northern and southern Western Europe. One of the most visually recognized attributes of Baroque style in art and architecture is the sense of movement and vividly...