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Compare And Contrast: Renaissance Vs. Baroque

1286 words - 6 pages

Over the span of history, there have been a considerable number of times art has been redirected and executed differently. From these time periods, two that are prominent and had a lasting effect are the techniques during the Renaissance and the Baroque era. Between the two there are numerous commonalities, but a few contrasts as well.

To begin with, the Renaissance started around Florence in Italy during the 15th century. This “rebirth” time period marked a change in the way people thought about virtually every aspect of their lives, from politics to art. The art from this period illustrated newly discovered techniques that portrayed nature and figures more realistically. These techniques consisted of the usage of shadows and light, perspective, and realism and naturalism. In order to capture realism, artists studied the human anatomy, measured proportions and sought a way to give portraits of people more emotion. Many people attribute this time period as the beginning of the modernization of man. Along with every aspect the Renaissance modified, these innovations advanced art from how it once was illustrated to completely new heights.

Just as the other artists from this time, Giovanni Bellini portrayed these techniques through his work. Recognized by his oil paintings, Bellini utilized shadow and light in most of his landscapes and figures. One painting in particular that is an example of how he used this along with perspective is in the “Feast of Gods”. This painting displays a group of people enjoying a meal within a forested area. The viewer can distinctively tell where the shadows of the trees fall by the use of darkness on some of these people in the group who are further back. The way he painted with gives this image a three dimensional look since he placed people in various places and not all in a line.

He was known more for his altarpieces and portraits; especially those of the Virgin. In “The Virgin and Child”, Bellini incorporates the realism prominent at this time through the body proportions of the Virgin and the Child as well as the folds in the Child’s naked body. The focal point of this artwork is the Virgin and her interaction with the Child, placed in a room that contains a window looking out to what looks like a castle in the distance. The use of shadows is also present in this painting within the curtain behind the Virgin and within the garment she is wearing. The concept of emotion that artists of this era strived for is notable within this painting as well.

Artists were aiming to have the viewer more connected and giving them the ability to empathize with the emotion or thought depicted in a piece of work. The softness in the look of the Virgin as she holds the Child, the curiosity in the face of the Child in return and the overall message of a bond between mother and son that Bellini conveys within this piece. As in the last piece referenced, the technique of perspective is evident in this piece as well; the method of...

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