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The Renaissance Period In Europe Essay

827 words - 4 pages

The Renaissance Period is widely known for the abundance of amazing portraiture that circulated around Europe. During the Renaissance, Albrecht Dürer, a German artist painted a self-portrait in 1500 that had qualities that differed from the usual style of artist in that time (Chauhan). Jean Clouet also painted a portrait for the King of France and became the official court painter. Both artists had a talent for portraiture, while their styles were quite different. King Francis I wanted to be seen as a powerful man, and appointed Clouet to paint him in a classically renaissance way that highlights his wealth and authority. Dürer, described as a cocky, self-centered man, painted himself ...view middle of the document...

A main characteristic of the Renaissance style is the vivid colours and shadows that are frequently used in paintings. Clouet stayed true to this style when painting the king’s garments with a bold red background. However, Dürer did not stay with this unspoken rule when painting this self-portrait that had a variety of flesh and earth tones with the dark setting (Springer). The shadows in these paintings are what make them both stay true to the renaissance style. Clouet was known for his focus in clothing with their texture and movement, always using shadows to translate the realism into his paintings; almost as if the king wasn’t the focus of the painting at all (Pomarède). Dürer used the dark shadows in his self-portrait to highlight himself, rather than letting his clothing take the attention. Dürer’s skin and hair have that realistic texture that Clouet puts into the clothing rather than the king’s face. The light shadows on the king’s face are only to highlight the different parts, rather than to show the detailed visual texture that his clothing has. Both the paintings used shadow and colour to highlight the subject’s most powerful qualities.
Realism and Humanism were the focus for the majority of Renaissance art, however both artists added slight Idealism to their portraits. Quarter-turned to the right, with a slight smirk, Clouet painted Francis I in the typical...

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