Renaissance vs Baroque

9 September 2016

Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, and searched for realism and human emotion in art  Florentine painters led byMasaccio strove to portray the human form realistically, developing techniques to render perspective and light more naturally Renaissance could be viewed as an attempt by intellectuals to study and improve the secular and worldly, both through the revival of ideas from antiquity, and through novel approaches to thought.

During the Renaissance, money and art went hand in hand. Artists depended totally on patrons while the patrons needed money to sustain geniuses The Early Renaissance saw the first masters of the time experiment with color, perspective, tone, subject matter and many other aspects of their work. For the first time artists were able to explore subject matter unrelated to religion. Baroque: xaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur  In Baroque sculpture, groups of figures assumed new importance, and there was a dynamic movement and energy of human forms— they spiralled around an empty central vortex, or reached outwards into the surrounding space. In this essay I intend on studying and making a comparison between 4 art works in total; 2 Baroque pieces and 2 pieces that belong from the Renaissance period. Both the periods started in Italy and then spread over most of Europe with time.

Renaissance vs Baroque Essay Example

The Renaissance was a movement that started in Florence, during the 14th century and lasted approximately till the 17th century. It affected and transformed Europe culturally and hence influenced the art work being produced. Artists strived to achieve more humanistic and realistic representations. They further explored linear perspective and focused on displaying human emotions. The Baroque period started after the Renaissance period, roughly around the 17th century, in Rome. The artists leaned towards more intense and dynamic art that included exaggerated motion and details which could be easily interpreted.

This gave the art works more energy and drama. The pieces I chose for my first comparison are both equestrian statues which were commissioned by either the ruler or the state to the respective artists. Both of these sculptures are commemorative works of art and were built on request. The first piece from the Renaissance period is an equestrian statue of Gattamelata while the piece chosen from the Baroque period is the equestrian statue of King Louis XIV. The first sculpture, the equestrian statue of Gattamelata was completed between 1447 and 1450, during early renaissance. It originates from Pauda, Italy and is made from Bronze.

It was created by Donatello, a well accomplished artist of the early renaissance period, who was commissioned to sculpt a commemorative statue by the Republic of Venice. It is a life-size statue measuring 12’2” high, made in honour of the mercenary soldier leader Erasmo da Narni, following his death. Erasmo da Narni was one of the greatest war captains (condottieri) of his time and was known as Gattamelata. He is credited the success of many military campaigns. The pedestal under the main statue is made of marble has also been designed by Donatello. It has 2 reliefs on it towards the top and has two doors towards the bottom.

One of the reliefs shows battle armour being displayed by two angels while the other one shows two Putti (A figure in art works of a male, usually nude, chubby child) pointing to a coat of arms of the deceased. The second sculpture, from the Baroque period, to be compared to the first piece of art work is the Equestrian statue of king Louis the XIV, by Gianlorenzo Bernini. The king, Louis the Great, himself had commissioned Bernini to make a equestrian statue of him. The actual sculpture is made from marble and was not sculpted by Bernini, as he was unable to do so given his age of over 73 years.

The terracotta model however was completed by him. He started working on it in 1669 and finished it in a year, by 1670. The model is 76 cm tall and was made in Rome, Italy. King Louis XIV was also known as Louis the great and his reign over France was one of the longest in all of Europe. The difference in these two sculptures arises immediately from how the significance of the subject matter differs and how the power in their possession varies. The first sculpture is of a condotteri while the second sculpture is of a king. The grandeur of the second sculpture hence is more prevalent in the art piece.

The equestrian statue of Gattamelata conveys the war captain’s authority and brilliance through use of emotions. Erasmo has a serious expression on his face and he looks out in the far distance to a focal point. Similarly the horse appears alert and ready for battle. Its head is tilted to the same side Erasmo is looking at and the position of its legs implies motion. Deep study and observation of human and horse anatomy is apparent from the sculpture and shows how artists during the renaissance period aimed for a higher level of humanism and realism in their art work. Other forms of symbolism is also used to express and convey messages.

The front left hoof of the horse rests on an orb, which is an ancient symbol for control over the earth. Erasmo carries a sword and a baton to display his connection to the military and his leadership. In contrast to the precision and orderly rationality of Italian Renaissance classicism, Baroque art and architecture are dynamic, theatrical, and highly ornate. And he hammered out a MEANING for the rock. “That’s the Peak of Virtue. The Divine King Louis, like Hercules before him, came to a crossroads down below. There he had to choose between the Primrose Path or the Rocky Climb.

He chose the difficult one and now here he has reached the Peak, which is the Temple of Virtue or Glory. ” On one side there are two putti pointing to a coat of arms of the deceased false doors, which symbolize doors to the underworld. This gives the monument a sense of a tomb the horse’s hoof, for example is on an orb, the ancient symbol for control over the earth The human figure and the horse both in this sculpture are of life-size and Donatello uses facial expressions and emotions that are displayed through Erasmo to convey the heiarchy and the power he possesses. Donatello used emotion, position, and symbolism to convey the same message.

Thus, Donatello makes a statement of the power of the real-life individual; he does not need to embellish or make grander whom Gattamelata was – the simple depiction of the real man is enough to convey his power. marry classical precedent with his own intense, uniquely visionary realism to produce a monument that would surpass all previous such works, thus address the ages and the audience of his age. the Gattamelata marches into the void of the square, embodying the self-created, striving individual that so captivated the Renaissance. Gattamelata rides in masterful control, the baton of command crossing his horse’s neck.

Horse and rider are alert, in tune as veteran campaigners come to be  Their heads are turned decisively to one side, towards a spectator viewing from the west, their gaze directed towards a focal point in the distance. The horse and rider are momentarily frozen on parade, the sense of dynamic power contained is conveyed in part by stirrups, which gives the rider his dominant “seat” and the five pointed star spur at the center of the horse forming a vertical line down the center of the statue balanced by the horizontality of the marble base. Dontatello’s interest in anatomy as well as his sensitivity to physiognomy served him well.

Our eyes are drawn to the muzzle, shorter and more massive than that of Marcus Aurelius’ horse, threaded with veins, nostrils flared – a sign of physical toil. A pulsating energy is further conveyed by the open mouth, where the bridle would link the bit to the rider’s hands. The bridle is portrayed in the original bronze statue but does not appear in the cast. Notice the arching crest of the neck, which Degas never mastered, and the muscles of the neck, which, through the slightest projection and recession, seem to move under skin, which ripples from the turning of the head.

The popping veins in the neck are captured as are the bony protuberances, in particular the poll, the area between the ears, one of which flickers behind, attentive to the commands of its rider. ——————————————– [ 1 ]. Donatello’s Gattamelata and Its Humanist Audience, Bergstein, Mary [ 2 ]. Gardener’s art through ages, Fred S. Kleiner [ 3 ]. Equestrian monument of Erasmo da Narni, called Gattamelata, Mary Ann Sullivan [ 4 ]. Web gallery of art

A limited
time offer!
Save Time On Research and Writing. Hire a Professional to Get Your 100% Plagiarism Free Paper