Intro to Renaissance & Baroque Art

What is the Baroque period of the arts?  You may have asked yourself this question at one point in your life.  And here is the answer: the ba-roke period is what needs to be fixed!  All kidding aside.  The Baroque period of the arts took place in the 17th and 18th centuries.  This period was one of exploring new artistic ideas.  The Renaissance, which took place from the 14th to the 16th century, on the other hand, was a period of rebirth of the arts and a return to the classics.  Both periods were necessary times in art history, even though they were vastly different.  We must understand the meaning of the Renaissance and Baroque.  Then Baroque art will be brought to life.  Finally, Renaissance art will be explored.

The Renaissance and Baroque are both associated with then-contemporary viewpoints.  Baroque means unusual or unpredictable.  The art from the time is usually associated with the odd or unusual.  Completely new ideas were revealed and fully explored.  The Renaissance, however, offers a striking contrast to unusual.  The actual word Renaissance is Italian for rebirth.  When the Renaissance began, the artists revived the classic works of art of the past as well as composing their own works.  The words Renaissance and Baroque explicitly demonstrate the type of art produced and studied during the period.

During the Baroque period, artists continually explored the arts.  The counter-reformation at the end of the 16th century refined previous religious art, which had insufficiently expressed religious art ideas.  The consolidation of absolute monarchies contributed to the expansion of art – literally.   This part of the Baroque period included building and expanding monumental places.   Art awakened a new interest in nature as well as a general broadening of human intellectual horizons.  The Baroque period allowed the expansion of art to include religious art, buildings, and nature.

Renaissance art included a few elements of Baroque art, while creating many unique elements that characterize the period.  Artists from both periods were fascinated by and studied more natural art.  However, the Renaissance period also expanded into high Renaissance art.  This period lasted for about 35 years and consisted of three main figures: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.  Each of these men embodied a characteristic, which developed the Renaissance.  Leonardo exemplified the Renaissance man.  Michelangelo expressed immense creative power.  Raphael’s works displayed a classical spirit.  This period concluded with the fall of Rome.  The Renaissance period allowed a time of rebirth in the arts.

Both periods formed and developed the art we have today.  However, they each presented a unique form and style of art.  Even the linguistic structures of the words Baroque and Renaissance show the meaning and purpose of the art period.  The Baroque artists explored innovation and intrigue. On the other hand, three Renaissance artists rediscovered the classics.  Most importantly, new artists in each period assisted the revival and intrigue of the arts.  Many of the most beautiful works studied in today’s culture were designed and created in the Baroque and Renaissance periods.

No Native Americans?                                                                        American Exceptionalism


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