Comparison of Renaissance and Baroque Styles

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In the course of art history, many different art forms have been practiced. Baroque art and Renaissance art are two representative art forms. There are many similarities and differences between the two artistic periods. Next, article will introduce the artistic styles of the two periods, and compare the two periods with their similarities and differences.

Renaissance art began in Italy in the early 1400s and quickly became popular throughout Europe in the 15th and 17th centuries. During this period, Europe underwent a tremendous change, the values of the Middle Ages changed rapidly in people’s hearts. People began to learn classical art and Roman values. Under the guidance of a prosperous economy, people combined Christianity with science, and themes included portraits, classical religious plots, contemporary life events, and nature. Characters often emphasize the expression of appearence, movement posture, and precise detail description. In the scene, it is more realistic, using a realistic linear perspective and the interactive relationship between light and shadow. The Renaissance invented a technique called Sfumato, through which can establish a good contrast between the light and dark parts of the painting. Leonardo da Vinci used Sfumato in his “Smile of Mona Lisa”. The painting also endowed the interest of people with facial expressions, gestures and postures. Michelangelo’s most famous work is the giant ceiling fresco in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican in Rome, which combined traditional Christian theology with neo-Platonic ideas.

Broque art originated in Rome from the late 16th century to the mid-18th century. The term comed from the Portuguese “flawed pearl”. This style includes architecture, music, dance, painting, sculpture and other artistic styles. The essence of this movement is that Catholicism beautifies itself to attract believers and to cater to the growing desire of businessmen and the middle class. The characteristics of Baroque art are dynamic, dramatic decorative, tenebrism, deep color, and intense light and dark shadows. They advocated realism and naturalism. The St. Peter ’s Square in Rome was designed by Bernini, the most Baroque architect. It was based on the Renaissance style, enlarged the dome, changed the straight line into a curve, and became fluid. The colonnade formed a circle on the square and increased the drama of the urban landscape. Baroque artists often re-engraved Renaissance works, increasing the drama of the work. For example, Bernini re-engraved Michelangelo’s David statue. The former shows that the low-hearted David is about to fight the giant, and the latter shows a high-hearted David. It can be said, Baroque art is an exaggerated Renaissance style art.

The similarities and differences between Renaissance and baroque styles can be seen in Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa smile and Peter Paul Rubens’s straw hat. Comparing the two paintings, they both depict a woman sitting in the same position with a smile. The upper body is topped by the head, with the folded back of the hand as the bottom, and the shoulders and arms as the sides, forming a pyramid structure. Again, both women looked to the right of the viewer. The backgrounds of both paintings are mysterious and hazy. It can be seen from this that baroque artists often imitate Renaissance works. In contrast to these two paintings, Da Vinci shows the Renaissance’s mastery and enthusiasm for detail, such as the creases in the dress and the structure of the hair. He is able to gradually blend the colors of one area into another without a clear outline, a technique that allows viewers to recognize shadows and light in the image and background. No matter how skillfully the painting is mixed, the features of the scenery behind the Mona Lisa are obvious, which are unique to the Renaissance. Because the lines of individual positioning are underestimated, the viewer’s focus is more likely to be on the streams, mountains, canals and paths behind the head. In “The Straw Hat,” Rubens shows off classic baroque freestyle brushstrokes, The more detailed details of which can be seen from the feathers on The ladies’ cuffs and hats are covered by graceful, flowing strokes, a typical baroque technique. Rubens used contrasting shadows and lights to highlight and focus characters. The use of strong and bold colours on the woman’s clothes, as well as the contrast of colour and texture between the fabric and the skin, makes her stand out from the foggy background behind and become the focal point of the painting.

The Renaissance style is different from and similar to the baroque, and the baroqu is considered a continuation of the Renaissance style. Produced after the Renaissance, the baroque style naturally combines the advanced technologies of the Renaissance with its own emotional passion to develop into a dramatic, inspiring and dynamic complex art form. The two styles are similar in light, color, religious themes, perspective, but not in emphasis. The baroque is a complex, ornate detail, and the Renaissance is a fusion of Christianity and science in order to create realism through art. Despite the similarities, each era has its own shining point, with its own unique existence.


Cite this paper

Comparison of Renaissance and Baroque Styles. (2020, Sep 16). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/comparison-of-renaissance-and-baroque-styles/

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