FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS, METHODS, & MODES IN THE HUMANITIES The Renaissance The Renaissance period describes the history of arts revival in Europe, occurring between the 14th and 17th centuries. As classical culture had never entirely disappeared from Europe, Renaissance period marks the time when classical art was being brought back to life…
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The artistic works of Giotto, Masaccio, Alberti, Leonardo, Botticelli, Michelangelo and Raphael are among the most prominent ones in the Renaissance period. The principal characteristics of Renaissance art include development of a linear perspective, shadow and light, expressions and emotions, realism and naturalism, classicism, humanism and geometrical arrangement of figures. Renaissance artists particularly emphasized on the idea of linear perspective maximizing illusionist depth and space in their works to give it a more realistic and natural look. For instance, the famous painting Flagellation of Christ by Piero della Francesca has utilized linear of perspective beautifully. They studies classical concept in sculpture including human proportion and stance to express their work with weight and fluidity. Renaissance art depicts humanism addressing a number of human values and concerns. For instance, Raphael’s School of Athens shows humanistic interpretations. Moreover, the renaissance artists mostly rejected the use of religious and supernatural themes. They preferred to paint liberal concepts in their works. The 14th century was a time of great crisis in Europe apparently unsuitable for any sort of innovation and creativity. The appearance of plague, continuing war, and turmoil in the Catholic Church were among the major catastrophic events faced by the Europeans following the decline of Roman Empire. In such a dark age Europeans sought a cultural movement for revival. Despite these discouraging factors, the culture in Italy was surrounded by the remnants of a once glorious Roman empire capable of supporting a rebirth. Renaissance artists took advantage of the emigrating Greek scholars bringing with them classical knowledge of the Greek civilization, high proportion of merchants patronizing artists, and greater political and religious liberty for translation of their ideas into practice. The Baroque Baroque meaning the pearl of an irregular shape marks the style of art and architecture period during the 17th and early 18th century. Like Renaissance, baroque period started in Italy which later spread to the rest of Europe and America. Baroque art successfully flourished until the advent of Neo-classical art style in the 18th century. Early Baroque art was inspired by the works of other artist such as Correggio and Caravaggio and Barocci. However, later in the 18th century, it depicted less drama and color categorized as Late Baroque art period. The most notable of the Baroque period are the works of Rubens, Caravaggio, Carracci, Cortona, Bernini, Rembrandt and Flemish. The general characteristics of the Baroque art are depicted by movement, dramatic and emotional, tension and energy, theatrical, sensual, counter-reformation, exaggerated lighting, tenebrism, naturalism, spatial values and time. Baroque artists used circular or diagonal composition to depict motion for emotional effects. According to Wolfflin (1979), the Baroque was the age “where the oval replaced the circle as the center of composition, that centralization replaced balance, and that coloristic and ‘painterly’ effects began to become more prominent”. Baroque works of art usually imply irregularity, strangeness and extravagance. For instance, Bernini's Cornaro Chapel in Rome is regarded as a theatrical masterpiece depicting Baroque art. As new scientific concepts were being introduced by Galileo, Pascal and
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The biggest change in this period was the replacement of the secular Roman Empire with a new, Germanic and largely Christian Empire initially constructed by the great Frankish king Charlemagne. Instead of one single dominant culture there was now room for many different Germanic tribes, Vikings, Celts and increasingly also Muslims to play a leading part in the development of the continent of Europe.
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