In this essay example "Literature, Arts and the Humanities: Analysis and Interpretation Historic Art Periods" author will examine two historical art periods: the Renaissance and Baroque along with discussing two most significant masterpieces of those periods…
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During the Renaissance, the artistic and scientific lessons that were learned from the remnants of the ancients contributed significantly to technical developments in ‘realistic’ painting. These paintings gained new dimensions through the use of shading, chiaroscuro and linear perspective. These techniques were demonstrated and made famous throughout the period through the efforts of masters such as Masaccio, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Da Vinci's famous Mona Lisa provides a strong example of chiaroscuro in which the background becomes hazy with distance while Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel demonstrates foreshortening and awareness of linear perspective to make the figures appear in proper relationship to the viewer. As the period waned going into the 16th century, Baroque artists such as Caravaggio, Rubens and Bernini used these same techniques but chose to focus more upon elements of natural expression, form and emotion in their work. This was different because it took the focus off of the technical mastery of the painterly techniques and transformed it into a more realistic portrayal of the underlying subject and human experience.
Masaccio’s painting "The Tribute Money" is dated to around 1420, which places it near the beginning of the Renaissance period. Within this painting, there are several contextual elements that classify it as a classic Renaissance work. Since the a great deal of the focus of the Renaissance was based on the concept of mathematic purity....
Masaccio’s painting "The Tribute Money" is dated to around 1420, which places it near the beginning of the Renaissance period. Within this painting, there are several contextual elements that classify it as a classic Renaissance work. Since the a great deal of the focus of the Renaissance was based on the concept of mathematic purity, developing methods of perspective and modeling and perfection of form, these elements stand out strongly within the image. There is strong development of the single point perspective as the painting illustrates a scene from the Gospel of St. Matthew. Masaccio also employs the Renaissance technique of chiaroscuro, or atmospheric ambiance. This creates a sense of depth and transition into the field of the painting rather than remaining on the surface as the eye moves from one figure to another. This is particularly noticeable by comparing the image of St. Peter extracting money from the fish in the midground which is not as clear as the image of him paying the money to the tax collector in the foreground. “The Calling of Saint Matthew” is a painting that was completed by Caravaggio in either 1599 or 1600. This situates it historically right at the beginning of the Baroque period. Again, it is because of the contextual elements of the painting that classify it as Baroque rather than the date it was made. As has been stated, the major characteristics of the Baroque period were a new focus on natural expression and emotional content. In keeping with this spirit, Caravaggio’s painting is very emotional in its content. It depicts the moment from the Bible in which Jesus brings the light of true
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