Compare and Contrast Michelangelo Buonarroti with Modern Artist - Assignment Example

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The paper compares Michelangelo Buonarroti with modern artists. Comparing the legacy of High Renaissance by Michelangelo with realism by Bouguereau cannot be performed with studying the direct parallels and distinctions only. In some cases the similarities are evident…
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Introduction Comparing the legacy of High Renaissance by Michelangelo with realism by Bouguereau cannot be performed with studying the direct parallels and distinctions only. In some cases the similarities are evident; nevertheless, the insight into their works is needed for the detailed comparing and contrasting the paintings, for making knowledgeable inferences concerning the key themes and directions of their works. Renaissance and Realism Considering the key differences in style, it should be emphasized that Renaissance is mainly featured with Manneristic approaches with the known grandeur, while Bouguereau’s realism is full of features that are common for Romanticism. Considering the portrayal of people on the images of both artists, it should be emphasized that both Michelangelo and Bouguereau regarded people as the key theme of their art. While Michelangelo made emphasis on biblical and mythological subjects, Bouguereau created images of the ordinary people as well. (Emison, 98) Nevertheless, these ordinary people look like angels and goddesses due to the color spectrum used, and to the softness of curves and lineaments. In fact, the depiction of putti, children, as well as women’s statures cannot be performed with rough features. Michelangelo, in his turn, in the strive for realism created images with visible, and, almost tangible relief. However, his female characters are not always soft and tender. Hence, Sibyls by Michelangelo look tough, massive, and even beefy, while even peasant women by Bouguereau look like nymphs, with their childish lineaments, soft curves, and mild tones. (Niiniluoto, 203) The works by these two masters have lots in common; however, the differences are essential. Bouguereau’s colors look milder; however, it is hard to define the initial quality of Michelangelo’s colors. Anyway, both artists managed to create realistic images of the human faces and statures. Therefore, sculpture-like Michelangelo’s characters look almost three dimensional, while Bouguereau relies on realistic embodiment of the divine characters, and assigning divine features to ordinary people. On the one hand, it is hard to trace the volume on most canvasses; on the other hand, the images look almost like photos, with almost realistic colors and vivid emotions on the faces, in poses, and “still” movements. In fact, comparing these two artistic styles cannot be performed on the common basis. In accordance with the research by Jenkens (312), Renaissance is often regarded as the forerunning style for the Realism; therefore, it should be emphasized that the actual comparison should be performed on the basis of thematically similar works. “The Birth of Venus”, and “The creation of Eve” are selected for the detailed analysis and insight, as the bright examples of Michelangelo’s and Bouguereau’s paintings. (See Appendix) These works, however, different in style, have common elements, and, it is hard to disagree that Renaissance did not influence the further development of visual arts. (Boime, 112) As it is emphasized in the research by Goldscheider (181), Michelangelo is often viewed as a sculptor mainly, and most of his paintings look like sculptures, with the almost tangible relief. As we can see, the characters on Michelangelo’s mural are almost three dimensional: The God is strict and resolute. His pallium looks like carved of granite, and face is featured with deep lineaments. Eve is painted soft, tender, and delicate. Moreover, her stature is contrasted to the stature of God, as she is created with soft curves, in mild tones, and is located in the very center of the image. Adam’s face is shaded, and his body is created in the same manner as Eve’s stature. Similar elements can be found on Bouguereau’s painting: The artists made a particular emphasis on Venus’s stature, while all the secondary characters are shaded. Centaurs are created with strict faces, however, it is clear, they are not in the center of the attention, in distinction with the God on Michelangelo’s fresco. The sky is murky, and the symbolism of this element may be regarded as the optical effect for creating the shadows, or as the predecessor of further events. Both Venus and Eve, as the key characters of the images, are created symbolizing fertility. The curves are soft and tender, while the colors are mild and, mainly, light, which symbolizes divine origination. In the light of the fact that realism is often regarded as a synonymic concept for naturalism, and High Renaissance is known as the predecessor for naturalism, it should be stated that idealization of the human portrayal is common for the works of both masters. Works Cited Boime, Albert. Art in an Age of Civil Struggle, 1848-1871. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2007. Emison, Patricia A. Creating the "Divine" Artist from Dante to Michelangelo. Boston: Brill, 2004. Goldscheider, Ludwig, and Michelangelo Buonarroti. Michelangelo Drawings. London: Phaidon, 1951. Jenkens, Lawrence A., ed. Renaissance Siena: Art in Context. Kirksville, MO: Truman State UP, 2005. Niiniluoto, Ilkka. Critical Scientific Realism. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002. Appendix The birth of Venus (Bouguereau) The creation of Eve (Michelangelo) Read More
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