Development of Art During the Fifteenth and Eighteenth Centuries

Topics: Renaissance Art

Art during the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries changed and evolved into ideals and characteristics that are still used today. Many different art movements changed hands over the period of what is considered early modern Europe. In my paper, I am going to discuss the themes, iconography, and characteristics of art and several artists in these different movements. The early half, around the fifteenth to seventh centuries, of modern Europe, was dominated by Renaissance art, which spread to all corners of the continent, though it centered in the country of Italy.

The second half was followed by Baroque and Rococo art of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Many iconic and well-known artists also arose during this large epoch of time. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, Sandro Botticelli, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, and Peter Paul Rubens will be a few that are discussed in this paper.

Some famous works of art from the Renaissance era are perfect examples of the characteristics and techniques used in the era.

The oil painting Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci displays both Renaissance characteristics of sfumato and chiaroscuro. Sfumato was used for the smoothing effect on the skin of the figure, as well as used for painting the veil she wears over her hair. Leo used chiaroscuro for the face of the figure, showing it rounds. As well as in the mythical, illusionist landscape that is the background for the figure. The seventeen-foot-high marble sculpture David by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni displays the characteristics of the era by using linear form and proportions for recreating the human form.

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The tempera painting The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli is also an example of the uses of sfumato, chiaroscuro, and linear methods. The Birth of Venus has examples of depth by the receding tree line to the right of the painting. The shell the center figure stands upon is shown with a shadow suggesting dimension and depth.

The next influential art movement following the Renaissance, of early modern Europe was the Baroque period. Baroque art was a reaction to cultural and political changes sweeping across early modern Europe, especially in Germany. The art from this era can be characteristized by the highly stylized impression of grandeur and invoking the emotions characterize, whether awe or melancholy. The great, ornate style of paintings from this movement where were painted so dramatically to bring audiences into the emotional realm of the painting. Another characteristic is the intense use of realism and naturalism. Baroque artists also continued to use the techniques of Renaissance art such as foreshortening and chiaroscuro. Along with the new explorations taking place, Baroque paintings frequently displayed newly discovered landscapes in high detail. Baroque had many advocates during this time. The Kings from countries like Great Britain, Spain, France, Chiaroscuro, and Austria chose to use art in the way that suggested personal freedom and determination as well as national support. Meanwhile, Catholic Church used Baroque art as a way to push Christ’s message and also to show wealth to their congregations while doubling as decorative works of art. Baroque brought on the common practice of mural paintings, specifically those that were very large, extremely detailed, and of busy subject matter tothree-dimensionally be viewed as an illusion of more depth and space, as if the walls or ceiling were nonexistent.

There are a multitude of different artists during this that painted using the Baroque themes and styles. In Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s oil painting The Musicians, the Baroque themes of emotion come into play as the scene painted is a highly detailed, intensely pigmented intimate concert. In The Musicians, Caravaggio uses chiaroscuro when painting the figures to create a sense that they are three dimensionally solid and that there is no division betweenrequested where the reality ends and the painting begins. The oil painting by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, The Prodigal Son in the Tavern, while is a self portrait of Rembrandt and his new wife, Saskia. The action of the scene is highlighted by the painted shadows and positions of the figure’s limbs. Another artist who painted during the Baroque period was Sir Peter Paul Rubens. In his painting, The Honeysuckle Bower, Rebuns shows in equisted ornate detail a portrait of himself and his wife, Isabella. The close attention to the detailing of the clothingrenaissance art their wearing and their surroundings foliage is a fundamental Baroque theme.

Lastly, the later evolvement coming from the Baroque art movement was the Rococo style. Rococo was a more intense, more elaborate conclusion to Baroque. It focuses highly on the use of light in a style that was ornamentally theatrical.

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Development of Art During the Fifteenth and Eighteenth Centuries. (2022, Apr 29). Retrieved from

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