Analysis and Interpretation: Baroque vs Neoclassical essay

Began in the early 16005 and lasting until the mid sass, the extravagant style of the Baroque period was encouraged by the Catholic church as a response to the s impolitic nature of he Protestant Reformation. When the Protestant Reformation began, the Cat holmic church was heavily criticized for its belief in its supreme authority. In an attempt to reach the public, many of whom were illiterate, the catholic church decided art should be used to deep cit the most important doctrines, allowing everyone to feel close to the teachings of the SC ruptures.

To accomplish this, religious art was to be direct, emotionally persuasive, and pop we’re Ill designed to fire the spiritual imagination and inspire the viewer to greater piety (1). Art and architecture where ornate and embellished. Churches of the time were e grandiose, combining art and architecture by painting large frescoes (3) on the high ceiling gas of buildings already embellished with wide, tall arches, and ornate details.

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Unlike the lead errs of the Reformation, the leaders of the Counter Reformation believed the very nature of a supreme being warranted the rituals and overthrow embellishments encouraged during the Baroque period. Paintings were dark, using rich colors, and focusing on realism. Visual arts oft en depicted people of religious or political importance, or depictions of various scriptures, such as The Beheading of John the Baptist by Michelangelo Merits dad Aggravating, a popular artist of the time (4).

Neoclassical began in the mid 1 8th century as the embellishments of the Bar quo period fell out of favor, and lasted until the late 19th century. The Neoclassical period was a response to the dramatic and embellished art of the Baroque period (2). Neoclassical art d rows on the balance, order, and idealized forms from antiquity. Influenced by enlightenment NT thinking Neoclassicism employed straight lines, minimal colors, simple forms, and the SE of chiaroscuro to create depth. Besides the use of chiaroscuro, there are few similarities between Baroque an d Neoclassical art styles.

Both often depicted people, both paid close attention t o detail and their paintings and sculptures both focused on realistic forms. The two periods are didst nicely different because Neoclassicism was the enlightened response to the Baroque period. Began during the enlightenment, a period between the 17th and 18th centuries emphasizing reason and individualism rather than tradition, neoclassical art focused on balanced and I legalized images, simplicity, and emotional restraint, rather than the dramatic, embellished, an d emotional style seen in Baroque (4).

Neoclassical art also came about as a revival of classical Greek and Roman art due to archeological discoveries of lost Greek and Roman works of art and architecture Despite the vast differences in the two periods’ styles, there are many similar ties between the Neoclassical sculpture Magdalene by Antonio Canoga, and the Baroque sculpture Apollo and Daphne by Giant Lorenz Bernie. They are both religious themed, full round marble sculptures, employing the use of chiaroscuro to convey depth, and shadows t 0 convey emotion.

Both sculptures pay close attention to detail, with idealized interpretations of the subjects, relying heavily on symbolism. The skull at Magdalene feet symbolizes our flee eating existence, both use body language and facial expressions to convey emotion, from the g rife and hopelessness conveyed in Magdalene kneeling position, slumped shoulders and opened palms, to the tragedy and surprise conveyed in Daphne face, and Polio’s possessive knees illustrated by his arm around Daphne?s waist.

Throughout history, in response to previous periods, newer periods have tithe re continued the style and traditions of former periods, or it seems, style swings from one end of the spectrum to the other. In the case of Neoclassicism, it was the ordered and balanced re spoons to the embellished and emotional style of Baroque. It was a return to the classical SST Wyle of the Romans and Greeks. In turn, the period which followed Neoclassicism, Romanticism, was dominated by emotion. It was a deviation from the classical, ordered, realistic style of Monocle cynicism and encouraged suasion, emotion, and exotic settings with dramatic action (3).

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