The ideas of the Renaissance first emerged in the city-state of Florence. The sculptor Donatello returned to classical techniques such as contrapposto and classical subjects like the unsupported nude — his second sculpture of David was the first free-standing bronze nude created in Europe since the Roman Empire. The sculptor and architect Brunelleschi studied the architectural ideas of ancient Roman buildings for inspiration. Masaccio perfected elements like composition, individual expression, and human form to paint frescoes, especially those in the Santa Maria Novella, of surprising elegance, drama, and emotion.
A remarkable number of these major artists worked on different portions of the Florence Cathedral. Brunelleschi's dome for the cathedral was one of the first truly revolutionary architectural innovations since the Gothic flying buttress. Donatello created many of its sculptures. Giotto and Lorenzo Ghiberti also contributed to the cathedral.
High Renaissance artists include such figures as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, and Raffaello Santi.
Another equally important but less well known figure of the Renaissance is Jan van Eyck, a Dutch painter often attributed with "bringing the Renaissance North." Northern Renaissance art was not as concerned with perspective and the figure as that of the Italian Renaissance. The cornerstone of the Northern Renaissance was the development of oil painting.
Italian Renaissance — Late 14th century to Early 16th century
Northern Renaissance — 16th century
Mannerism, Baroque, and Rococo
In European art, Renaissance Classicism spawned two different movements— Mannerism and the Baroque. Mannerism, a reaction against the idealist perfection of Classicism, employed distortion of light and spatial frameworks in order to emphasize the emotional content of a painting and the emotions of the painter. Baroque art took the representationalism of the Renaissance to new heights, emphasizing detail, movement, lighting, and drama in their search for beauty. Perhaps the best known Baroque painters are Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, Diego Velázquez, and Caravaggio. Baroque art is often seen as part of the Counter-Reformation— the artistic element of the revival of spiritual life in the Catholic Church. Additionally, the emphasis that Baroque art placed on grandeur is seen as Absolutist in nature. Louis XIV said, "I am grandeur incarnate," and many Baroque artists served kings who tried to realize this goal. However, the Baroque love for detail is often considered overly-ornate and gaudy, especially as it developed into the even more richly decorated style of Rococo. After the death of Louis XIV, Rococo flourished for a short while, but soon fell out of favor. Indeed, disgust for the ornateness of Rococo was the impetus for Neoclassicism.
Mannerism — 16th century
Baroque Art — 17th century to 18th century
Rococo — Mid-18th century
Date: 2015-01-02; view: 1053