Final Project

The Differences Between Renaissance and Baroque Art 

Renaissance and baroque art are often viewed as similar. This could be because both eras were good at using realism and according to Renaissance Art vs. Baroque Art: Understanding the Difference by lee down “Both styles use vivid, evocative pigments, and, what is perhaps most vexing is that, where subject matter is concerned, both eras have strong emphases on topics from the Judeo-Christian Bible or from Greco-Roman mythology.” Another reason why they were sometimes similar is due to the fact that Baroque artist would recreate Renaissance art. Although the art was sometimes similar there are various important differences that make each era unique and help us differentiate them. Here I will be discussing the differences between the two era’s art. For the Final Project I chose to do prompt number three the Creative project. While doing the Met assignment I found myself very interested in the differences between Renaissance and Baroque art that I decided to make my final project thesis on it. I researched both time periods, read and watched videos on how they differed and analyzed various paintings and sculptures as well.  

The Renaissance began in the 1400s and ended in the 1600s. It was a very important time period for it brought about many new things and was known as the rebirth. There was a shift of focus to humanism which means there was a greater importance placed on humans rather than divine beings. The Renaissance was also known for its many artists. Like Brunelleschi who founded linear perspective which gave gave depth to 2D art with the use of the Vanishing point. He was also known for creating the dome in architecture. There were various other great artist known from that time such as the famous four Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, and Leonardo.

The Baroque era began from in the 1600s and lasted till the 1700s. Around this time the Catholic church was undergoing changes with the Protestant Reformation taking place. As a result the catholic church felt a new way of biblical art was needed in order to keep and counter the Protestant reformation so art became more forceful, emotional and had greater realism. Which was also found in Protestant art and other European countries.

With the focus on perspective and adding depth in Renaissance art the paintings and sculptures would often lack emotion and appeared to be still. Renaissance art focused on stability with pyramid shaped compositions or the use of vertical and straight lines. While Baroque art emphasizes emotion and was known as dramatic. Baroque art used emotional intensity, dynamism, diagonals, was involving, real, interrupted contours, movement and had direct focus. For the creative aspect of the project I recreated two different Davids. One was based on Michelangelo’s David 1501-4 which was from the Renaissance and the other was based on Bernini’s David, 1623-24 from the Baroque era. Although my drawings were based on two different full body sculptures I drew the faces or focused on David’s portrait yet tried to convey the different styles from both periods. In Michelangelo’s sculpture David is more straight and vertical with some contropasto he shows some emotion but it is more eternal as opposed to Bernini’s who looks like it is a moment in time with a look of anger and concentration. Bernini’s David also has diagonals and appears to be moving more dramatic.

Sculptures I based my Drawing on 

Renaissance Art

Baroque Art

Annotated Bibliography

3 Online Sources

Zucker, Steven and Beth Harris , directors. How to Recognize Baroque Art. Khan Academy, Khan Academy, www.khanacademy.org/humanities/monarchy-enlightenment/baroque-art1/beginners-guide-baroque1/v/how-to-recognize-baroque-art.

This video is specifically about how to recognize Baroque art. It gives specific art techniques that were used during the Baroque era in sculptures and paintings. Some being emotional intensity, dynamism, diagonals, involving, real, interrupted contours, movement and direct focus. The video first focuses on Italian/Catholic art but later goes on to show how to recognize the Baroque style in other European countries that were protestant. This relates back to my final project for it also compares Baroque art to that of Renaissance. This will help me create something that shows the differences between these two art eras.

Harris , Beth and Steven Zucker , directors. How to Recognize Italian Renaissance Art . Smarthistory, 2017, smarthistory.org/how-to-recognize-italian-renaissance-art/.

This video informs us about the different art through out the Renaissance. First speaking about art from the end of the previous era which was the late gothic. Later explaining the early renaissance and the introduction tempura egg yolk based paint, paintings were also began to be done on wood which meant it was portable meaning it could sold. With an emphasis on naturalism with landscape. The high renaissance showing a better understanding of the human body and sometimes having complex interrelated figures.

Ross, Nancy, director. Renaissance Art. Khan Academy, Khan Academy, www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-history-basics/art-1010-ddp/v/renaissance-art-introduction.

This video talks about new things that came about during the Renaissance such as linear perspective, vanishing point which helped with creating depth in art. The creation of the dome in architecture was also introduced. It mentions Donatello’s David, artist like Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.

2 Articles

This article discusses the differences between Renaissance and Baroque art. Mentioning things like the concentration in depth and realism sometimes causing lack of emotion on Renaissance art. While Baroque art was more dramatic showing more emotion and movement.

Down, Lee. “Renaissance Art vs. Baroque Art: Understanding the Difference.” Art Artists Artwork, 2017, artsartistsartwork.com/renaissance-art-vs-baroque-art-understanding-the-difference/.

This article also discusses the differences in the art of both eras going more in depth about the linear strategy of the Renaissance and the pyramid shape which is most stable while baroque art uses diagonals. Highlighting the things I will be discussing in my project.



Final Project Proposal/Outline

Topic: The differences between Renaissance and Baroque art.

Renaissance Art

Gerard David                                                                                                                      The Annunciation, 1506                                                                                                     The Met

Venus and Cupid, Lorenzo Lotto (Italian, Venice ca. 1480–1556 Loreto), Oil on canvas

Lorenzo Lotto                                                                                                                   Venus and cupid, 1520s                                                                                                         The Met

Baroque Art

Philippe de Champaigne                                                                                                  The Annunciation, 1644                                                                                                   The Met

Venus and Adonis, Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, Siegen 1577–1640 Antwerp), Oil on canvas

Peter Paul Rubens                                                                                                          Venus and Adonis, mid 1630s                                                                                           The Met

Bearded Man with a Velvet Cap

Govert Flinck                                                                                                              Bearded Man with a Velvet Cap, 1645                                                                                                                                                                      The Met

For the Final project I chose assignment #3 the Creative Project. My thesis or topic is the differences between Renaissance and baroque art. I will make a drawing that differentiates the differences between the art of the two eras. These images/paintings that I chose from The Met relate to my project for they are from the eras I will be discussing. They show some of the differences I will discuss such as perspective and lack of emotion due to the focus on perspective in Renaissance art and dramatic or strong use of detail/ emotion on the face in baroque art.

The Met Museum Visit

My experience at The Met was great. It was my first time going so I was very amazed by the greater amounts of work there was compared to the Brooklyn Museum. However it was a little overwhelming I only saw a small fractions of the art works in The Met. I will definitely go bacon a day where its not too crowed and i have more time on my hands so i can enjoy the experience more.

The Renaissance took place in the 1400s while the Baroque era took place in the 1600s. The art that was made during both time periods was often similar but had distinct differences. This was because artist from the Baroque era would often recreate work from the Renaissance but with different styles. During the Renaissance artist mainly focused on perspective in order to have more realism and depth but this would make the art lack emotion and appear still, most of the time. While artist from the Baroque era would dramatize their art to had emotion and was seen as odd.

Renaissance Art                                                                                                                 Gerard David                                                                                                                      The Annunciation, 1506

Baroque Art                                                                                                                Philippe de Champaigne                                                                                                  The Annunciation, 1644

Both pieces of art depict The Annunciation which is when Archangel Gabriel told Virgin Mary she would conceive Jesus the son of God. From these pieces of art one can see how the art from the Renaissance appears to have more depth but has the stillness in the lack of emotion in the angel and Mary who both have straight faces. There is also dark cool colors with the exception of the red on the angle’s cape and yellow light beam around the dove. While the art from the Baroque era has warmer colors and more facial expressions on both Mary and the angels. The angel also has light beams surrounding him and is floating as opposed to the other painting where the angel appears to be standing on the floor. An other difference is that one painting is divided in two pieces while the other is just one painting.

Unit 2 Summary: Ancient World

In this unit of the Ancient World we viewed and discussed art from different ancient civilizations. These civilizations were ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greek, and Roman art. Although  these civilization’s had different cultures their art had some similarities, and of course differences as well.

In Mesopotamian art one can often see a depiction of hierarchy. For example in class we went over the Standard of Ur 600-2400 B.C.E. which is like wooden box whose purpose is unclear. The Standard of Ur however is divided into registers which are horizontal divisions. At the lower registers one can see people of the working class possibly servants carrying items and herding animals. Through this piece of art we can infer agriculture was a part of the culture as well as trading which can be inferred through the different rocks found in it. At the top register we see the king which is way larger in scale compared to the rest of the people thus showing hierarchy and the significance of the king and emphasizing power.

In Egyptian art they placed a great value on divine/supernatural beings. Most being Gods. These Gods were often depicted as half human half animal. For example Horus the sky god son of Isis and Osiris, who has a falcons head and human body. Egyptians also dealt a lot with the afterlife mummifying their dead and leaving treasures in there pyramids (specifically Kings and Queens). There are also various symbols and hieroglyphics. A similarity between Egyptian art and Mesopotamian is the resemblance of hierarchy but also the use of half human half animal statues, for example the Egyptians Sphinx and the Mesopotamian Lamassu which has the head of a man body of a bull or lion and wings of an eagle.

Lastly we went over Greek and Roman art. As stated in a previous post “Humanism is a philosophical system that highlights the importance and value of human beings rather than divine/supernatural matters. It has various characteristics. First it sought rational thinking, to look for explanations in the natural world. Thus encouraging the use of critical thinking leaving space for new speculations. It also placed human beings in the center of moral and social concerns. In terms of art it focused on the beauty of humans mainly man. It did this through the use of nudity in art.” (Blog post 7: Humanism) Both Greek and Romans focused on Humanism however most Roman sculptures had some sort of item of clothing. Greeks also mainly had nude statues of young males with athletic bodies and rarely used females nudes unless it was Aphrodite. Another difference between the Greek and Roman was the fact that Romans depicted aging and facial hair as opposed to Greeks. Contrapposto “an asymmetrical arrangement of the human figure in which the line of the arms and shoulders contrasts with while balancing those of the hips and legs.” (google definition) was a similarity they shared that differed from the Egyptians whose sculptures were often straight in posture and lean in muscle while Greek-Roman art highlighted the male body.

Overall this Unit was very informative on the Ancient Worlds art. It helped me make connections between the different civilizations and learn about new art terms and ideas like humanism and contrapposto.

Humanism in Greek and Roman Art

Humanism is a philosophical system that highlights the importance and value of human beings rather than divine/supernatural matters. It has various characteristics. First it sought rational thinking, to look for explanations in the natural world. Thus encouraging the use of critical thinking leaving space for new speculations. It also placed human beings in the center of moral and social concerns. In terms of art it focused on the beauty of humans mainly man. It did this through the use of nudity in art.

Greek and Roman art illustrates a major difference in art as opposed to Egyptian art. Humanism if greatly found in Greek and Roman art through the nude sculptures of young man and the occasional nude of Aphrodite all showing the real beauty in human anatomy. While Egyptian art is greatly God centered often showing human bodies with animal features. Placing emphasis on divine power rather human acts.

Riace Warrior A. 460 – 450 BCE


As seen in the images above there a big differences in the sculpture of a Race warrior there are real human features like muscle, hair, body structure. While in the image of Horus it a God with both human and animal features. A falcons head and human body. However the body is very lean no real muscles can be seen. There is a greater focus on the divine being rather than its human features.

Brooklyn Museum: Ancient World & Soul of a Nation

Before going on this trip to the Brooklyn Museum I was a little hesitant. I had not been there since elementary school and I thought it would be boring. However once I got to the museum and started going through the exhibits I found myself pleasantly surprised, I was enjoying my time and did not realize I had been there for a couple hours. I ended up really liking the experience and I felt inspired to create some art of my own. There were several pieces that touched me but here are the once I chose.

Part 1: Ancient World

The Ancient Egypt exhibit had plenty of interesting pieces some of which reminded me of things we went over in class. Some being fancy well detailed jars that held black eyeliner like discussed in class the description said it was used for both male and females to highlight the eyes, reduce sun glare, and repel flies. Many statues and artifacts were astounding as well but what stuck me the most was the Coffin of the Lady of the House, Weretwahset which was part of the exhibit called A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt. I chose this piece because I wasn’t aware that ancient Egyptian’s believed that after a woman’s death they had to temporarily turn into men in order to make rebirth possible. This was because ancient Egyptians believed that woman had a biological barrier to the afterlife. Ancient Egyptians thought that men created the fetus and passed it to the woman through intercourse thus rebirth was not possible for women in the afterlife. So what they did was temporarily turn women into men. They did this by having a priest recite spells using male pronouns and using colors that were for men. Formal analysis of the Coffin of the Lady of the House, Weretwahset color plays a big role as mentioned above. Here we can see that on the coffin the women has red skin her face, neck, arms and feet are all red. But in the cartonnage the women has yellow skin which represented the skin of a goddess made of gold showing her going back to being a woman. There are other colors as well her white dress, gold jewelry, black hair. There are some hieroglyphics. The coffin with red skin is bigger in scale than the car tonnage with yellow skin. There appears to be no empty space all very detailed. Some possible Egyptians gods are on the coffin as well. This relates to what we discussed in class for it represents the afterlife.


Part 2: Soul of a Nation

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black power is an exhibit that contains art work from 1958 – 1983. This exhibit focuses on the “complex work of Black artists who – at a time of dizzying political, social, and aesthetic revolution – produced some of the most innovative and electric art of the twentieth century.” (Brooklyn Museum) The description also mentions that these artworks were made “during a struggle of liberation” referring to systematic discrimination and racial violence of the 60s even though some advancements in Civil Rights had been made. The artwork that stuck me the most was Benny Andrews “Did the Bear Sit Under a Tree?” I chose this piece because of its incorporation of materials with oil paint. I was astounded by its meaning and how the materials added texture to the piece making it look three dimensional. Formal analysis there is a mixture of bright and dark colors in the painting. It can be seen in the shirt how it adds black and darker shades of green to create shadows and contrast. Within the shirt we can see there is real fabric beneath the oil paint. The mouth is made of a zipper adding a sense of expression to the face of disappointment. The flag is made of rolled up fabric adding three dimension which can also be seen o the nose. His fist are raised in anger towards the flag. The flag is also smaller in size compared to the man. The man also takes up most of the space, the main focus of the painting. Some semi straight lines can be seen in the arms and flag. Colors like red, blue, white, grey, green, brown, back can be seen. This relates to the exhibit because the author is reflecting on the Civil Rights protests in the 60s and states “It is a Black person who is shaking his fist at the very thing that is supposed to be protecting him [the flag] and the he’s operating under.”

Unit 1 Summary

We have come to the end of Unit 1, time really does fly. In unit one we learned about critical pedagogy and formal analysis. To recap Pedagogy of the Oppressed was a book written by Paulo Freire in which he discusses the flaws in the education system and proposes the use of critical pedagogy. One of the flaws Paulo Freire explained was the Banking Model. In which students were viewed as empty containers that were filled by teachers who had all the power and left little to no critical thinking, thus encouraging critical pedagogy. This unit also discussed formal analysis. Which is a method used to interpret art by questioning and closely examining the physical piece of art through the different components of formal analysis. The different components are color, linescale, space, and mass. The overall use of these elements is called composition. Although these are two separate topics in a sense they relate to each other. Both critical pedagogy and formal analysis encourage you to thoroughly examine thing and to think critically. I can see how formal analysis has helped me. Before when looking at an image, questions would pop into my mind however now I think more of it and I pay closer attention to details.

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Formal Analysis

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When looking at a piece of art what is the first thing you see or do? I often tend to make observations and questions like,  this object appears to be bigger than the rest, why is that? why is it important? or notice that certain color choices make the painting feel warm and welcoming. Well by doing this we are essentially using Formal Analysis.

What is it? Formal Analysis is a method used to interpret art. In other words Formal Analysis is basically trying to figure out what the artist is trying to communicate by closely examining and questioning the physical piece of art. How do we do this? We do this by taking into account the various components of Formal Analysis and seeing how the artist uses them collectively. These components are color, linescale, space, and mass.  “The term composition is used is to describe how an artist puts together all these elements in the work of art. In formal analysis, you will ask how these elements – line, color, space and mass, scale, – contribute to the work’s overall composition and visual effect” Once we have analyzed the composition we might be able to determine the subject matter. (however most of the time we may also need to do some outside research this is called contextual analysis which comes hand in hand with formal analysis.)


Pedagogy and Power

What is the Banking Model?

The Banking model is a term Paulo Freire uses, to explain how the education system works. In the Pedagogy of the Oppressed Freire describes the Banking Model as students being like “empty containers” that they are “filled” by teachers and our sole purpose is to “receive, memorize, and repeat.” or “Education thus becomes an act of depositing, in which the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor.” like banking. In other words the teachers know everything and the students know nothing. This empowers teachers for we as students are taught to accept the information given without questioning it, taking away the chance for us to think critically.

The closest I have come to encountering this model was with a teacher who gave great amounts of information with out clarifying it. She would expect us to know everything and wouldn’t really tell us why it was important often just leaving us memorize. It sometimes made it harder to understand but it also made you put in more effort into the class.

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