The Renaissance is a cultural movement that began in Europe at the turn of the 14th to 17th century or a period between the classical and modern eras. More than its cultural essence, the Renaissance period was known for its developments in art, painting, philosophy, architecture, and other intellectual aspects. It was an era that saw the greatest growth and development in Western Europe.
A1. Renaissance art took its shape from the social conditions that existed at the time that shaped the political structure of Europe. The cultural weirdness of Italy existed, as there was no political form during the early modern period that resulted in artistic and academic advances. This freedom opened doors to trade around the world that brought wealth to Italy by commissioning artwork from her.
Renaissance artists sought human emotions and realism in art. They focused on making human representations with a natural background. They took the approach of Humanism, placing more emphasis on man than on God, which was reflected in their sculptures and paintings. The Early Renaissance period focused more on creating sculptures based on personality and behavior, while the High Renaissance focused more on balance and drama. Renaissance artists were heavily inspired by Roman and Greek art that used nude human bodies with personality in their art. His attempt to achieve perfection in the human arts for expression, personality, and emotions reduced social hierarchies in people’s status, resulting in everyone wanting to learn and share their ideas and skills.
A2. Neoclassicism was a predominant movement in the mid-18th and late 19th centuries in European art and architecture. He focused on classical Western art forms from ancient Greece and Rome. It was partly a movement that had started as a reaction to the Baroque and Rococo styles. It became a predominant part of academic art that continued until the 19th century to become visible as museums of neoclassical architecture.
Neoclassical art aimed to revive the European Age of Enlightenment that was classical Greek and Roman art forms. His aim was to contain the “purity” of Roman arts and he was critical of the Baroque and Rococo styles. Neoclassicism gained importance in France and England spreading to Sweden. He made use of the classical essence related to courage and nationalism.
Neoclassicism aimed to revive classical styles through the use of crisp colors and classical themes. They avoided light and soft colors in their paintings that represented calm and grandeur. The Neoclassicals revived Greek painting styles through the use of mosaics, columns, engravings, and other ornamental elements in their work.
A3. The Renaissance signified the renaissance of the arts, science and medicine and was an era responsible for most of the radical developments and movements in Europe. So much so, that it is also used to describe other great cultural and historical moments. The Classical Renaissance gave rise to the Baroque style, which was more dramatic and direct. Therefore, Neoclassicism was nothing more than a reaction to the Baroque style to preserve the purity of the ancient Roman arts. Furthermore, Neoclassicism remained one of the most prominent in the academic arts.
- The Renaissance period was known for its humanistic approach to art, while Neoclassical art focused on purer, more classical elements of style;
- The Renaissance period brought radical developments in the arts, philosophy, and medicine, while neoclassical art was the foremost in the academic arts;
- Renaissance artists believed in more natural and expressive nude art sculptures, while Neoclassical artists incorporated ornamental elements into their work;
- The Renaissance period opened doors to new ideas and developments, while the Neoclassicism period focused on retaining the Age of Enlightenment.
A3b. The Renaissance era was one of the most influential and flourishing periods during the 15th and 16th centuries and led to important cultural developments for almost three centuries. Renaissance art was born out of an evolving civilization whose pursuit of realism and scientific perfection resulted in some of the most important works and achievements in the arts, science, architecture, and philosophy. The hallmark of Renaissance art is its dedication to the classical arts with a renewed interest in Roman styles that featured nude human sculpture without landscapes in a natural setting. It was an important era that brought wealth to Europe and its artistic freedom allowed skilled craftsmen to flourish.
A3b1. Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) was one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance. Also known as the ‘Renaissance Man’, he was born in Italy and was a renowned painter who became a scholar in many fields including music, science, mathematics and botany. He is considered one of the most diversely talented people he has ever lived. Mona Lisa is one of the most renowned works of its time that was highly appreciated. The Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait from the 16th century that was made in oil and of a seated woman.
Andrea Appiani (1754-1817) Born in Milan, he was an Italian neoclassical painter. He trained with Carlo Maria Giudici and learned to paint by copying sculptures. His best works are in the church of San Maria presso San Celso and the royal palace in Milan. Some of his oil paintings include Venus and Love, and Rinaldo in Armida’s Garden.
A3b2. Madame Hamelin (1776-1851) was one of the works of neoclassical painter Andrea Appiani that bears a similar resemblance to Leonardo Da Vinci’s Monal Lisa. Both are half-length oil portraits of half-seated women reflecting natural facial expressions in which their hands are folders with similar values and artistic styles to each other.
A3c. Neoclassicism reached its period of greatest influence in the arts during the 1780s to the 1850s. New discoveries and archaeological settings paved the way for classical themes that also resulted from the reaction of Rococo styles. Neoclassicism retained its classical antiquity and coexisted with its opposite form of romantic art. Artists of the neoclassical era replaced religious and mythological objects with bold, simple, realistic objects. IN the 1830s, the era of neoclassicism was replaced by romanticism.