Not knowing much about Renaissance Art when I first started the unit, I could only infer from what I know about the Renaissance in general. The beliefs that were taken from classical literature from ancient Greece and Rome were reborn in the Renaissance and they focused greatly on the ideas of glorifying humans instead of God.
So, looking around the Internet and books to get the idea of Renaissance Art was interesting and very logical to me. What I saw were different pictures and texts, talking about the ideas of glorifying humans coming through in the artists work. In McKay, the class textbook, and in class discussions we discovered that the artists were painting very humanistic things and ideas. The painting “School of Athens” by Raphael, he painted people studying math and science, and trying to achieve the perfect gentlemen. According to McKay, the artists would be hired by anyone and would most commonly paint portraits. This is different fro the Medieval Era because instead of painting and glorifying God, the painter is glorifying a human, which is a very humanistic quality.
I found on Wikipedia that in the 1860’s the Renaissance ideas and concepts in paintings were thrown out the window to try a new style, modern art. From the newfound freedom emerged Cubism, Impressionism, and Abstract Expressionism. From Kottke.org, Van Gough made Impressionism famous. Impressionist paintings are that of which the painter feels about what he or she sees. I think Van Gough’s paintings of the water lilies really illustrate aspects of Modern Art, like the messy brush strokes, but also has a Humanism aspect to it also, the lilies. It’s something from this world that was important to him to someone representing humans.
I believe Cubism and Abstract Expressionism are very similar is the way they are presented to the viewer. Picasso made cubism famous while Jackson Pollock made Abstract Expressionism well known. Normally both art forms are abstract and different from the way the original subject appears.
The difference between the Renaissance and Modern Art is the subject and manner in which the painting is drawn. Renaissance Art mostly consisted of portraits of important people, nobility, royalty, or high paid merchants, or anyone else who could afford a painter. Modern Art is known for consisting wild brush stroke and an odd interpretation of the subject.
1. “Modern Art.” Wikipedia. Web. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_art
2. “Modern Art History.” All Buy Art. Web. http://www.allbuyart.com/art-movements.asp
3. “A History of Modern Art in Three Paragraphs.” Kottke.com. Web. http://kottke.org/09/08/a-history-of-modern-art-in-three-paragraphs
4. McKay, John P. A History of Western Society. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. Print.