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Renaissance and the Baroque Periods

The Renaissance and Baroque periods are just some of the eras in history that can be considered as the most elegant and artistic in nature. Art, music, and literature flourished well in these cultural movements as well as architectural designs, and a wide diversity of different philosophies. These creative realms are considered as the most fashionable in the eras of Renaissance and Baroque and these were the times wherein artists are appreciated well for their works. (“Wikipedia: Renaissance period,” 2007)

Renaissance, which also means ‘rebirth’ and ‘reconstruction’, was an era that occurred roughly in the 14th to 17th century. As the name suggests, the Renaissance period was the rebirth of humanism and the revival of learning based on classical sources. It is also the time wherein the cultural achievements were reconstructed in all forms of art; influencing literature, philosophy, religion, science, art, and politics. This was the time when the artists became comfortable in displaying individualism and freedom in their works, abandoning the strict ways of the modern era.

The artworks in this period pertain mostly to the church but some also have purely figurative themes. Jacobos de Voragine’s works were the ones that first inspired religious symbolism particularly his creation called The Golden Legend. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper was also one of the most widely known pieces of art in this period which features the moment of the last supper when Jesus announced that one of his twelve followers is going to betray him.

Artists like Lassus, Byrd, and Palestrina were able to display the distinctive musical qualities of the Renaissance period through their works which have polyphonic styles and imitative and smooth qualities. Keyboard instruments called the clavichord and virginal were invented in this time and the collection of instrumental music also began to grow considerably. (“The Renaissance Period,” 2007) Fillipo Brunelleschi was one of the innovators of the Renaissance architectural style and his approach quickly became popular in France, Germany, England, and Russia.

The features of Classical Roman architecture were the ones adopted by the Renaissance architects who emphasized the regularity, geometry, symmetry, and proportion of their creations. Examples of these structures were Fillipo Brunelleschi’s Basilica de San Lorenzo which was one of the largest and oldest churches in Florence and Bramante’s San Prieta in Montorio which was inspired by circular Roman temples. (“Wikipedia: Renaissance period,” 2007) Renaissance philosophy is the rebirth of the elements of learning and classical philosophy.

Aristotle who dominated the later part of medieval philosophy was taken over again by Plato and some philosophers’ enthusiasm towards Hermeticism and the occult also grew during this era. Renaissance literature, on the other hand, can also be considered as European literature because of its style. The literary movement created vernacular and Latin poetry, prose fiction, and history which were inspired by classical models. The Canterbuy Tales, Frame Tale, and Decameron were just some of the most famous literary works during this period.

The ancient Portuguese noun ‘barroco’ indicates to a pearl that has an irregular and elaborate shape. The word Baroque was derived from this because this period represents the time wherein the styles were exaggerated and the easily interpreted details were applied to create drama, sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music. The Roman Catholic Church was then considered as the main ‘customer’ of this era since it ordered to use the arts of this period in expressing religious themes. (“Wikipedia:Baroque Period,” 2007)

This era’s visual art was considered extraordinary because it acquires a sense of intensity, immediacy, and individualism in their concepts. Bernini’s work called Saint Theresa in Ecstasy was one of the most frequently quoted example of this art because it combined the concepts of architecture, sculpture, and theater into one. (“Wikipedia:Baroque Period,” 2007) When it comes to architecture, the architects worked more on the colonnades, domes, and the concepts of volume and void. Some of the examples of Renaissance architecture were the Ludwigsburg palace in England and Catherine Palace in Russia.

Ludwigsburg was one of the grandest courts in Europe and was famous for its beautiful baroque garden. Catherine palace, on the other hand, was exceptional because of its enchanting exterior of gilded facades and breath-taking statues on the roof. In music, on the other hand, new musical styles were born like Concerto and symphonia, while the oratoria, cantata, and sonata also flourished. The most popular maestro’s of this time were G. F. Handel and J. S. Bach. (“Wikipedia:Baroque Period,” 2007) Baroque literature used metaphor and allegory as well as realism.

Marino’s Maraviglia used artifices and was created with a pure, mere form. Don Quixote by Cervantes was another example which is a novel about Alfonso Quixano’s belief on the concept of chivalry. The philosophy, however, developed new values and an example of this was virtuosity which gave birth to the concept of virtuoso. It became a common stature in the form of art. Metaphor and allegory was also used to summarize this ethics.

REFERENCES: The Renaissance Period. (2007). Wikipedia: Renaissance period. (2007). Wikipedia:Baroque Period. (2007).

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