Compare-and-Contrast Essay on Middle Ages Art and the Renaissance Art

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Wesleyan University
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When focusing on comparing and contrasting the two periods of art, less artistic examples offer a starker representation of completely changing ideas than the middle Ages art against the Renaissance art. The period of Middle-Age art lasted for 1000 years, it started in 400AD right after the Western Roman Empire and extended up to the beginning of the Early Renaissance. The Renaissance is known as a period in the European history between the 14th to the 17th century, bridging Middle Ages with the modern history. There was a great difference between the art during the Renaissance and the Middle Ages, accompanied with the contrasting concepts and characteristics. In the world of medieval, religion was life to them, and every aspect of life characterized on church and God. Medieval Art intention in art was to teach religion to the people who are not literate. The Medieval culture heavily influenced the arts through the religious themes. While in the times of the Renaissance the artists' main focus was to develop art in a much humanistic manner, it showed the realism with paintings that have lifelike human figures. Renaissance was meant for humanism to show the importance of people and their nature (Renaissance art. 2017). Middle age, art is closely related to the belief and religion that made-up the basis of European society at that time. The church was the major institution that exercised the heavy amount of economic and political power. During this period, Medieval, the church remained to be the key patron of the art, and this is reflected in their works. A figure that had much prominence were largely drawn compared to the rest, they were also motionless, they could be sited or standing without portrayal of movement. The following essay will discuss the difference in the role of ideas between the two periods, Middle age and Renaissance. Te following essay will discuss the role of ideas in the Renaissance compared to that of Middle-Age, this will also answer question regarding the comparison peoples religious and secular believes in both periods.

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Difference in Architecture

Architecture took a notable shift from the religious form to classical with respect to Medieval era and the Renaissance. In the Middle age period, architecture was intended at mainly making progress in the churches. The architectural structures in Medieval art were portrayed in the Gothic art and Romanesque. The style of the architecture is portrayed by ribbed vaults and pointed arches. The Medieval cathedrals were characterized by distinctive features like the pointed spires or steeples that extended towards the up direction from the tower area; the rising windows were positioned at the front of the tower, also the walls were squared-off from the exterior the design that every person was familiar with. Generally, cathedrals at this time had elegant features because of the excellent techniques of stabilization and support. Butterflies were the extension of the cathedral walls that were used to promote, support, while the flying buttresses, where the structure of stones that were set away from the walls of the cathedral and they were enclosed at the top, enhancing a firm support for the Medieval cathedrals. Whereas, architectural development in the Middle-Age period, mainly involved the making stylish reformation in the cathedral's structure. The form of art incorporated fine stonework and woodwork, also it had ornamental gables and flying buttresses for decorations. An appropriate example of the medieval age, art is the Notre Dame Cathedral located in Paris. The Medieval art showed the passionate, idealistic and interest expression of the Christian, more particular, catholic faith. A lot of the medieval artistic specialists extended towards of Gothic churches in devoutness to God. The architecture is designed together with their interior decor illustrated an enthusiastic expression of the inner religious faith of the people during the Middle Ages. The artists intention was to use Medieval art to make churches appear like heaven, they accomplished it by making the churches to appear colorful, bright and soaring. Unlike the renaissance art, the Medieval art commonly applied buttress on their buildings (Middle Ages Art. 2017). There is no much difference between Gothic and Romanesque. Romanesque had Rounded Arches, thick walls, and Wooden Ceilings Examples include, Abbey Church of Saint Foy and Bell tower of Angouleme Cathedral, Charente, SW France.

In the Renaissance, the architectures were less concerned with religion and it was more classical and secularity. The architect involved themselves more with the designs of the castles, like the home of the main Italian Medici family, which is the richest family in Europe. The focus of the architect during the Medieval era had diverted from the cathedral into more secular and classical subjects like homes for the prominent rulers as well as castles. As compared to the structural support of the renaissance structure, the buildings of medieval times visible structures that was not much incorporate into the buildings (Art of Manliness, 2017). While the Renaissance architecture had their buildings with a visible support though it was not much noticeable and they were not more significant in most of the buildings; though if it was, it was properly incorporated into designs. And it was in the form of pillars and pilasters, then arches were applied for support. The Renaissance architectural designs used proportion and symmetry, similar to those of Rome and Greece with strategically placed hemispherical domes and columns, the buildings were also symmetric and square. Examples of Renaissance buildings include Palazzo Medici and many others.

Difference in Paints

The painting during the Middle-Age was much unrealistic, hence they failed to portray lifelike figures (Medieval Art, 2017). The images had no detail while the background was typically gold. In the painting, the central figures were painted in the larger form compared to the less weighty object. The artist's aim was for their creations to emphasize on the inner religious strength and meaning of the church through paintings. The Roman Catholic Church, as well as the Holy Land, were the dominant landscape through Middle-Age painting. There were the wide variety of mediums applied by the artists. For instance, stained glass, frescos, and murals (Medieval Art, 2017).

The subjects, styles and entire attitude of painting went a significant transformation in the periods of progress from Medieval times to the Renaissance. As Renaissance, painting changed completely into less a less religious aspect. As for the Medieval paintings, it majorly concentrated entirely in religious entities and resembled heavenly attributes, whereas Renaissance was made up of secular subjects and it had a lot of realism, mostly noted in the human subjects. Artists in Medieval were painted with stoicism, and expressed seriousness in their faces, lacking emotions. The pictures were not large, they appeared to be flat and stiff. While the background was painted with one bright or vibrant color, often gold, but sometimes artist applied ordinary basic colors (European History images. 2017). The art was considered to be the connection between people and God and the main intention was to stand-in for peoples spiritual development. In one of the Medieval paintings, in Giotto's Madonna With Child, one will realize that the woman together with the child is unevenly proportioned, expressing some lack of realism. Although in the Renaissance paints, The Marriage of the Virgin, by Raphael and the Mona Lisa, by DaVinci, it is clear the extent of realism that the artist was trying to demonstrate, both paintings are exceptionally realistic, apparently very well-proportioned, three-dimensional, and the shading was of the high amount to emphasize the realism. On the view of the Medieval painting, many of the artists were religious destined and related to church while things related to church and religion was far related to Renaissance paintings (European History images. 2017). Somehow, Renaissance paintings entailed secular related subjects as demonstrated in the Raphael's The School of Athens together with DaVinci's Mona Lisa. With the view of DaVinci's Mona Lisa, the idea is just a woman showing a sublime smile, though there is no aspect showing anything to do with religion. The same notion can be applied in The School of Athens, the painting shows a group of philosophers in a domed and barrel-vaulted hall: it is clear that there is no religious connection that one can see there, either. In contrast, in the Medieval painting: The Annunciation, involves exactly with the religious aspects, an annunciation, which is observed by Christian churches associating it with the annunciation of Luke incarnation. As depicted in these examples, paintings assume a tremendous turn in Renaissance right from the religious related paintings of the Middle Ages.

Difference in Sculpture

Another form of art was Sculpture: The inside walls of Gothic churches, are lined with the sculpture of the holy family, the saints, together with that of the rulers. Medieval was closely linked to the catholic church and therefore, the human figure made of sculptures was portrayed with clothes, during that time, it was a taboo for a nude figure to be portrayed considering their religious status. When looking at the medieval (Gothic styled) church, you will realize that the human figures that are at the entry door look almost alike, this is because they are wearing robes or gowns. (European History images. 2017). For example, "Mourner" statue, and the "Reims Figures of the Middle Portal to the West", where the character is completely covered with the gown, even it is difficult to distinguish the gender of the statue. While the art sculptures during the Renaissance showed a figure of a nude human being in three dimensions. One of the most common examples is the art of David by Michelangelo. The sculpture showed the nudity of the person portrayed without covering any part, it included a penis to express the gender of the person as a male (European History images. 2017).

Difference in moral issues, nudity expression

Artists in the Renaissance did not have the view of the nude as something shameful or conflicting. Instead, they considered nude as reformed in ancient in classical antique reflected divine features and liberates the light that is heroic and pure. The work like Botticelli, Durer, Michelangelo, and Masaccio describe the deep understanding of nude statues during the Renaissance age. In the art world, classical renewal of nude art had particular functions attached to male and female nude. The female nudity art showing classical inspiration in the Renaissance such as Venus after Cabenal, invented recumbent figure, nakedly lying in domestic interior or landscape. However, others reflected the section of ancient statuary figure like Venus of Urbino shows the seductive warmth that is in the female body instead of the ideal geometry (American History images, 2017). The Venus and Adonis by Titian highlight naked goddess viewed from behind. Furthermore, Renaissance artist Leo Steinberg created another nude image of the Christ Child, it depicts the body of the undressed child as being held in his mother's arms, exposing the sex of the child, this was intended to express Christs theological status as God made the man ( 2017).

Difference in ideologies

Additionally, the utmost and the most eminent way that Renaissance and Medieval differ is in their position on philosophy. The notion regarding the transformation of the religious-oriented ideas through the Middle Ages until the Renaissance of s...

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