Renaissance and Baroque: the Epochs’ Greatest Examples Essay
The Renaissance and The Age of Baroque are great epochs. It was then when people learnt to open up new horizons. People began living in accord with their restless minds. They also learnt a lot from nature. These epochs can be called the most passionate periods in the history of humanity. People living in the contemporary society have lost that spirit of the great epochs. However, modern people can still feel the greatness of their ancestors’ minds looking at the most remarkable works of the Renaissance and the Age of Baroque. Admittedly, if people ever find mysterious time capsule, they will find the best examples of the both epochs.
When speaking about the art of the Renaissance, one often thinks of Leonardo da Vinci. This great master is considered to be one of the pillars of the epoch (Fiero, 2011). Of course, the time capsule would contain the famous Mona Lisa (circa 1510s). This picture is a manifestation of the major achievements of the epoch: shadow, perspective, precision and a bit of mystery. One more work to be found in the time capsule is one of the best works by another master of Renaissance, Raphael. Of course, this is his painting Madonna del Prato (1506). This picture is a manifestation of the ideas of the Renaissance: humanism, living in accord with nature, specific technique (perspective, shadow).
As far as music is concerned, it is possible to state that Guillaume Dufay is one of the most remarkable figures of the epoch (Fiero, 2011). This composer created numerous works which were quite revolutionary at his time. He used harmony which was a great step towards the modern music. Ecclesie Militantis is a great illustration of the aforesaid. Missa de Beata Virgine is one more work which would definitely be in the time capsule. This piece was created by one of the most influential composers of the Renaissance Josquin (Fiero, 2011).
The time capsule would also contain some drawings or descriptions of the best examples of architecture. Of course, Filippo Brunelleschi’s Santo Spirito (Florence) will be depicted. The Gothic architecture seemed too out-of-date and Brunelleschi “had to invent his own system” (Woods, 2007, p. 159). He combined the experience of antiquity, best elements of Romanesque style and added something of his own. Of course, his works are based on one of the major principles of his epoch: reliance on antiquity. Admittedly, Raphael’s work on the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter should be also highlighted in the depiction of the greatest creation of the epoch as the great artists followed the same principles of Renaissance while working on the great edifice.
It goes without saying that the greatest philosopher of the Renaissance is Niccolo Machiavelli. Therefore, his work The Discorses on Livy (1517) should be also in the time capsule. The book is a manifestation of principles of humanism which was the most important trait of the Renaissance. Another book which can be regarded as the humanism manifesto is Pico della Mirandola’s work The Oration on the Dignity of Man (1486).
Finally, the greatest examples of the Renaissance literature should also be in the time capsule. In the first place, it is Dante’s Divina Commedia (1308-1321) which is one of the first and best examples of the literature of the epoch. This work is the thinker’s reflection on his life and the society he lived in. The work has many references to ancient thinkers’ works. The principles of humanism are promulgated in the work. The collection of Shakespearean sonnets would also be in the time capsule. This great poet and playwright created short poems which embodied the major principles of the Renaissance: humanism and love to antiquity.
The Age of Baroque
One of the greatest representatives of the Age of Baroque is the great artist Vermeer. Of course, his famous work Girl With a Pearl Earring (1665) should be in the time capsule. Even though it is a portrait, the painting reveals one of the main concepts of Baroque, i.e. motion and detail (Maiorino, 2008). It seems that the girl simply glanced at the viewer just to continue her work. Rembrandt, one more pillar of Baroque, should be represented in the time capsule. His work Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer (1660) also captures motion in the figure of the contemplating philosopher.
As far as music of that period is concerned, it is necessary to mention the great composer Vivaldi and his divine work The Four Seasons (1723). This work is a manifestation of one more principle of the Age of Baroque, i.e. rich ornamentation. His intricate music made people admire the great power of this art form. Of course, one more work to be found in the time capsule is Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier (1722) which is also characterized by ornamentation and force.
It goes without saying that architecture of that period manifested the major principles of the epoch: motion, force, drama and ornamentation. Of course, one of the most beautiful works is Baldacchino (1624-1633) where “sculpture and architecture blended together” (Maiorino, 2008, p. 108). The description of this Bernini’s work would be definitely in the time capsule. The description of Salvi’s Trevi Fountain would also be there as this amazing construction is one of the best examples of the Age of Baroque. There is everything in it: motion and force (water), ornamentation and precision (stone).
Philosophy of that period was characterized by the chase for truth. People wanted to answer many questions which people of Renaissance asked. Philosophers of the Age of Baroque tried to categorize everything. Rene Descartes is one of the greatest representatives of the epoch and his work The World (1629-33) could be found in the time capsule. This work reveals Descartes’s eagerness to categorize everything and give some answers. He revealed his philosophy in this book. Another work to be found in the time capsule is Ethics (1677) by Spinoza who depicted the world, the reality as he saw it. Of course, the book is full of explanations and categories.
Finally, one of the literary works to be found in the time capsule is Simplicius Simplisissimus (1668) by Grimmelshausen. This work as any literary work of that period is rich in numerous expressive devices. Again, the book can be regarded as a manifestation of the principle of ornamentation. One more work which could be found in the time capsule is Marino’s work Adonis (1623) which is often referred to as the example of a Baroque work where form is more important than the content.
Therefore, the time capsule would contain the best examples of the two epochs. It is possible to state that the examples of the Renaissance would share the following characteristics: humanism, precision, new forms and new horizons. As far as the examples of the Age of Baroque are concerned, they would be characterized by the following: motion, ornamentation, force and precision (categorization).
Fiero, G.K. (2011). The Humanistic Tradition (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Maiorino, G. (2008). The Cornucopian Mind and the Baroque Unity of the Arts. Giancarlo University Park, PA: Penn State Press.
Woods, K.W. (2007). Making Renaissance Art. London: Yale University Press.
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