Once again go over the “Ideals of Classicism” from the Week 3 folder.
Then look at the High Renaissance paintings shown below. Do not look at the XVII century Baroque painting at the bottom just yet.
Try to find things that are in common for all or most of the High Renaissance paintings, various characteristics – visual, formal, what they display, in what way, how are things/people dispositioned on the canvas, the mood, how you feel about the painting, how well you can understand what is depicted, anything you can think of. Focus on visual aspects and the way story/subject is depicted, not on the story/subject itself. Write all those things you find in common for the High Renaissance paintings down on a piece of paper.
HIGH RENAISSANCE PAINTINGS:
The following paintings are:
Leonardo da Vinci: The Last Supper (1495-8)
Raphael: The School of Athens(1509-11), Madonna del cardellino(1505-6), Sposalizio(1504)
THE BASIC IDEALS OF CLASSICISM ARE:
REASON – INTELLECT – LOGIC – UNDERSTANDING
Necessary mental approach:
RESTRAINT – MODERATION – SELF-CONTROL
Striving for: PERFECTION -IDEALIZATION – REALISM
Visual stylistic characteristics: SIMPLICITY – PROPORTION – ORDER – BALANCE – HARMONY
CLARITY OF STRUCTURE – SYMMETRY – MATHEMATICAL PRINCIPLES – GEOMETRIC REGULARITY Mood: CALM – PEACEFUL – STILL Focus on: FORM (rather than feeling)
We humans have two major sides of our nature – we are rational and emotional creatures. These two are opposite qualities, often in conflict. While ancient Greeks recognized both and tried to live their lives in the best balance of the two, a strong tendency to learn about the world they live in made them choose rational approaches as the right way to finding truths they were searching for.
We call this philosophical and aesthetic approach, CLASSICISM.
Born in the Classical Greece, this general mindset was clearly reflected in philosophy, art, architecture, drama and other aspects of Greek life. It was copied to a great deal by ancient Romans; hence the Greco-Roman world is often called Classical Antiquity.
Classicism has periodically been reborn throughout the history of Western civilization, exchanging place with anti-classical approach, oppositely based on feelings and emotions. Some of the anti-classical elements have been introduced in the art of Hellenistic period and in the ancient Rome, although we still consider these periods to be a part of the ancient Classical world.
Now, here is a Baroque painting (L’Enlèvement des Sabines by Nicolas Poussin, 1634-5). Look at it. It probably has a lot in common with High Renaissance paintings. But can you find aspects of this painting that do not fit into whatever you have found to be common characteristics of Renaissance paintings?
INITIAL POST INSTRUCTIONS:
1 – List and explain all the characteristics that you have found, that given High Renaissance paintings have in common.
2 – List all the visual differences that the given Baroque painting has, in comparison to the High Renaissance artworks.