Romanticism, Baroque and Renaissance Paintings’ Analysis Essay

November 13, 2020 by Essay Writer

This paper is aimed at discussing three paintings that represent such periods in the history of art as Romanticism, the Baroque and the Renaissance. It is possible to focus on such artworks as the Wanderer above the Sea of Fog by Caspar Friedrich, The Taking of Christ by Caravaggio, and Raphael’s The School of Athens. These painting have been chosen because they illustrate the main themes and techniques used by artists who represent cultural epochs. These are the main questions that should be discussed more closely.

In his painting Wanderer above the Sea of Fog1, Caspar Friedrich depicts a man who stands among the ridges and looks at the fog-covered mountains. The face of this man is hidden from the viewers and it is possible only to see his hair flow in the wind. The person looks at the landscape, and one can discern the trees on the top of some ridges. However, the overall impression is that the entire landscape is filled with fog. This painting has been chosen because Caspar Friedrich to depict a typical Romantic or even Byronic character who does not seeks exile or solitude. Such a person pays more attention to nature, rather than social relations. It seems that Caspar Friedrich gives an excellent portrayal of such an individual. This is why this artwork can be regarded as a good example of Romantic painting.

Secondly, one should look at such a painting The Taking of Christ2 by Caravaggio who is viewed as one of the most prominent representatives of the Baroque art. This painting depicts Jesus who is captured by Roman soldiers. Moreover, one can see two of Jesus’ pupils, namely John and Judas. Caravaggio focuses on Jesus’ reaction to the arrival of soldiers. He seems to be impervious to the threat of arrest. In contrast, John attempts to flee. This painting represents some of the main techniques used by Baroque artists. Much attention should be paid to the sharp contrast between dark and light. This technique is known as chiaroscuro. Furthermore, Caravaggio paints a very dark background, and one cannot tell where the action takes place. Overall, Baroque painters also adopt this approach. Finally, one should mention religious theme play an important role for many Baroque painters or sculptors. These are the main characteristics that can be distinguished.

Finally, one should focus on the famous fresco The School of Athens3 created by Raphael. The author depicts the most important Greek philosophers such as Socrates, Aristotle, or Plato. The characters are located in a building that resembles the classical examples of Roman and Greek architecture. It should be kept in mind that in this fresco, Raphael depicts some of his prominent contemporaries such as Leonardo da Vinci or Bramante. There are several reasons why this fresco can be viewed as a prominent example of Renaissance painting. First of all, one should mention the artists’ fascination with classical art and philosophy. Secondly, it is important to speak about the softening of edges. Moreover, the transition between is softened. These methods were employed by many Renaissance painters like Leonardo da Vinci or Botticelli.

These examples suggest that there are certain artworks which can be viewed as classical examples of different art period. The chosen painting represents the most eloquent characteristics of the Renaissance, the Baroque, and Romanticism.

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