Art History, Renaissance through Modern

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Art is an intimate reflection of history and society. By studying trends in artistic composition, techniques and movements, one can be able to develop insights to changing perceptions of social roles, issues and perspectives. Among the most notable artistic periods in history are the Renaissance, Rococo and Impressionist periods: they have remained popular to contemporary audiences yet remain distinct in their artistic tradition.


Renaissance was a reaction to the Middle Ages and serve as the foundation for the subsequent Baroque period in Europe. Its etymological meaning is "rebirth" of classical antiquity, pertaining to the revival of arts and sciences after it was diminished because of the emphasis on religion. However, it should be noted the majority of the art work where commissioned either for the Church or by supporters of it (Gombrich, 1995). The period also marked the significance developments in artistic technique which included the development of linear perspective, spatial composition and definition of the proportions for human form. The most notable artist of the period includes Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael as well as Boticelli who while was briefly eclipsed by the first three artists rose to contemporary regard. However, the Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael have been more specifically associated as High Renaissance artists or for the latter Renaissance arts (Stokstad, 2004).
One of the Botticelli's portraits, early example, if not more pure examples, of the renaissance style is featured in Figure 1. From the example, the subject, a woman of elite standing, dominates the frame. ...
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