The Baroque and High Renaissance

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With regard to architecture, music, visual art, and paintings, the Baroque and High Renaissance periods do represent important ones in the history of literature and art. Modern philosophies, principles, and art have been significantly influenced by artistic creations from this time era. Studies already conducted point to a strong correlation between these periods and creative creations. This contains a number of aesthetic parallels and contrasts between the two eras.

From 1490 to 1527, the high renaissance era was in full swing. This period was characterized by the complete implementation of classical humanism principles in sculpture, painting, and music. The use of realism methods was also evident in painting techniques. Some of the vital artists during this period were: Da Vinci and Michelangelo (Buelow 4). Music in the high renaissance was highly influenced by the advances in technology. Music had a blended texture rather than contrasting strands, was greatly influenced by religion which led to more church music. Nonetheless, humanism ideas also led to the generation of the secular music performed by dances and vocal music. Numerous artistic work in this era showed religious images like Virgin Mary and Madonna. Notably, artist in this period emerged from different social strata and worked under the guidance of older artists.

The Baroque period

The Baroque period represents the era in Western European art that lasted from 1600 to 1750. Art during this period showed the religious strife that lasted during the Roman Catholic efforts of reasserting its dominance during Protestant Reformation. The major traits of art during the Baroque period include the use of intense lighting, deep color, as well as shadow effects in creating a sense of drama. Most paintings depicted the vital elements of Renaissance and Catholic doctrine (Benton & DiYanni 46). Strategies like chiaroscuro and tenebrism were created with an objective of enhancing artworks mood. Painters assimilated the vital elements used by the artist in the Renaissance period and utilized swirling spirals and upward diagonals to show a firm movement sense showed in sculptures. The characteristics of Baroque included: the use of contrast as dramatic elements, the use of numerous musical instruments as well as the use of basso continuo and monody.

Relationship between the Baroque and the Renaissance Period


Baroque did assimilate various concepts from the High Renaissance period. Art, music, and literature from the Baroque period made major advancements and developments in trade and academia. Moreover, it also made advancements on the existing strife between different vital religious groups. Artist from the two periods was motivated by the same subjects with a major disparity being the incorporation of feeling as well as motion into art (Benton & DiYanni 67). Apart from that, another similarity is that art during the two periods was utilized in idolizing particular moments or develop and inspiration sense among individuals in support of a certain ruler. During the Renaissance, the classical forms showed a level of sobriety with unique attention provided to clearness and realism. Despite the factor that Baroque art was more complicated, art in this period depicted different realism senses compared to the renaissance period.


Despite the argument that there lacks a significant difference in art between Baroque and the High Renaissance periods, there is a major disparity in the form of artistic style between the two times. During the Renaissance era, artist failed to use emotions as they focused on incorporating perspective into their art to increase its depth. On the contrary, artist in the Baroque period used a sense of motion and drama in an objective of eradicating stillness in their art. The Baroque style showed a particular sense of feeling as well as realism to eliminate silence that existed in the Renaissance art.

Baroque art as an Expansion of Renaissance art

The Baroque art period did focus on the reviving religious themes as artwork subjects since the church made efforts of re-establishing its power through the commissioning expressive, expensive and large artworks. The artwork in Baroque period did incorporate activity and motion which made expansions in the art from achievements of painters in the Renaissance period. Additionally, artist in the Baroque period also focused on using realism in their part works (MacSwain & Taylor 85). An Italian Baroque artist, Nicolas Poussin concentrated in painting subjects that were from the classical antiquity. He carefully positions and constructed his paintings and used real images in his work. Most artworks from this era provide turmoil through dynamic compositions and their theatrics marked through light and dramatic movement. This enhanced the expansion of interest from an artist from the High Renaissance period of calmness in art.

In conclusion, the Baroque period can be described to have transformed and expanded the legacy of the high Renaissance period. Artist from the Baroque period advanced the styles, techniques as well as philosophies used in the high renaissance style. They incorporated dances and emotions in their work which made vocals more exciting and appealing. Additionally, the incorporation of emotions and new moves during performances also led to the expansion of secular art pieces that developed during the high renaissance. Therefore, it is vivid that, the baroque period could be explained as an advanced Renaissance period.

Works Cited

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Benton, Janetta R, and Robert DiYanni. Arts and Culture: An Introduction to the Humanities. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall, 1998. Print.

Buelow, George J. A History of Baroque Music. Bloomington, IN [u.a.: Indiana Univ. Press, 2004. Print.

MacSwain, Robert, and Taylor Worley. Theology, Aesthetics, and Culture: Responses to the Work of David Brown. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Print.

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July 07, 2023

Art History

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