Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Development of Art Essay

The Influence of the Social, Political, or Economic Conditions on the Development of Art
Art and culture cannot exist separately from the society. They both belong to people and are produced by them, and that is why they usually become a reflection of political, social and economic changes in the society. If we study and compare the art of different periods of our history, we will notice that technique always corresponds to other fields of human life. Each global political, social or economic change has always provoked the development of new trends in art and culture. Art does not exist separately as it still belongs to people, who make the part of the society. That’s why whatever an artist expresses through his works, he voluntary or involuntary illuminates the tendencies of the society he lives in.

For example, Baroque style, which appeared at the beginning of the 17th century in Italy and became quickly widespread all over the Europe, reflected new changes in the world’s political and religious scene. Considerable changes in the structure of the Church and the wave of Protestant Reformation have changed the state of the world religion forever and weakened the influence of the Roman church. The power and even the meaning of the Church were transformed. Significant changes also required the appearance of the new art called Baroque. In the middle of the 16th century, church authorities addressed to the prominent people of art with the demand to make the art more understandable for illiterate, ordinary people. Such a conception became later reflected in the Baroque. Baroque appealed to the feelings of the people rather than their rational side. Emotions, space, drama, and grandeur, which became the main characteristics of the Baroque style, appealed to the emotive side of the personality. These characteristic features can be found in the paintings of Peter Paul Rubens for Marie de Medici in Luxemburg palace or Bernini’s sculpture Saint Theresa in Ecstasy for the Cornaro chapel.

Neoclassicism came to change Baroque in art. Neoclassicism lasted from the middle of the 18th till the beginning of the 19th century. In contrast to the ostentation of Baroque, Neoclassicism turned to the Classical art of ancient Greece and Rome. Growing interest in ancient culture was also inspired by the founding of Pompeii and Herculaneum ruins. It illustrated the attention to old traditions and classical style. Artists used Biblical themes and works of art as a basis to create new things. They transformed and changed ancient motives making them serve their purposes. So, Neoclassicism became a unique combination of modern motives in the art with old themes, methods, and tendencies.

People, tired of grandeur and ostentation of Baroque wanted to come back to classical, more reserved and straightforward art. Neoclassicism reflected the development of sciences and interest to rational aspect of human life. So, rationality and great growing interest in traditions became the main characteristics of this style of art. Jacques Louis David, a French painter, created his works in Neoclassical style. Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres also was the representative of this form of art. 

Antonio Canova from Italy and John Flaxman from England were famous neoclassic sculptors.

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Germain Bazin, Baroque and Rococo Art, 1974 

Walter Friedlaender, David to Delacroix, 1980