Art as a product of its context: baroque, romanticism and neoclassicism art

Art as a Product of Its Context: Baroque, Romanticism and Neo icism Art Introduction Humankind has demonstrated over the years that aesthetics is a vital component of their lives. Such love for aesthetics has been expressed in the form of drawings, curving, painting and architecture amongst other things. The older society and the contemporary society have had their unique approach to art. Each style of art depicts some aspects about the society as at that particular time. Owing to this, this paper shall analyze baroque, romanticism and neoclassicism art using thesis statement: art is the unspoken word in human society that keeps track of societal change over time (Stokstad and Cothren 432). Baroque Art Baroque art developed in the latter parts of the 16th century. It was developed on a foundation of religious connotations and a seemingly authoritarian world order in the early part of the 17th century (Stokstad and Cothren 219). During the Baroque era, artists were beginning to explore news forms of architecture that emphasized light over the traditional form of art. The hegemony and the authoritarianisms of the Catholic Church is one of the societal social and political orders that demarcate the boundaries of the baroque period. Many buildings in Italy probably depict the baroque period more than many places in the west. Baroque Sicily in Italy (Modica) In the above architecture in Italy, it has been observed that the 1693 earthquake also motivated the new style of building. This style was delivered in a style that emphasized lighting and as such, there many buildings had many windows. Form and shape were mostly delivered in a popular oval shapes for door-archways and dome shaped finishes. The contrast between lighting and shade, achieved through a style that encouraged many openings, is also unique trend in the society during this time. It has also been observed that Baroque architecture is also a reminder of European colonialism. Many European countries were increasingly looking for overseas colonies. The returns from overseas economies supported European nation economies during this period and many building came up. Consequently, Baroque architecture preserves the cultural and political history of the late 16th Century and 17th Century Europe in the form of architectural buildings. Baroque architecture reveals that many states in the west colonialism as a political culture with economic agenda. Romanticism Art This period began in the 19th century. During this period, the society overly focused on the beauty of things, aesthetic descriptions that went into very small details. Many historians believe that this period was most apparent between the 1800 and 1850 (Stokstad and Cothren 611). Artists in this era focused on portraying the aesthetic value with rich colors and harmonies of various kinds. Even so, works of art in this period still portray the cultural, political and social context of the society. Political notions such as liberalisms and radicalism were the fore runners of this period before the birth of nationalism towards the end of the century. An art done by Jacques Louis David depicting Napoleon Bonaparte is a good example of a work of art in this period. Napoleon Crossing the Alps From the above painting by David, one gets to understand the cultural context of the western society then. Politically, many nations were still governed by monarchs. Napoleon who later became an emperor was disturbing the balance of power in Europe. The artist’s portrayal of him crossing the Alps was actually propaganda to overemphasize his might. Culturally, the French society was undergoing changes in customs and practices. After the hunger for bread matches that later saw the French monarch overthrown, the Romantic period was also characterized by wars of conquest in Europe (Stokstad and Cothren 618). Turkey was losing her superiority and after Russian winter stopped Napoleon’s conquest, new power relations emerged that ushered the 20th century with colonization of Africa by European powers. Neoclassicism Art Neoclassicism is almost more of a contemporary art as it is not in a distant past. This type of art covers both the 19thCentury and 20th Century. It represents the modern art. It may itself be engrossed in the dilemma of explaining what modern and post-modern art implies. A good example can be found in form of Lincoln’s statue at The Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln (1805-1865) In the above sculptor of Lincoln, one is able to understand the social and political context of the American society. This was a time when the United States was forging its political landscape and values (Stokstad and Cothren 830). Democracy, in the words of Lincoln was born during this time. Socially, the society was enlightened though not perfect. Issues of slavery were still an issue. The Northern states went into war with the southern states to end this social evil. The context of the society may be understood to be transformative especially through the prism of neoclassicism. Many innovations were improved on during this period and various works of art depict that. Work Cited Stokstad, Marilyn and Cothren Michael. Art History Volume 1. (5th Ed.). London: Pearson, 2013. Print.