Throughout the past of Western art, there are two major epochs. These are the high renaissance and baroque periods of art. The significance of these eras stems from the fact that they contributed significantly to achievement in literature and culture. For example, the Renaissance Period, which started in the 13th century and ended in the 17th, was marked by music, architecture, and literature, all of which led to the growth of arts in the later era, the Baroque era, which began in the 17th century. Adrea Previtali and Luca Giordano-the slaying of Medusa from the Baroque period are two significant Renaissance artists. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to analyze Adrea Previtali and Luca Giordano works of art based on their stylistic styles, identify their subject matter, the origin of the artwork, reflect on the worldview, and compare and contrast the two types of arts based on the assumption that art expresses the cultural values of the society in which the artist lives/lived.
High renaissance period was characterized by idealistic humanism; the aspect dominated sculpture and painting. In fact, the artists mastered the idea of shading in their artwork. For example, Adrea Previtalihas focused on the Roman aspects especially Jesus. This is because the painting unfolded during the back-drop of political and religious tension. Adrea Previtali believed that it was time to promote Medieval Art and abandon nature. However, this notion was reversed by his successors such as Giatto. Fiero asserts that Adrea Previtali used different tones of color to create an almost imperceptible transition from light to dark (56). That is why the portraits of Adrea Previtali are characterized by the conspicuous use of oil painting. The famous artwork with similar characteristics is Leonardo da Vinci. The artist was cap[able of capturing dynamics in the society and manifestation of the theological concepts. Fieroasserts that Leonardo da Vinci wanted to reject the rigid geometric form of Albertina perspective and accept new realm (61). That is, the artist wanted to move away from the traditional way of painting in a bid to embrace oil painting. Both the Leonardo da Vinci and Adrea Previtali decided to paint the figure of Jesus where there was a gradation of tones.
On the other hand, Luca Giordano-the slaying of medusa provides influential artwork in the Baroque Art. This is because it brought forever changes in the world as it marked the onset of the protestant reformation. Luca Giordanoused the oil on canvas to produce the slaying of medusa (Campbell and Jérémie 43). This depicts the dramatic use of color to bring out a wide contrast between the dark, light, and shadow. The similar artwork with similar stylistic is the world by Peter Paul Rubens work of Alethea Talbot with her husband. The artwork shows high contrast on the background through color and isolation of elements and figures.
The Adrea Previtali art- the annunciation, revolved on religion and human as its subject matter. That is, the artist wanted to attach more importance between God and human beings. As a result, the annunciation became a masterpiece mounted on the Church of Santa Maria in Meschio. According to Steinberg, Adrea Previtali wanted to depict the role God plays in human lives as well as offer stylistic aspects in the Italian culture (78). On the other hand, the subject matter in the Luca Giordanothe slaying of medusa was to draw the viewers to different religion realism. That is, the artist used his painting to criticize the Catholic Church since he believed that the Pope exercised supreme authority to justify faith. As such, the portrait was tasked to enlighten people to understand their faith in Europe.
Society and Culture Producing Artworks
Adrea Previtali depicted the Italian culture and ways of life through the annunciation work. Majority of those in Italy were Catholics who believed in Virgin Mary and Jesus. For example, they believed that the Pope prayed on their behalf to enable them experience grace from God. According to Campbell and Jérémie, during the renaissance period, believers carried out rituals in churches in order for them to please God thus receive blessings and ask for forgiveness (121). Therefore, the altarpiece incorporated ritual lessons. However, some sacred images covered other themes such as birth and marriage.
During the Baroque era, people were illiterate thereby making it difficult to explain the profound dogmas of faith (Steinberg 98). Although most of them were not religious, the artwork, Luca Giordano the slaying of medusa was designed to emotionally persuade, direct, and influence spiritual imagination of believers. The Dutch religion required believers to worship through the Pope, which was just human. In fact, the Council argued that God of greatness and power should be worshiped with kind of rituals and ceremonies (Fiero 121). However, the Calvinists and artists reasoned on the need for the church services to be a stripped-down affair and simple.
Adrea Previtalis artwork depicts his worldview as well as the Italian community. The society focused on the religious as revealed by the portrait in church depicts images such as Jesus. They believed that connection with God was the only way one could achieve good life and unity. In fact, Adrea Previtalis assertion that I am religious and through this painting, it has a religious meaning implied that they perceived the world through religious lens (Fiero 67). On the other hand, Luca Giordanoduring the Baroque era depicted the kind of life the Romans wanted to live. That is, they focused on the way human beings interacted in the society, but attached less importance to God. According to Campbell and Jérémie, the Catholic believed that Luca Giordano united with Protestants in order to strongly reaffirm the truth and position on religion (100). However, people were not happy with the way the Catholics dictated them to behave and act in the society, yet everyone had liberty to choose what was right and wrong.
Comparing and Contrasting the Two Artwork
Luca Giordano through the slaying of medusa reacted during the time when Christians reacted against the protestant movement while Adrea Previtali through the annunciation wanted to maintain the Catholic teaching in Rome. This reveals that whereas Luca Giordano had intended to transform the society, Adrea Previtali wanted to promote religious stability. On the other hand, both the artworks tended to focus on Judeo-Christian Bible. That is, both the arts communicated the need for the society to recognize God. The differences and similarities between the two artworks depicted the creators worldviews. That is, the protestant wanted the society follow the biblical commandments and not human beings while the Adrea Previtalis art employed the need for people to follow Catholic doctrine. As such, it is evident that all forms of art expresses the cultural values of the society in which an artist lives/lived in one way or the other.
Fiero, Gloria. The Humanistic Tradition Volume 1: Prehistory to the Early Modern World. Oxford: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2015. Print.
Campbell, Stephen J., and Jérémie, Koering. Andrea Mantegna: Making Art (History). New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2016.
Steinberg, Leo. The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014. Print.