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Cathleen B.
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  1. Introduction
  2. Baroque and Rococo
  3. The David of Gian Lorenzo Bernini
  4. Analysis
  5. Conclusion

The term "Rinascita" from which comes the word Renaissance, was coined by Giorgio Vasari (1568) to indicate a cycle, he identified, starting with Giotto and continuing with Masaccio, Donatello, Brunelleschi and culminating in the figure of Michelangelo Buonarroti. Especially in Italy, following the historical evolutions, it began a cultural and scientific renewal, localized in the courts and at the nobles' sovereign. The most active centers were undoubtedly Florence, Naples, Rome and Venice. After those States this cultural changes spread throughout Europe. The frescoes, paintings on wood and canvas, tempera and oil, decorated both religious and civil buildings. The subjects were sacred and profane: the figures were set in landscapes and in classical architectures. A new way of conceiving and representing space was born: perspective. The paintings were organized according to the new rules of perspective. The man was measure of the world, studied it and governed it. The need to establish connection between the human body and all nature elements and the will to achieve harmony as successful result of the work of art, were also reflected in the study of proportions: during Renaissance artists explored with a new curiosity human anatomy and nature.

The new conception of art flourished in Florence and soon extends to all the courts of Italy: city planning became a subject of speculation and many treaties of architecture studied ideal cities as expression of nature domination and a mirror of sovereign's grandeur. This joyous revival of classical models and this renewed confidence in a peaceful age of progress both philosophical and artistic would soon be interrupted.

[...] The right side is passive and quiescent, emphasizing a determined capacity which stress political and diplomatic solutions to the crisis confronting the Florentines in 1501. The left side, the traditional active side of threat and danger, utilizes the iconographic type of a pictorial Fighting David to emphasize military resistance against a political Goliath if necessary. (p.101) One of the most important sculptors of the Italian Baroque, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, worked, more than one-hundred years later, on the same subject. The David of Gian Lorenzo Bernini (marble cm. [...]


[...] Paris: Librairie Abel Pilon. Vasari, G., Coriolano, C., Creiger, C., & Stamperia dei Giunti. (1568). Le vite de' piu eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori. In Fiorenza,: Appresso i Giunti. Soussloff, C. M. (1989). Imitatio Buonarroti. The Sixteenth Century Journal, 581-602. [...]


[...] Baroque was an artistic and literary movement that expressed all these profound transformations of sensitivity and taste. This artistic age was circumscribed to the period between the seventeenth and the first half of the eighteenth century and reached its maximum results in Italy and Spain. The major patrons were the religious institutions (Catholic Church and even some Reformed churches), kings, princes and civil institutions, as well as the bourgeoisie. During the seventeenth century painting saw the emergence of numerous schools and trends that were dedicated to different genres such as portraiture, still life, painting, religion, history and mythology. [...]

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