Art through the ages

Throughout the history of humanity, we have had a variety of ways to preserve our imagination and explain phenomena that we did not understand through fairy tales, myths and legends, all for our future generations. One of the oldest forms of such documentation was through art. Our ancestors shaped our past through sculptures, painted to provide testaments of historical events, as well as to reflect upon the beauty of our world. Now, in the twenty-first century buzzing with technology, we become more inquisitive on the past and its influence to modern day art. Why and how did art become what it is today?

Renaissance art, appeared in the early Italian renaissance in the 1400s, consisted of many forms, such as sculptures, decorative art and paintings. One of the more significant renaissance art form, however, is painting. The Renaissance put heavy emphasis on how realistic the people were being portrayed in their paintings, because they were obsessed with the idea of having identical replicas of events on canvas. An example of this would be the famous painting: “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci, portraying Jesus Christ dining among thirteen of his apostle before his crucifixion. In this painting, Leonardo used many techniques to paint in the most realistic way, as renaissance paintings always followed strict techniques to make sure that paintings are deep and soulful. Foreshortening, Sfumato, Chiaroscuro, these are the terms used to name the realistic painting techniques, all-together create a fine painting.

As time passes, the renaissance era has made its mark by leaving us awe-inspiring fine art masterpieces. Yet, we have grown to be more ‘stylish’, and realistic renaissance-style paintings go out of fashion. Instead, it was replaced by “modern art”, and with the most typical of its kind: abstract art. Since the world is developing vigorously, new kinds of cameras are constantly being released with promises to capture a moment perfectly with a simple push of a button. Therefore, paintings are no longer popular in today’s society. Our modern world witnesses a transition in the purpose of art, in which our freedom of speech and freedom of expression is presented through vivid digital-colors and seemingly randomized patterns of abstract paintings.

Abstract art is peculiar because it is based entirely on the imagination of human, taking the brush-strokes to places where rules-abiding does not apply. If the painting wishes to express anger, usually, the main tone of the painting would be a glaring red, and the strokes would be razor sharp and jagged. However, if the main tone is blue or yellow, the strokes would flow across the painting, creating an ethereal snapshot of the mind experiencing either sorrow or joy.

Modern abstract paintings and renaissance paintings differ significantly through: style, usage of colors, and the purpose in which they serve. Nevertheless, every painting contains a meaning which brings out the true value of it, following a common belief that a painting is only valuable to those that understands it. Coming to a closing remark, modern or ancient, all paintings should be valued and preserved so that they will last through time in order to educate different generations of the future about the past, henceforth broadening their horizons as well as enhancing their creativity and imagination.

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