It is difficult to compare today’s art to the art of the renaissance period because each of them belongs to two different time periods. It is like comparing parents and their children. Parents may influence their children in some ways. However children have their own way of thinking, making decisions and inclinations that reflect their own personalities.
Even art historians have difficulty making comparison of two different art movements. Some art historians find it difficult because of the disgrace surrounding the artistic shifts from one generation to another. It becomes challenging to make precise interpretation and comparison. But basic methodology and historical influence can produce obvious differences which some art historians base their comparison.
How to Compare Modern Art vs Renaissance Art
- You have to study the styles of the two periods. Renaissance is derived from a French word which means “rebirth.” The European Renaissance was a rebirth of classical styles from ancient Greek and Roman art. This is very evident in sculpture and fresco. On the other hand Modern Art was a rebellion against classicism which gave birth to new styles that took a different turn from the traditional. Abstract art is an example of a new style.
- You have to examine the motivation of the artists in these two periods. Most Renaissance artists were under the influence and direction of the leaders of the Catholic Church who paid them to do the work. They got their instructions from those paying them do the artwork. They were controlled by their patrons. But they were known for their technique and accuracy. On the other hand, modern artists had complete control of what, when and where they would produce their artwork. They broke away from the traditional patronage system. They did not want to be part of a system of control. Modern artists just let their imagination run wild.
- Study the subject matter of the artwork. Renaissance paintings were about biblical figures and scenes from the bible. They also produced painting that depicted scene from ancient Rome and Greece. Modern artists begun to produce painting that were very different from the traditional. They produced cubism, realistic and abstract artworks. They had no limitations on what to paint.
- Study the materials used in these two time periods. During the Renaissance period artwork was done on plaster or wood. In modern art, artists used canvas and oil paint or charcoal.