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We now leave the Renaissance for a bit and focus on the next couple of centuries–17th to 18th centuries. There was an enormous upheaval and ideological divide during the Baroque Period. Which one should they follow, the absolute authority of the church and the divine rights of kings or the Protestant reform and the belief in self-determination. This rift and upheavals set the stage for the emotionally empowered art works. Powerful emotions, strong lines, exaggerated muscular features, and an evident chiaroscuro (the play of light and dark), are very much evident. This emotionally charged period is a potent follow-up to the perfection of the Renaissance.
There is also a calm after the storm. To rest from the intensity of the Baroque, there comes two opposing styles, the Rococo and Neo-Classicism. Rococo took on a sweet disposition, the calm after a turbulent storm. Instead of the play of light and dark, the color palette turned light and saccharine; instead of seriousness and melancholia, the mood turned playful and decorative. A real respite. On the other hand, Neo-Classicism turned back to the coolness and perfection of ancient art–the Greeks and the Romans. Johann Joachim Winckelmann‘s theses on the greatness of the ancien regime is very strongly taken in. Instead of being decorative, it turned cool and academic.
Here is the link for the lecture: