Thursday, March 26, 2009

Alternatives: Junctions

The chapter summary of Alternatives was filled with very contrasting periods in architecture and art. The renaissance being the period of enlightenment and a junction for knowledge and rules for the people and the Baroque/Rococo bending these newly written rules and focusing on the more frivolous and luxurious side of art and architecture. All this transition between styles and buildings as effect from them are quite a far leap ahead of the previous chapter on ancient civilizations discussed in Foundations, the junction between the two chapters and their periods of architecture and design is vast because of new use materials and people’s ideals presented within them.

[An example of Renaissance Architecture]

[And example of Baroque Architecture]

Between the renaissance and the baroque period of Italy and France, there are many things that contribute to the junctions and intersections between the two stylistic periods. The concept of space within a building was very linear and straightforward in the time of the renaissance and was very blurred and imaginative in the baroque. A best example of this dynamic change in ideal would be between the St. Maria Novella in Italy during the Renaissance, with its ancient world ideas and geometric layout, and the palace of Versailles during the Baroque, with the frivolous curves and overly grand appearance. This junction, being the change in styles between clear-cut and vague, was especially apparent when it came to the lines that differentiated the walls from the ceilings. Artifacts present are simply those elements and ideals of architecture in the two periods, the written rule as mentioned before and the buildings themselves that followed or broke these rules.

People were the cause of the junction between the two periods of the Renaissance and Baroque period. Religion was a major catalyst in the crossroads between the styles along with emotion being added as a key element in architecture especially in the Baroque period. Junctions also occurred within the countries themselves like with in Italy going from a city ruled but the church and clergy to being ruled over with influence from the merchant class that helped to contribute to the city. Materials of the time really didn’t add to the junction between these periods in the chapter, it was more of the ideas used to transform the materials that was the definition of junction, in the Baroque period of Italy and France, plaster was molded into curly and curvy shapes around fresco wall paintings that were key to the frivolity of the period itself while in the Italian and French Renaissance it was more linear or geometric, still taking inspiration from ancient times and their architectural ideas with the column orders and symmetry.

In conclusion, junctions in design and architecture were most identifiable in the stylistic transitions between the Renaissance and the Baroque period, the majority of this junction idea appearing in the forward thinking countries of France and Italy. While this change was also happening in England as well, it was more apparent and contrasting in appearance in France and Italy.

Chateau de Maisons Picture
The Duomo Picture

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