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Art Analysis

Renaissance, Baroque & Impressionism

Painting, n: the art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to critics.

If one wishes to get an impression of the artworks produced in the Renaissance, Baroque, and Impressionist eras, there are three works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, which help with this goal. The three works of art to be analyzed herein are: 1) Portrait of a Young Man (Bronzino, c. 1550); 2) Juan de Pareja (Diego Velazquez, 1649-1650); and, 3) Rouen Cathedral – façade (Claude Monet, 1894). Respectively, these three works give us a sense of the styles, themes, and moods of the Late Renaissance, the Baroque, and the Impressionist eras.

Portrait of a Young Man by Bronzino was created in approximately 1550, which makes this work a product of the Late Renaissance period. More specifically, the oil on wood portrait is representative of the Mannerism period in art in the Late Renaissance. In a broad sense, the Mannerists closely followed and adhered to a distinctive manner “One could say that whereas their predecessors sought nature and found their style, the Mannerists looked first for a style and found a manner” (Tansey 631). Unlike artists of the Early and High Renaissance, instead of looking to nature for their inspiration and styles, Mannerists looked to other works of art, like those produced by Michelangelo and found in Roman sculpture and art. The subject of the Mannerists was most often the human form. So it is in Portrait of a Young Man. The painting is 37 x 29 inches, and the portrait is of a young man who is more scholar and intellect than merchant or royalty. His demeanor, expression, and stance are typical of the well-bred, haughty patrician. His eyes and facial expression look out at the world in an affected manner, one of nonchalance and disdain. The overall impression for the beholder is one of austerity and formality. The long, graceful fingers of...

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