Speaking strictly about a practical point of view, art generally is useless. It doesn´t feed or clothe people, it doesn´t heal the sick or make the blind see. But on the other hand, the art can feed. It can feed the imagination of people by consuming different types of art. Arts, surely, are an integral part of our lives, bringing beauty and joy into our lives. Although the vast majority of the human population are those who only consume works of art, many people find art also to be psychologically healing and they participate in music therapy, dance or drama therapy, for example. The point of art is to stimulate the imagination, to try to make the viewer understand some of the emotions and ideas experienced by the artist. The art, of course, is not a thing of present time. It has developed and changed from early years and, I could even say, that the kinds of art were formed when the human being and human life origined on the Earth. The art is and always has been the creation of something that is esthetically pleasing, so it is understood, that people have wanted to create pleasant things to their eyes or ears.
Things, in general, which come under the heading „the art“ are these ones: literature (novels, short stories, biographies, drama, poetry), then performing arts (dance, opera, cinema, theatre, ballet, concerts), next fine arts, moreover it is architecture and fineally ceramics. These arts, or it is better to say, the artists of every single kind of art, create works of art, which viewers and audience then accept and receive. People making the works of art, who are called artists, need for it not only their patience, effort and ideas but the great and natural talent as well. And what is the most important, they have to love what they do. If they would have to do it because of somoeone´s need and force, it would have no justification then. But let me have a look at historical development of different art styles and various branches of culture. The styles af art developed out of the political, religious, social, and economic system of its time. By studying a piece of architecture, or painting for example, we can better understand history. As we stroll through any city in Europe, we can find many and many works of architectural art from lots of different periods and styles, which, of course, don´t show only in architecture.
The first period, influencing art was Romanesque. This style originated from the 11th to the 13th century and its typical attributes were or still have been: painted walls, massive pillars, small round windows and doors, round arches, and later, carved doors. As famous examples I could write St.George´s Basilica in Prague or Durham Cathedral in England. Next style is called Gothic. It influenced art from 12th to the 15th century. It was the highest and noblest of all styles. This style has been characterized by rib vaulted ceiling, stone arches, and stained glass windows. The well-known gothic buildings are St.Vitus Cathedral in Prague, Notre Dame in Paris or castles Karlštejn and Křivoklát. Following the Gothic is other style – Renaissance. This style originated in Italy and grew out of the new political, social, and religious epoch developing over the 15th and the 16th centuries. This was a period in which the role of townpeople increased and life on earth was celebrated. And how can you recognize renaissance building? These buildings are lower with simple facades, ornamented by grafitti and stucco, with horizontal lines, and square and rectangular windows and doorways. Some of world famous artists of this period are Michelagelo Buonarotti, Leonardo da Vinci, Rafael Santi, and Titian.
Renaissance is then followed by next period called Baroque. This period is dated from the year 1600 to 1750. It was a time of re-catholization of Europe and a period in which man turned back to God. Baroque art focuses on the themes of death, destitution, and starvation. This architecture is known for luxury detail and extravagant decoration, such as curves, and ovals made of gold and marble. The big role also plays the contrast made between light and dark. Famous samples of this architecture are for instance St.Nicholas churches in Prague or St.Paul´s Cathedral in London.
Rococo is a period which follows next. It flourished from 1730 to 1770. Rococo is considered as the final stage of the Baroque period. This style is marked by elegance, lightness, and cheerful decoration. Its well-known features are S-curves, scroll-like forms, and other decorative charms, pastel colours and naturalistic elements. Paintings made in this period returned to nature and the exotic, and often featured love scenes. Good example of this style is Kinsky Palace in Prague.
Classicism flourished during 18th century. This period was marked by emphasis on reason over emotions. Distinguishing features for this style are straight lines, light colours, and little decoration. Teplice and Francies Spa or Brandenburg Gate in Berlin are well-known samples of this period. These, already mentioned, periods influenced the art probably the most, but there are also other styles and periods which got to awarness of artists and viewers. They are for example: Neo-Baroque, Neo-Gothic and Neo-Renaissance, which drew inspiration on the styles of previous periods, then it is Art Nouveau – a period of new values and new rules in art, when new materials were used, including glass and ceramics, other style is called Impressionism, in which scenes of nature and urban life dominated and these scenes were laid out on the colourful stainsand spots and when the viewer looked at the painting, the real scenes, painter´s moods and thoughts gradually started to reveal. And the last style I want to mention is Cubism. Famous artists of this period were Pablo Picasso or Georges Braque. The paintings of this styles were composited of different geometrical shapes, for example cubes. That´s why this style is called like this.
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Significance of art in our life
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