Art Then Compared to Art Now

Destynee Haskins

Over the years, there has been a very big change in how art is made and how it is viewed. A few changes made in the duration of the Renaissance to today are that artists today use a variety of colors, vibrant, dark, neutral, warm colors and many more. In Renaissance paintings, the artists tend to use more neutral and warm colors. Artists today tend to use different colors, shapes and sizes to capture the human figure while Renaissance artists used formal figures and fine details to capture reality in a painting. A common thing in art today is to block out the background using different shapes that are a complementary color to the entire drawing, and use vibrant abstract colors to paint faces, hands ect. Due to the fact we have the new ability to take photos of different things to use to draw, art made more recently has much better anatomy than Renaissance art. An example of this is animals. Back then, it was very hard for an artist to get an animal to sit still for such a long time, and they we’re unable to take a picture of the animal. So, they had to guess what the anatomy was, and they were unable to study the anatomy as well as we would be able to. Many artists today specialize in drawing animals and have had the chance to “master” anatomy of many different animals. This would have been very hard to do in the Renaissance, so drawings of animals today tend to be better than drawings of animals in the Renaissance. 

Being an artist in the Renaissance was also much harder than it is today. Most Renaissance artists specialize in drawing “realistic” people, and there was not too much of a style difference between artists. Artists had to “master” this style to be considered a good artist, and a lot of artists who would have been considered very good today did not have a successful career then.

I interviewed a local artist about the change in art, and here is what they had to say, ”I’m not completely educated on the Renaissance period however I can answer your question! So I feel like a big difference is, these days art is a lot more accessible to beginners and it’s way more mainstream. What I mean by that is, anyone can be an artist and while there are standards, it’s a lot more open and subjective versus back in the Renaissance when a lot of it was drawn from life or realistic. Art has become much more subjective, not only to the artist but also to the viewer.” Art is constantly changing, things that appeal to us change, and the way our muscles work affects how well we can navigate a fresh canvas and make a beautiful painting from scratch. All of these different factors can improve our art or make it worse. Even the way the paint is made can affect the art. Paints today could never get the same Royal Blue that artists used so long ago.