Venetian and Renaissance Art – An Analysis

Venetian Art- description

What makes venetian art stylistically or culturally significant? Venetian art sets itself apart from preceding Renaissance arts. Similarities  between them is undeniable, important cultural and stylistic differences are as below.

  Culturally, Venice venetian art has been a wealthy City State from the onset of the Proto-Renaissance; as such, and because of its relative distance from Rome, it has remained politically independent throughout the renaissance. Venice’s privileged position on the Adriatic Sea made what was once a smart port a powerful hub for international treading with the Middle East and Far East. Famously exemplified by Marco Polo’s travels. Therefore, Venice was exopen to many products and ideas from around the world earlier and more consistently than other cities. Venice not only amassed considerable wealth and power. It also developed a certain social sophistication and freethinking. This first contributed to the rise of humanism in the 13th and 14th century. And subsequently in the 16th century led to a more liberal, indulgent, and festive mindset exemplified in secular sensual themes in sharp contrast with the sacred arts of the dogmatic Spanish-controlled Vatican.


Further analysis on venetian art

Stylistically, Venetian art shares similarities with other Italian arts. This similarities include volumetric figures, sense of perspective, well integrated compositions often reusing 3D pyramid structures, and always delivering monumental impact. At the same time, venetian art also clearly exhibits oriental influence with the rich colors and textures, the use of light, colors, and warmth is typical of an insular culture somehow reminding us of an older insular culture: the 1500 BCE Minoans. Color is employed in a dominant manner as a compositional element, which is  being referred to as “colorito”, to appeal to our senses. This is a major departure from Florence’s and Rome’s High Renaissance art  whose focus on ‘line designo’ and grasping our intellect. So is the display of outdoor Arcadian landscapes not so commonly found in High Renaissance art.

Giorgione was the pioneer of the emergence of oil-on-canvas a technique another departure from High Renaissance oil on wood pane . This was going to become mainstream for the following centuries.   All of the above elements are present in the painting “Feast of the Gods” from Bellini in 1529. Delivering a typical product of Venetian art Renaissance culture. A playful and erotic picnic in an Arcadian landscape. In which figures are volumetric in classical poses under a soft glowing afternoon light with a mix of vibrant colors and reflective metals throughout the composition.

  Work cited:   Kleiner, Fred, “Art through the Ages. The Western perspective Volume 2”, Gardner’s 15th edition.   The author of Khan Academy, “Venetian art”,

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