Subject: Music, Visual Arts and Film Studies
Language: English (U.S.)
Pages: 1
Description of arts

Art Description

           The first picture (A) is known as the Crucifixion of St. Peter and belongs to the Baroque period. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio did the painting in 1601. The painting is a depiction of the martyrdom of St. Peter through crucifixion. He asked that his cross be inverted so that his death was not an imitation of that of Jesus Christ. Other features of the painting include a number of Ancient Romans who were trying to erect the cross but seemingly struggling owing to the masculinity of the apostle. Their faces are shielded and their struggle to erect the inverted cross demonstrates their guilt for the crime they are committing. The struggle also indicates that the apostle had a heavier frame than his murderers would have anticipated, despite his aged physique.  

           The painting of the Crucifixion of St. Peter falls under the Baroque period. During this period, the Catholic Church was spearheading the Counter-Reformation against the Protestants, who had split from the main church. An art enthusiast can know that the painting falls under the Baroque period because of its open form and that its subject matter is martyrdom and death. Open form refers to the fact that most characters in a Baroque painting are projected into the viewer’s space, making the viewer more involved in the art form. For instance, the figures of the Ancient Romans are thrown at the viewer’s face; so much so that the viewer can visibly see that the men are struggling to erect the cross.

           The second picture (B) belongs to the Renaissance period because of the humanism depicted in it. The crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ in the picture emphasizes his humanism, which was a constant theme during the Renaissance period. During the Renaissance period, the theologians constantly emphasized the humanity of the Christ. They implored the Christians to model their lives on how Jesus lived his. Thus, they adopted visual images that had a particular focus on his birth and his death, such as the one being discussed here.

The birth of Christ was important as it laid out the doctrine of Incarnation, the premise that Christ became human despite the fact that He was and remained to be divine. The depiction of His death was also integral as it is inseparable from His consequent resurrection and the fulfillment of the promise of everlasting life.

The painting, like most Renaissance Art, has figures that are life-like as well as three-dimensional. The 3D images demonstrate acute knowledge of the human anatomy, which had become quite prevalent in the Renaissance period. The period was a time of discovery and renewed interest in humanism as well as how the human body functions. Furthermore, like the painting in question, the paintings of the Renaissance had full backgrounds that gave the viewer perspective. In the painting, the background has a divine being hovering over the crucified Christ. The attempt here is to depict the eventual resurrection of Jesus Christ.