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Beauty and Aesthetics 3: High Renaissance and Baroque Art

The High Renaissance period is synonymous with some of the most famous names in the history of art including da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.  How does their work and aesthetic philosophy compare with that of 17th century Baroque artists like Rembrandt, Rubens, and Bernini? We cover aesthic foundations, women in art, faith in art, and finally the architectural shifts between the Renaissance and Baroque eras.

Beauty + Aesthetics III:
High Renaissance + Early Baroque Art

Taught by John Doyle


WEDNESDAYS February 3 - 24
7:00 - 9:00 pm
Location: SE Uplift, 3534 SE Main St
Four weeks, $85. Space limited to 20 students. Register here.


The High Renaissance period is synonymous with some of the most famous names in the history of art including da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.  How does their work and aesthetic philosophy compare with that of 17th century Baroque artists like Rembrandt, Rubens, and Bernini?

Week 1: Foundations. What are the principle differences between Renaissance and Baroque art? What do you think of when you hear these stylistic terms? Following group discussion of the issues in focus each week, we will compare and contrast a series of images from both periods.

Week 2: Women in Art. What was the role of women in these periods? How were they depicted in the art of their times? What role did women play as artists and as the inspiration for artistic production?

Week 3: Faith in Art. The Catholic church was the great driving force behind both the Late Renaissance and the Baroque periods, but the goals and intent of church patronage could be markedly different in each period. We will also examine how the Protestant Reformation influenced more personal and intimate forms of artistic vocabulary.

Week 4: Architecture. How does the formal classicism of Renaissance architecture compare to the dynamic fluidity of the Baroque? What circumstances necessitated the change?  Which do you prefer? For the last half of class, we'll debate the pros and cons of both.


John Doyle is affiliated with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC; Docent and Education Committee member; Architectural Heritage Center, Portland.