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Comparing and Contrasting Trends During the Baroque and Rococo Periods Essay

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Historically, periodical inspired subjects, discoveries of new techniques and the intrapersonal desires and interests of the artists themselves have influenced artistic tendencies and dictated similar and diverse trends throughout artistic periods. The Baroque and Rococo periods are exemplarily periods to extensively compare and contrast trends in artists’ pieces and notice one’s influence in another’s paintings. Comparing the work of Baroque painters Michelangelo Caravaggio and Jan Vermeer to Romantic era painter Francisco de Goya, one can see trends that were developed and perfected, passed down from generation to generation over time; and also how each artist contributed personal attributes to their respective artistic periods.
In the sixteenth century, Caravaggio’s unique artistic style set a prestigious precedent for all realism painters to follow him. Caravaggio was the first of the three artists to perfect the skill of implementing intense chiaroscuro into his paintings.
This is reflected in many of Caravaggio’s paintings but is overwhelmingly effective and dominant in his 1599/1600 painting, The Calling of Saint Matthew. In addition to Caravaggio, Goya also heavily implemented the practice of painting chiaroscuro such as in his 1808 piece, The Third of May and the 1780 painting, Christo Crucificado. Both Caravaggio and Goya perfected the influences of light and the practice of positioning models to fully utilize shadows and put an emphasis on important aspects of their subjects.
Another interesting similarity between Goya and Caravaggio is that in the early days of both their painting careers, their work was full of color, vibrant and optimistic — however, as they aged and their skills developed, their late paintings ...


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...whereas Vermeer used models that were identified as ordinary women and housemaids, as seen in The Kitchen Maid and Young Woman With a Water Jug. Also interesting to note is that Vermeer painted landscapes and Goya never did.
The few similarities that Goya and Vermeer have include, conveying emotions through facial features: Goya through the mouth as seen in Equestrian Portrait of Maria Luisa and Vermeer through the eyes of the Girl With a Pearl Earring. Other similarities included painting oil on canvas, and painting portraits.
When thoroughly analyzed, one can see the slight similarities that are present among the work of Vermeer, Caravaggio and Goya, as well as obvious, and not so obvious, differences. However, the artists’ devotion to conveying their opinion and interpretation of life through pictures is the most important similarity consistent among the three.


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