Changes of the Socio-Cultural Environment

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Changes of the Socio-Cultural Environment


The western art has come along way and there are notable differences between different kinds of art in different periods. For example, the kind of art that was in the 14th century is not the same form of art that was in the 20th or 21st century, and notably, the difference is in the interpretations that have been attributed in the different forms of art in different periods. In the present generation or century, the influence of art has been Christianity while the art of the classical periods had its own influences. In this paper, the concentration is on painting as a form of art on how this has changed from the medieval times; specifically 14th century to the 20th century in Italy, and how major painters in the two centuries differ on the forms of art that they present. In this paper, the discussion centers on two famous painters in Italy Pietro Lorenzetti of the 14th century and Carlo Maria Mariani of the 20th century art. The focus is on the changes in social cultural developments between their forms of painting.


Chapter one: Social Cultural Environments in Art through Periods


In Italy, the kind of art that existed in the 14th century was of gothic style and had details and elaboration. Painting carried high forms of gothic style and noted to be of details and elaboration. However, the kind of art then cannot be compared to the ones that are in the present day. The kind of social culture environments that existed during the 14th century was that which had realism in it; that is, the country Italy was on its path of success and therefore, there was high need to put across messages emphasized in this form of development. As well, the painters during these times preoccupied themselves with the problems that clobbered the people during those times. However, greatly, the art of famous people of the caliber of Pietro Lorenzetti tried to put the emphasis of development in certain areas. Example is the essence of developing pathos or the tragic eloquence. As Kampf (2010), this kind of representation cuts across the whole world where the form of environment present at a particular time can influence the forms of politics and arts being done.


This is totally different from the kind of art that was present during the 20th century where, the kind of social cultural influence that exist were that concerned the political revolutions and Christianity in Italy. The kind of art that is in the present world is that which emphasizes on impressionism; and this is a kind of art that helped pioneer the utilization of light in the paintings, and this is in the attempts of capturing the light as can be seen from the perspective of a human eye. This form of art is represented by the likes of Carlo Maria Mariani of the 20th century, and the way this art looks like, they appear more to have the three-dimensional look. This means that the way the 20th century art and painting in this case is totally differ from the way they appear and more so, the social cultural influences are different. While the art of the 14th century was more on the development aspects, the 20th century art is more of bringing aesthetic value to the paintings.


Chapter two: Pietro Lorenzetti versus Carlo Maria Mariani


Pietro Lorenzetti was active in painting from the year 1320 to the year 1345 and he represented the early Sienese school of painting. During this time, the artistic climate had much of the mature painting of Duccio di Buoninsegna and his kind of art was a manifest of dramatic as well as passionate temperament. One of classic of his paintings was the triptych, a painting that was of Virgin and Child between St. Francis and St John the Baptists. There is coherence in the pictures and this proves that the person was of high caliber in these paintings. However, all of the paintings were determined by the kind of social environment that existed then. There was also some little form of church representation; for example the fresco painting and all of his paintings showed a contempt he had of the pathos that were existing then or the tragic eloquence.


The art of the 20th century as can be seen in the paintings of Carlo Maria Mariani have some aesthetic value and some third dimensional representation. For example, there is the painting known as The Grand Creative Process done in the year 1997 by this great painter. Others are like La Mano Ubbidsce all’intelletto (1983), The City 1, The Morning, the City 10 and Solitude. Not all of these paintings of people may have a particular kind of meaning they carry, but what is evident in all of them is that there is so much of the added aesthetic value. This brings the appreciation in these forms of art, and as a representation of the 20th century paintings, it can be said that they are more attractive than those of the 14th century are. However, in terms of carrying of themes, it can be noted that the paintings done in the 14th century are more relevant than those of the 20th century are.


Chapter three: Expressionism in art of the 14th and 20th Century


One of the major differences that can be noted in the kind of art in the 14th and 20th century is the abstract expressionism, that is, the suggestive emotional angst in the paintings (Wolf 2004). Generally, the 20th century paintings have more of the expressionism than the art that was during the 14th century; that is, due to their aesthetic value, more decoration and details as well as the representation in the third dimension, they are seen to carry a more appeal than the paintings of the 14th century. Those of the 14th century were gothic in nature and did not carry much of the aesthetic value but were rich in passing of a message from the painter to the audience. The expressionists stress more on the perspective of the individual and characterized as some reactions to the positivisms as well as naturalism and impressionism, which are artistic movements.




Art has changed over time and the more we enter into the new generation, the more the forms of art will change. The kind of art that was present during the medieval times is very different from what we are having in the present day. Notably, the art that was during the 14th century were gothic and carried lots of weight in message attributed to the existing social cultural environment. Contrary to this, the present form of art carries more of the aesthetic value than message, and perhaps this can be interpreted to mean that people have moved out from communicating the woes of the society to entertaining people. In this paper, the focus has been on the forms of paintings that occurred in the 14th century as represented by Pietro and compared with the forms of paintings in the 20th century represented by Carlo Mario. The comparison of the two brings a different picture where, the paintings of the 14th century looked more on giving the message while those of the 20th century have a kind of attractive appeal and are of third dimensional.


Kampf, R 2010, Readings the visual-17th century poetry and visual culture, GRIN Verlag Publishers, Norderstedt.


Wolf, N 2004, Expressionism, Taschen Books, Munich.



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