Baroque painting

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The Calling of Saint Matthew (1599-1600), by Caravaggio. Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome. The beam of light, which enters the picture from the direction of a real window, expresses in the blink of an eye the conversion of St Matthew, the hinge on which his destiny will turn, with no flying angels, parting clouds or other artifacts. The Calling of Saint Matthew-Caravaggo (1599-1600).jpg
The Calling of Saint Matthew (1599–1600), by Caravaggio. Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome. The beam of light, which enters the picture from the direction of a real window, expresses in the blink of an eye the conversion of St Matthew, the hinge on which his destiny will turn, with no flying angels, parting clouds or other artifacts.
Rembrandt van Rijn, The Night Watch or The Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq, 1642, oil on canvas, 363 cm x 437 cm (143 in x 172 in), Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. The painting is a classic example of Baroque art. The Nightwatch by Rembrandt.jpg
Rembrandt van Rijn, The Night Watch or The Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq, 1642, oil on canvas, 363 cm × 437 cm (143 in × 172 in), Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. The painting is a classic example of Baroque art.
Orazio Gentileschi, David and Goliath (c. 1605-1607) Orazio Gentileschi - Davide e Golia (National Gallery of Ireland).jpg
Orazio Gentileschi, David and Goliath (c. 1605-1607)

Baroque painting is the painting associated with the Baroque cultural movement. The movement is often identified with Absolutism, the Counter Reformation and Catholic Revival, [1] [2] but the existence of important Baroque art and architecture in non-absolutist and Protestant states throughout Western Europe underscores its widespread popularity. [3]

Painting practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface

Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface. The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives, sponges, and airbrushes, can be used. The final work is also called a painting.

Baroque cultural movement, starting around 1600

The Baroque is a highly ornate and often extravagant style of architecture, music, painting, sculpture and other arts that flourished in Europe from the early 17th until the mid-18th century. It followed the Renaissance style and preceded the Rococo and Neoclassical styles. It was encouraged by the Catholic Church as a means to counter the simplicity and austerity of Protestant architecture, art and music, though Lutheran Baroque art developed in parts of Europe as well. The Baroque style used contrast, movement, exuberant detail, deep colour, grandeur and surprise to achieve a sense of awe. The style began at the start of the 17th century in Rome, then spread rapidly to France, northern Italy, Spain and Portugal, then to Austria and southern Germany. By the 1730s, it had evolved into an even more flamboyant style, called rocaille or Rococo, which appeared in France and central Europe until the mid to late 18th century.

A cultural movement is a change in the way a number of different disciplines approach their work. This embodies all art forms, the sciences, and philosophies. Historically, different nations or regions of the world have gone through their own independent sequence of movements in culture, but as world communications have accelerated this geographical distinction has become less distinct. When cultural movements go through revolutions from one to the next, genres tend to get attacked and mixed up, and often new genres are generated and old ones fade. These changes are often reactions against the prior cultural form, which typically has grown stale and repetitive. An obsession emerges among the mainstream with the new movement, and the old one falls into neglect – sometimes it dies out entirely, but often it chugs along favored in a few disciplines and occasionally making reappearances.

Contents

Baroque painting encompasses a great range of styles, as most important and major painting during the period beginning around 1600 and continuing throughout the 17th century, and into the early 18th century is identified today as Baroque painting. In its most typical manifestations, Baroque art is characterized by great drama, rich, deep colour, and intense light and dark shadows, but the classicism of French Baroque painters like Poussin and Dutch genre painters such as Vermeer are also covered by the term, at least in English. [4] As opposed to Renaissance art, which usually showed the moment before an event took place, Baroque artists chose the most dramatic point, the moment when the action was occurring: Michelangelo, working in the High Renaissance, shows his David composed and still before he battles Goliath; Bernini's Baroque David is caught in the act of hurling the stone at the giant. Baroque art was meant to evoke emotion and passion instead of the calm rationality that had been prized during the Renaissance.

Classicism art movement

Classicism, in the arts, refers generally to a high regard for a classical period, classical antiquity in the Western tradition, as setting standards for taste which the classicists seek to emulate. The art of classicism typically seeks to be formal and restrained: of the Discobolus Sir Kenneth Clark observed, "if we object to his restraint and compression we are simply objecting to the classicism of classic art. A violent emphasis or a sudden acceleration of rhythmic movement would have destroyed those qualities of balance and completeness through which it retained until the present century its position of authority in the restricted repertoire of visual images." Classicism, as Clark noted, implies a canon of widely accepted ideal forms, whether in the Western canon that he was examining in The Nude (1956), or the literary Chinese classics or Chinese art, where the revival of classic styles is also a recurring feature.

Renaissance art painting, sculpture and decorative arts of that period of European history known as the Renaissance

Renaissance art is the painting, sculpture and decorative arts of the period of European history, emerging as a distinct style in Italy in about 1400, in parallel with developments which occurred in philosophy, literature, music, and science. Renaissance art, perceived as the noblest of ancient traditions, took as its foundation the art of Classical antiquity, but transformed that tradition by absorbing recent developments in the art of Northern Europe and by applying contemporary scientific knowledge. Renaissance art, with Renaissance Humanist philosophy, spread throughout Europe, affecting both artists and their patrons with the development of new techniques and new artistic sensibilities. Renaissance art marks the transition of Europe from the medieval period to the Early Modern age.

Michelangelo Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni or more commonly known by his first name Michelangelo was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance born in the Republic of Florence, who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Considered by many the greatest artist of his lifetime, and by some the greatest artist of all time, his artistic versatility was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival, the fellow Florentine and client of the Medici, Leonardo da Vinci.

Among the greatest painters of the Baroque period are Velázquez, Caravaggio, [5] Rembrandt, [6] Rubens, [7] Poussin, [8] and Vermeer. [9] Caravaggio is an heir of the humanist painting of the High Renaissance. His realistic approach to the human figure, painted directly from life and dramatically spotlit against a dark background, shocked his contemporaries and opened a new chapter in the history of painting. Baroque painting often dramatizes scenes using chiaroscuro light effects; this can be seen in works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Le Nain and La Tour. The Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck developed a graceful but imposing portrait style that was very influential, especially in England.

Diego Velázquez 17th-century Spanish painter

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was a Spanish painter, the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV, and one of the most important painters of the Spanish Golden Age. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary Baroque period. In addition to numerous renditions of scenes of historical and cultural significance, he painted scores of portraits of the Spanish royal family, other notable European figures, and commoners, culminating in the production of his masterpiece Las Meninas (1656).

Caravaggio 16th and 17th-century Italian painter

Michelangelo Merisida Caravaggio was an Italian painter active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily from the early 1590s to 1610. His paintings combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, which had a formative influence on Baroque painting.

Peter Paul Rubens Flemish painter

Sir Peter Paul Rubens was a Flemish artist. He is considered the most influential artist of Flemish Baroque tradition. Rubens's highly charged compositions reference erudite aspects of classical and Christian history. His unique and immensely popular Baroque style emphasized movement, color, and sensuality, which followed the immediate, dramatic artistic style promoted in the Counter-Reformation. Rubens specialized in making altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.

The prosperity of 17th century Holland led to an enormous production of art by large numbers of painters who were mostly highly specialized and painted only genre scenes, landscapes, still lifes, portraits or history paintings. Technical standards were very high, and Dutch Golden Age painting established a new repertoire of subjects that was very influential until the arrival of Modernism.

Genre painting paintings of scenes or events from everyday life

Genre painting, also called petit genre, depicts aspects of everyday life by portraying ordinary people engaged in common activities. One common definition of a genre scene is that it shows figures to whom no identity can be attached either individually or collectively—thus distinguishing petit genre from history paintings and portraits. A work would often be considered as a genre work even if it could be shown that the artist had used a known person—a member of his family, say—as a model. In this case it would depend on whether the work was likely to have been intended by the artist to be perceived as a portrait—sometimes a subjective question. The depictions can be realistic, imagined, or romanticized by the artist. Because of their familiar and frequently sentimental subject matter, genre paintings have often proven popular with the bourgeoisie, or middle class.

Still life art genre

A still life is a work of art depicting mostly inanimate subject matter, typically commonplace objects which are either natural or man-made.

Portrait Artistic representation of one or more persons

A portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. For this reason, in photography a portrait is generally not a snapshot, but a composed image of a person in a still position. A portrait often shows a person looking directly at the painter or photographer, in order to most successfully engage the subject with the viewer.

History

Nativity by Josefa de Obidos, 1669, National Museum of Ancient Art, Lisbon JosefaObidos1.jpg
Nativity by Josefa de Óbidos, 1669, National Museum of Ancient Art, Lisbon

The Council of Trent (1545–63), in which the Roman Catholic Church answered many questions of internal reform raised by both Protestants and by those who had remained inside the Catholic Church, addressed the representational arts in a short and somewhat oblique passage in its decrees. This was subsequently interpreted and expounded by a number of clerical authors like Molanus, who demanded that paintings and sculptures in church contexts should depict their subjects clearly and powerfully, and with decorum, without the stylistic airs of Mannerism. This return toward a populist conception of the function of ecclesiastical art is seen by many art historians as driving the innovations of Caravaggio and the Carracci brothers, all of whom were working (and competing for commissions) in Rome around 1600, although unlike the Carracci, Caravaggio persistently was criticised for lack of decorum in his work. However, although religious painting, history painting, allegories, and portraits were still considered the most noble subjects, landscape, still life, and genre scenes were also becoming more common in Catholic countries, and were the main genres in Protestant ones.

Council of Trent Synod

The Council of Trent, held between 1545 and 1563 in Trent, was the 19th ecumenical council of the Catholic Church. Prompted by the Protestant Reformation, it has been described as the embodiment of the Counter-Reformation.

Protestantism division within Christianity, originating from the Reformation in the 16th century against the Roman Catholic Church, that rejects the Roman Catholic doctrines of papal supremacy and sacraments

Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. They emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than by good works, and the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church.

Sculpture Branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions

Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural processes originally used carving and modelling, in stone, metal, ceramics, wood and other materials but, since Modernism, there has been an almost complete freedom of materials and process. A wide variety of materials may be worked by removal such as carving, assembled by welding or modelling, or molded or cast.

The term

The term "Baroque" was initially used with a derogatory meaning, to underline the excesses of its emphasis. Others derive it from the mnemonic term "Baroco" denoting, in logical Scholastica, a supposedly laboured form of syllogism. [10] In particular, the term was used to describe its eccentric redundancy and noisy abundance of details, which sharply contrasted the clear and sober rationality of the Renaissance. It was first rehabilitated by the Swiss-born art historian, Heinrich Wölfflin (1864–1945) in his Renaissance und Barock (1888); Wölfflin identified the Baroque as "movement imported into mass", an art antithetic to Renaissance art. He did not make the distinctions between Mannerism and Baroque that modern writers do, and he ignored the later phase, the academic Baroque that lasted into the 18th century. Writers in French and English did not begin to treat Baroque as a respectable study until Wölfflin's influence had made German scholarship pre-eminent.

A syllogism is a kind of logical argument that applies deductive reasoning to arrive at a conclusion based on two or more propositions that are asserted or assumed to be true.

Switzerland federal republic in Western Europe

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western, central and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities. The sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million people is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva.

Heinrich Wölfflin Swiss art critic

Heinrich Wölfflin was a Swiss art historian, whose objective classifying principles were influential in the development of formal analysis in art history in the early 20th century. He taught at Basel, Berlin and Munich in the generation that raised German art history to pre-eminence. His three great books, still consulted, are Renaissance und Barock (1888), Die Klassische Kunst, and Kunstgeschichtliche Grundbegriffe.

National variations

Led by Italy, Mediterranean countries, slowly followed by most of the Holy Roman Empire in Germany and Central Europe, generally adopted a full-blooded Baroque approach.

A rather different art developed out of northern realist traditions in 17th century Dutch Golden Age painting, which had very little religious art, and little history painting, instead playing a crucial part in developing secular genres such as still life, genre paintings of everyday scenes, and landscape painting. While the Baroque nature of Rembrandt's art is clear, the label is less use for Vermeer and many other Dutch artists. Most Dutch art lacks the idealization and love of splendour typical of much Baroque work, including the neighbouring Flemish Baroque painting which shared a part in Dutch trends, while also continuing to produce the traditional categories in a more clearly Baroque style.

In France a dignified and graceful classicism gave a distinctive flavour to Baroque painting, where the later 17th century is also regarded as a golden age for painting. Two of the most important artists, Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain, remained based in Rome, where their work, almost all in easel paintings, was much appreciated by Italian as well as French patrons.

Baroque painters

Jacob Isaakszoon van Ruisdael, Bentheim Castle (1653). Il castello di Bentheim (Jacob Van Ruisdael).jpg
Jacob Isaakszoon van Ruisdael, Bentheim Castle (1653).
Jan Brueghel the Elder, The Entry of the Animals Into Noah's Ark, 1613. Janbrueghelark.jpg
Jan Brueghel the Elder, The Entry of the Animals Into Noah's Ark, 1613.
Peter Paul Rubens, Galileo Galilei, c. 1630 Galileo Galilei by Peter Paul Rubens.jpg
Peter Paul Rubens, Galileo Galilei, c. 1630
Georges de La Tour, Joseph the Carpenter, 1642, Louvre La Tour.jpg
Georges de La Tour, Joseph the Carpenter , 1642, Louvre
Francisco de Zurbaran, The Birth of the Virgin, c. 1625-1630, Pasadena, Norton Simon Museum Francisco de Zurbaran 018.jpg
Francisco de Zurbarán, The Birth of the Virgin, c. 1625–1630, Pasadena, Norton Simon Museum
Bartolome Esteban Murillo, Saint Peter in Tears, 1650-1655 Bartolome Esteban Murillo - Saint Peter in Tears - Google Art Project.jpg
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Saint Peter in Tears, 1650–1655

British

Dutch

Czech (Bohemian)

Flemish

French

German

Hungarian

Italian

Portuguese

Spanish

See also

Related Research Articles

Chiaroscuro use of strong contrasts between light and dark, usually bold contrasts affecting a whole composition in art

Chiaroscuro, in art, is the use of strong contrasts between light and dark, usually bold contrasts affecting a whole composition. It is also a technical term used by artists and art historians for the use of contrasts of light to achieve a sense of volume in modelling three-dimensional objects and figures. Similar effects in cinema and photography also are called chiaroscuro.

Annibale Carracci Bolognese painter of the Baroque

Annibale Carracci was an Italian painter and instructor, active in Bologna and later in Rome. Along with his brothers, Annibale was one of the progenitors, if not founders of a leading strand of the Baroque style, borrowing from styles from both north and south of their native city, and aspiring for a return to classical monumentality, but adding a more vital dynamism. Painters working under Annibale at the gallery of the Palazzo Farnese would be highly influential in Roman painting for decades.

Old Master skilled painter

In art history, "Old Master" refers to any painter of skill who worked in Europe before about 1800, or a painting by such an artist. An "old master print" is an original print made by an artist in the same period. The term "old master drawing" is used in the same way.

Caravaggisti followers of the 16th-century Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio

The Caravaggisti were stylistic followers of the 16th-century Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio. His influence on the new Baroque style that eventually emerged from Mannerism was profound. Caravaggio never established a workshop as most other painters did, and thus had no school to spread his techniques. Nor did he ever set out his underlying philosophical approach to art, the psychological realism which can only be deduced from his surviving work. But it can be seen directly or indirectly in the work of Rubens, Jusepe de Ribera, Bernini, and Rembrandt. Famous while he lived, Caravaggio himself was forgotten almost immediately after his death. Many of his paintings were reascribed to his followers, such as The Taking of Christ, which was attributed to the Dutch painter Gerrit van Honthorst until 1990. It was only in the 20th century that his importance to the development of Western art was rediscovered. In the 1920s Roberto Longhi once more placed him in the European tradition: "Ribera, Vermeer, La Tour and Rembrandt could never have existed without him. And the art of Delacroix, Courbet and Manet would have been utterly different". The influential Bernard Berenson stated: "With the exception of Michelangelo, no other Italian painter exercised so great an influence."

Utrecht Caravaggism art movement

Utrecht Caravaggism refers to those Baroque artists, all distinctly influenced by the art of Caravaggio, who were active mostly in the Dutch city of Utrecht during the first part of the seventeenth century.

Events from the year 1656 in art.

Hendrick ter Brugghen painter from the Northern Netherlands

Hendrick Jansz ter Brugghen was a Dutch painter of genre scenes and religious subjects. He was a leading member of the Dutch followers of Caravaggio – the so-called Utrecht Caravaggisti. Along with Gerrit van Hondhorst and Dirck van Baburen, Ter Brugghen was one of the most important Dutch painters to have been influenced by Caravaggio.

The year 1599 in art involved some significant events and new works.

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Flemish Baroque painting

Flemish Baroque painting refers to the art produced in the Southern Netherlands during Spanish control in the 16th and 17th centuries. The period roughly begins when the Dutch Republic was split from the Habsburg Spain regions to the south with the Spanish recapturing of Antwerp in 1585 and goes until about 1700, when Habsburg authority ended with the death of King Charles II. Antwerp, home to the prominent artists Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, and Jacob Jordaens, was the artistic nexus, while other notable cities include Brussels and Ghent.

Louis XIII style architectural style

The Louis XIII style or Louis Treize was a fashion in French art and architecture, especially affecting the visual and decorative arts. Its distinctness as a period in the history of French art has much to do with the regency under which Louis XIII began his reign (1610–1643). His mother and regent, Marie de' Medici, imported mannerism from her homeland of Italy and the influence of Italian art was to be strongly felt for several decades.

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen Art museum in Normandy, France

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Baroque! From St Peter's to St Paul's was a three-part BBC Four documentary series on the painting, sculpture and architecture of the Baroque period. It was written and presented by Waldemar Januszczak and first broadcast in March 2009. It is named after its start in the square of Saint Peter's Basilica and its end at St Paul's Cathedral.

<i>Judith Slaying Holofernes</i> (Artemisia Gentileschi, Naples) Painting by Artemisia Gentileschi

Judith Slaying Holofernes is a painting by the Italian early Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi completed between 1614 and 1620. The work shows the scene of Judith beheading Holofernes, common in art since the early Renaissance, as part of the group of subjects art critics have called the "Power of Women", which show women triumphing over powerful men. The subject takes an episode from the apocryphal Book of Judith in the Old Testament, which recounts the assassination of the Assyrian general Holofernes by the Israelite heroine Judith. The painting shows the moment when Judith, helped by her maidservant, beheads the general after he has fallen asleep drunk.

Italian Baroque art Italian art movement

Italian Baroque art is a term that is used here to refer to Italian painting and sculpture in the Baroque manner executed over a period that extended from the late sixteenth to the mid eighteenth centuries.

References

  1. Counter Reformation, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online , latest edition, full-article.
  2. Counter Reformation Archived 2008-12-11 at the Wayback Machine , from The Columbia Encyclopedia , Sixth Edition. 2001–05.
  3. Helen Gardner, Fred S. Kleiner, and Christin J. Mamiya, "Gardner's Art Through the Ages" (Belmont, California: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2005)
  4. For example, in French calling Poussin Baroque would be generally rejected
  5. "Getty profile, including variant spellings of the artist's name". Getty.edu. 2002-12-11. Retrieved 2012-02-13.
  6. Gombrich, p. 420.
  7. Belkin (1998): 11–18.
  8. His Lives of the Painters was published in Rome, 1672. Poussin's other contemporary biographer was André Félibien.
  9. W. Liedtke (2007) Dutch Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 867.
  10. Panofsky, Erwin (1995). "What is Baroque?". Three Essays on Style. The MIT Press: 19.
  11. Often described as Saint Bartholemew, martyred in similar fashion, but now recognized as St Philip. See Museo del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, 1996, p. 315, Ministerio de Educación y Cultura, Madrid, No ISBN

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