Baroque Visual Features!

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1 The Baroque! During the seventeenth century, the Baroque style dominated European art. The key characteristic of the Baroque style is drama. Unlike Renaissance artists, who imitated the restrained emotions of Classical traditions, Baroque artists created dramatic stories in which they invited viewers to participate.

2 Baroque Visual Features! Baroque art creates drama through some combination of the following characteristics: contrast between light and dark, sometimes with the spotlight effect known as tenebrism illusion of motion enlarged space that merges with viewers space vivid colors strong emotion viewers involvement in a symbolic story everyday, unidealized figures to whom the viewer can relate

3 The Catholic! Counter-Reformation In Italy, a contributing factor for the growth of the Baroque style was the Catholic Counter-Reformation, a reform and outreach movement within the Catholic Church. In Rome, Baroque artists created paintings, sculptures, and buildings that encouraged active emotional involvement with religious stories, in part as a response to the threat to the Catholic Church of the Protestant Reformation.

4 Religious Drama in Caravaggio Caravaggio s The Crucifixion of St. Peter (1600) highlights the drama of the scene through a spotlight that contrasts with the dark background, space that merges with the viewer s space, and unidealized figures (as in the dirt on the bottom of the executioner s feet).

5 Baroque Movement The diagonal lines in Caravaggio s painting create an illusion of movement. The movement focuses attention on the central point from which the diagonal lines radiate, a feature sometimes called a pinwheel effect.

6 Absolute Monarchy In France and Spain, the political institution of absolute monarchy influenced the Baroque style. Like the Catholic Church, absolute monarchs commissioned works of art that dramatized their power and status.

7 Velázquez:! Royal Portrait Painter! One of the most innovative of royal portrait painters was Velázquez, who brought Baroque visual effects to the challenge of creating attractive and interesting portrayals of his royal subjects. In this portrait of a Hapsburg princess, Velázquez creates a darkened space lit with a spotlight, and heightens drama with luxurious fabrics in vivid colors. Infanta Doña Margarita de Austria (1660)

8 Versailles: A Monument to Royal Power Louis XIV s palace at Versailles ( ) inspires Baroque drama with its immense size. Because Louis preferred Classical symmetry, the French form of the Baroque tended toward balance and order instead of excessive ornamentation.

9 Baroque Drama in Political Paintings Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus (1618) Rubens, perhaps the most famous Baroque painter, created this painting to commemorate an alliance by marriage of the royal families of France and Spain. Baroque movement and emotion suggest the power of husbands over their wives, as well as the parallel power of kings over their subjects.

10 Baroque Art in the Netherlands In the Protestant Dutch Republic, Baroque art served very different purposes than in the Catholic regions of Europe. Protestants stripped their churches of art, and the Dutch Republic provided no royal court to serve as patron of the arts. Instead, the patrons of Baroque art in the Netherlands were members of the prosperous merchant class, who bought small-scale paintings and prints to decorate their homes, creating one of the world s first mass art markets.

11 Political Power in the Netherlands:! Group Portraits The Night Watch (1642) Rembrandt s portraits adapt Baroque light, dark, space, and movement to complex multi-person subjects. In the Dutch Republic, where wealthy merchants shared political power, the group portrait served a similar function to portraits of monarchs in Spain and France.

12 Religious Messages in Dutch Genre Paintings To appeal to middle class customers, Dutch artists creates genre paintings, or images of everyday life, that were suitable for domestic display. Vermeer s paintings combine Baroque light and movement with subtle religious messages. In this painting, he contrasts he wealth and plenty in the foreground with the image of judgment in the background. Woman Holding a Balance (1664)

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