Baroque art

Baroque art

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Baroque art'
Start a new discussion about 'Baroque art'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia

Baroque painting is the painting
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

 associated with the Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 cultural movement
Cultural movement
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...

. The movement is often identified with Absolutism, the Counter Reformation and Catholic Revival, but the existence of important Baroque art and architecture
Baroque architecture
Baroque architecture is a term used to describe the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late sixteenth century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church and...

 in non-absolutist and Protestant states throughout Western Europe underscores its widespread popularity.

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
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 painting. Baroque art is characterized by great drama, rich, deep color, and intense light and dark shadows. 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
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

, working in the High Renaissance
High Renaissance
The expression High Renaissance, in art history, is a periodizing convention used to denote the apogee of the visual arts in the Italian Renaissance...

, shows his David
David (Michelangelo)
David is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture created between 1501 and 1504, by the Italian artist Michelangelo. It is a marble statue of a standing male nude. The statue represents the Biblical hero David, a favoured subject in the art of Florence...

 composed and still before he battles Goliath; Bernini's baroque David
David (Bernini)
David is a life-size marble sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The sculpture was part of a commission to decorate the villa of Bernini's patron Cardinal Scipione Borghese – the Galleria Borghese – where it still resides...

 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.

Among the greatest painters of the Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 period are Caravaggio
Caravaggio
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an Italian artist active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1593 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on the Baroque...

, Rembrandt, Rubens, Velázquez
Diego Velázquez
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary Baroque period, important as a portrait artist...

, Poussin
Nicolas Poussin
Nicolas Poussin was a French painter in the classical style. His work predominantly features clarity, logic, and order, and favors line over color. His work serves as an alternative to the dominant Baroque style of the 17th century...

, and Vermeer. Caravaggio is an heir of the humanist
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

 painting of the High Renaissance
High Renaissance
The expression High Renaissance, in art history, is a periodizing convention used to denote the apogee of the visual arts in the Italian Renaissance...

. His realistic
Realism (visual arts)
Realism in the visual arts is a style that depicts the actuality of what the eyes can see. The term is used in different senses in art history; it may mean the same as illusionism, the representation of subjects with visual mimesis or verisimilitude, or may mean an emphasis on the actuality of...

 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
Chiaroscuro
Chiaroscuro in art is "an Italian term which literally means 'light-dark'. In paintings the description refers to clear tonal contrasts which are often used to suggest the volume and modelling of the subjects depicted"....

 light effects; this can be seen in works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Le Nain
Le Nain
The three Le Nain brothers were painters in 17th-century France: Antoine Le Nain , Louis Le Nain , and Mathieu Le Nain...

 and La Tour
Georges de La Tour
Georges de La Tour was a French Baroque painter, who spent most of his working life in the Duchy of Lorraine, which was temporarily absorbed into France between 1641 and 1648...

.
The Flemish painter Antony Van Dyck developed a graceful but imposing portrait style that was very influential, especially in England.

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
Genre painting
Genre works, also called genre scenes or genre views, are pictorial representations in any of various media that represent scenes or events from everyday life, such as markets, domestic settings, interiors, parties, inn scenes, and street scenes. Such representations may be realistic, imagined, or...

, landscapes
Landscape art
Landscape art is a term that covers the depiction of natural scenery such as mountains, valleys, trees, rivers, and forests, and especially art where the main subject is a wide view, with its elements arranged into a coherent composition. In other works landscape backgrounds for figures can still...

, Still-lifes, portrait
Portrait
thumb|250px|right|Portrait of [[Thomas Jefferson]] by [[Rembrandt Peale]], 1805. [[New-York Historical Society]].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,...

s or History painting
History painting
History painting is a genre in painting defined by subject matter rather than an artistic style, depicting a moment in a narrative story, rather than a static subject such as a portrait...

s. Technical standards were very high, and Dutch Golden Age painting
Dutch Golden Age painting
Dutch Golden Age painting is the painting of the Dutch Golden Age, a period in Dutch history generally spanning the 17th century, during and after the later part of the Eighty Years War for Dutch independence. The new Dutch Republic was the most prosperous nation in Europe, and led European trade,...

 established a new repertoire of subjects that was very influential until the arrival of Modernism
Modernism
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

.

History



The Council of Trent
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was the 16th-century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods...

 (1545–63), in which the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 answered many questions of internal reform raised by both Protestants
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 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
Molanus
Jan Vermeulen or Jan van der Meulen, also known as Molanus was an influential Counter Reformation Flemish Catholic theologian of Louvain University, where he was Professor of Theology, and Rector from 1578...

, who demanded that painting
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

s and sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

s in church contexts should depict their subjects clearly and powerfully, and with decorum, without the stylistic airs of Mannerism
Mannerism
Mannerism is a period of European art that emerged from the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520. It lasted until about 1580 in Italy, when a more Baroque style began to replace it, but Northern Mannerism continued into the early 17th century throughout much of Europe...

.
This return toward a populist
Populism
Populism can be defined as an ideology, political philosophy, or type of discourse. Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social...

 conception of the function of ecclesiastical art is seen by many art historians
Art history
Art history has historically been understood as the academic study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and style...

 as driving the innovations of Caravaggio and the Carracci
Carracci
There are several notable people with the name Carracci:* Agostino Carracci , Italian painter and printmaker* Annibale Carracci , Italian Baroque painter and brother of Agostino 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
Sacred art
Sacred art is imagery intended to uplift the mind to the spiritual. Sacred art involves the ritual and cultic practices and practical and operative aspects of the path of the spiritual realization within the bosom of the tradition in question....

, history painting
History painting
History painting is a genre in painting defined by subject matter rather than an artistic style, depicting a moment in a narrative story, rather than a static subject such as a portrait...

, allegories, and portraits were still considered the most noble subjects, landscape
Landscape art
Landscape art is a term that covers the depiction of natural scenery such as mountains, valleys, trees, rivers, and forests, and especially art where the main subject is a wide view, with its elements arranged into a coherent composition. In other works landscape backgrounds for figures can still...

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

, and genre scenes were also becoming more common in Catholic countries, and were the main genres in Protestant ones.

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
Syllogism
A syllogism is a kind of logical argument in which one proposition is inferred from two or more others of a certain form...

.
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
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 art historian
Art history
Art history has historically been understood as the academic study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and style...

, Heinrich Wölfflin
Heinrich Wölfflin
Heinrich Wölfflin was a famous Swiss art critic, whose objective classifying principles were influential in the development of formal analysis in the history of art during the 20th century. He taught at Basel, Berlin and Munich in the generation that raised German art history to pre-eminence...

 (1864–1945) in his Renaissance und Barock (1888); Wölfflin identified the Baroque as "movement imported into mass", an art antithetic to Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 art. He did not make the distinctions between Mannerism
Mannerism
Mannerism is a period of European art that emerged from the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520. It lasted until about 1580 in Italy, when a more Baroque style began to replace it, but Northern Mannerism continued into the early 17th century throughout much of Europe...

 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 rather different art developed out of northern realist traditions in 17th century Dutch Golden Age painting
Dutch Golden Age painting
Dutch Golden Age painting is the painting of the Dutch Golden Age, a period in Dutch history generally spanning the 17th century, during and after the later part of the Eighty Years War for Dutch independence. The new Dutch Republic was the most prosperous nation in Europe, and led European trade,...

, which had very little religious art, and little history painting
History painting
History painting is a genre in painting defined by subject matter rather than an artistic style, depicting a moment in a narrative story, rather than a static subject such as a portrait...

, instead playing a crucial part in developing secular genres such as still life
Still life
A still life is a work of art depicting mostly inanimate subject matter, typically commonplace objects which may be either natural or man-made...

, genre painting
Genre painting
Genre works, also called genre scenes or genre views, are pictorial representations in any of various media that represent scenes or events from everyday life, such as markets, domestic settings, interiors, parties, inn scenes, and street scenes. Such representations may be realistic, imagined, or...

s 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. Flemish Baroque painting
Flemish Baroque painting
Flemish Baroque painting is the art produced in the Southern Netherlands between about 1585, when the Dutch Republic was split from the Habsburg Spain regions to the south by the recapturing of Antwerp by the Spanish, until about 1700, when Habsburg authority ended with the death of King Charles II...

 shared a part in this trend, while also continuing to produce the traditional categories.

Notable Baroque painters



Dutch

  • Rembrandt (1606–1669)
  • Frans Hals
    Frans Hals
    Frans Hals was a Dutch Golden Age painter. He is notable for his loose painterly brushwork, and helped introduce this lively style of painting into Dutch art. Hals was also instrumental in the evolution of 17th century group portraiture.-Biography:Hals was born in 1580 or 1581, in Antwerp...

     (1580–1666)
  • Jacob van Ruisdael (1628–1682)
  • Johannes Vermeer
    Johannes Vermeer
    Johannes, Jan or Johan Vermeer was a Dutch painter who specialized in exquisite, domestic interior scenes of middle class life. Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime...

     (1632–1675)
  • Jan Steen
    Jan Steen
    Jan Havickszoon Steen was a Dutch genre painter of the 17th century . Psychological insight, sense of humour and abundance of colour are marks of his trade.-Life:...

     (1626–1679)


Czech (Bohemian)

  • Václav Hollar (1607–1677)
  • Karel Škréta
    Karel Škréta
    Karel Škréta or Carolus Creten was a Czech Baroque painter.- Biography :His full name is Karel Škréta Šotonovský ze Závořic. Karel learnt painting perhaps from one of the masters at the royal courtyard. He studied in Saxony and in Italy...

     (1610–1674)
  • Petr Brandl
    Petr Brandl
    Petr Brandl was a painter of the late Baroque, famous in his time but - due to isolation behind the Iron Curtain - rather forgotten until recently. He was of German-speaking Austrian descent in the bilingual kingdom of Bohemia...

     (1668–1635)
  • Václav Vavřinec Reiner (1686–1743)

Flemish

  • Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640)
  • Anthony van Dyck
    Anthony van Dyck
    Sir Anthony van Dyck was a Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England. He is most famous for his portraits of Charles I of England and his family and court, painted with a relaxed elegance that was to be the dominant influence on English portrait-painting for the next...

     (1599–1641)
  • Jacob Jordaens
    Jacob Jordaens
    Jacob Jordaens was one of three Flemish Baroque painters, along with Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck, to bring prestige to the Antwerp school of painting. Unlike those contemporaries he never traveled abroad to study Italian painting, and his career is marked by an indifference to their...

     (1593–1678)
  • Jan Brueghel the Elder
    Jan Brueghel the Elder
    Jan Brueghel the Elder was a Flemish painter, son of Pieter Bruegel the Elder and father of Jan Brueghel the Younger. Nicknamed "Velvet" Brueghel, "Flower" Brueghel, and "Paradise" Brueghel, of which the latter two were derived from his floral still lifes which were his favored subjects, while the...

     (1568–1625)
  • Frans Snyders (1579–1657)
  • David Teniers the Younger
    David Teniers the Younger
    David Teniers the Younger was a Flemish artist born in Antwerp, the son of David Teniers the Elder. His son David Teniers III and his grandson David Teniers IV were also painters...

     (1610–1691)


French

  • Jean de Beaugrand
    Jean de Beaugrand
    Jean de Beaugrand was the foremost French lineographer of the seventeenth century. Though born in Mulhouse, de Beaugrand moved to Paris in 1581. He also worked as a mathematician and published works on geostatics...

     (1584–1640)
  • Georges de La Tour
    Georges de La Tour
    Georges de La Tour was a French Baroque painter, who spent most of his working life in the Duchy of Lorraine, which was temporarily absorbed into France between 1641 and 1648...

     (1593–1652)
  • Claude Lorrain
    Claude Lorrain
    Claude Lorrain, , traditionally just Claude in English Claude Lorrain, , traditionally just Claude in English (also Claude Gellée, his real name, or in French Claude Gellée, , dit le Lorrain) Claude Lorrain, , traditionally just Claude in English (also Claude Gellée, his real name, or in French...

     (1600–1682)
  • Le Nain
    Le Nain
    The three Le Nain brothers were painters in 17th-century France: Antoine Le Nain , Louis Le Nain , and Mathieu Le Nain...

    • Antoine Le Nain (c.1599–1648)
    • Louis Le Nain (c. 1593–1648)
    • Mathieu Le Nain (1607–1677)
  • Hyacinthe Rigaud
    Hyacinthe Rigaud
    Hyacinthe Rigaud was a French baroque painter of Catalan origin whose career was based in Paris.He is renowned for his portrait paintings of Louis XIV, the royalty and nobility of Europe, and members of their courts and considered one of the most notable French portraitists of the classical period...

     (1659–1743)
  • Nicolas Poussin
    Nicolas Poussin
    Nicolas Poussin was a French painter in the classical style. His work predominantly features clarity, logic, and order, and favors line over color. His work serves as an alternative to the dominant Baroque style of the 17th century...

     (1594–1665)


Italian

  • Caravaggio
    Caravaggio
    Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an Italian artist active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1593 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on the Baroque...

     (1571–1610)
  • Guercino (1591–1666)
  • Annibale Carracci
    Annibale Carracci
    Annibale Carracci was an Italian Baroque painter.-Early career:Annibale Carracci was born in Bologna, and in all likelihood first apprenticed within his family...

     (1560–1609)
  • Guido Reni
    Guido Reni
    Guido Reni was an Italian painter of high-Baroque style.-Biography:Born in Bologna into a family of musicians, Guido Reni was the son of Daniele Reni and Ginevra de’ Pozzi. As a child of nine, he was apprenticed under the Bolognese studio of Denis Calvaert. Soon after, he was joined in that...

     (1575–1642)
  • Orazio Gentileschi
    Orazio Gentileschi
    Orazio Lomi Gentileschi was an Italian Baroque painter, one of more important painters influenced by Caravaggio...

     (1563–1639)
  • Artemisia Gentileschi
    Artemisia Gentileschi
    Artemisia Gentileschi was an Italian Early Baroque painter, today considered one of the most accomplished painters in the generation influenced by Caravaggio...

     (1592– c. 1656)
  • Agostino Carracci
    Agostino Carracci
    Agostino Carracci was an Italian painter and printmaker. He was the brother of the more famous Annibale and cousin of Lodovico Carracci....

     (1557–1602)
  • Ludovico Carracci
    Ludovico Carracci
    Ludovico Carracci was an Italian, early-Baroque painter, etcher, and printmaker born in Bologna....

     (1555–1619)
  • Pietro da Cortona
    Pietro da Cortona
    Pietro da Cortona, by the name of Pietro Berrettini, born Pietro Berrettini da Cortona, was the leading Italian Baroque painter of his time and also one of the key architects in the emergence of Roman Baroque architecture. He was also an important decorator...

     (1596–1669)
  • Andrea Pozzo
    Andrea Pozzo
    Andrea Pozzo was an Italian Jesuit Brother, Baroque painter and architect, decorator, stage designer, and art theoretician. He was best known for his grandiose frescoes using illusionistic technique called quadratura, in which architecture and fancy are intermixed...

     (1642-1709)
  • Salvator Rosa
    Salvator Rosa
    Salvator Rosa was an Italian Baroque painter, poet and printmaker, active in Naples, Rome and Florence. As a painter, he is best known as an "unorthodox and extravagant" and a "perpetual rebel" proto-Romantic.-Early life:...

     (1615–1673)
  • Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
    Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
    Giovanni Battista Tiepolo , also known as Gianbattista or Giambattista Tiepolo, was an Italian painter and printmaker from the Republic of Venice...

     (1696–1770)

Spanish

  • Francisco Ribalta
    Francisco Ribalta
    Francesc Ribalta , also known as Francisco Ribaltá or de Ribalta, was a Spanish painter of the Baroque period, mostly of religious subjects.He was born in Solsona, Lleida...

     (1565–1628)
  • José de Ribera, Lo Spagnoletto (1591–1652)
  • Francisco Zurbarán
    Francisco Zurbarán
    Francisco de Zurbarán was a Spanish painter. He is known primarily for his religious paintings depicting monks, nuns, and martyrs, and for his still-lifes...

     (1598–1664)
  • Diego Velázquez
    Diego Velázquez
    Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary Baroque period, important as a portrait artist...

     (1599–1660)
  • Alonso Cano (1601–1667)
  • Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
    Bartolomé Estéban Murillo
    Bartolomé Esteban Murillo was a Spanish Baroque painter. Although he is best known for his religious works, Murillo also produced a considerable number of paintings of contemporary women and children...

     (1617–1682)
  • Juan de Valdés Leal
    Juan de Valdés Leal
    Juan de Valdés Leal was a Spanish painter of the Baroque era.He was born in Seville in 1622, and distinguished himself as a painter, sculptor, and architect. He worked for a time under Antonio del Castillo. Among his works are a History of the Prophet Elias for the church of the Carmelites; a...

     (1622–1690)

Reading

  • Mark Getlein, Living With Art, 8th edition.
  • Gombrich, E.H.
    Ernst Gombrich
    Sir Ernst Hans Josef Gombrich, OM, CBE was an Austrian-born art historian who became naturalized British citizen in 1947. He spent most of his working life in the United Kingdom...

    , The Story of Art, Phaidon, 1995. ISBN 0-7148-3355-x
  • Christine Buci-Glucksmann
    Christine Buci-Glucksmann
    Christine Buci-Glucksmann is a French philosopher and Professor Emeritus from University of Paris VIII specializing in the aesthetics of the Baroque, Japan and computer art...

    , Baroque Reason: The Aesthetics of Modernity, Sage, 1994
  • Michael Kitson
    Michael Kitson
    Michael William Lely Kitson was an English art historian.-Background:...

    , 1966. The Age of Baroque'
  • Heinrich Wölfflin
    Heinrich Wölfflin
    Heinrich Wölfflin was a famous Swiss art critic, whose objective classifying principles were influential in the development of formal analysis in the history of art during the 20th century. He taught at Basel, Berlin and Munich in the generation that raised German art history to pre-eminence...

    , 1964. Renaissance and Baroque (Reprinted 1984; originally published in German, 1888) The classic study. ISBN 0-8014-9046-4