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Bernini enjoyed immense popularity and networked with the powerful elite of Europe, contributing important works of architecture and sculpture, especially for the Church. This exquisite bronze work can still be viewed on a Vatican tour. In a marble statue, The Ecstasy of St. Teresa , Bernini revived a Catholic theme with his own interpretation.

In the Baroque period , artists continued religious and secular themes in portraits, paintings, busts, church ceilings, churches, sculptures, and other works. Realism abounds in Baroque figures, combining realism with spectacle and fierce independence. Artist: Jan Brueghel the Elder. Subject: Odysseus, Calypso, Ogygia.

Beginnings of Baroque Art and Architecture

Genres Art : History painting. Art Form: Painting. Artist: Aert de Gelder. Subject: David. Alethea Talbot with her husband c. Artist: Peter Paul Rubens. The Eighty Year War where the Spanish sought unsuccessfully to maintain control of the Netherlands, and the Anglo-Spanish War where the Spanish Armada, attempting to invade England, was defeated, drained Spanish finances and created an economic crisis.

At the same time, Catholicism was informed by the severity of the Inquisition. In architecture the grandeur and wealth of the church was emphasized, as the Jesuits, an order noted for both its intellectual advocacy for the Counter-Reformation and its Christian proselytization, evolved an extreme use of ornament to accentuate religious glory. An early noted example was Pedro de la Torre's San Isidro Chapel , which combined an ornamented exterior with a simple interior that used light effects to convey a feeling of religious mystery.

The resulting style, emphasizing a surface in motion, was called "entallador" and was adopted throughout Spain and Latin America. In contrast to the architectural emphasis on Catholic splendor, Spanish Baroque painting emphasized the limitations and suffering of human existence. It was noted for its focus on realism based upon precise observation and was less interested in theatrical effects than a compelling sense of human drama. Caravaggio was an early influence on artists like Francisco Ribalta and Jusepe Ribera, though most Spanish artists took chiaroscuro and tenebrism as a departure point and evolved their own style.

Ribera's later work emphasized a layer of silver tones overlaid with warm golden tones as seen in his The Holy Family with St. Catherine His works were both religious subjects like The Immaculate Conception , and genre paintings, where he often depicted street people, as in The Young Beggar His work was very popular, due to its elegance and sentimentality, and he cofounded the Seville Academy of Fine Art in After his death Juan de Valdes Leal became the leading painter of Seville, though his work focused on the dramatic such as The End of Worldly Glory , an allegory of death, which made his work a kind of early precursor to Romanticism.

Francisco de Zurbaran was dubbed "the Spanish Caravaggio" for his religious subjects like The House of Nazareth , though his compositions were more severe and restrained and often focused on a solitary ascetic figure.

Baroque - Overview - Goodbye-Art Academy

While he began by employing tenebrism , he evolved his own masterful technique, which employed a relatively simple color palette but emphasized tonalities and varied brushwork. Architecture was the dominant expression of the French Baroque style. Called Classicism in France, it rejected the ornate in favor of geometric proportion and less elaborate facades. As the director of the Gobelins tapestry, Le Brun's work became influential throughout Europe.

Baroque Art and Architecture - History+ | TheArtStory

Similarly the gardens, arranged in geometric grids to echo and emphasize the architecture, were another notable element of Versailles. In painting, French artists also moved toward a more classical restraint. Claude Lorrain , known simply as Claude, and Nicolas Poussin , were the most important French painters, though both worked in Rome. Claude's work emphasized landscape and the effects of light, and his subjects, whether religious or classical themes, were simply the occasion of the work but not its focus. While Poussin began painting in a Baroque style, by his mid-thirties he had begun to develop his own style, as works like his Landscape with Orpheus and Eurydice conveyed a calm rationality that became influential in the later development of Neoclassicism.

Other French artists, most notably Georges de la Tour, were influenced by Caravaggio's tenebrism but turned away from dramatic action and effects.


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Painting primarily religious subjects, he innovatively explored nocturnal light, employing geometric compositions and simplified forms to convey a calm and thoughtful spirituality. Genre painters like the Le Nain brothers also innovatively applied the Baroque style. Louis, Antoine, and Mathieu Le Nain collaborated on most of their works, and their genre scenes emphasized the realism of everyday labor, as seen in their The Blacksmith at His Forge c.

Russian Baroque is also called Petrine Baroque, named in honor of Peter the Great who promoted the style in rebuilding St.

Baroque Art and Architecture - History and Concepts

Petersburg, when he named it the new Russian capital in He had been inspired by French Baroque following his visit to Versailles and the Chateaux of Fontainebleau. The Menshikov Palace became a notable early example of Russian Baroque. Following Peter the Great's death, the style continued but became more luxurious and ornate as designed by the leading architect, Bartolomeo Rastrelli.

The style was then called Elizabethan Baroque in honor of Empress Elizabeth Petrovona and famous examples were the Smolny Cathedral and the Winter Palace Painting was the distinctive component of the Flemish Baroque, and its particular character originated in historical and cultural forces.

The origin of the term

As a result, Flemish artists painted both Counter-Reformation religious subjects and landscapes, still lives, and genre works that still drew upon the Northern European tradition. Peter Paul Rubens led the development of Flemish Baroque painting. His High Baroque style, known for its rich color, sensual exuberance, and movement informed both his religious painting as in Descent from the Cross and his non-religious subjects like the Judgment of Paris His female nudes of mythological and Biblical women were particularly renowned and influential, as they combined sensuality with a complexity of allegory and allusion.

Rubens' most noted student was Anthony van Dyck who became famous later primarily for his portraits, marked by a courtly elegance. In he was appointed court painter to the Princess of Orange in and, due to royal connections, became the painter for the English court and was knighted by Charles I, the King of England, in The Dutch Golden Age was the only example of the Baroque style employed in a Protestant area, and, as a result, took a very different approach in both architecture and painting.

The Dutch Golden Age began around with the end of the Thirty Years War, as the Dutch Republic, which had seceded from Spain in , finally achieved independence. In the decades that followed the Republic, fueled by its domination of world trade, became an economic powerhouse with a rising middle class.

Dutch Baroque architecture primarily drew upon the works of the Venetian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio often referred to as Dutch Palladianism , while retaining some Gothic elements to create a restrained monumental style. Dutch painting emphasized scenes of everyday life, secular subjects, and pioneered developments in landscape, still life, and genre painting. Religious subjects were most often depicted in printmaking to illustrate Biblical texts. At the same time, a number of Dutch leading artists, including Rembrandt , Johannes Vermeer , and Salomon van Ruysdael painted in the Baroque style, employing chiaroscuro and tenebrism.

This can be seen in Rembrandt's Night Watch The Baroque period came to an end with the emergence of Rococo in Paris around Some scholars refer to Rococo as "Late Baroque," yet it took on a very light-hearted and entertaining style bound to courtly life. As the Rococo period was followed by the Neoclassical style within fifty years many Baroque artists became obscure and overlooked. Claude's landscape paintings influenced J. Caravaggio, too, was rediscovered, but not until the mids, and his work has subsequently influenced photographers, filmmakers, and artists.

Baroque art

A revival of interest in Bernini's architectural work is noted by a number of contemporary architects, including I. Pei , Richard Meier , and Frank Gehry. Gehry called him, "one of my greatest influences. Content compiled and written by Rebecca Seiferle.