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Title: Baroque: What Caused the Change

Baroque What Caused the Change?
What is Baroque? The cultural production of the
seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries in the
West is often described as Baroque, a
convenient blanket term. However, this term is
problematic because the period encompasses a
broad range of developments, both historical and
artistic, across and expansive geographic area.
Further, this term was originally used in a
pejorative sense and thus had a connotation
scholars long since have abandoned. The use of
the term Baroque emerged in the late eighteenth
and early nineteenth centuries, when critics
disparaged the Baroque periods artistic
production. This was in large part due to
perceived deficiencies in comparison to the art
of the Italian Renaissance. Over time, this
negative connotation faded, and the term is now
used more generally as a period
designation. Because of the problematic
associations of the term and because no
commonalities can be ascribed to all of the art
and cultures of the period, it is necessary to
limit the use of the term when discussing the
30 years of Warfare During the seventeenth and
early eighteenth centuries, numerous geopolitical
shifts occurred in Europe as the fortunes of the
individual countries waxed and waned. In the
early years of the seventeenth century, fragile
alliances, reinforced through strategic
marriages, had been established. Religious
conflicts, especially between Catholics and
Protestants, and the political animosity between
the Hapsburgs and their enemies soon eroded any
stability these alliances had helped build. This
volatile situation erupted in the Thirty Years
War , which involved Spain, France, Sweden,
Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria,
Poland, the Ottoman Empire, and the Holy Roman
Empire. The war, which concluded with the Treaty
of Westphalia in 1648, was largely responsible
for the political restructuring of Europe.
Baroque What Caused the Change?
Advances in the Sciences The growing
secularization in the political realm coincided
with the development of new science. This new
science challenged many fundamental religious
tenets and emerged in astronomy, physics,
biology, and mathematics. Grounded in
mathematics and materialism (the belief that the
universe e is composed of matter in motion), this
momentous shift in the scientific realm laid the
groundwork for the Enlightenment and its emphasis
on empirical data. Exploring the Universe The
new science rejected Aristotelian explanations of
the universe, in large part because many of
Aristotles theories seemed incompatible with
objective, observable fact. The great advances
made in science during the late seventeenth and
early eighteenth centuries relied on
experimentation and tangible proof. The
invention of logarithms, analytic geometry, and
calculus transformed mathematics.
Scientific Genius Emerges In astronomy, Polish
scientist Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) argued
that in contrast to traditional models of the
cosmos, the Sun was the center of the universe
and the Earth merely a planet in orbit around it.
Although this discovery occurred well before the
beginnings of the seventeenth century, not until
his ideas were developed further by German
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) and the Italian
Galileo (1564-1642) was the notion of
heliocentrism accepted throughout Europe.
(Galileo provided visible proof of astronomical
conclusions with his improved tool, the
telescope.) The study of Chemical properties
also advanced at a rapid pace, and the
discoveries in that field impacted medicine and,
eventually, mechanization. For example,
Englishman Robert Boyle (1627-1691) established
the basis of the science of chemistry. In his
book The Sceptical Chymist, which he published in
1661, Boyle presented an atomic explanation for
matter, and he later explored the changes in
atomic particles (which became known as the
chemical elements).
Baroque and Rococo Art
Carlo Maderno, Santa Susanna Rome, Italy
Italian Baroque
This stands as one of the earliest manifestations
of the Baroque spirit in Italian art and
architecture. This was for the Roman church of
Santa Susanna The facades tall central section
projects forward from the horizontal lower story,
and the scroll buttresses that connect the two
levels are narrower and set at a sharper angle.
The elimination of an arch framing the pediment
over the doorway further enhances the designs
vertical thrust.
Strong shadows cast by Santa Susannas vigorously
projecting columns and pilasters mount
dramatically toward the emphatically stressed
central axis. The recessed niches, which contain
statues, heighten the sculptural effect.
Figure 24-1
Italian Baroque
Carlo Maderno Restoring Saint Peters Vatican
City, Rome, Italy 1606-1612
Baroque and Rococo Art
The facade is a gigantic expansion of the
elements of Santa Susannas first level. The
compactness and verticality of the smaller
churchs facade are not as prominent because
Saint Peters expansive width counterbalances
them. Mitigating circumstances must be taken
into consideration when assessing this design.
There was a preexisting building already there,
so there were limitations as to what Maderno
could do. The design for the facade was never
fully finished. He had a central plans for the
building that departed from Bramantes
Renaissance plans and Michelangelos later on.
His plan reinforced symbolic distinction between
clergy and laity (the followers of a religion who
are not clergy) and provided a space for the
processions of ever-growing assemblies.
Lengthening the nave, pushed the dome farther
back from the facade and the effect Michelangelo
had planned-a structure pulled together and
dominated by its dome
When viewed at close range, the dome hardly
emerges above the facades soaring frontal plane
seen from farther back it appears to have no
drum. You have to move back to see the dome and
drum together to actually see what Michelangelo
intended for us to see. To really get the
sixteenth-century architect envisioned, you
should view it from the back.
Figure 24-2
Baroque and Rococo Art
Gianlorenzo Bernini, baldacchino, Saint
Peters, Vatican City, Rome Italy
Italian Baroque
Long before the planning of the Piazza, Bernini
had been at work decorating the interior of
Saint Peters. His first commission, completed
in 1624 and 1633, called for the design and
erection of the gigantic bronze baldacchino ( a
canopy made of cloth or stone erected over an
altar, shrine, or throne in a Christian church)
above the main altar under the great dome. The
canopy-like structure marks the tomb of Saint
Peter. At almost one hundred feet high it serves
as a focus of the churchs splendor. Its four
spiral columns recall those of the ancient
baldcchino over the same spot in Old Saint
Peters, thereby invoking the past to reinforce
the Roman Catholic Churchs primacy. Partially
fluted and wreathed with vines, the columns seem
to dent the mass and weight of the tons of bronze
resting on them. At the top of the columns four
colossal angels stand guard at the upper corners
of the canopy. Forming the canopys apex are
four serpentine brackets that elevate the orb and
the cross, symbols of the Churchs triumph since
the time of Constantine. All over the baldacchino
are letter Bs representing the Baberini family
(Pope that commissioned the work).
Figure 24-5
Baroque and Rococo Art
Gianlorenzo Bernini Scala Regia, Vatican City
Rome, Italy, 1663-1666
Italian Baroque
This monumental corridor of steps connects the
papal apartments to the portico and narthex of
Saint Peters. Because the original passageway
was irregular, dark and dangerous to descend,
Pope Alexander VII commissioned Bernini to
replace it. The stairway, its entrance crowned
by a sculptural group of trumpeting angels and
the papal arms, is covered by a barrel vault
carried on columns that form aisles flanking the
central corridor . By gradually reducing the
distance between the columns and walls as the
stairway ascends, Bernini actually eliminated the
aisles on the upper levels while creating an
illusion of width uniformity and aisles
continuity for the whole stairway. To make the
ascent more tolerable, he inserted an illuminated
landing that provides a midway resting point.
Figure 24-6
Baroque and Rococo Art
Gianlorenzo Bernini David, Galleria Borghese,
Rome, 1623
Italian Baroque
Bernini devoted much of his prolific career to
the adornment of Saint Peters, where his works
combine sculpture with architecture. Although
Bernini was a great and influential architect,
his fame rests primarily on his sculpture, which,
like his architecture, energetically expresses
the Italian Baroque spirit. Berninis
sculpture is expansive and dramatic, and the
element of time usually plays an important role
in it. This marble statue aims at catching the
figures split-second action and differs markedly
from the restful figures of David portrayed by
Donatello and Michelangelo. The figures legs
are widely and firmly planted, beginning the
violent, pivoting motion that will launch the
stone from his sling. If the action had been a
moment before, his body would have been in a
completely different position. Bernini selected
the most dramatic of an implied sequence of
poses, so observers have to think simultaneously
of the continuum and of this tiny fraction of it.
This is not the kind of sculpture that can be
inscribed in a cylinder or confined in a niche
its indicated action demands space around it.
Figure 24-7
Baroque and Rococo Art
Gianlorenzo Bernini Ecstasy of Saint Theresa,
Bernini Cornaro Chapel, Rome Italy, 1645-1652
Italian Baroque
This is Another Bernini sculpture that displays
the expansive quality of Italian Baroque art and
its refusal to limit itself to firmly defined
spatial settings. Saint Theresa was a nun of
the Spanish Counter-Reformation. Her conversion
occurred after the death of her father, when she
fell into a series of trances, saw visions, and
heard voices. Feeling a persistent pain, she
attributed to the fire tipped arrow of Divine
love that an angel had thrust repeatedly into
her heart. In her writings, Saint Theresa
described this experience as making her swoon in
delightful anguish. The whole chapel became a
theater for the production of this mystical
drama. Bernini depicted the saint in ecstasy,
unmistakably a mingling of spiritual and physical
passion, swooning back on a cloud while the
smiling angel aims his arrow. The entire
technical group is made of white marble, and
Berninis supreme technical virtuosity is evident
in the visual differentiation in texture among
the clouds, rough monks cloth, gauzy material,
smooth flesh, and feathery wings.
Figure 24-9
Baroque and Rococo Art
Francesco Borromini, facade of San Carlo alle
Quattro Fontane, Rome, Italy, 1665-1676
Italian Baroque
A new dynamism appeared in the little church of
San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane. Although Maderno
incorporated sculptural elements in his designs
for the facades of Santa Suzana and Saint
Peters, they still develop along relatively
lateral planes. Borromini set his whole facade
in undulating motion, forward and back, making a
counterpoint of concave and convex elements on
two levels. He emphasized the three-dimentional
effect with deeply recessed niches. This facade
is not the traditional flat frontispiece (the
principal façade of a building, treated as a
separate element) that defines a buildings outer
limits. It is a pulsating, engaging component
inserted between interior and exterior space,
designed not to seperate but to provide a fluid
transition between the two. This functional
interrelation of the building and its
environmental is underlined but the curious fact
it has not one but two facades. The second, a
narrow bay crowned with its own small tower,
turns away from the main facade and, following
the curve of the street, faces an intersection.
(The upper facade was completed seven years after
Borrominis death, and historians cannot be sure
to what degree the present design reflects his
original intention.)
Figure 24 - 10
Baroque and Rococo Art
Francesco Borromini, plan of San Carlo alle
Quattro Fontane, Rome, Italy, 1665-1676
Italian Baroque
The interior of san Carlo alle Quattro Fontane is
not only an ingenious response to an awkward site
but also a provocative variation on the theme of
the centrally planned church. In plan San Carlo
looks like a hybrid of a greek cross and an oval,
with a long axis between entrance and apse. The
side walls move in an undulating flow that
reverses the façades motion. Vigorously
projecting columns define space into which they
protrude just as much as they do the walls
attached to them. This molded interior space is
capped by a deeply coffered oval dome that seems
to float on the light entering through windows
hidden in its base. Rich variations on the
basic theme of the ova, dynamic relative to the
static circle, create an interior that appears to
flow from entrance to altar, unimpeded by the
segmentation so characteristic of Renaissance.
Figure 24 - 11
Baroque and Rococo Art
Francesco Borromini, Chapel of Saint Ivo,
College of the Sapienza, Rome, Italy, begun 1642
Italian Baroque
In his characteristic manner, Borromini played
concave against convex forms on the upper level
of this chapels exterior. The lower stories of
the court, which frame the bottom facade, were
already there when Borromini began work. Above
the facades inward curve rises a convex
drum-like structure that supports the domes
lower parts. Powerful pilasters restrain the
forces that seem to push the bulging forms
outward. Buttresses above the pilasters curve
upward to brace a tall, ornate lantern topped by
a spiral that seems to fasten the structure,
screw-like to the sky.
Figure 24 - 12
Baroque and Rococo Art
Francesco Borromini, Chapel of Saint Ivo,
College of the Sapienza, Rome, Italy, begun 1642.
Italian Baroque
The wall panels rise in a continuously tapering
sweep halted only momentarily by a single
horizontal cornice. The dome is not, as in the
Renaissance, a separate unit placed on the
supporting block of a building. It is an organic
part that evolves out of and shares the qualities
of the supporting walls, and it cannot be
separated from them. This continuous complexity
creates a dynamic and cohesive shell that
encloses and energetically molds a scalloped
fragment of universal space. Few architects
have matched Borrominis ability to translate
extremely complicated designs into such
masterfully unified structures as Saint Ivo.
Figure 24 - 14
Baroque and Rococo Art
Guarino Guarini Chapel of Santissima Sindone
Turin, Italy 1667-1694
Italian Baroque
A view into this dome reveals a bewildering
display of geometric elements appearing to move
in kaleidoscopic fashion around a circular focus
containing a painting of the bright Dove of the
Holy Spirit. Here, the architect transformed
the traditional dome into a series of segmented
intersecting arches. A comparison of
Guarinis dome with that of the church of
SantEligio degli Orefici in Rome, attributed
both to Bramante and Raphael.
Image goes here Delete this text before placing
the image here.
Figure 24-16
Baroque and Rococo Art
Caravaggio Conversion of Saint Paul Rome, Italy,
Italian Baroque
Caravaggio painted Conversion of Saint Paul for
the Cerasi Chapel in the Roman church of Santa
Maria del Popolo. It illustrates the conversion
of the Pharisee Saul to Christianity, when he
became the disciple Paul. The saint -to-be
appears amid his conversion, flat on his back
with his arms thrown up. In the background, an
old hostler seems preoccupied with caring for the
horse. At first inspection, little here suggests
the momentous significance of the spiritual event
taking place. Caravaggio also employed other
formal devices to compel the viewers interest
and involvement in the event. In Conversion of
Saint Paul, he used a perspective and a
chiaroscuro intended to bring viewers as close as
possible to the scenes space and action, almost
as if they were participating in it.
Image goes here Delete this text before placing
the image here.
Figure 24-18
Baroque and Rococo Art
Caravaggio Calling of Saint Matthew Rome, Italy
ca. 1597-1601
Italian Baroque
Calling of Saint Matthew is one of two large
canvases honoring Saint Matthew the artist
painted for the side walls of the Contarelli
Chapel in San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome. The
commonplace setting is typical of Caravaggio ----
a bland street scene with plain building wall
serving as a backdrop. Into this mundane
environment, cloaked in mysterious shadow and
almost unseen, Christ, identifiable initially
only by his indistinct halo, enters from the
right with a commanding gesture that recalls that
of the Lord in Michelangelos Creation of Adam on
the Sistine Chapel ceiling, he summons Levi, the
Roman tax collector, to a higher calling.
Figure 24-19
Baroque and Rococo Art
Caravaggio Supper at Emmaus National Gallery,
London 1601
Italian Baroque
Two of Jesus' disciples were walking to Emmaus
after the Crucifixion when the resurrected Jesus
himself drew near and went with them, but they
did not recognize him. At supper that evening in
Emmaus '... he took bread, and blessed it, and
brake and gave to them. And their eyes were
opened, and they knew him and he vanished out of
their sight' (Luke 24 30-31). Christ is shown at
the moment of blessing the bread and revealing
his true identity to the two disciples. Caravaggi
o's innovative treatment of the subject makes
this one of his most powerful works. The
depiction of Christ is unusual in that he is
beardless and great emphasis is given to the
still life on the table. The intensity of the
emotions of Christ's disciples is conveyed by
their gestures and expression. The viewer too is
made to feel a participant in the event.
The picture was commissioned by the Roman
nobleman Ciriaco Mattei in 1601. Caravaggio
painted a second more subdued version of the
Supper at Emmaus about five years after the
Gallery's work. On loan to the exhibition
'Rembrandt and Caravaggio' at the Van Gogh
Museum, Amsterdam from February to June 2006.
Baroque and Rococo Art
Caravaggio The Incredulity of St. Thomas 1602
Italian Baroque
Doubting Thomas is a term that is used to
describe someone who refuses to believe something
without direct, personal evidence a
skeptic. Origin The term is based on the
Biblical account of Thomas the Apostle, who
doubted the resurrection of Jesus and demanded to
feel Jesus' wounds before being convinced (John
2024-29). After seeing Jesus alive and
receiving the opportunity to touch his wounds
according to the author of the Gospel of John
Thomas professed his faith in Jesus on this
account he is also called Thomas the Believer
Thomas missed one of Christ's appearances to the
Apostles after His resurrection. He therefore
announced that, unless he could thrust his hand
into Christ's side, he would not believe what he
had been told. A week later Christ appeared,
asked Thomas to reach out his hands to touch Him
and said, 'Blessed are those who have not seen
and yet have believed.'
Baroque and Rococo Art
Caravaggio The Sacrifice of Isaac Galleria
degli Uffizi, Florence 1603
Italian Baroque
The artist thrusts the action to the front of the
picture frame like a sculpted frieze. Old
Abraham, with features reminiscent of the saint
in the second St. Matthew, is intercepted in the
act of slitting his son's throat by an
admonishing angel who with his right hand
prevents the sacrifice and with his left points
to the substitute victim. Light directs the
viewer to scan the scene from left to right as it
picks out the angel's shoulder and left hand, the
quizzical face of Abraham, the right shoulder and
terrified face of Isaac and finally the docile
ram. A continuous movement links the back of the
angel's neck to Isaac's profile. Caravaggio
combines a hint of horror with pastoral beauty.
In the foreground the sharp knife is silhouetted
against the light on Isaac's arm. In the distance
is one of Caravaggio's rare landscapes, a glimpse
perhaps of the Alban hills round Rome and an
acknowledgement of the skill of his one serious
rival, Annibale Carracci, whose landscapes were
particularly admired.
Isaac has been identified as Cecco Boneri, who
appeared as Caravaggio's model in several other
pictures. Recent X-ray analysis showed that
Caravaggio used Cecco also for the angel, and
later modified the profile and the hair to hide
the resemblance.
Baroque and Rococo Art
Caravaggio Entombment From the Temple of Pietro
Italian Baroque
In 1603, Caravaggio created this large-scale
painting for the Chapel of Pietro Vittrice at
Santa Maria in Vallicella in Rome. This work
included all the hallmarks of Caravaggios
distinctive style the plebian figure types, the
stark use of darks and lights, and the invitation
for viewers to participate in the scene. The
action takes place in the foreground of this
painting. The artist positioned the figured on a
stone slab whose corner appears to extend into
the viewers space. This suggests that Christs
body will be laid directly in front of the
viewers. Beyond its ability to move its
audience, such a composition also had theological
implications. To viewers in the chapel, it
appeared as though the men were laying Christs
body onto the altar, which was in front of the
painting This served to visualize the doctrine of
transubstantiation (the transformation of the
Eucharist and wine into the Body and Blood of
Christ) -- a doctrine central to Catholicism but
rejected by Protestants. By depicting Christs
body as though it were physically present during
the Mass, Caravaggio visually articulated an
abstract theological precept. Unfortunately,
viewers no longer can experience this effect.
Figure 24-20
Baroque and Rococo Art
Artemisia Gentileschi Judith Slaying
Holofernes ca. 1614-1620
Italian Baroque
Gentileschi used what might be called the dark
subject matter Caravaggio that favored.
Significantly, Gentileschi chose a narrative
involving a heroic female, and favorite theme of
hers. The story, from the work of the Old
Testament, the Book of Judith, relates the
delivery of Israel from its enemy, Holofernes.
Having succumbed to Judiths charms, the Assyrian
general Holofernes invited her to his tent for
the night. When he fell asleep, Judith cut off
his head. In this version of the scene, Judith
and her maidservant are beheading Holofernes.
The events drama cannot be evaded--blood spurts
everywhere, and the strength necessary to comlete
the task is evident as the two women struggle
with the sword.
Figure 24-21
Baroque and Rococo Art
Annibale Carracci Flight into Egypt 1603-1604
Italian Baroque
This painting is based on the biblical narrative
from Matthew 213-14. Here, Mary, with the
Christ Child and Saint Joseph, are greatly
diminished in size, simply becoming part of the
landscape as they wind their way slowly to Egypt
after having been ferried across a stream.
Figure 24-22
Here he pictorially represented nature ordered by
divine law and human reason. The styles roots
are in the landscape backgrounds on Venetian
Renaissance paintings. Tranquil hills and fields,
quietly gliding streams, serene skies, unruffled
foliage, shepherds with their flocks--all the
props of the pastoral scene and mood--expand in
such paintings to fill the picture space.
Carracci regularly included screens of trees in
the foreground, dark against the skys even
light. In this scene, streams or terraces,
carefully placed one above the other and
narrowed, zigzag through the terrain, leading the
viewers eyes back to the middle ground.
Baroque and Rococo Art
Annibale Carracci Loves of the Gods 1597-1601
Italian Baroque
Cardinal Odoardo Farnese, a wealthy descendant of
Pope Paul III, commissioned this ceiling fresco
to celebrate the wedding of the cardinals
brother. The title interprets the variety of
earthly and divine love in classical mythology.
Carracci arranged the scenes in a format
resembling framed easel paintings on a wall, but
here he painted them on the surfaces of a shallow
curved vault. The Sistine Chapel ceiling, of
course, comes in mind, although it is not an
exact source. This type of simulation of easel
painting for ceiling designed is called quadro
riportato (transferred framed painting).
Carraccis great influence made it fashionable
for more than a century. The framed pictures are
flanked by polychrome seated nude youths, who
turn their heads to gaze at the scenes around
them, and by standing Atlas figures painted to
resemble marble statues. Carracci derived these
motifs from Michelangelos Sistine Chapel
Figure 24-23
Baroque and Rococo Art
Guido Reni Aurora 1613-1614
Italian Baroque
Reni selected Raphael for his inspiration, as is
evident in his Aurora, a celing fresco in the
Casino Rospigliosi in Rome. Aurora leads Apollos
chariot, while the Hours dance about it. Reni
conceived Aurora in quadro riportato, like the
paintings in Carraccis Loves of the Gods, and
painted a complex and convincing illusionistic
frame. The fresco exhibits a suave, almost
swimming, motion soft modeling and sure
composition, without Raphaels sculpturesque
strength. It is an intelligent interpretation of
the masters style and of ancient classical art,
for the ultimate sources of the composition were
Roman reliefs and coins depicting emperors in
triumphal chariots accompanied by flying
vVictories and other personifications.
Figure 24-24
Baroque and Rococo Art
Pietro da Cortona, Triumph of the
Barberini, Palazzo Barberini, Rome, Italy,
Italian Baroque
The image is centered on the accomplishments of
the Barberinis. Providence appears in a halo
with a radiant light, directing
immortality, holding a crown of stars, to
bestow eternal life on the Barberini family. The
laurel wreath also reinforces the enduring
Barberini legacy. It floats around the bees and
is supported by the virtues of hope, faith, and
charity. The papal tiara and keys announcing
the personal triumphs of Urban VIII are also
visibly clear.
In 1633, Pope Urban VIII commissioned a ceiling
fresco for the Gran Salone of the Palazzo
Barberini in Rome. This project was the
most important decorative commission of the
1630s, thus artists highly coveted it.
Figure 24-25
Baroque and Rococo Art
Giovanni Battista Gaulli Triumph in the Name of
Jesus, Church of Gesu, Rome, Italy, 1676-1679
Italian Baroque
The Triumph in the Name of Jesus appears over the
nave of the Church of Il in Gesu in Rome. The
visual effect Gaulli created is stunning.
Gilded architecture opens up in the center of
the ceiling to offer viewers a glimpse of Heaven.
The artist represented Jesus as a barely
visible monogram in a blinding radiant light that
floats heavenward. In contrast, sinners are
violently thrown back down to Earth. The
painter glazed the gilded architecture to suggest
shadows, thereby enhancing the scenes
illusionistic quality. To further heighten the
illusion, he painted many of the sinners on 3-D
stucco extensions which project outside the
paintings frame.
The dazzling spectacle of ceiling frescoes also
proved very effective for commissions
illustrating religious themes. They offered
opportunities to impress on viewers the Catholic
Churchs glory and power.
Figure 24-26
Baroque and Rococo Art
Fra Andrea Pozzo, Glorification of Saint
Ignatius, Rome, Italy, 1691-1694
Italian Baroque
Pozzo created the illusion that Heaven is opening
up above the congregations heads. To
accomplish this, the artist illusionistically
continued the churchs actual architecture into
the vault so that the roof seems to be lifted
off. As Heaven and Earth commingle, Saint
Ignatius is carried to the waiting Christ in the
presence of figures personifying the four corners
of the world. A disk in the nave floor marks the
standpoint for the whole perspectival illusion.
Like the Il Gesu it was prominent in Counter-
Reformation Rome because of its dedication to
Saint Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuit order.
Figure 24-27