baroque art & rococo


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Page 1: Baroque Art & Rococo

Baroque Art & Rococo17th and early 18th Centuries in Europe

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The term Baroque once had a negative meaning.

The name is derived from Baroque pearls – pearls with unusual, odd shapes

Compared to Renaissance art, it was considered to be “over-dramatic” and the

architecture, “overly decorated”.

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Baroque Pearl

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Baroque style is Dramatic

Strong Contrast of Light and Dark

Dynamic Composition

Architecture is decorative / many details

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Roman Catholic Church supported Baroque art style in response to the Protestant Reformation (movement to

reform Catholic Church) – communication of religious themes with viewer's direct and emotional involvement

Aristocracy adopted Baroque style to impress visitors and to express triumphant power and control

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Baroque Style spread throughout Europe, including Italy, Holland, France, and Spain.

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Italian Baroque

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Annibale Carracci, Loves of the Gods, 1597 – 1601, Ceiling Fresco

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Annibale Carracci, Loves of the Gods

Commissioned by Cardinal Farnese to celebrate the wedding of his brother

Various Gods and Humans in love

“quadro riportato” – looks like framed easel paintings

Inspired by Italian Renaissance art (Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian)

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Baroque fresco Renaissance fresco

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Caravaggio, Conversion of St. Paul, 1601, Oil on Canvas

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Story of Pharisee Saul converting to Christianity

Appears to be an accident in the horse stable (everyday life)

Caravaggio used strong light and dark / shadowy style (greatly influenced European art)

Perspective and Chiaroscuro (light and shadow) used to bring the viewer closer to the event

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Caravaggio, Calling of St. Matthew, 1597 – 1601, Oil on Canvas

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Christ enters from the right to summon Levi (a Roman tax collector) to a “higher calling”

Bland street scene (“normal, everyday life”)

Caravaggio’s style of strong light and shadow

Light as a symbol of God

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Gianlorenzo Bernini, Baldacchino, 1624 – 1633, Gilded Bronze

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Bronze “canopy” over the tomb of St. Peter

Focal point of church

Made from Bronze of doors of the ancient Roman Pantheon (Pantheon was a temple for Pagan religion)

Commissioned by the Barberini Family

30 Meters Tall

St. Peter’s, Vatican (Rome)

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St. Peter's, Rome exterior – late Renaissance (Completed 1690) designed in part by Michelangelo

Largest interior of any Catholic Church in world – holds up to 60, 000 people

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Ancient Roman Pantheon, 125 – 28 CE

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Spanish Baroque

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Diego Valazquez, Las Meninas (The Maids of Honor), 1656, Oil on Canvas

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• Informal family portrait

• Theme “Mystery of the Visual World”

• Young Princess in middle “Infantata”

• Maids in waiting helping her

• Her favorite dwarfs and her dog

• Valasquez is working on large canvas (portrait of King Philip IV and Queen Mariana (reflections in mirror)

• Man framed in doorway

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Diego Valazquez, Surrender of Breda, 1634 – 1635, Oil on Canvas

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Made for King Philip IV

Spanish Victory over Dutch in 1625

Spanish troops on right (organized - victory)

Dutch troops on left (disorganized – defeat)

Spanish General patting the back of Dutch General

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Francisco de Zurbaran, Saint Serpion, 1628, Oil on Canvas

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St. Serpion (Martyr) – tied to a tree and tortured (devotion to religion)

St. Serpion - monk born in England - “commoner” (normal person)

De Zurbaran inspired by Caravaggio’s light and shadow

Figure fills the foreground (close to viewer)

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Dutch Baroque

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Rembrandt van Rijn Self-Portrait in a Cap, Etching, 1630

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• Created when he was a student

• Exercise in lighting, expression

• Rembrandt created at least 70

self-portraits during his lifetime

(oil paintings and etchings)Rembrandt van Rijn Self-Portrait in a Cap, Etching, 1630

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Rembrandt Self-Portraits

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Rembrandt van Rijn, Return of the Prodigal Son, 1665, Oil on Canvas

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Stillness / inward contemplation (less dramatic than Italian Baroque paintings)

Humility and humanity of Christ

Father and Son relationship (father forgiving Christ)

Light mixed with shadow

Light focused on father and son

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Jan VermeerThe Art of PaintingOil on Canvas1662 – 1668

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Jan VermeerThe Art of PaintingOil on Canvas1662 – 1668

• Vermeer painted less than 40 paintings in his lifetime (eight of them considered masterpieces)

• Vermeer known for his domestic interior scenes

• Vermeer worked slowly - highly detailed

• Realistic perspective

• Dramatic use of lighting from behind curtain

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Anthony van Dyck, Charles I

Dismounted,1635, Oil on Canvas

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Van Dyck – portrait artist (full body portraits)

Elegant portrait of King of England

King as a nobleman riding a horse in park

King higher up – looking down

Landscape in background

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French Baroque

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Hyancinthe Rigaud, Louis XIV, 1701, Oil

on Canvas

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King Louis XIV


Absolute Monarchy

Wore high heels to make him taller (5’4”)

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Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Charles Le Brun, Hall of Mirrors (Palace of Versailles), 1680, interior architecture

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Hall of Mirrors in King Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles

Mirror – Baroque source of illusion

100’s of rooms in palace

Rich decoration / details

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Palace of Versailles, Paris

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Rococo Art

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• 18th Century Style began in France

• In Reaction to Baroque Style

• Associated with King Louis XV

• Characterized by soft pastel colors

• Architecture is light and airy

• Asymmetrical Design

• Playful and Witty Style

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Interior of Hôtel de Soubise Paris

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Hôtel de Soubise interior designed by Germain Boffrand, Paris, 1735 - 1740

• Palace built in 1375 for Prince and Princess de Soubise - now a museum

• Interiors renovated in Rococo style in 1735 – 1740

• Light and airy oval-shaped rooms

• Light and airy feeling,

asymmetrical, decorative curves, creamy pastel colors with gold

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Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Swing,

oil on canvas, 1767

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Jean-Honoré Fragonard, The Swing, oil on canvas, 1767

• Typical Rococo Style

• Departure from Serious Baroque Subject Matter

• Pastel Colors

• Visual Movement / Diagonal Composition

• Garden Scene with Cupid Statues

• Witty Subject / Erotic