baroque - caravaggio
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DESCRIPTIONbaroque Bernini Caravaggio
• was not used until the 19th C and was used in a derogatory way.
• Taken from the world of pearl fishing meaning rough or irregular
• It was partly a reaction to the mannerist style of the 16th C
• It was committed to the expression of human emotion and ornamental
• Human drama is a central element highly expressive with theatrical gestures
• Rococo is used in architecture, music and literature
• Synonymous with lightness, highly decorative and stylish elegance
• Emerges in Paris in early 18th C spreads to the rest of Europe
• Florence and Venice had up to this
time dominated the art world
• Now the centre of art moves to Rome.
• After the reformation the Catholic
world regains is authority in the
• Artists were expected to endorse the
authority of the Church
• The scripture was to be illustrated in
a way that expressed the concerns of
• This was the reason for a heightened
emotional content and sense of
Bernini - Principle sculptor of the baroque And counter reformation.
Gianlorenzo Bernini's "Ecstasy of St. Teresa" (1647-52),
Self portrait as Bacchus
Caravaggio 1537 – 1610 • He was born Michelangelo
Merisi on Sept. 28, 1573, in Caravaggio, Italy.
• Orphaned at age 11, he was apprenticed to the painter Simone Peterzano of Milan for four years.
• At some time between 1588 and 1592, Caravaggio went to Rome and worked as an assistant to painters of lesser skill.
• He was gained a reputation for
being a violent and passionate
man who could act very
irrationally at times.
• This is not reflected in his art
which is controlled passion and
• He looked upon the full reality of
human existence with its highs
and lows glories and sordid
• Rembrandt is the true inheritor
of Caravaggio in his truth and
use of Chiaroscuro.
• The play of dramatic lighting is a
technique created by Caravaggio
and is his particular contribution
to art development.
Portrait of Cardinal Francesco Maria
del Monte by Ottavio Leoni
1. About 1595 he began to sell his
paintings through a dealer. The
dealer brought Caravaggio to the
attention of Cardinal Francesco
2. Through the cardinal, Caravaggio
was commissioned, at age 24, to
paint for the church of San Luigi
. • In its Contarelli Chapel Caravaggio's realistic
naturalism first fully appeared in
three scenes he created of the
life of St. Matthew.
• The works caused public outcry,
however, because of their
realistic and dramatic nature.
• Despite violent criticism, his
reputation increased and
Caravaggio began to be envied.
• He had many encounters with
the law during his stay in Rome.
He was imprisoned for
several assaults and for
killing an opponent after a
disputed score in a game of
Caravaggio fled the city and kept
moving between hiding places. He
reached Naples, probably early in 1607,
and painted there for a time, awaiting a
pardon by the pope.
The Bacchus and the Lute
Caravaggio‘s themes • These are early ‘genre
• The lute Player is a
seductive and sensual
painting of a young boy
often mistaken for a girl.
• Caravaggio’s sexual
preference is clearly
• He is not making any
judgements he merely
depicts sensual pleasure
as the music of the Lute is
to the ears so is the
pleasure of the flesh
• In the Bacchus painting the
figure could be the same
model and is holding a cup
of wine pleasure of the
palate and of the mind.
Caravaggio. The Lute-Player. c.1595-1596
• It is an on-going theme of Caravaggio to show the transience of short lived
enjoyment of all pleasure
• Also the brevity of life
• This is seen in the flowers that will soon wither away and even more so in the
fruit which is shown overripe and a worm hole is visible
• The play of light is Caravaggio’s speciality here and he uses the technique of
Chiaroscuro to show contrasts such as good evil, life death light and darkness.
The death of the virgin
• This picture depicts a genuinely dead
body sprawled out with un-idealised
and dirty feet sticking out
• She is surrounded by real people who
express genuine emotion
• Mary Magdalene bends over in grief
near a copper bowl an everyday piece
of equipment she has been using to
wash the body
• There is a scarlet cloth hung above
the scene as a reference to: the
sacrifice of blood, her divinity and
upward movement of the soul.
• Usually the Virgin is depicted as an
idealised figure ascending in clouds.
• The Carmelites were offended by
Caravaggio’s depiction of the Virgin
because of its uncompromising
1. There was a rumour that
the model had been the
drowned body of a
2. This was a great departure
from previous depictions of
this theme in which the
Virgin is shown ascending
in idealistic splendour upon
3. There is a sense of real
grief here and real death
4. The rejection by the priests
seems strange to us
because of the pictures
powerful authenticity but
must be seen in the light of
what they were used to
The Supper at Emmaus
1. The moment in the story is Caravaggio illustrating - The two disciples meet
Jesus after his resurrection as they walk along a road. They stop at nightfall at
an inn. At the dinner table they suddenly realise who this person is at the
moment when he breaks the bread
The symbolism of the basket of fruit.
1. The basket of fruit is past its sell by date and is teetering on the edge of the
2. The fruit is autumnal fruits and not Spring are chosen fro symbolic meanings
3. Pomegranate symbolises the crown of thorns
4. apples and figs man’s sin and the
5. grapes symbolise the blood of Christ
6. The shadow on the table forms the shape of a fish, a subtle reference to
The poses of the 2 disciples.
1. The disciple on the right is wearing
the shell of a pilgrim
1. His outstretched arm pushes into our
space showing the sophistication of
2. His arms echo the crucifixion and
contrast with the torn elbow of the
other disciple thrusting out of the
3. His gesture is arrested just as he is
about to thrust himself upward in
The Christ Figure
1. Christ is depicted as a young
man almost a youth in keeping
with Caravaggio’s predilection
for beautiful youths and not the
usual depiction of a bearded
and older Christ
2. He is serene and remote having
transcended the agony of the
3. His face flooded with a clear
light which falls from the left
this is a standard ploy in
1. The innkeeper stands in the
path of the light but cannot
obscure the light on Christ and
his shadow falls on the wall
demonstrating his ignorance of
The Contarelli Chapel
• In 1565 the French Monsignor
Matteo Contarelli acquired a
chapel in San Luigi dei
Francesi in Rome, but when
he died twenty years later it
had not yet been decorated.
• Caravaggio was
commissioned to execute
two paintings for the lateral
walls. Later an altarpiece was
entrusted to Caravaggio in a
separate contract the Feast
of the Pentecost.
• This painting was rejected,
the artist made another one
(which was accepted) in a
surprisingly brief time,
receiving payment for this
second work on 22
Mathew and the Angel
1. The first version of the St
Matthew and the Angel was
purchased by Marchese
Vincenzo Giustiniani and
then ended up in
Berlin 2. where it was destroyed in
the Second World War.
3. Only black and white
photos are still available.
The second version still
stands over the altar today.
St Mathew and the angel
1. the angel gently guides the saint's uncertain
hand as he writes the gospel,
2. To our modern mind endearing and
3. To the people of this time he is not the
spiritual Giant usually depicted using Greek
4. Rather we see a slow-witted humbly attired
commoner whose lack of eloquence and
learning is clearly evident in his struggle to
5. He lacks the grandeur and dignity required
by renaissance types
6. Caravaggio makes a powerful statement, the
dignity of the common man and God’s ability
to use ordinary people to accomplish his will.
1. With his eyes wide open, and
with heavy hands, he peers into
the thick volumes on his knee.
2. It is not easy to believe he can
3. His angel has the greatest
difficulty in leading his
untrained hand to put the word
of God into letters, which are far
4. In doing so, the angel inclines
his charming figure, whose
shape can clearly be seen
beneath his light garment.
5. And so can his androgynous
face and long locks of hair, in
contrast to the rough bald skull
of St Matthew.
6. Against the almost black
background, which has been
trimmed on the left and at the
top, we see the exquisite white
of his enormous wings.
The Second Version
1. The first painting was criticised for
Matthew's lack of decorum.
2. He was asked to repeat the
painting in a more conventional
3. In the final version, likewise a
splendid feat of imagination but
certainly less fascinating than the
first, the angel much more
correctly counts on his fingers,
4. in the traditional scholastic
fashion, the arguments that the
saint should take note of and
Caravaggio had tremendous confidence in his vision and although famed as an
artist he continuously seemed to be offensive to the establishment. This is not
really connected to his tempestuous temperament but rather his strong
conviction as a highly sophisticated and individual artist.
A whirlwind of
• Envelops the
• The saint
balances on his
• but this time the
elements do not
seem to have
The calling of St Mathew This painting is the pendant to the Martyrdom of St Matthew and hanging opposite in the Contarelli
The sources • The subject traditionally was represented either indoors or out; sometimes Saint Matthew
is shown inside a building, with Christ outside (following the Biblical text) summoning
him through a window.
• Both before and after Caravaggio the subject was often used as a pretext for anecdotal
• Caravaggio may well have been familiar with earlier Netherlandish paintings of money
lenders or of gamblers seated around a table like Saint Matthew and his associates.
Bernado Strozzi Hendrick ter Brugghen
The Depiction of the Event 1. Caravaggio represented the event as a nearly silent, dramatic narrative.
2. The sequence of actions before and after this moment can be easily and convincingly
3. The tax-gatherer Levi (Saint Matthew's name before he became the apostle) was seated
at a table with his four assistants,
4. counting the day's proceeds, the group lighted from a source at the upper right of the
• Christ, His eyes veiled, with His halo the only hint of divinity, enters with Saint
• With a gesture of His right hand, all the more powerful and compelling
because of its languor, he summons Levi. (has he seen the Sistine chapel
‘creation of Adam?)
• Surprised by the intrusion and perhaps dazzled by the sudden light from the
just-opened door, Levi draws back and gestures toward himself with his left
hand as if to say, "Who, me?", his right hand remaining on the coin he had
been counting before Christ's entrance.
The other figures
1. The two figures on the left, derived
from a 1545 Hans Holbein print
representing gamblers unaware of the
appearance of Christ, are so
concerned with counting the money
that they do not even notice his
2. Symbolically their inattention to Christ
deprives them of the opportunity He
offers for eternal life, and condemns
1. The two boys in the centre
do respond, the younger
one drawing back against
Levi as if seeking his
2. The swaggering older one,
who is armed, leaning
forward a little
The dramatic point
1. The dramatic point of the picture is
that for this moment, no one does
2. Christ's appearance is so
unexpected and His gesture so
commanding as to suspend action
for a shocked instant, before
reaction can take place.
3. In another second, Levi will rise up
to follow Christ in fact; Christ's feet
are already turned as if to leave the
4. The particular power of the picture
is in this cessation of action.
5. It utilizes the fundamentally static
medium of painting to convey
characteristic human indecision
after a challenge or command and
• The picture is
divided into two
• The standing
figures on the
right form a
• those gathered
around the table
on the left a
• The costumes reinforce the contrast. Levi and his subordinates, who are
involved in affairs of this world, are dressed in a contemporary mode,
• While the barefoot Christ and Saint Peter, who summon Levi to another life and
world, appear in timeless cloaks.
• The two groups are also separated by a void, bridged literally and symbolically
by Christ's hand.
• This hand, like Adam's in Michelangelo's Creation, unifies the two parts
formally and psychologically
Use of light
• The light has
been no less
• the visible
with oilskin, very
likely to provide
diffused light in
• the upper light,
face and the
• And the light behind Christ
and Saint Peter, introduced
only with them.
• It may be that this third
source of light is intended as
miraculous. Otherwise, why
does Saint Peter cast no
shadow on the defensive
youth facing him?
• This is a device to
demonstrate supernatural in a
natural world and is Particular
to Caravaggio as we have
seen in the supper at
of St Matthew
• Hangs on the
right wall of
• and is lit from
the left, as if
• Is the steps up to
a Christian altar,
with a Greek
cross marked on
• and a candle
• In the
the left, we can
just make out the
shaft of a column
in the almost
• Steps ascend parallel to the picture
towards the altar at the back.
• They also appear on the left, where
churches do not normally have steps.
• For this reason some experts have
claimed to detect a baptismal font in
the foreground, especially as men are
lying nearby, half-naked.
• On the left, a man is leaning against a
• He has no more concrete a role than
two youths crouching in the
foreground on the right,
• staring at the main action.
• They form the right-hand border of the
composition, like river-gods on
• The picture's main figure is also half-naked. This
is not the martyr, but his executioner. He has
emerged from the depth of the picture to stand
near the altar.
• Caravaggio is really depicting the murderer's
moment. He has thrown St Matthew, a bearded
old man, to the ground. As a priest, he is wearing
alb and chasuble.
• Whilst his victim helplessly props himself up on
the ground, the Herculean youth seizes his wrist
in his right hand, to hold the victim still for the
Yet the apostle's attempt to ward off his murderer, with his furious face, turns into
a different gesture as an angel extends a martyr's palm-leaf to his open hand.
The Conversion on the
Way to Damascus
1. After the clamorous success of the
2. Caravaggio received a new
commission. The wealthy Tiberio
Cerasi had bought a family chapel
in the church of St. Maria del
Popolo, and he wanted the best
that money could buy.
3. Like he had done in the Contarelli
chapel Caravaggio was to paint
the two side paintings, this time
depicting respectively the
crucifixion of St. Peter and the
conversion of St. Paul.
• The more
given to another
artist of great
• Annibale Carracci,
who had followed
the path of the
• imitating and
of St. Paul
crucifixion of St. Peter
1. with the
had died in
2. Nobody in Rome
unaware of the
had carried out
in his old age.
3. This was the
task: to surpass
the old master
as well as
• Caravaggio must have felt the
weight of the task.
• And he almost failed. The contract
stipulates that the paintings be
carried out on wood, as indeed they
• Unfortunately Caravaggio or maybe
his employee looked at what he had
accomplished - and rejected the
• Of these two paintings on wood only
the Conversion of St. Paul still
exists, and it gives us a good hint as
to what was wrong.
• The picture is utterly confusing.
• Far too much is going on. Jesus is hovering from the upper right corner, supported by a boy-angel.
• The bearded soldier, with his eyes half closed is referring to the companions of Saul who heard the
voice but saw nothing. He is an emblem of the disbeliever
• In the bottom we see Saul in armor, pressing his hands against his eyes. In many ways the picture is
like that of Michelangelo.
• The horse, the soldier, and the Savior descending, but where Michelangelo clarifies his picture by
grouping the persons . . . Everything, in Caravaggio's attempt seems cramped together in the small
• But he tried again and this time on canvas. However he may have seen the Carracci altarpiece,
finished in the meantime.
• Carracci had made a clear
composition, based on the
renaissance model of Raphael or
Andrea del Sarto.
• Triangles put together to form an
entity. Even though the two front
figures seem exalted, the overall
impression is that of harmony.
• Caravaggio must have felt impelled to
try to combine the compositional
clarity of Carracci with the radical
realism he had developed in the
The Crucifixion of St. Peter, 1600, oil on
The conversion of Saul, 1600, oil on
1. The two paintings are close ups. The drama is concentrated.
2. The crucifixion shows a double axial composition, repeating the cross motif twice, whereas the
conversion is like an upside down version of the Carracci altarpiece.
3. Only the light shining upon the fallen Saul indicates the presence of Jesus.
4. Whatever happens here happens in Saul's mind.
5. The outward drama of the previous version has been abandoned leaving us with a fallen human being,
lower than even the beast above, but begging for an explanation.
6. In the St. Peter on his side we see the aged body of the apostle, and feel it's weight, just like the three
men struggling to get the cross upright.
• Caravaggio's depictions - have little in common with the brilliant colours and stylized
attitudes of Annibale, and Caravaggio seems by far the more modern artist.
• Caravaggio is close to the Bible.
• The horse is there and, to hold him, a groom, but the drama is internalized within the
mind of Saul. He lies on the ground stunned, his eyes closed as if dazzled by the
brightness of God's light that streams down the white part of the skewbald horse, but
that the light is heavenly is clear only to the believer, for Saul has no halo.
• In the spirit of Luke, the author of Acts, Caravaggio makes religious experience look like
a natural event.
1.Technically the picture has
defects. The horse, based on
Dürer, looks hemmed in, there is
too much happening at the
composition's base, too many
feet cramped together, let alone
Saul's splayed hands and
2.Bellori's * view that the scene is
'entirely without action' misses
the point. Like a composer who
values silence, Caravaggio
*Gian Pietro Bellori (1613–1696),
Italian painter and antiquarian but more
famously, a prominent biographer of artists
of the 17th century, equivalent to Giorgio
Paris opera house - exuberant neo-classical style and a persistent baroque character. Charles Garnier architect
The birth of Opera 1. An aspect of high Baroque the idea of opera was a fusion of all musical
2. Instrumental, singing and drama
3. La Dafne by Jacopo Peri is the first documented example of an opera
4. The at reached maturity with Claudio Monteverdi 1567-1633 who wrote
‘Orfeo’ in Mantua
5. The first public opera house opened in 1637 in Venice.
• Is difficult to identify female artists
• Women were excluded from life classes with nude models as a result they were
at a decided disadvantage
• Rachel Ruysch ; Amsterdam1664 - 1750 Dutch Still-life painter.
• Judith Leyster ; 1609 - 1660 Also Dutch painter
• Artemisia Gentileschi 1593–1652 Italian Early Baroque painter
• Artemisia‘s Judith and
• The unpretentious
approach the passion and
intensity of Artemisia’s
paintings are what make
• She suffered a rape by one
of her father’s friends
• This must have left her
with a special insight into
violence and betrayal.
• She would have had to
battle against the
prejudices of her culture
which included the belief
in the natural inferiority of
• This may have fuelled the
fire with which she depicts
Judith and Holofernes.