baroque - 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

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baroque Bernini Caravaggio


Page 1: Baroque - 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

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• 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

‘counter reformation’

• Artists were expected to endorse the

authority of the Church

• The scripture was to be illustrated in

a way that expressed the concerns of

the Church

• This was the reason for a heightened

emotional content and sense of


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Bernini - Principle sculptor of the baroque And counter reformation.

Gianlorenzo Bernini's "Ecstasy of St. Teresa" (1647-52),

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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.

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• 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.

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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

del Monte.

2. Through the cardinal, Caravaggio

was commissioned, at age 24, to

paint for the church of San Luigi

dei Francesi.

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. • 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

court tennis

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Page 11: Baroque - Caravaggio

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.

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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.

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Caravaggio. The Lute-Player. c.1595-1596

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• 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.

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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


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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

the clouds.

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


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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

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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


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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

Caravaggio drawing

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


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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

Caravaggio’s painting

The lighting

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 event

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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


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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.

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St Mathew and the angel

First Version

1. the angel gently guides the saint's uncertain

hand as he writes the gospel,

2. To our modern mind endearing and

charming figure.

3. To the people of this time he is not the

spiritual Giant usually depicted using Greek

ideal type

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.

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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

too big.

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.

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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


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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

bench, in


equilibrium, like

a modern


• but this time the


elements do not

seem to have

raised particular


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Page 29: Baroque - Caravaggio

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

genre paintings.

• 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

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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


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• 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.

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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


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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


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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

before reaction.

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• The picture is

divided into two


• The standing

figures on the

right form a



• those gathered

around the table

on the left a



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• 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

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Use of light

• The light has

been no less



• the visible

window covered

with oilskin, very

likely to provide

diffused light in

the painter's


• the upper light,

to illuminate

Saint Matthew's

face and the

seated group;

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• 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


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The Martyrdom

of St Matthew

• Hangs on the

right wall of

the Contarelli


• and is lit from

the left, as if

from the


behind the


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The location

• Is the steps up to

a Christian altar,

with a Greek

cross marked on

its front,

• and a candle


• In the

background on

the left, we can

just make out the

shaft of a column

in the almost



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• 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

classical reliefs.

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• 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


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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.

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The Conversion on the

Way to Damascus

1. After the clamorous success of the

Contarelli Chapel.

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.

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• The more


altarpiece was

given to another

artist of great


• Annibale Carracci,

who had followed

the path of the

great masters,

• imitating and

renewing the

concepts and

manners of



The conversion

of St. Paul

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Michelangelo: The

crucifixion of St. Peter

Caravaggio In


1. with the

colossal genius

of renaissance



Buonarrotti, who

had died in


2. Nobody in Rome

could be

unaware of the

Pauline frescoes



had carried out

in his old age.

3. This was the

task: to surpass

the old master

as well as


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• 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.

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• 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

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• 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

space available.

• But he tried again and this time on canvas. However he may have seen the Carracci altarpiece,

finished in the meantime.

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• 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

Contarelli chapel.

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The Crucifixion of St. Peter, 1600, oil on

canvas 230x175cm

The conversion of Saul, 1600, oil on

canvas, 230x175cm

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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.

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• 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.

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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

discarded sword.

2.Bellori's * view that the scene is

'entirely without action' misses

the point. Like a composer who

values silence, Caravaggio

respects stillness.

*Gian Pietro Bellori (1613–1696),

Italian painter and antiquarian but more

famously, a prominent biographer of artists

of the 17th century, equivalent to Giorgio


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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

art forms.

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.

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• 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

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• Artemisia‘s Judith and


• The unpretentious

approach the passion and

intensity of Artemisia’s

paintings are what make

her unique

• 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.