baroque guide

24 POPES, PEASANTS, MONARCHS AND MERCHANTS BAROQUE ART TEXT PAGES 688–747 BAROQUE ART IN THE 17TH CENTURY 1. With what religious movement is much of the Baroque art in Catholic countries associated? The Counter-Reformation. List three adjectives or phrases that describe its style: a. Dramatic theatricality. b. Grandiose scale. c. Elaborate ornateness. 2. What city was the focus of artistic patronage as the Catholic church tried to reestablish its primacy? Rome. 3. List three ways in which Madern’s Early Baroque church of Santa Susanna (FIG. 24-1) resembles the church of Il Gesu (FIG. 22-49): a. Each building has scroll buttresses connecting the upper and lower levels of the façade. 75 75

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BAROQUE ART IN THE 17TH CENTURY1. With what religious movement is much of the Baroque art in Catholic countries associated?

The Counter-Reformation.

List three adjectives or phrases that describe its style:

a. Dramatic theatricality.

b. Grandiose scale.

c. Elaborate ornateness.

2. What city was the focus of artistic patronage as the Catholic church tried to reestablish its primacy?


3. List three ways in which Madern’s Early Baroque church of Santa Susanna (FIG. 24-1) resembles the church of Il Gesu (FIG. 22-49):

a. Each building has scroll buttresses connecting the upper and lower levels of the façade.

b. Each building has two pediments, one for each story.

c. Sculptures in niches frame the central doorway in each building.

List three ways in which it differs:

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a. The façade has a greater verticality, concentrating and dramatizing the major features of its model.

b. The façade’s tall central section projects forward from the horizontal lower story.

c. Strong shadows cast by the vigorously projecting columns and pilasters mount dramatically toward the emphatically stressed central axis.

4. Name four architects who worked on St. Peter's and note the primary contribution of each.

a. Donato d’Angelo Bramante: The original plan and the concept of a hemispherical dome.

b. Michelangelo: The reduced plan and the ogival dome with drum.

c. Carlo Maderno: the façade.

d. Gianlorenzo Bernini: the colonnaded piazza.

5. What is a baldacchino?

Canopy-like structure on columns, frequently built over an altar.

6. List four major characteristics of Bernini's sculpture that are typical of Baroque art in general.

a. Expansive and theatrical.

b. The element of time usually plays an important role.

c. Dynamic quality conveying a bursting forth of energy.

d. Refusal to limit itself to firmly defined spatial settings.

7. In what way did Bernini depict the vision of St. Theresa (FIG 24-9)?

As light (shining from behind a hidden window of yellow glass) pouring down on bronze rays suggesting the radiance of Heaven.

8. Who developed the “sculptural” architectural style to its extreme? Francesco Borromoni.

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Name two buildings designed by him.

a. San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane. b. Chapel of Saint Ivo.

Both are located in the city of Rome.

9. While the circle had been the ideal geometric figure to Renaissance architects,

Baroque planners preferred the oval..

Why?The oval is a more dynamic form of the circle, creating an interior that appears to flow from entrance to altar, unimpeded by the segmentation characteristic of Renaissance buildings.

10. What is the purpose of the lateral, three-part division of Baroque palace facades?A tripartite organization allows artists to introduce variety into their designs without destroying structural unity, and allows added emphasis to the central axis.

Upon what human psychological tendency does it seem to be based?It is probably based on the observation that the average person instinctively can recognize up to three objects as a unit. A greater number requires the viewer to count each object individually.

11. Name two countries were the architectural styles of Borromini and Guarini particularly influential? a. Austria b. Southern Germany

12. The common purpose of Caravaggio's Conversion of St. Paul (FIG. 24-18) and Bernini's The Ecstasy of St. Theresa (FIG. 24-9) was:To produce the representation of a vision, using actual light from each chapel’s windows.

13. List three characteristics of Caravaggio's style.

a. Injected naturalism into both religious and classical subjects with unidealized figures.

b. Sharply, dramatically lit figures emerging from a dark background.

c. Invites the viewer to participate in the scene.14. What was Caravaggio attempting to present in his religious pictures?

To compel the viewer’s interest and involvement in the scene.

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What pictorial devices did he use to achieve his goal?Action taking place in the foreground; low horizon line; dramatic light.

15. What is tenebroso?

“Shadowy” manner of dark settings enveloping their occupants.

List two countries where it was particularly inflential:

a. Spain b. The Netherlands

16. Which artists most influenced the style of Artemesia Gentileschi?Caravaggio and her father, Orazio Gentileschi.Who were Judith and Holophernes? Characters from the Apocryphal Book of Judith; Holofernes was an Assyrian general who was seduced by Judith and then beheaded by her.

What techniques does Artemesia use to portray the drama of the theme?Tenebrism, spurting blood, the physical strain of the women struggling with the sword, and controlled highlights on the action in the foreground.

17. List three assumptions that were basic to the teaching of art at the Bolognese academy.

a. Art can be taught.

b. The teaching of art must include the classical and Renaissance traditions.

c. The teaching must also include the study of anatomy and life drawing.

18. Who is credited with developing the "classical" or "ideal" landscape?Annibale Carracci.

What were its roots?The landscape backgrounds of Venetian Renaissance paintings.

19. What earlier work strongly influenced Annibale Carracci's ceiling frescoes in the gallery of the Farnese Palace in Rome (FIG. 24-23)?Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling.

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How did Carracci modify the original to achieve heightened illusionism?The chiaroscuro is not the same for both the paintings and the figures surrounding them. The painter modeled the figures inside the quadri in an even light. The outside figures seem to be lit from beneath, as if they were actual three-dimensional beings or statues illuminated from below.

20. What is quadro riportato and how was it used?Transferred frame painting, or simulation of easel painting for ceiling decoration. The framed pictures are flanked by polychrome figures who turn their heads to gaze at the scenes around them, and by Atlas figures painted to resemble marble statues.

21. Name two influences blended by Reni in his Aurora fresco (FIG. 24-24):a. Roman reliefs.b. Coins depicting emperors in triumphal chariots accompanied by

flying Victories and other personifications.

22. List three ways in which Pietro da Cortona’s frescoed ceiling in the Palazzo Barberini (FIG. 24-25) praised his patron:a. Divine Providence holds a crown of stars to bestow eternal life on

the Barberini family.b. The laurel wreath, another symbol of immortality.c. The papal tiara and keys announcing the personal triumphs of Urban VIII.

23. What effect did Gaulli create with the fresco he painted on the ceiling of Il Gesù in Rome (FIG. 24-26):A dramatic, transcendent spiritual environment as well as the glory and power of the Catholic Church.

List three devices he used to achieve that effect:a. Gilded architecture opens up in the center of the ceiling to offer

viewers a glimpse of Heaven.b. Jesus is represented as a barely visible monogram in a blinding

radiant light that floats heavenward.c. Gaulli painted many of the sinners on three-dimensional stucco

extensions that project outside the painting’s dome.

24. The panter beside Gaulli who worked for the Jesuits in Rome was Fra Andrea Pozzo. He painted the ceiling of the church of Sant’Ignazio in Rome for them.

What device did he use to merge heaven and earth?

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He illusionistically continued the church’s own architecture into the vault so that the roof seems to be lifted off.

25. Name two Spanish rulers from the Hapsburg dynasty who were patrons of the arts:a. Phillip III b. Phillip IV

26. What was the goal of many Spanish Baroque religious artists?To move viewers and to encourage greater devotion and piety.

Name a theme that was particularly popular among them:Death and martyrdom scenes.

27. Ribera's style was influenced by the "dark manner" of: Caravaggio.

28. What type of lighting did Zurbaran use in his pating of Saint Serapion (FIG. 24-29)?Bright light shining on the figure with a dark background, to call attention to the saint’s death and to increase the dramatic impact of the image.

29. Velazquez was court painter to King Phillip IV.

30. What does Velasquez’s Surrender of Breda (FIG. 24-31) commemorate?The Spanish victory over the Dutch in 1625.

31. What is the subject of Las Meninas (FIG. 24-33)?The Infanta Margarita with her two maids-in-waiting, her favorite dwarfs, and a large dog, as well as a man and a woman in the background.

How many levels of reality can you find in the picture?Four.

Briefly describe them.Canvas, mirror image, optical image, and of the two painted images.

What painting technique did Velazquez use in Las Meninas?The composition extends in depth both in front of (through the mirror and the gazes of the figures) and behind the painting (through the open door). Form and shadow are represented realistically. A great number of intermediate values of gray come between lights and darks, instead of putting them side by side as Caravaggio did.

32. The northern provinces constitute the modern country of The Netherlands,

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while those in the south constitute the country of Belgium.

During the seventeenth century, this southern region was known as Flanders..33. In his Elevation of the Cross (FIG. 24-34) Rubens synthesized his study of

classical antiquity with the work of the Italian masters Michelangelo, Tintoretto and Caravaggio, while adding his own dynamism.

List three features that contribute to the drama of the scene:

a. Foreshortened anatomy and twisted figures.

b. Christ is placed on the cross diagonally which cuts dynamically across the picture while inclining back into it.

c. Strong modeling in light and dark.

34. What member of the famous Florentine House of Medici commissioned Rubens to paint a cycle memorializing and glorifying her career and that of her late husband?Marie de’ Midici.

35. Name the painting that embodies Rubens’ attitude toward war:Allegory of the Outbreak of War.

What did the followng allegorical figures symbolize?

Monsters:Plague and famine.

Woman with a broken lute:Harmony cannot coexist beside the discord of war.

Architect fallen backwards:What is built in peace for the benefit and ornament of cities is laid in ruin and razed by the forces of arms.

Book and paper at the feet of Mars:War tramples on literature and other refinements.

Sorrowing woman in black:Unhappy Europe.

36. In what type of paintings did Van Dyck specialize?Court portraiture.

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How could his style best be characterized?Courtly manner of great elegance, and dramatic compositions of great quality.

37. In what type of subject matter did Clara Peeters specialize? Still lifes.

38. How did the religious and economic conditions in seventeenth-century Holland effect artistic patronage and production?

a. Amsterdam had the highest per capita income in Europe and enjoyed widespread prosperity across a large proportion of society, expanding the range of art patronage.

b. Political power increasingly passed into the hands of an urban patrician class of merchants. Art patronage catered to the tastes of a middle-class audience.

c. Calvinism demanded a puritanical rejection of art in churches, and thus artists produced relatively little religious art in the Dutch Republic, although it was tolerated when artists created it.

39. In what way was the work of Gerrit van Honthorst influenced by Caravaggio?The mundane tavern setting and the nocturnal lighting.

40. Frans Hals was the leading painter of the Haarlem school, and specialized in group portraits.

.What are the main elements of his style that distinguish his works

from those of his contemporaries?He was less ordered and regimented in his depiction of the sitters than his contemporaries. Each man is both a troop member and an individual. The figures look in multiple directions. He uses the uniformity of attire to create a lively rhythm.

Write down two adjectives that describe his style:a. Spontaneous. b. Vivacious.

41. Who commissioned Rembrandt to paint The Anatomy of Dr. Tulp (FIG. 24-44)?The surgeon’s guild.

What does this tell us about paronage in Holland during the 17th century?That guilds continued to be active patrons of the arts in addition to the upper-middle, middle, and lower-middle classes who drove most of the market.

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42. What feature of The Company of Captain Frans Fanning Coq (FIG. 24-45) led to its being misnamed The Night Watch?

The varnish Rembrandt used, which has darkened considerably over time.

What devices did Rembrant use to enliven the group portrait?The company is presented scurrying about in dramatic lighting.

43. List three adjectives or phrases that would contrast Rembrandt’s religious works to Counter-Reformation art works:

a. Spiritual stillness.b. Humanity and humility of Jesus.c. Psychological insight and sympathy.

44. What was Rembrandt trying to express in his portraits and self-portraits?The most subtle nuances of character and mood.

45. Briefly describe Rembrandt's use of light and shade.He refined light and shade into finer and finer nuances until they blended with one another, a development from earlier painters’ use of abrupt lights and darks. A greater fidelity to actual appearances is created because the eyes perceive light and dark not as static but as always subtly changing.

How does his use of light and shade effect the mood of his later portraits?Variation of light and shade, subtly modulated, could be read as emotional differences: “the psychology of light.” The prevailing moods are that of quietness, tranquil meditation, philosophical resignation, and musing recollection.

46. Briefly describe the technique of etching.A copper plate is covered in a layer of wax or varnish. The artist incises the design into this surface with an etching needle or pointed tool, exposing the metal below. The plate is then immersed in acid, which eats away the exposed parts of the metal, acting the same as the burin in engraving.

What are its advantages over engraving?It is more manageable than engraving and allows greater freedom in drawing the design. The medium’s softness gives etchers greater carving freedom and offering the greatest subtlety of line and tone.

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47. For what genre was the Dutch painter Judith Leyster most famous? Portraiture.What characteristic did she share with Hals? Spontaneity.

48. What reason could be given for the Dutch interest in landscape painting?The Dutch had a very direct relationship to the land, having undertaken an extensive land reclamation project that lasted almost a century that impacted social and economic life.

Name two artists who specialized in it:a. Aelbert Cuyp b. Jacob van Ruisdael

49. What was Vermeer's favorite type of subject matter? Interior scenes.

50. In what way does Vermeer's use of light differ from Rembrandt's?He rendered space so convincingly through his depiction of light that in his works, the picture surfaces functions as an invisible glass pane through which the viewer looks in to the constructed illusion.

51. On what principle does a camera obscura work?Light is passed through a tiny pinhole or lens to project an image on a screen or the wall of a room.

52.List three important facts about the optics of color that are illustrated in Vermeer’s paintings:

a. Shadows are not colorless and dark.

b. Adjoining colors affect each other.

c. Light is composed of colors.

53. How does the mood created by Steen’s interiors differ from that created by Vermeer's? Steen painted scenes of chaos and disruption with a festive atmosphere.

54. What might the children’s behavior symbolize in Steen’s Feast of St. Nicholas (FIG. 24-54)?Their behavior might be a satirical commentary on adult behavior, in this case selfishness, pettiness, and jealousy.

55. What is a “Vanitas” still life?

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Still lifes that contain objects that function as reminders of death, or memento mori.

56. The paintings of Rachael Ruysch reflect a particular interest in:Flowers.

57. Which French artist is credited with having established seventeenth-century Classical painting? Nicolas Poussin.

Where did he spend most of his life?Rome.

What two Italian artists did he most admire?Titian and Raphael.

58. What four characteristics of Et in Arcadia Ego(FIG. 24-58) are typical of Poussin's fully developed Classical style?

a. Figures based on classical statuary.b. The compact, balanced grouping of the figures.c. The even light.d. The thoughtful, reserved, and mournful mood.

59. What type of subjects did Poussin consider to be appropriate for paintings done in the "grand manner"?Battles, heroic actions, and religious themes.

What did he think should be avoided?Minute details, as well as all “low” subjects such as genre.

60. Poussin and Rubens were considered as the two poles in the Baroque debate between the forces of passion and reason. Which pole do you think each artist represented? What characteristics in the work of each artist do you thinnk would reflect those attitudes?

Rubens:Passion. Rubens was known for chaotic action, decorative splendor, and vigorous figures.

Poussin:Reason. He preferred to use the classical, rational mode of painting, with its correctness and propriety, and to employ a certain evenness

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and moderation in all things. For instance, he painted nature as subordinate to a rational plan in Burial of Phocion.

61. In what major way does the landscape in Poussin's Burial of Phocion (FIG. 24-59) differ from Van Ruisdael's View of Haarlem (FIG. 24-51)?It does not depict a particular place and time, but instead serves the narrative and is subordinate to a rational plan.

62. What was Claude Lorrain's primary interest in landscape painting?To depict the beauty of nature in the form of an ideal classical world. He balanced groups of architectural masses, screens of trees, and sheets of water.In what country did he do most of his painting?Italy.

63. Describe the features that create the impression of dignity and sobriety apparent in Mansart's work at Blois (FIG. 24-61).

a. Strong rectilinear organization.b. A tendency to design in repeated units.

What feature of the building is typically Baroque?The emphasis on focal points (curving colonnades, changing planes of the walls, and the concentration of ornament around the portal).

64. The life of French peasants was the favorite subject of Louis Le Nain.

.How do his depictions differ from those of the Dutch painter Jan Steen?Instead of boisterous good humor, Le Nain depicted somber stillness, grave dignity, and subservience.

65. The French artist Callot is best known for his works done in the medium of etchings.

His Miseries series realistically depicts scenes of sharp details of life and death seen in the wars of Lorraine.

.66. Which French artist was most influenced by the northern "Caravaggisti"?Georges de La Tour.

In what ways does his style differ from theirs?

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He depicted religious scenes, not genre, and preferred supernatural calm to the motion and dramatic gestures of the northern Caravaggisti.

67. The French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture was established in the year 1648.

.What was its primary purpose?To regularize taste. It established the French classical style.

68. What was the political meaning of Louis XIV’s appelation “le Roi Soleil” (the Sun King)?He was the center of the universe, ruled by divine right, and ensured himself incontestable authority.

What was his significance as a patron of the arts?He was determined to organize art and architecture in the service of the state. He spared nothing to raise great symbols and monuments to his own absolute power.

69. List three features of Rigaud’s Portrait of Louis XIV (FIG. 24-65) that contributed to Louis’ personification of an absolute monarch:

a. He looks out at the viewer with directness.b. The pose implies haughtiness with his hand on his hip and his

ermine robe thrown over his shoulder.c. The king is the focal point of the image and is placed so that he

seems to look down on the viewer.

70. What three architects collaborated to design the east facade of the Louvre?

a. Claude Perrault b. Louis Le Vau c. Charles Le BrunWhat form was used for the central pavilion of the facade?A classical temple front.

71. Who was the principal director for the building and decoration of the Palace of Versailles?Charles Le Brun.

Who designed the park of Versailles?André Le Nôtre.

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What was symbolized by the vast complex of Versailles?Louis XIV’s power and ambition.

72. List two sources for Girardon’s portrayal of Apollo Attended by the Nymphs carved for the Park of Versailles (FIG. 24-70):

a. Greco-Roman sculpture b. Poussin’s figure compositions..73. Which feature of Jules Hardouin-Mansart's Church of the Invalides

(FIG. 24-72) is most Baroque?The illusionistic ceiling decorations.

Which is most classical?The Corinthian column-lined arcade.

74. Which of the visual or plastic arts was most important in seventeenth-century England?Architecture.

75. Name the Italian architect who had the strongest influence on the buildings of Inigo Jones?Palladio.

76. Who designed St. Paul's Cathedral in London?Christopher Wren.

What feature of the building shows the influence of Borromini?The upper levels and lanterns of the towers.

What feature is taken over from the east facade of the Louvre?The superimposed paired columnar porticos.

LATE BAROQUE ART OF THE EARLY EIGHTEENTH CENTURY1. Blenheim Palace in England (FIG. 24-75) was designed by

John Vanbrugh for John Churchill, duke of Marlborough.

However, before it was completed it was criticized as being ponderous and bizarre.

.2. Who designed the church of Vierzehnheiligen (FIG. 24-76, 24-77)?

Balthasar Neumann.

3. Theatrical illuisionism is an important characteristic of the work of the German Baroque sculptor: Egid Quirin Asam..

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4. Which eighteenth-century Italian painter is best known for his elegant illusionistic ceiling paintings?Giambattista Tiepolo.


1. Study the elevations and plans of Bramanti’s Pazzi Chapel (FIGS. 21-17 to 21-19)-19) and Borromini's San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (FIGS. 24-10 and 24-11). Contrast the basic shapes used in the plans, and describe how these forms relate to the elevations of the buildings.

2. Bernini's art has been described as "theatrical." Give examples of its theatricality and discuss the technical devices he used to create them.

3. Compare Ribera's Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew (FIG. 24-28) with Mantegna’s St. James Led to Martyrdom (FIG. 21-47). Discuss composition, painting technique, and emotional impact. What major concerns of the Italian Renaissance and the Counter-Reformation in Spain are demonstrated by these works?

4. Discuss the influence of Caravaggio on Gerrit van Honthorst (FIG. 24-41), George de la Tour (FIG. 24-64), and Louis le Nain (FIG. 24-62). Which aspects of Caravaggio’s style did each adopt, and how do their works differ from him and from each other?

5. In what ways do the works and lives of Rubens and Rembrandt reflect the different social and religious orientations of seventeenth-century Flanders and Holland?

6. Compare Rembrandt's Self-Portrait (FIG. 24-47) with the self-portraits by Judith Leyster (FIG. 24-49) and Caterina van Hemessen (FIG. 23-19), and Van Eyck’s Man in a Red Turban (FIG 20-10) How have the artists depicted the different psychological states as they look at themselves? Do you think these works illustrate major differences in the philosophies of the times and/or

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places where painted or that the interpretations were solely indivisual? Why?

7. What was the effect of the economic and religious climate of seventeenth-century Holland on its artists?

8. Discuss the relative balance between Baroque and Renaissance features in the following buildings: the east facade of the Louvre (FIG. 24-66), the Church of the Invalides in Paris (FIG. 24-72), the Banqueting House at Whitehall (FIG. 24-73), and St. Paul's Cathedral in London (FIG. 24-74).

9. In what ways did Louis XIV influence French art of the seventeenth century? How did his utilization of art differ from that of Philip IV in Spain?

10. Could Velasquez’s Surrender at Breda (FIG. 24-31) and Steen’s Feast of St. Nicholas (FIG. 24-54) serve as illustrations of Poussin's "grand manner"? If not, why not?

11. Who was chiefly responsible for the development of "classical" landscape painting in Italy? How did his approach differ from those of Poussin (FIG. 24-58), Claude Lorrain (FIG. 24-60), and Van Ruisdael (FIG. 24-51)?

12. Compare the ceiling paintings of Tiepolo (FIG. 24-79) with those of Mantegna (FIG, 22-46), Veronese (FIG, 21-54), Correggio (FIG, 22-41), Caracci (FIG, 24-23), Pietro da Cortona (FIG, 24-25), and Pozzo (FIG, 24-27). Which is closest to his work, and what features do they share?

13. From the other works you have studied, which do you feel are closest in spirit to Neumann’s pilgrimage church of Vierzehnheiligen (FIGS, 24-76 and 24-77) and Asam’s Assumption of the Virgin (FIG. 24-78)?


In Las Meninas Velasquez demonstrated his mastery of the depiction of complex levels of visual reality(p.688 and FIG. 24-33). Study the painting very carefully and write an essay of at least one page describing it. Here are some questions that might help you with your analysis, but do not be limited by them. First describe the room in which he has placed the majority of the figures and describe each of the figures in that space. Then look for other figures an describe the space in which they would be

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standing. Describe the artist’s brushwork and his use of light and dark and note he uses these elements to increase the sense of reality of the scene.


Circle the following on the map below.

Haarlem Utrecht Amsterdam Versailles London

MAP 24-1 Europe at the onset of the Thirty Years’ War

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