baroque neoclassical art


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Page 1: Baroque   Neoclassical Art

17th Centurythe Age of Baroque

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1600- 1800Overview

• In the early 1600’s Rome is the leader of the Baroque style

• Strict classicism prevails for much of the seventeenth century in France so the Baroque style was slower to arrive there than elsewhere in Europe

• Eventually France emerges as a major world power and a cultural center to rival Rome

• This is largely due to the aims of the French monarchs, particularly Louis XIV, who called on architects, painters, and sculptors, to represent the court in ‘peerless splendour’

• The French Revolution- the latter half of the period has France as the seat of the Enlightenment, a major intellectual movement that asserts the power of reason and mobilizes a widespread dissatisfaction with contemporary social and political ills that results, later in the century, in revolution.

• Rococo style rises as the tale end of the Baroque

• With the Enlightenment comes a renewed veneration of antiquity and a Neoclassical movement in the arts; this gives way, at the end of the period, to Romanticism

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• 1615 Cervantes begins Don Quixote• 1618 The beginning of the 30 Year War• 1619 Harvey’s discovered the circulation of the blood• 1630 The building of the Taj Mahal begins• 1635 The foundation of the Academie Francaise• 1642 Rembrandt paints The Night Watch• 1661 The building of Versailles palace begins• 1666 Stradivarius makes his first violin• 1675 The Greenwich Observatory is built• 1682 The Accession of Peter the Great of Russia• 1683 Newton expounds his theory of gravity• 1714 Fahrenheit invents the mercury thermometer

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17th Century1600 -1700

• The reformation had been succeeded by the Counter-Reformation

• Artists and architects benefited from the renewed strength of the Catholic Church

• Pope Sixtus V replanned Rome in magnificent style with churches, fountains and palaces at focal points in the city.

• Noble families rivalled each other as patrons• Rome became the Artistic capital of the world

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• Artists came from Spain, France, England and Flounders for commissions

• Painters embraced the challenge to create integrated environments (un bel composto) meant to heighten religious experience

• A bohemian artists’ colony which still survives today grew up around the Spanish Steps

• Members of this colony led the way in creating new art styles and ideas which spread through out Europe

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Baroque1600- 1770’s

• Early Baroque – 1540’s to 1600’s

• High Baroque 1620’s onwards

• Reaction against the artificiality of the 16th century Mannerism

• Realism was again in fashion, although interpreted in different ways

• Two most important groups of Early Baroque were the Naturalists and Classicists

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• Based on extreme realism

• Details are naturalistic and painted in bright clear colours

• As a rule painted directly on the canvas

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Jan van GoyenRiver Landscape with Lime Kilns 1640’s

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Salomon van RuysdaelA Wooded

Landscapes with Cattle and Droves on a Ferry 1663

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Other characteristics of Naturalism

• Religious stories told in contemporary idiom– ie: the apostles no longer heroes but rough-

looking fishermen

• Extreme foreshortening

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Peter Paul RubensTwo Saints

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CarravagioTable at Emmaus

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• Looked to realism of High Renaissance

• Painting and classical sculpture for inspiration

• Worked from preliminary drawings

• Monumental figures

• Glowing sensuous colours

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Nicolas PoussinThe Triumph of David c.1631-3

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Harmensz van Rijn Rembrandt

Self Portrait 1658

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Jan VermeerGirl with the Pearl Earring c.1665-6

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High Baroque

• From 1620’s second phase of Baroque

• Characterized by exuberant sensuality and magnificence

• Feeling of movement

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• Emphasis on clarity of expression and gesture

BerniniEcstasy of St Theresa

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The Abduction of the Sabine Women, probably 1633–34

Nicolas Poussin

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View of La Crescenza, 1648–50

Claude Lorrain (Claude Gellée)

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Dido Carthage by, 1813

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Turner Carthage

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• Introduction of a new form of painting (realism) began to paint scenes from everyday life

Jean Vincent MilletThe Cheese-maker

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Georges de la TourThe Newborn Child late 1640’s

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Van Dyck

Thomas Wentworth

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Thomas Gainsborough Portrait of David Garrick c1770

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Venus and Adonis, mid- or late 1630s

Peter Paul Rubens

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Francois BoucherLa Cible d’Amour ( The Target of Love)


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FragonardLes Hazards heureux de

l’escarpolette (‘The Swing’)


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18th Century1700 - 1800

•The Rococo


• Romantic Era

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• The Rococo style was fashionable in the early 18th century

• Neoclassical succeeded around 1793

• Romantic style then succeeded in the early 19th century (1812)

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Chronology• 1717 The first inoculation against smallpox• 1720 Johann Sebastian Bach completes his first Brandenburg

concerto• 1735 Linnaeus completes a new system for the classification of

plants• 1745 The building of Sans Souci palace in Berlin begins• 1752 Benjamin Franklin invents the lightning conductor• 1755 A great earthquake in Lisbon• 1756 The beginning of the Seven Years’ War• 1765 James Watt invents the steam engine• 1770 Goethe starts work on Faust• 1776 The American Declaration of Independence• 1781 Kant publishes Critique of Pure Reason• 1787 Mozart appointed Chamber Musician to Emperor Joseph II• 1789 The storming of the Bastille leads to the outbreak of

revolution in France• 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte becomes French Emperor

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DavidThe Coronation of Napoleon,1804

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• France was one of the first countries where Rococo became popular

• Rococo was a reaction against pomp and grandeur of the court of Louis XIV

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RigeudLouis XIV1781

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• Rococo was associated with his successor Louis XV

• Colours are light with a lot of white and silver, others colours favoured were:

dusty rose, pale lemon, misty blue, and turquoise

• not much gold as it was too heavy

• S- curves and C- curves frequently appear in composition

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VenSuzanna and the Elders

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• Favourite subject stories from the Old Testament or ancient history

• With a much more light-hearted approach

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PoussinThe Nurture of Jupiter 1640

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• Rococo was regarded as the last phase of Baroque due to similarities such as illusionist ceiling paintings of fabulous fantasy worlds

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Rococo Ceiling

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Neoclassicism• In total contrast to the Rococo was Neoclassicism

• Demand for “heroism and civic virtues’ (Goethe)

• The Paris Salon – art should be governed by rational rules and not uncontrolled feelings

• Rococo was seen and hedonistic and self-indulgent

• Neoclassical art used spare but precise outline preliminary drawings

• Figures are posed parallel instead of diagonal to the picture plane

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The Classical Ideal• Increasing influence of classical antiquity in

the second half of the eighteenth century in Europe

• The achievements of the Renaissance sparked a renewed interest in harmony, simplicity, and proportion

• In the midst of a grand gallery, students copy the great works of antiquity.

• Neoclassical style arose from such first-hand observation and reproduction of antique works and came to dominate European architecture painting, sculpture, and decorative arts.

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Dominique Ingres

Jupiter and Thetis 1811

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• In Baroque and Rococo contours are formed by shading, in Neoclassical they are formed by unbroken lines, not interrupted by light or shadow

• Even light

• A sense of order prevails everywhere

• Portraits are half or full length

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Princesse de Broglie, 1851–53Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

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Madame Jacques-Louis Étienne Reizet


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The Lictors Returning to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons, 1789Jacques-Louis David (French, 1748–1825)

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Monks in the Cloister of the Church of Gesù e Maria, RomeFrançois-Marius Granet

(French, 1775–1849)

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The Rape of the Sabines, ca. 1637–38Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594–1665)

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Confirmation, ca. 1637–40Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594–1665)

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The Sortie Made by the Garrison of Gibraltar, 1789John Trumbull (American, 1756–1843)

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The American School, 1765Matthew Pratt (1734–1805)


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Romanticism1800- 1850’s

• Romanticism, gained momentum as an artistic movement in France and Britain in the early decades of the nineteenth century and flourished until mid-century.

• With its emphasis on the imagination and emotion, Romanticism emerged as a response to the disillusionment with the Enlightenment values of reason and order in the aftermath of the French Revolution of 1789.

• Though often posited in opposition to Neoclassicism, early Romanticism was shaped largely by artists trained in David’s studio, including Ingres

• This blurring of stylistic boundaries is best expressed in Ingres' Apotheosis of Homer and Eugène Delacroix's Death of Sardanapalus which polarized the public at the Salon of 1827 in Paris.

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Francisco GoyaThe Clothed Maja c. 1800-05

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• Landscapes had traditionally been used to fill in the background of a painting

• As techniques improved they became more important to artists

• The public still wanted a ‘subject’ and artists had to comply

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• In Romantic art, nature—with its uncontrollable power, unpredictability, and potential for cataclysmic extremes—offered an alternative to the ordered world of Enlightenment thought. The violent and terrifying images of nature conjured by Romantic artists recall the eighteenth-century aesthetic of the Sublime. As articulated by the British statesman Edmund Burke in a 1757 treatise and echoed by the French philosopher Denis Diderot a decade later, "all that stuns the soul, all that imprints a feeling of terror, leads to the sublime." In French and British painting of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the recurrence of images of shipwrecks (2003.42.56) and other representations of man's struggle against the awesome power of nature manifest this sensibility. Scenes of shipwrecks culminated in 1819 with Théodore Gericault's strikingly original Raft of the Medusa (Louvre), based on a contemporary event. In its horrifying explicitness, emotional intensity, and conspicuous lack of a hero, The Raft of the Medusa became an icon of the emerging Romantic style. Similarly, J. M. W. Turner's 1812 depiction of Hannibal and his army crossing the Alps (Tate Britain, London), in which the general and his troops are dwarfed by the overwhelming scale of the landscape and engulfed in the swirling vortex of snow, embodies the Romantic sensibility in landscape painting. Gericault also explored the Romantic landscape in a series of views representing different times of day; in Evening: Landscape with an Aqueduct (1989.183), the dramatic sky, blasted tree, and classical ruins evoke a sense of melancholic reverie.

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Casper David


Wanderer Above the

Sea of Clouds 1818

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• If artists did paint landscapes it was for their own pleasure and often in Italianate style

• Another facet of the Romantic attitude toward nature emerges in the landscapes of John Constable, whose art expresses his response to his native English countryside. For his major paintings, Constable executed full-scale sketches, as in a view of Salisbury Cathedral (50.145.8); he wrote that a sketch represents "nothing but one state of mind—that which you were in at the time." When his landscapes were exhibited in Paris at the Salon of 1824, critics and artists embraced his art as "nature itself." Constable's subjective, highly personal view of nature accords with the individuality that is a central tenet of Romanticism.

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John ConstableLock on the Stour

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J.M.W. TurnerFarnley Hall from above Otley

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• This interest in the individual and subjective—at odds with eighteenth-century rationalism—is mirrored in the Romantic approach to portraiture. Traditionally, records of individual likeness, portraits became vehicles for expressing a range of psychological and emotional states in the hands of Romantic painters. Gericault probed the extremes of mental illness in his portraits of psychiatric patients, as well as the darker side of childhood in his unconventional portrayals of children. In his portrait of Alfred Dedreux (41.17), a young boy of about five or six, the child appears intensely serious, more adult than childlike, while the dark clouds in the background convey an unsettling, ominous quality.

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• Such explorations of emotional states extended into the animal kingdom, marking the Romantic fascination with animals as both forces of nature and metaphors for human behavior. This curiosity is manifest in the sketches of wild animals done in the menageries of Paris and London in the 1820s by artists such as Delacroix, Antoine-Louis Barye, and Edwin Landseer. Gericault depicted horses of all breeds—from workhorses to racehorses—in his work. Lord Byron's 1819 tale of Mazeppa tied to a wild horse captivated Romantic artists from Delacroix to Théodore Chassériau, who exploited the violence and passion inherent in the story. Similarly, Horace Vernet, who exhibited two scenes from Mazeppa in the Salon of 1827 (both Musée Calvet, Avignon), also painted the riderless horse race that marked the end of the Roman Carnival, which he witnessed during his 1820 visit to Rome. His oil sketch (87.15.47) captures the frenetic energy of the spectacle, just before the start of the race. Images of wild, unbridled animals evoked primal states that stirred the Romantic imagination.

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• In its stylistic diversity and range of subjects, Romanticism defies simple categorization. As the poet and critic Charles Baudelaire wrote in 1846, "Romanticism is precisely situated neither in choice of subject nor in exact truth, but in a way of feeling."

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Eugene DelacroixLe Puits de la Casbah Tanger

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The end

For now…….