baroque post2

Baroque in Flanders Rubens, Allegory on the Outbreak of War Mars has left the Temple of Janus open, normally closed during times of peace Venus and Cupids try to restrain Mars Fury Alecto, torch in hand, pulls him forward Below woman with a broken lute: harmony is destroyed Mother and child indicate fertility cannot bloom Fallen architect symbolizes the fall of civilization Mars literally tramples on literature Crying woman in black is Europe Strong diagonals and masterful use of color Painterly brushstroke Baroque dynamics and composition Developed musculature

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Page 1: Baroque Post2

Baroque in FlandersRubens, Allegory on the Outbreak of War• Mars has left the Temple of Janus open, normally

closed during times of peace• Venus and Cupids try to restrain Mars• Fury Alecto, torch in hand, pulls him forward • Below woman with a broken lute: harmony is

destroyed• Mother and child indicate fertility cannot bloom• Fallen architect symbolizes the fall of civilization• Mars literally tramples on literature• Crying woman in black is Europe• Strong diagonals and masterful use of color• Painterly brushstroke• Baroque dynamics and composition• Developed musculature

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Baroque in FlandersRubens, Arrival of Marie de’Medici at Marseilles• Part of the Marie de’Medici cycle of 21 paintings in the

Louvre• Real people exist side-by-side with nymphs, sea

monsters, naiads, genii• Neptune and the three sirens, a sea god and a triton escort

the boat in the harbor• France in blue cape with gold fleur-de-lis falls to his

knees before Marie• Fame salutes her with two trumpets• Arms of the Medici over the arch of the boat• Commander of ship wears a cross of the Knights of

Malta, is a sharp counterpoint to the other figures in the painting

• Dynamic movement• Rich vivid color• Heavily muscled men; ample females• Union of Northern and Italian painting that started with


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Baroque in Flanders

Van Dyck, Charles I Dismounted• Unstressed royal authority• A king and a cavalier• Venetian landscape with the

Thames behind• Charles has dismounted and his

horse is being held for him • He glances sharply at us from

the side• Haughty pose• Van Dyck established the

tradition of the graceful monarch, regal yet at ease

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Baroque in SpainVelazquez, Surrender of Breda• Battle in 1625, Dutch forced to yield Breda to the

Spanish• Magnanimity, humanity and valor of the victors is

stressed• Dutch on left seen as youthful, disorganized• Spanish on right are dignified, with lances

indicating their military precision• Key to the city is emphasized in the center• Emotional tone of generosity and mutual respect• Effect of the battle seen in the smoky background• Topography is accurate: artist interviewed

participants in the battle and consulted other renderings of the area

• Light and color are compositional devices that unify the elements

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Baroque in Spain

Velazquez, Las Meninas• Velázquez working on a huge canvas that could

not fit through the door of the room. He pauses and takes a step back to study us.

• Velázquez wears the Cross of the Order of Santiago, a symbol of nobility: painter enjoyed a court appointment and desired respect

• Princess Margarita with two maids-in-waiting is the central focus of the painting

• Dwarves on right; Philip IV had a large collection of dwarves, no abnormalities are glossed over by Velázquez

• Blurring of figures on right suggests painter’s understanding of peripheral vision

• Older woman is lady of honor, wears a nun’s outfit to indicate she is a widow

• Man in conversation with her is her escort

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Baroque in Spain

Velazquez, Las Meninas (continued)• Silhouetted man is José Nieto, aposentador of the Queen, head of the Queen’s

tapestry works, rests his hand on a tapestry as he goes out, but pauses• Regular rhythm of the frames on the back wall anchors composition as

opposed the irregular rhythm of the groups• Paintings above are works that illustrate mortals who challenged the gods• Perspective pulls you into the painting, but the mirror reflects out• Extension laterally: canvas on easel, windows• Alternating darks and lights reach into the painting• King and Queen are in the mirror, but what is being reflected? The painting

Velázquez is working on? The King and Queen themselves? A portrait of the King and Queen hanging on the opposite wall?

• What is Velázquez painting? This group? A painting of this painting? The King and Queen?

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Dutch Painters of the Baroque

Characteristics of Dutch Art:• No church or aristocracy to commission paintings• Art has a bourgeois character• Paintings used to cover bare walls, give pleasure to the

eye• Cheerful subjects, unpleasant ones are given a humorous

slant• Artists worked on the open market, not for patrons:

specialization according to subject matter• Small paintings for small homes• Subjects were easily understandable, some allegorical

representations, no religious ecstasies and few pagan myths

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Judith Leyster, Self-Portrait• Smile: she greets us casually, as

does the fiddler• Self-assured, charming,

sociable• Meets the viewer’s gaze, as if

to speak to us• Signed her paintings with her

initials and a star, punning meaning of her name “leading star”

• Well-dressed while painting• Quick sure brushstrokes

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Dutch Painters of the Baroque

Steen, The Feast of Saint Nicholas• Genre painting• Saint Nicholas has visited the children with

various results• A girl grabs her doll as her mother pleads to look

at it, or perhaps asks her to share• Boy at left is crying over his disappointed gift• Chaos in search for gifts• Man on right points out to small child how Saint

Nicholas descended the chimney• Ten figures in a complex arrangement• Complicated series of diagonals unify figures that

seem to bend this way and that in reflection of one another

• Adult meaning to this children’s scene

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Dutch Painters of the Baroque

Jacob van Ruisdael, View of Haarlem from the Dunes at Overveen

• Flat horizon of the Netherlands: sky takes up ¾ of painting

• Sullen clouds, dramatically painted

• Receding spaces through dark and light passages

• Bleaching linen manufactured in Holland

• Long strips of treated cloth were spread out to bleach in the fields

• Openness and height, very distant and elevated point-of-view

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Frans Hals, Archers of Saint Hadrian• Responsible citizen mentality among

the Dutch• No static arrangements; no

interaction• Strong horizontal emphasis with

vertical spears punctuating the composition

• Left group around dominant figure of Col. Johan Claez. Loo, his cane indicates his authority

• Right group is a separate unit: Lt. Hendrick Gerritsz. Pot holds a book (minutes of meeting?)

• Back to back groups• Distinct individuality of figures• Dynamically grouped with strong

diagonals of composition

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Dutch Painters of the Baroque

Rembrandt, Anatomy Lesson of Doctor Tulp

• First great commission• Dutch law: open cadavers of

executed criminals only, allowed for entertainment purposes like this

• Specific anatomy lesson in January 1632

• Lessons took 4-5 days, Descartes may have attended this one

• Dr. Tulp is singled out seated in a chair of honor

• He wears a broad rimmed hat: academic badge of chairman

• His hands (alone) are prominently shown

• Cadaver’s body compared to the book at right

• Caravaggesque background• Figures stare out into space

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Dutch Painters of the Baroque

Rembrandt, The Night Watch• 18 men portrayed in the commission,

represented according to how much they paid, but 29 figures in total, 2 figures cut off when the painting was cut down at left

• Civic guard group getting ready for a march, makes for a lively composition

• Captain Frans Banning Cocq holds a baton in right hand and wears a red sash, wears a gorget of steel barely visible under his white collar

• Captain gestures as if to speak• Orders given to his lieutenant to

march forward

• Central figures come forward• Use of musket shown: musketeer in

red is charging his musket by transferring powder into the muzzle from one of the wooden cartridges attached to his bandolier

• Figure behind Cocq is firing musket• Third figure behind lieutenant is

clearing the pan by blowing off the powder that remained there after the shot

• Deep chiaroscuro• Liveliness of figures, psychological


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The Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq, 1642

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Dutch Painters of the Baroque

Rembrandt, Self-Portrait

• Probed states of human soul

• Changing lights and darks suggest changing of human mood

• Self-satisfied artist at the height of his career

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Dutch Painters of the Baroque

Common Motifs in Vermeer’s Paintings

• Checkerboard floor• Horizontal beam ceiling• Light from the left• Heavy drapery and/or map• Figures seen from the back or

side• Figures occupied in daily

pursuit• Sensitivity to light• Back wall is always flat against

picture plane

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Vermeer, The Letter• Light filtering from a unseen

window at left• We look in, they are unaware• Figures framed by portal and a

curtain• Smile on servant, surprised look

on the woman• Woman is well-dressed, holding

a lute• A lute was a symbol of

serenading, hence of love• Is a love letter being brought?• Sense of quiet expectation

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Vermeer, Allegory on the Art of Painting• Painter’s costume, chandelier and maps

out of date• Woman is Clio, Muse of History• Laurel and garland, holds a trumpet of

fame in her right hand• Map frames “history”• Nostalgia for bygone days of Catholic

rule over Holland and Catholic patronage of artists

• Artist in his studio (Vermeer?)• Looking in on figures who seem

unaware• Quiet and stillness• Touches of light flicker across the map,

revealing the pulled edges

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French Baroque Painting

Poussin, Et in Arcadia Ego• Influenced by Raphael• Three shepherds in idyllic landscape of Arcadia• “And I am in Arcadia, also” phrase related to

person buried in tomb• Death is present, even in Arcadia• Shadow of man’s arm is the sickle of Death• Shepherd places his finger on the tip of the

shadow• Tomb is ruined• Compact, balanced grouping• Elegiac mood• Woman: ambivalent, expression of joy and

sadness. Does she represent Death?• Trees turn from green on left to grey and barren

on right (life to death)• Grand Manner of Painting

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Rigaud, Louis XIV• Majestic, awesome• Very richly designed• Sumptuous display of

garments, drapery, rugs• Louis XIV felt he had good legs:

they are exposed to view• Long flowing wig• Stately parade• Essence of the Sun King in his

glory• Baroque ornateness

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English Baroque ArchitectureWren, Saint Paul’s, LondonExterior: • Drum of dome resembles Saint Peter’s• Influence of the Tempietto• Three domes: hidden central element is a brick

cone that holds the dome up, outside dome gives a rounded shape, the hemispherical dome is of wood and is painted

Façade:• Two storied façade is classicizing• Frontispiece is an equilateral triangle• Coupled columns• Juxtaposition of concave and convex designs in

the towers recalls Borromini• Contrasts of dark and light in the porchInterior:• Octagonal crossing is the dominant central space

in nave