Italy and Spain, 1600 to 1700
In the Catholic countries of Europe, the style which started to emerge around 1580 and prevailed to the mid 18th century is known as Baroque.
The baroque style is characterized by a return to naturalism accompanied by a theatrical presentation involving intense emotion and an expansion of scale and complexity. Art works often capture a moment in time. Paintings and sculptures break into the space of the viewer.Order now
This occurs partly in response to the demands of the Counter-Reformation, the Catholic Church’s attempt to stem the impact of the Protestant Reformation. Catholic religious images aimed to ignite the fervor of the people for the Church and its beliefs.
Some artists during this period, however, retain a more classical style.
Works to identify and know in depth:
Questions to prepare for Exam 2 (as well as the 5 numbered questions on study sheet for Ch 14):
Which city was the major center for artistic development in the 1600s? Why?
Why was the Council of Trent convened? What impact did it have on Catholic art?
How does the Ecstasy of Saint Theresa exemplify Baroque art in its iconography and style?
Discuss the innovations Caravaggio introduced into painting to make it look more dramatic. Why was drama desired at this time? Name an artist who was much influenced by Caravaggio.
Compare Michelangelo’s David to Bernini’s. How does each reflect the ideas of their periods and/or patrons?
Why did Bramante and Michelangelo design Saint Peter’s Basilica as a symmetrical building? Why did the Catholic Church in the 1600s not want a symmetrical building? What was done to change Saint Peter’s Basilica from
Michelangelo’s classical building into one the Church preferred? What symbolic message does the exterior piazza convey?
How does Velàzquez glorify the Spanish army in Surrender at Breda? How does he show the magnanimity of the Spanish general? What victory does this painting celebrate?
Definition: tenebrism: very intense contrasts of light and shade (begun by Caravaggio)