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Baroque Art Essay

1416 words - 6 pages

Unit 5 Individual Project
Dallas Hyde

Three works of art in the Baroque Style are presented. Thoughts are given about the visual appearance of the three pieces. A summary of the artist’s personal philosophies of art is attempted. We explore these works and how they fit into the Baroque time period. The three works are then compared and contrasted in form and content.

Baroque Art
We will look at three fine pieces of art from three great artists from the Baroque Period. Each artist though separated by hundreds of miles or decades painted using light and darkness for dramatic effect.
The first painting example is a Pieta from the Baroque Period. It was done by ...view middle of the document...

This new style was used to make many art works for the Catholic Church. Annibale’s masterpiece was a fresco painted on the ceiling of the Pope’s Farnese Palace. This work continued to inspire young painters and was indispensable as a source of figure design and technical procedure for young painters well into the 18th century (Christiansen, Keith. 2003). Painters like the Carracci’s used their influence on young student artists at the Academy of the Progressives to further the Baroque style. With the backing of the Pope, Annibale’s works would be seen by countless aspiring artists.
The Second example of a painting from the Baroque Period is The Entombment by Caravaggio. The group standing on the stone are symmetrical .The figures in this painting are bowed and bent toward Christ. They look shocked at the death of their friend and teacher. At the same time they look humbled by his death. The people look like someone that you could meet on the street; not beautiful and heroic like they would have been depicted in the High Renaissance style. Caravaggio uses the contrast of light and dark to bring out the drama of the moment.
Caravaggio disdained the masters of the Renaissance and the mannerist style (Sayre 2010). He led a wild and bohemian existence. He refused to portray the human individual as sublime, beautiful and heroic (Christiansen, Keith 2003).
In Caravaggio’s lifetime the Catholic Church was the force driving what was acceptable as art in his day. In the Baroque Period, religious art production gave an artist the ability to earn money and prestige.
The third example of a painting from Baroque Period is Rembrandt’s Belsazar. Rembrandt was born in Leiden Holland in 1606. The painting shows King Belsazar and his guests having a feast using sacred items that were taken from the Jewish temple. While in the midst of this feast a disembodied hand wrote MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN (“God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it”). Rembrandt uses light to great effect in this painting. The central figure, King Belsazar is staring in fright at the hand, as it is writing on the wall. Everyone in the painting that has noticed the writing is shocked and frightened. The outline of the painting is dark, Rembrandt is using chiaroscuro. Chiaroscuro is the contrast of light and dark to create atmosphere, drama, and emotion (Sayre, 2010).
In a letter to a patron, Rembrandt offered the only surviving explanation of what he sought to achieve through his art, which he stated was “the greatest and most natural movement” translated from die meeste ende di naetuereelste beweechgelickheijt (encyclopedia.stateuniversity, 2010). His goal in his paintings was to portray movement as being natural. He didn’t want the subjects of his paintings in poses that looked contrived as was the case in Mannerist style. (Sayre, 2010).
At the Utrecht school in Holland the 16th-century Italianate tradition persisted in its outstanding members most notably Gerard van...

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