Tag: Baroque Art

Baroque Art: Noble subjects, landscapes, still lifes, and genre scenes

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Baroque Art: Noble subjects, landscapes, still lifes, and genre scenes

Baroque in art and architecture, a style developed in Europe, England, and the Americas during the 17th and early 18th cent. The baroque style is characterized by an emphasis on unity among the arts. With technical brilliance, the baroque artist achieved a remarkable harmony wherein painting, sculpture, and architecture were brought together in new spatial relationships, both real and illusionary, often with spectacular visual effects.

Although the restrained and classical works created by most French and English artists look very different from the exuberant works favored in central and southern Europe and in the New World, both trends in baroque art tend to engage the viewer, both physically and emotionally. In painting and sculpture this was achieved by means of highly developed naturalistic illusionism, usually heightened by dramatic lighting effects, creating an unequaled sense of theatricality, energy, and movement of forms. Architecture, departing from the classical canon revived during the Renaissance, took on the fluid, plastic aspects of sculpture.

Baroque Painting

Painters and sculptors built and expanded on the naturalistic tradition reestablished during the Renaissance. Although religious painting, history painting, allegories, and portraits were still considered the most noble subjects, landscapes, still lifes, and genre scenes were painted by such artists as Claude Lorrain, Jacob van Ruisdael, Willem Kalf, and Jan Vermeer.

Caravaggio and his early followers were especially significant for their naturalistic treatment of unidealized, ordinary people. The illusionistic effects of deep space interested many painters, including Il Guercino and Andrea Pozzo. Other baroque painters opened up interior spaces by representing long files of rooms, often with extended views through doors, windows, or mirrors, as in the works of Diego Velázquez and Vermeer.

Color was manipulated for its emotional effects, ranging from the clear calm tones of Nicholas Poussin, to the warm and shimmering colors of Pietro da Cortona, to the more vivid hues of Peter Paul Rubens. A heightened sense of drama was achieved through chiaroscuro in the works of Caravaggio and Rembrandt. Carracci and Poussin portrayed restrained feeling in accordance with the academic principles of dignity and decorum. Others, including Caravaggio, Rubens, and Rembrandt depicted religious ecstasy, physical sensuality, or individual psychology in their paintings.

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The Garden of Eden in Art Scene

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The Garden of Eden in Art Scene

The Garden of Eden is described in the Book of Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam, and his wife, Eve, lived after they were created by God. Literally, the Bible speaks about a garden in Eden (Gen. 2:8). This garden forms part of the Genesis creation narrative and theodicy of the Abrahamic religions, often being used to explain the origin of sin and mankind’s wrongdoings. The Archangel Uriel, with his flaming sword, is said to be guarding the Gate to the Garden of Eden.’

The Genesis creation narrative relates the geographical location of both Eden and the garden to four rivers (Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, Euphrates), and three regions (Havilah, Assyria, and Kush). There are hypotheses that place Eden at the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates (northern Mesopotamia), in Iraq (Mesopotamia), Africa, and the Persian Gulf. For many medieval writers, the image of the Garden of Eden also creates a location for human love and sexuality, often associated with the classic and medieval trope of the locus amoenus.

The Garden of Eden in Art Scene

The Garden of Eden in Art Scene

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