New Realism

Bensussen Speaker
Dr. Jason De Léon
Thursday, October 17
Folino Theater in the Marion Knott Studios
at 7 PM

Caravaggio, David with the Head of Goliath, 1606.











Garden of Earthly Delights

Hieronymus Bosch, Garden of Earthly Delights, c. 1505 - 1515.









Hieronymus Bosch, Garden of Earthly Delights (closed), c. 1505 - 1515.











Hieronymus Bosch, detail Garden of Earthly Delights, c. 1505 - 1515.











The Protestant Reformation
Four Apostles
1517 Luther post the "95 Theses"
        • Demands that the Catholic Church make 95 reforms
        • Thought devotion to the saints was distracting
        • Especially critical of the sale of indulgences
  • rid the Church of pagan practices and rituals
  • promote importance of individual faith
  • placed responsibility on the faithful to read and interpret Bible for themselves
Albrecht Dürer, Four Apostles, 1526.









Historical Context
Beginning of Protestant Reformation
Death of Raphael
Sack of Rome - end of High Renaissance
Henry VIII breaks from Catholic Church and establishes Church of England
Copernicus publishes theory in which planets revolve around sun
First scientific study of human anatomy based on dissections published
1545 - 1563
Counter Reformation begins with Council of Trent
Giorgio Vasari publishes The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects
1558 - 1603
Elizabeth I reigns in England
1564 - 1616
William Shakespeare
Netherlands declare independence from Spain
Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg Germany on October 31, 1517.










Baroque period
1600 - 1750
Characteristics of the Baroque Style:
  • Interest in light and space
  • Rich use of color and dramatic contrasts
  • Innovative illusionism
  • More emphasis on emotion than reason
  • Multi-media extravaganza
Caravaggio, The Incredulity of Thomas, 1601-1602.











"New Realism" of Caravaggio
Caravaggio, Conversion of Saul, 1601.
Chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo











Tenebrism and Chiaroscuro
chiaroscuro = contrast between light and dark
tenebrism = use of strong chiaroscuro and artificially illuminated areas to create dramatic contrast of light and dark in a painting
  • Boldly illuminated figures set against dark backgrounds

  • Single light sourc that isusually outside of the picture plane
  • Use of unidealized bodies and non-professional models
  • Theatrical and dramatic composition
Those who followed Caravaggio's style
were called "the Caravaggisti"
Caravaggio, Entombment, 1603 - 1604.