Baroque Spectacle

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Francisco de Zurbaran, Saint Francis in Meditation, 1635 - 1639.











Caravaggio's New Realism
  • 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.











Caravaggio, The Calling of St. Matthew, 1599 - 1600.











Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi dei Francesci, Rome.











Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Beheading Holofernes, c. 1614 - 1620.










Judith Slaying Holofernes
Caravaggio, Judith Slaying Holofernes, c. 1599.
Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes, c. 1623.











Orazio Gentileschi, Danae, c. 1623.
Artemisia Gentileschi, The Sleeping Venus,
c. 1625 - 1630.











Characteristics of the Baroque Style in Sculpture:
  • Interest in light and space
  • Rich use of color and dramatic contrasts
  • Innovative illusionism
  • More emphasis on emotion than reason
  • Multi-media extravaganza
Gianlorenzo Bernini, David, 1623.











Invisible complement = a compositional element that is implied rather than physically present
Gianlorenzo Bernini, David, 1623.











Bernini David
Donatello, David, c.1446 - 1460.
Michelangelo, David, 1501 - 1504.
Gianlorenzo Bernini, David, 1623.






















Gianlorenzo Bernini, Saint Teresa of Avila in Ecstacy, 1645 - 1652.











Excerpt from The Life of St. Teresa:

...Beside me, on the left hand, appeared an angel in bodily form, such as I am not in the habit of seeing except rarely. In his hands I saw a great golden spear, and at the iron tip there appeared to be a point on fire. This he plunged into my heart several times so that it penetrated to my entrails. When he plunged it out, I felt that he took them with it, and left me utterly consumed by the great love of God. The pain was so severe that it made me utter several moans. The sweetness caused by this intense pain is so extreme that one cannot possibly wish it to cease, or is anyone's soul then content with anything but God. This is not physical, but a spiritual pain, though the body has some share in it- even a considerable share. So gentle is this wooing which takes place between God and the soul that if anyone thinks I am lying, I pray God to grant him some experience of it.

Gianlorenzo Bernini, Saint Teresa of Avila in Ecstacy, 1645 - 1652.











Cardinal Federico Cornaro and members of the Cornaro family