Age of Enlightenment

In this Age…

a longstanding debate widens and two competing factions in the French Academy are formed. The groups that form are known as the __________ and the __________. What does each group argue is the true merit of art? What does each group favor?

What painter leads each group, and why is their particular style characteristic of their respective group’s position? Choose one work from the April 12 Lecture Presentation to describe and explain their position. Identify at least three strategies the artist demonstrates in the work that aligns them with this particular group.

Connect this debate to the High Renaissance debate between the value in colore vs. disegno.











Italian Influence:
Flemish Influence:
  • Michelangelo's muscular bodies
  • Treatment of foliage
  • Caravaggio's foreshortening
  • Attention to detail
  • Intense emotion
  • Rich color


Raising of the Cross

Peter Paul Rubens, The Raising of the Cross, 1610 - 1611.


Raising of the Cross in situ










Characteristics of Rubens' style:
  • Dramatic, theatrical and dynamic
  • Fleshy, lively and robust figures
  • Composition revolves around light and and color
Rubens, Embarkation of Marie de Medici at Marselles, 1623 - 1625.























The Garden of Love

Peter Paul Rubens, The Garden of Love, c. 1638.










Characteristics of Poussin's Style:
  • Severe, intellectual style
  • Figures frozen in action like statues
  • Events portrayed not as they really happened, but how they would have happened if nature was perfect
  • Art should appeal to the mind instead of senses
  • Form and composition over color and emotion
  • Highest aim of art = to represent noble human actions
Nicolas Poussin, Landscape with Saint John on Patmos, 1640.











Nicolas Poussin, The Holy Family on the Steps, 1648.




















Poussinistes vs. Rubenistes
Favored line
Favored color
Believed that drawing appealed to the mind
Believed color was more true to nature than line
Drawing superior to color effects, because color appealed to the senses
Drawing appealed to the educated few, while color appealed to everyone


Landscape with Saint John on Patmos
Raising of the Cross
Nicolas Poussin, Landscape with Saint John on Patmos, 1640.
Peter Paul Rubens, The Raising of the Cross,
1610 - 1611.







The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp

Rembrandt van Rijn, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, 1632.











Night Watch

Rembrandt van Rijn, The Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq (Night Watch), 1642.


commissioned by the military company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq





















Characteristics of Vermeer:
Quiet interior scenes
Contemplative quality
Low-key color
Light from window
Meticulous observation of light
Highly controlled brushwork
Vermeer, Allegory of Painting, 1665.











Rentesses of the Old Men's Alms House
Woman Holding a Balance
Frans Hals, Regentesses of the Old Men's Alms House, 1664.
Jan Vermeer, Woman Holding a Balance,
c. 1664.






















still life = from the Dutch "stilleven", a painting of artfully arranged objects on a table


Market Stall

Frans Snyders, Market Stall, 1614.












vanitas = an image in which the objects symbolize the transience of life and remind the viewer of their own impending doom. Vanitas paintings are usually still lifes or genre subjects

"breakfast piece"
Clara Peters, Still Life with Flowers, Goblet, Dried Fruit and Pretzels, 1611.











Maas at Dordrecht

Aelbert Cuyp, Maas at Dordrecht, c. 1660.