Baroque Theatrics
 

"The Baroque style favored dramatic and intense subjects, rich textures, and exaggerated lighting. It sought to convince, not through reason, but by illusion, and by overwhelming the senses and emotions." - Marilyn Stokstad

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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
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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi dei Francesci, Rome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"New Realism" of Caravaggio
 
Caravaggio, Conversion of St. Paul, 1601.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judith Slaying Holofernes

Caravaggio, Judith Slaying Holofernes, c. 1599.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judith
Judith

Lavinia Fontana, Judith and Holofernes, 1613.

Elisabetta Sirani, Judith with the Head of Holofernes, c. 1660.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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