Baroque Art Movement

Italy, 1590 - 1725

Baroque Art Movement, History, Baroque Oil Paintings & Artists.

The word baroque is from the French "baroque", which alludes to a "rough or imperfect pearl". In casual dialect, it refers to something that is detailed and elaborate. As a concept, it was not used at the time, but was later used by art critics to criticize the lavishness, excess, and frivolity of the period. The heavy, grandiose, and gilded Baroque architectural and interior design is clear in its oil paintings as well. The need of the nobility to be inspired by lavishness and greatness kept artisans busy for a century.

Baroque is a rough imperfect pearl.

During the seventeenth century, Europe underwent significant political, social, and cultural changes. This caused a crisis between the traditional powers and the presence of new countries in a situation that stretched out over the seas to distant continents. Yet, the seventeenth century was also full of surprising contrasts. During this time, the arts developed a creative style while the sciences started to expand the guidelines of modern methods of inquiry. Economics saw the birth of bourgeois capitalism, and the sovereigns of Europe built magnificent royal residences. Italian culture and tastes spread all through Europe when Italy was consigned to the sidelines of international trade. In spite of these conditions, the Baroque age was a fascinating period of artistic development and exchange, with an increased circulation of ideas. Various national schools also became consolidated during this time and homogeneous stylistic features spread throughout the continent. Many of the great masters, like Caravaggio, Bernini, Poussin, and Rubens, became the models for the figurative arts in all of Europe

As part of the Baroque artistic movement timeline, the Renaissance and Mannerism styles transitioned toward a tangible way of appealing to a wider audience. This was because theys was because they might not comprehend ambiguous meanings that were previously only known to the affluent and educated.

Baroque painting favored the intensity of emotion displayed through drama and exaggerated light. It bore no connection to the ways of life of the general population of the Baroque period. Its sensational expression, however, was thought to celebrate the monarchy and affirm the faith of the Catholic Church.

How to Identify Baroque Art Movement Oil Paintings?

The Baroque art movement history is sometimes isolated into three stages: Early Baroque; 1590-1625, High Baroque; 1625-1660 and Late Baroque; 1660-1725 and between Catholic and Protestant Europe.

1. Paintings of idealized landscapes. Sunrise in a Wood by Jacob Van Ruisdael.

2. Still life in general, Still-Life with Fruits, Shells and Insects by Balthasar van der Ast.

3. A fruit bowl in a still life. Still Life With Silver Jug by Willem Kalf.

4. Theatrical light is the effect of light and shade (chiaroscuro) in which parts of the picture are emphasized by a spotlight. The Night Watch by Rembrandt.

5. Paintings show dramatic and emotional moments, moments of victory or death. Where Renaissance art shows a scene in the moments before an action takes place, Baroque paintings emphasize the climax of the moment when the tension is highest. The Death of the Virgin by Caravaggio.

6. Sacred figures and saints in scriptural scenes and miracles are depicted as ordinary people in everyday activities. The Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio.

7. Peter Paul Rubens, the painter known for his “Rubenesque” women, chunky women of stately proportions, are shown in postures and light that render them striking in his oil paintings, was the most compelling Baroque painter.

8. Subject matter included the life of Christ, the life of Mary, and the vital, passionate, or moving scenes from the New Testament. These scenes include Paul’s vision of Jesus on the Road to Damascus.

Oil Paintings in Catholic Europe vs. Protestant Europe

Italy, France, and Spain are all Catholic countries. Baroque-style religious painting Taking an alternate route, not at all like the Mannerist era. Baroque painters depicted practical, unidealized life in their works of art, stripped from grand symbolism or mythology, common people, or even, at times, no people at all. As expected, the solid, controlled, and romanticized types of the Renaissance did not change, but human feelings were shown. Emotions and dramatic expressions were unmistakable on the faces of subjects in paintings, and a strong contrast between light and dark was also introduced. In puritanical Spain, painting naked art meant risking excommunication, fines, and exile, as enforced by the Spanish Inquisition, and naked paintings were burned. Italy was a special case as it had been influenced by agnostic classical Greek and Roman sculptures.

Protestant Europe (Holland and England). Baroque non-religious (still lifes, landscapes, or portraits). Some Dutch artists, including Rembrandt, painted religious works of art for imminent buyers. The Protestant regions of Holland focused on everyday life, still life, and landscapes. The magnificence of the Baroque was adapted by only a few talented artists. Vermeer, for one, didn't partake.

The Birth of Still Life Oil Painting.

At the end of the Renaissance, the art market was no longer constrained to the nobility and high-ranking clergy but extended to include the affluent bourgeoisie and rising merchant class. This change encouraged the introduction of a variety of subjects. The depiction of inanimate objects became a separate theme without human figures. This genre acquired a dignity of its own thanks to the work of gifted artists and was soon much sought after by the new clients. During this time, the still life genre developed throughout Europe, especially in the Netherlands and northern counties. With the decline of Italian influence and wealth, the Baroque style fell into decline as well. France was emerging as a key player on the world stage, and its principal decorative interest, Rococo, was becoming more popular and fashionable.

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