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Art History 57: Renaissance

and Baroque Art
Professor Black
Late Renaissance
• Three Geniuses
– Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo
– Center of Italian art shifted from Florence to Rome
– Shift in patronage
• Emergence of powerful ruling patrons (popes, noble families)
– guilds become less important as patrons
– Art effects
• Refinement of early Renaissance ideals
• Interested in improving the natural world, while early Renaissance painters focused
on truth to details (not improvement)
• Greater grandeur (unity of composition)
– more movement
» interest in human figure and gesture
– Maturation of Alberti’s historia (gestures tell the story)
– Inherits the obsession with organizing space (from early Renaissance)
– Inclination to generalize and idealize figures
– Strong light-dark contrasts (typical of Leonardo)
• To create mystery
– Turbulent, urgent movement in paintings (typical of Leonardo)
Late Renaissance Artists
• Michelangelo
– Pieta, 1498-1500
– Holy Family (Doni Tondo), 1503-1506
• Raphael
– Madonna of the Meadows, 1505
• Titian
– Assumption of the Virgin, 1516-1526
– Pesaro Madonna, 1519-1526
– Bacchanal of the Andrians, 1520
– Portrait of Doge Andrea Gritti, 1540
– Danae, 1554
– Rape of Europa, 1559-1562s
– Lamentation, 1576
– Giorgione (with Titian)—Sleeping Venus, 1510
Michelangelo, Pieta, 1498-
– 1500
Contemporaneous with “Last Supper”
– Defines the high renaissance sculpture
– Marble, 8.5 ft. tall
– Signed by Michelangelo in prominent place (on the virgin Mary’s
chest band)
• Very audacious, not common at this time
– Subject—Mary is holding her dead son after the crucifixion
• Scene of intense grief
– Michelangelo depicts it as ideal, perfected reality
» Mary is calm, stoic, accepting
• Restraint of Mary’s emotions
• Solid triangular shape
• There is no movement
– Idealized
• Christ appears to be sleeping
– Sweet-faced, reminiscent of Madonna and Child portraits
• Mary is youthful and beautiful
– the beauty of her body manifests the beauty of her soul
Michelangelo, Holy Family (Doni
Tondo), 1503-1506
• Characterization of the Holy family presented as figures
of power and might
• These are not mere mortals
• Symbolism in the plants in the foreground: pointing to
new life that Christians believe come with Christ
• Mary’s pose: seated on the ground: reference to her
• Mary and Joseph are presenting the Christ child to the
• Christ characterized as a Hercules: a very heroic child
• Heroic male nudes in the background
• The 5 male nudes represent the pagan world
• John the Baptist is the link between the pagan and the
Christian world
• Background landscape is dry and barren
• Michelangelo’s infatuation with the human body
Raphael, Madonna of the
Meadows, 1505
• Influenced by Leonardo and Michelangelo
– Pyramidal composition with interlocking figures
• Image of stability
• Light is clear revealing form
• Lucid, accessible image
• Landscape is inviting and uncomplicated
• More intelligible
• Mary is perfectly centered and framed
– Oval shaped face and smooth skin on Mary
Venetian High Renaissance
• Venice
– peaceful republic (called “The most serene city”)
– Religious leaders chosen by secular leaders, secular leaders chosen by people
– Connection with Islamic and Asian worlds
– Unique topography—consists of 100 islands connected by walkways
• Venice and Florence have very different topographies, contributing to their
representational manners
• Florence has strong stone buildings and very straight lines—not surprising that
perspective was created there
• Venice is surrounded by water and focuses on light and color
• Venetian art theory
– Less theoretical
– Love of light and color
– Light tends to be soft and more atmospheric
– Venetian painting tends to be more “painterly”—artist interested in color and
brushwork as a representational form (focused on texture of actual medium)
– Figure types are fuller and fleshier
– Less emphasis on drawing—paint directly on the canvas instead of under
– More relaxed style
– Patrons among the most powerful in Europe—Holy Roman Emperor, Pope,
Venetian Renaissance Artists
• Titian
Titian, Assumption of the

Virgin, 1516-1518
Most influential of all paintings of this subject
– Figures below (apostles)
• In shadows below
• In motion
• Alternation of RED and GREEN
– Stress on red
– Angles repeat gesture of apostles, tying composition together
– God, the father and the angles create a lid at the top to close the composition
– High Renaissance principles
• Pyramidal composition
• Compare—Michelangelo very similar
– Venetian
• Greater drama and expression
• Sensuous immediacy
• Richer color
• More varied light
– golden light, shadows, etc.
– light is softer and more atmospheric
• Brushwork is more spontaneous
– IMPOSTO—application of pigment is thicker
– more painterly!!!
» More interested in the expressive possibilities of the use of oil paint
» Colors are built up with many layers of transparent glazes
» Oil paint dries slower and is easier to make revisions
Titian, Pesaro madonna,
• Altarpiece for the Pesaro family chapel
– Commissioned to celebrate a victory against the Turks
led by Pesaro
• Turbaned figure being led to throne by a Christian knight
• Red flag has the papal coat of arms on it
– Compare—Raphael
• Similarities
– monumental, heroic
– classical architecture
– use of red
» contains the movement by repetition of red
– Lid of cloud closes in composition
• Differences
– “Pesaro” is less symmetrical
– Rhythm that moves up
» Diagonal of steps and figures links figures on bottom to
figures on top
– More painterly
Titian, Bacchanal of the
– Commissioned for patrons private relaxation room
filled with erotic bacchanal images
– Figures arranged in a garland
– Female nude—symbolizes the effects of wine
– Lighting
• Dark on left, light on right
– Composition
• Males in dark on left, females in light on right
– Several figures in contemporary dress
• These figures are singing a bacchanal song and thus have
started reenacting it
Portrait of doge andrea gritti,
• “Ruler of Venice”
• Depicts him as a confident leader,
although he was 80 at the time
– torso moves to right, head to left
– swelling chest
– Wearing ermine fir
» Emblem of royalty and rule
– Huge, clutching hand
» reference to Michelangelo’s clutching hand
of Moses
» shows awesomeness of the Doge

• Very well-respected patron and subject

Giorgione (with titian), Sleeping
– Started the tradition of the reclining female nude as the main focus
of a painting
• Usually very passive, vulnerable
• Body is stretched out for the visual pleasure of the male viewer
– Commissioned as a wedding painting
– Cupid identifies her as Venus—removed later
– Composition
• Body is close to the front of the picture
• Skin is polished
• Pose of hand—from Aphrodite of Knidos, covering genitalia
• Seems weightless
• Body set in fertile landscape
– curves of her body are echoed by the landscape and clouds
– Possible action
• Suggestions that she may be masturbating
– Medical manuals of the time said that in order to conceive
women had to have an orgasm
– eluding to the hope for children
– Landscape sensuality
» At this time people went outside into the landscape to
have sex
TitIan, Venus of urbino,
• No notes on this.
Titian, danae, 1554
• Female who was kept from having
children because of a prophecy that
her child would kill her father
– He locked her in a tower
• Zeus came in as a light shower and
impregnated her.
• This is crudely humorous
– Legs spread open
Titian, rape of Europa
• A mythological god (which one?) was in
love with Europa who refused him, so he
disguised himself as a full with sweet
smelling flowers on her head, and
abducted her
– Somewhat humorous
• Cupid looks up her dress at her spread
• Friends wave goodbye to her
– Style
• Very atmospheric
Titian, lamentation of christ,
• No notes on this.
• 1520s-1600 (Between High Renaissance and
Baroque periods)
• Artificial, unnatural qualities
– Elongated proportions, affected poses,
unclear perspective
– Contrasts with High Renaissance
conventions (such as balance)
• After quest for perfect realism (i.e., mastery
of the human form) during the High
Renaissance, Mannerists attempted to
diverge entirely
– Began distorting human figures
– Irrational space and perspective to reveal
emotional turmoil
Mannerist Artists
• Bronzino
• Parmigianino
Brozino, christ in limbo,
• Strong zigzagging upward movement
Parmigianino, madonna of the
long neck
• No notes on this.
El greco, assumption of the
• No notes on El Greco
El Greco, Burial of the Count of
• No notes on this.
El Greco, Agony in the Garden
• No notes on this.
El Greco, View of Toledo,
• No notes on this.
El Greco, Resurrection of
• Council of Trent (1545-1563)—Roman Catholic Church declares
that art should be more vernacular
– Should speak to the uninformed, rather than the intellectuals
(contrast with intellectualism of mannerism)
• Importance of interplay with viewer (keeps attention, less worked involved
in reading work)
– However, Baroque appeared a generation after the Council
• Style
– Simple figures
– Aimed at the senses
– Use of spotlight (Caravaggio)
– Iconography is direct and simple to read
• Requires minimal thought to appreciate
– Gestures
• Broader, less ambiguous than Mannerist poses; less classical, more
– Contrapposto—Baroque movement of figures in time
» Baroque depends on the counter-directional movement of
hips and shoulders to create the illusion of movement

• Summary: Study nature, reality effects (including use of

model), painterly qualities, emotion from Venetian tenebrism
(dark/light contrast!)

• Artists
• Volatile person
Murdered a man in Rome in a disagreement over a tennis match

Had to flee to Naples
Became a knight, attacked another
– Fled to Sicily
» Three groups looking for him
» Roman gov’t
» Knights
» The prison he had escaped from
» Expected a pardon and sailed over to get it
» Died on the ship, pardon was given three days later!
– Accomplishments
• Direct and real communication between artwork and viewer
• Validates true religious emotions
– Observer feels sensually and emotionally involved in the
• Made art seem believable, realistic figures and emotions
• Use reality effects to a previously unseen degree
• Merged Central Italian and North manners
– Sculpture forms of Central
– Use of light and pigment of Northern
cchus, 1595-
– Plays to the spectator

– offering the viewer the wine
• with other hand he is loosening his toga
– possibly homoerotic, was Caravaggio gay?
» 1603—accused of having male and female lovers
• Representational strategies
– traces of Mannerism
» face is stylized, idealized
– Rejection of mannerism also present: extremely
REALISTIC fruit basket
» Not idealized at all
» Reaction against mannerism,
– New Baroque traits
» Very physical
» Importance of interplay with viewer
» Very direct, not complicated
» Convincing reality effects (the still life)
• More Baroque than “Bacchus”

– complete break from mannerism
• So immediate and true to life
• Moralizing theme
– fortuneteller and young man
– he’s infatuated with her and she is stealing his ring
» the foolish young man
– Her sash points to the important part of the painting—
the hands
» Shows women as wily deceivers, moral of not trying
to grow up too fast
• Why is it baroque
– Basic figures
– neutral background that doesn’t complicate scene
– sash points to what is important
– convincing reality effects
– realism
– detail
– texture through the use of light
» crinkled cotton, leather gloved, cold medal of sword,
Annibale Caracci,
Butcher Shop,

Earlier than Caravaggio, but he is
more baroque than Caravaggio
– Well organized
• Strict verticals and horizontals
– Brush work inspired by Venetian
• Painterly brush strokes
– References to Michelangelo
• Butcher is Noah
• Animal about to be slaughtered represents
figures in foreground of Noah painting
Caravaggio, Calling
of St. Matthew,
– First religious
commission given to

– Revolutionary for catholic religious art

• Recalls the dictates of the Council of Trent
– Art must be humble and in the simplest form
• St. Matthew is the bearded man sitting with ruffians
– Jesus and St. Peter are asking him to become a
» Means even an evil tax collector can become a
good Christian
• More figures than ever
– composes it with gures around the table
– The is an open space of the front left side of the table
for the viewer to have a spot
Calling of St.
• Spotlight Technique—Popularized by Caravaggio, used earlier by Carracci
– light on the wall shines down
» gives objects and figures immediacy
» expressive
» faces of most important figures have more light on them
» reveals texture
» adds drama and life
» carries symbolic message
» light comes from Christ’s direction and overpowers the light from
the window!
» Christ’s light is greater than earthly light
• Absolutely realistic, not idealized
– bare feet—absolute humility and poverty in the 1600
– Matthew, however is very richly dressed
• Reference to Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam”
– the hand of Jesus is similar to Adam’s
» Christ as the new Adam
– Technique
• Expert colorist
– Rich colors, light
» influence of Northern Italian Renaissance
• Painted directly on canvas
• Sculptural figures
– comes from Michelangelo’s technique

Conversion of
Saul—a man who’s job was to persecute Christians—is on

– Saul, 1600-01
the way to his persecution, stuck down by God and becomes
a Christian…becomes ST. PAUL
Depicts it as inner religious experience of one person,
spiritual exercise, not historical event
• Other representations have many people watching (none
• This scene however has been reduced to figures and a
– no background
– Composition
• Saul is foreshortened, made small, vulnerable
– dwarfed by enormous horse
• only illusion to divine are three yellow lines coming down
from top right
• Use of light
– makes figures sculptural
– brings out texture
– transfixes Saul to the ground, pushes him down
• Horse senses something important is going on and lifts
his leg to not step on Saul
– Baroque Technique
Crucifixion of St.

Peter, 1600-01
Peter wanted to be crucified upside down
because he was not worthy of being crucified
right side up like Christ
– Much tension
– Dirty, unidealized figure lifting the cross
• Feet dirty, rear end up and out
– realistic human imperfection
– Peter
• Rugged old man
• Michelangelo’s natural musculature
• Presented as symbol of humanity
– all of the torturers are faceless and inhumane
Madonna of
Loreta, 1603-04
– Subject: Pilgrims pray to the image of
Madonna and Child and their faith causes the
pair to appear
• This is like the panels of the Flemish Renaissance
where patrons are rewarded with miraculous image
for praying hard
– Divinity is once again very underplayed
• Only one step up from pilgrims
• No shoes
• Face is slightly idealized (slight reference to
• Man can practically touch the feet of the Christ
– Humble
• Crumbling house
• Pilgrims entirely unidealized
• Profoundly humble and personal
Burial of St.

Lucy, 1608
Huge painting
Painted in Sicily when he was on the run from the law
Somber and pessimistic
• Resignation to death and burial of St. Lucy
• Nothing suggests afterlife or divine presence
– gloom from absence of light
• Arrangement of figures
– look in different directions
» no communal response to death
– no communication with viewer
– Large grave diggers, very tiny dead Lucy on the
• Composition—depressing
– upper half of canvas empty
» makes humans looks puny and powerless
before death
Adoration of the
Shepherds, 1609
– Painted while Caravaggio was still on run
from the law
– This picture is uplifting, bright, lighted,
– Expression of shepherds are very realistic
and truthful
– Baroque use of light
• Picks out faces
• Shows interaction between baby and Mary
• Light comes to rest on a basket in the
lower left corner
– basket contains bread, altar cloth, and
carpentry tools (Joseph’s career, and the
tools of the crucifixion)
Artemisia Gentileschi,
Judith Beheading

• Holofernes, 1630
Artemisia's background:
Brilliant prodigy
• Raped by her drawing teacher—case against him ended in 9
months, teacher defended himself by saying she was
– Tortured during trial to get her to tell the truth
– Case ends when she marries an Italian and moves, later
divorces him
– Trial killed reputation because it made her appear

• Persian general is trapped by composition

– Have their bodies on top of him
• Very physically involved in scene
– Feminist interpretation
• Violence of these scenes were related to the rapes of the
artist by her teacher
– painted means of revenge?

Classicism combined with Baroque emotion
• Renaissance features
– Rational
– Very organized, in grid
– Compete break from Mannerism
• Baroque features
– Complexity
– Rich color contrasts
– Clever illusions
– Greater unity (continuity) between the wall and the
– More complete inclusion of spectator in decoration
– Baroque sexuality
• Annibale Carracci
• Guido Reni
• Guercino
• Pietro da Cortona
Annibale Carracci,
Triumph of Bacchus and
– Ceiling fresco 1597-1600
– Not situated to help viewer see painting
– Representational strategies
• Renaissance features
– Rational
– Very organized, in grid
– Compete break from Mannerism
• Baroque features
– Complexity
– Rich color contrasts
– Clever illusions
– Greater unity (continuity) between the wall and the
– More complete inclusion of spectator in decoration
– Baroque sexuality
Aurora ceiling
fresco, 1621
• Influenced by Carracci
– Ceiling fresco
– Less sensual
– More intellectual than Carracci
– Aurora, the dawn, is fleeing from Apollo in his chariot
• Female figures represent the hours of the day
• Classical reference—mythology is characteristic of
Baroque Classicism because Renaissance painters
focused on antiquity
• Baroque qualities—dawns emotional retreat from
– QUADRO REPORTATO—not fixed to aid viewer in
looking at the ceiling painting
• No foreshortenings to aid viewer
• Papal History
– Paul V
• Years of austerity
• Reintroduced pomp and richness into Catholicism
– Pope Urban VIII Barberini (1623-44)
• Wanted to restore glory of catholic church in realm of arts
– Preferred Dynamic Baroque
– Used this style to celebrate and commemorate Catholic victory
over the Protestants
– entering the CATHOLIC RESTORATION era!
» Comes after the Reformation
– 1622—canonized five new saints after not canonizing any
for decades
– New appreciations
• Science—Galileo, Copernicus
– infinite universe
• Pope Urban VIII Barberini (1623-44) had
preference for this style
• Qualities
– Complex
– Emphasis on light and color
– Irregular—intended to overwhelm
• Dramatic
• Idealized
• Very aesthetic
• Painterly
• Catholic themes
– Reason: The Catholic Restoration had just taken place
and the Catholic church was celebrating and
commemorating its victory over Protestantism
Guercino, Aurora fresco
– Ceiling painting
– DYNAMIC BAROQUE—corrected for the
viewer below
• Painterly brushstrokes—Titian influence
• Fictive architecture
– New pope, Urban VIII, had just come
into power—“dawning of a new day”
– Had great preference for dynamic baroque and
popularized the style
Pietro da Cortona, Glorification
of the Barberini Family, 1629-
• Located at the Palazzo Barberini in Rome
– Papal propaganda
• Commissioned by the new Barberini-bred pope,
Urban VIII, a supporter of the Baroque
– Everything merges together, no separation
on the ceiling
– Light, color, dynamism
• Can’t tell the difference between real and fictive
– Bees around wreath represent the Barberini
Bernini, Apollo and
Daphne, 1622-25
• Could be for feminist art history
– As Apollo catches Daphne she turns
into a tree
– Extreme Baroque
• Change, becoming
• Looks like real, soft flesh
• Return to realism
Bernini, Pluto and
Proserpina, 1621-22
– Pluto is trying to take her to hell
– VERY violent!
• Tears on her face
– Beautiful, realistic representation of
– Very sculptural, physical
Bernini, Tomb of Pope
Urban VIII
– At the Vatican
– Very colorful—bronze, colored stone, marble
– Same elements as Della Porta’s 16th century “Tomb”
• The Bernini is more organic, part of a whole
• Richer color
• More dramatic
• Pope is activated in Bernini, not just sitting
– he is blessing with his hand
– Allegories
• Charity
– baby suckling a woman, while an other baby cries at the
death of the pope and she smiles at him to give comfort
– twisted postures
– dynamic draperies
» pockets of shadow made by deep cuts in the marble for
beautiful draperies folds
Bernini, Ecstasy of St.
Teresa, 1657-52
• Non-papal commission
– Pope Urban VIII had died and his successor disliked
Bernini and fired him
– Created o the Cornaro Chapel in Rome
• Angel appears to St. Teresa and pierces her
heart with a flaming arrow
• Baroque Emotion
• Spanish mysticism—describes union with divine
– Uses physical terms for a spiritual experience
– Very emotional drapery
• Texture
– Cloud vs. smooth skin
– Deep grooves cut in marble to create texture and extreme
drama in draperies
• Composition
– Diagonal between faces
» heads downward toward St. Theresa
Dynamic Francesco Borromini
Giuliano da Sangallo
Primary purpose:
to persuade viewers of some truth,
meant to stimulate emotions
Traits of Baroque Architecture:
1 more complex ground plans
2 greater height, greater
emphasis on the ` dome

3 curved walls
4 fully projecting columns instead
of pilasters
5 rhythmic bay arrangements
6 fusion of sculpture and
architecture 7 coextensive
San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane,
Francesco Borromini

Dynamic Baroque architecture

Coffered ceiling—makes the dome

look higher

Illogical arrangement of domes

Church of
Sant’ Andrea
al Quirinale


Classical Baroque:
Triangular pediment
Church of
Santa Maria
delle Carceri

Giuliano da Sangallo

Displays the

7 Dynamic Baroque Located in Prato

Architecture Traits
Early to mid
…Emphasized reality 1600s

…Lowly, dignified people evoke higher
…Secular scenes have religious intent
…Few mythological scenes because the
Inquisition banned female nudity,
essential to mythological art
….Spanish culture has always preferred
reality effects Fernando Gallego (1470)
—early Renaissance reality effects
….Influence of Spanish Mysticism—
unification of the soul with god
..mystical union described in earthy,
realistic, plain-spoken language,
religion reveals itself through the
most mundane parts of life
….Jusepe De Rib
….Francisco de
St. Jerome and the
Angel of Judgment.
No notes
on this.
Ribera… Drunken
Grotesque approach to mythology
…Dark, grotesque colors 1626.
…Satyrs and father of Silenus, Pan, pr
Moral—represents the evils of over i
…Sluggish turtle
…Sluggish donkey

…Ripped paper with artist’s signatur

….A woman, who at 37 began to

Ribera…grow a beard, and at 52 she
and her husband had a baby
…Demonstrates Spanish interest in
the grotesque, unusual, macabre
…Emphasis gender flexibility
….Emphasis on manly-looking
features 1631.
…Yet exposes large breast
….Husband is timid in background
….Spanish fad in cross-dressing
and crossing gender roles
…is this due to strictness of

gender laws in Spain

…Secular, as well as
religious/moral meaning?
Ribera… Clubfoot
…Appears secular, but is

….Club-footed, tooth-

paper ed Boy.
rotted peasant boy, smiling, holding a
that says “Give me alms
for the love of god”
…This gives form to the
catholic view of salvation—to
perform good works
assures your place in paradise
….Smiling because he is
an instrument of salvation and
will go to heaven

…Indifferent to his
suffering, Christ-like
….Has great dignity,
…Meant to be a model for the monks of
the monastery it was commissioned by
…Serapion—Murdered in Africa trying to
convert people
Zurbara Serapion
…Depicts the monk hanging from a tree
by his arms
…Spanish traits
….Spanish austerity—Not
gory details, just the peacefulness
following the martyrdom
…Block-like composition
…Hands turned in so as not
to disrupt the box shape
…Extremely balanced
…Loops of drapery
counter-balance the head on the
left to keep balance of
…Extremely 3D
…Simple—three objects
Still Life with
…Lemons, Basket of oranges, a
Group of a cup, pewter saucer, and rose
Oranges and
…Eye moves from left to right (lemons to cup
…Move up to leaves of oranges
Zurbara Lemons.
and down into oranges, forceful
indentation of naval of oranges forces
you to stay there
…Moves down toward cup
…Handle is turned toward the
left, opposite side that most right-
handed viewer would grab—this cup is
not for the viewer
…dark background
…Religious theory
…The objects represent the
Virgin Mary
…Rose—represents Mary’s
divine love
…Lemons—represent her
…Unable to walk, shown seated
…Possible interpretations
Dwarf Francisco Lesc
…Penitent composition—subject
Velazque 1634.
sits by rocky wall/cave
distant landscape (like Ribera’s
by a

“Mary Magdalene”)
…why?—makes the
sitter more noble
…This could happen to you
…The cards represent the “hand
you’re dealt”
…To make fun of handicapped
…Hung in the royal hunting
lodge with other dwarf portraits
and animals
…It is a joke, then, to in the
of Breda.
…Historical painting for the throne room, hung o
walls leading toward the throne
…Depicts fall of Dutch Breda to the Spanish
…Dutch on left, Spanish on right
…Spanish depiction: Dark,
uniform outfits, Officers in front , Very
straight, proudly held-up lances,
Energetic horse
…Dutch depiction: Tattered
garments, Foot soldiers are in front, Useless,
blunt weapons, Tired horse
Main Scene: Justin of Nasa giving Spinoza the
key to the city
…puts hand on shoulder of Dutchman in
a chivalrous, friendly, respectful way
…Reveals influence of Italian trip
on Velazquez
…Paint effects
…Smokey atmosphere—sensitivity to
optical effects
…Rare example of mythology in Spanish

…Nudity is accepted because this
is a private commission …
Inquisition cannot take ban its production
…Body is facing opposite viewer
…Probably sourced from the
“Hellenistic Hermaphrodite”
…Technical qualities
…Interest in texture
…Curves of the poses emphasized
…Venetian, painterly, colorful
…Unidealized—flesh of real
…Venus is older than usual—
beauty is fleeting
…Velazquez painting
princess Las
…Paradoxes—reading of the
painting meant to be
…Is that a mirror or a
…Representation is an
act of blindness , not vision
…The picture looks out at
a scene for which it
itself is a scene
…False Reality—
Representation presented as
and Baroque

n i c
Birth of Baroque in
--European practices mixed with indigenous art forms

--Baroque realism aids political movements
How?---Cortez invaded the Americas to “free” the people
from their tyrant Montezuma, Spain won, so Spain gains
control of Americas from 1500 to 1800

--Spiritual conquest: Goal of Spanish conquest was to
convert the natives to Catholicism; wanted to create a
new catholic utopia centered around mission complexes
— Destroyed temples and built churches, forbade local
artists to depict their saints

This started one of the greatest building booms in the
history of the world, assisted by native slave forced
Augustinian Mission

Acolman, Mexico
Post-Cortez church at
– Typical counter-reformation church
• Focus is on altar
• Allows focus to procession to altar
– focus is on god at altar, not humans
• Plateresque—Spanish Renaissance
style in Mexico
• Spanish and indigenous Aztec arm is on
• Looks like a military fortress
– Enormous fortress buttress
• Why?
– Designed to impress natives with power
of catholic church
• monks preached to them from balcony
• Located in same religious place used before the turn to

• Atrium Cross
• You see just his face, not his body
• On the lower part of the crucifix there are stories of the
• Thought that these crosses were meant to teach people
about religion
• Base of cross: Mary sad about Christ
• Style
• Flat, native style

• Crucifixion Fresco, 1560-80

• Modeling is 3D, Christ is musculature—similar to
• Black and white with touches of red in Mary Magdalene
and John’s hair
• Detailed landscape in background

n i c
Doubting Thomas
Lopez de
Artega, 1640
•Looks very Caravaggio
•Textbook example of baroque realism
•Light adds drama
•Picks out important arrears
•Light creates texture
•Realistic wound is in the center
•Christ looks dead because this is after the
•Difference from Italian Baroque Realism
•Caravaggio is very realistic and modest
•Artega’s work is seductive and idealized
Northern Baroque
--Dominated by Protestants—Calvinists and

--No church commissions for art because these

groups did not support religious objects and huge alter

--There was no monarchy so there is no royal

-Holland ruled by State holder
-Thus there was private art PATRONAGE
-Effect--shift to portrait, genre
paintings and still-lives
Interior of St. Odolphus Church
in Assendelft
P. Saendredam, 1649
• Baroque realism
• Harmony and order (Protestantism)
---Similar to painting, “Madonna and Child” in a Catholic
church by Jan van Eyck
• secularized scene
---Similar archways and buttresses, attention to line
• No alter—pulpit instead
---the spoken word was considered more important than the
---reenactment of the last supper at the “alter”
-No art
• Emphasis on geometric structure
--Figures seem insignificant
• this is the Protestant version of a medieval church
The Concert
Honthorst, 1620
– Influence from Caravaggio
• Organizing figures around a table
• Use of a repossoir (sp?)—figures in corner who define the
foreground (set up spatial recession)
– either have backs turned or are in ¾ view
• Use of monumental figures
• Unity of action—all singing
– Theme—tied to biblical story of the prodigal son
• Prodigal son is the figure in yellow
• Young woman is a prostitute
• Older woman is prostitutes madam (pimp)
– Moralistic message
• Frankness of sexuality
– Large-scale painting
– Figures cut off (Italian influence)
– Emphasis on figures
– Use of light and shade, spotlight
The Alchemist
Ostade, 1661

– Detailed, disorderly
• Trying to convey the confused mind of the
foolish alchemist who thinks he can make
– Neglecting family
• Wife is in background wiping the babies
– associated with Dutch proverb: “This body, this
body, What is it but waste and shit?”
– Only the after-life matters
View of Dordrecht
Jan van Goyen, 1640
Harlem school

– Tonal landscape—very limited

• No intense colors
– only yellow, brown, blue
• atmosphere is thick and heavy
– light is diffused
– very panoramic
– chief subject is sky
• sky is the only bright color
Windmill by a River
Goyen, 1642

– Tonal landscape
• Colors are only yellow and grey and green
– Windmill and sand dunes signify
– Human figures very insignificant
– Sky dominates
Winmill at Wijk near Duurstede
Jacob van Ruisdael, 1665
– Focus is on windmill
Dutch landscape)
• 1650-70s
• Controls your VIEWING!
• Forceful contrast of light and shade
• Sense of mass
– clouds have definite thick light and shade to create heavy
• Separation of parts of land (land, water, sky)
– In the Goyen, everything merges together
• Reading of picture is controlled by strong diagonals
• Less sky, more land
• Color contrasts are much more drastic than the Goyen
Jewish Cemetery
J.V. Ruisdael, 1660
– Structural landscape
• Rich, dark colors
• Dramatic use of light and shade
• Tangibility of objects depicted
– Allegorical
• Church ruins added in
– represent fleeting life
– also an attempt to Christianize the painting
• Rainbow represents hope
– Composition
• Eye enters in at left with rainbow because that is
how Westerners read
• Continues right toward tree that points down to the
Dutch Portrait
and Genre
Jonker Ramp and His Sweetheart
Frans Hals, 1623

– MERRY COMPANIES theme of Dutch

– Is this moralizing?
• This has been related to prodigal son story
—upraised hand holding beer is associated
with gluttony
• Also: “Love of dogs, whores, hospitality of
innkeepers you cannot have without
paying”—the deceptive nature of pleasure
– Looks happy, but is a slippery slope
Malle Babbe
Frans Hals, 1633

• `
– Portrays an actual female bar-goer
– Body turns one way, head the other
• creates strong diagonal to organize painting
– Spontaneous brushwork
– Is this a portrait or a genre scene?
– Characterization of Malle Babbe
» Owl sitting on her shoulder
– supposedly a creature of night that is stupid by day
– emblem of stupidity and drunkenness
» she is grasping the pitcher of beer
– negative characterization of her ` `
The Proposition
Judith Leyster, 1630

– Foreigner is offering a young woman a

coin in the dark and she turns away,
fearful of him
– Does not look happy; usually in these
types of portraits the women are
happy and excited at the advances of
• Perhaps Leyster’s opinion is different
because she is a woman
• Dutch in the new world…