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Baroque Art

Historical background.
o 16th & 17th centuries were a time of great religious, scientific,
political and social changes.
o The catholic church´s influence diminished after the Protestant
Reformation and the Scientific Revolution.
o However, monarchies grew strong and became absolute, royal
authority was questioned by the bourgeoisie.
o 1517 Martin Luther published 95 Thesis, which refuted the
authority of the pope as well as many catholic dogmas and
The Catholic Church answered with Counterreformation; it
summoned the Council of Trent (1545-1563) and Protestantism
was condemned.
o The Jesuit order was created as an effort to support the pope and
educate Catholics.
o Many rulers decided to become Protestant, and their choice had to
be adopted by their people. Along 16 th & 17th Centuries almost half
of Europe turned to Protestantism. England, Northern Netherlands,
Germany and some regions of France.
o Italy, Spain, Portugal, South Netherlands remained Catholic.
o The Thirty years war was fought largely as a religious war between
Protestants and Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire, although
disputes over internal politics and the balance of power within the
Empire played a significant part.
o 17th century Johannes Kepler affirmed that the planets had a
elliptical form and orbits.
o Galileo contradicted the Ptolemaic geocentric theory, and stated
that the Earth moved around the sun. These ideas denied the
traditional religious perception of the universe.
o Spain lived its Golden Age, supported by the silver and gold
obtained from the American colonies.
o Baroque art was demanded by three groups: a) the Catholic
Church (as propaganda); b) the absolute monarchies (to show their
power and for entertainment); and c) Protestants (for prestige).
o The Jesuit order needed temples, schools, convents, sacred images
etc. The kings, nobility and the bourgeoisie demanded places and
luxurious furniture and decoration.

o Facades were decorated with eye-catching forms.  Horror vacui (fear for empty space): most of the surface is covered with o Carlo Madero. opened pediments. . o Francesco Borromini. details in bronze.  Decorative elements: oval windows. o Gian Lorenzo Bernini. o Materials: stone cut in ashlars. o Big building projects: convents. interiors were covered with colored marble. churches and palaces. niches. o Contrast between light and shade.Baroque Architecture ELEMENTS o Forms change according to country and region.  Organic decoration. o Curved forms in facades and plan provided undulating movement to the building.

 Chiaroscuro. bronze. Helical compositions. Sculptures were created Gian Lorenzo together with a Bernini.    Baroque Sculpture      Baroque Painting decoration.  Michelangelo Merisi (Caravaggio).  Pedro Pablo Rubens. Abundant niches. . scenography.  Big formats.  Asymmetrical and diagonal compositions. Dramatic effects and expressions. Materials: white and colored marble.  Velázquez. polychrome stone. Undulating clothes. Solomonic columns: helical column (a spiraling twisting shaft like a corkscrew).  Techniques: oil on canvas and fresco. Mixtilinear figures: formed angles and curves. Movement.  Rembrandt.  Realism: full naturalism.