Baroque Arts and 3 Examples

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Baroque Art emerged in Europe around 1600, as a reaction against the intricate and formulaic Mannerist style which dominated the Late Renaissance. Baroque Art is less complex, more realistic and more emotionally affecting than Mannerism. This movement was encouraged by the Catholic Church, the most important patron of the arts at that time, as a return to tradition and spirituality. Baroque is a style in which painters, sculptors, and architects rummaged emotion, movement, and variety in their works. Baroque favors higher volumes, exaggerates decorations, adds colossal sculptures, huge furniture, etc. Sense of movement, energy, and tension are dominant impressions. Strong contrasts of light and shadow often enhance dramatic effects. In architecture, there was a special attention given to animation and grandeur achieved through scale, the dramatic use of light and shadow. One of the great periods of art history, Baroque Art was developed by Caravaggio, Carracci, and Bernini among others.

This was also the age of Rubens, Rembrandt, Velázquez, and Vermeer.

Caravaggio is one of the definitive artists of the Baroque period; so influential was his style that those influenced by his style were known as the Caravaggisti (such artists as Gentileschi and Velázquez to name a couple). In his painting, Conversion of St. Paul, you see Paul flat on his back with hand sprawled up in the air signifying action and drama. The saint is in the midst of his conversion to Christianity. Although Caravaggio was shifting from the tradition of religious scenes, this style impressed many with his eloquence and humanity. This gained him respect within the religious and secular realms. He employed devices such as perspective (possibly an influence of Mantegna) and chiaroscuro (possibly an influence of Giotto). Caravaggio's use of stark contrast of light and dark is highly dramatic, drawing the viewer in closer; the use...