In an article on Baroque literature, the author describes the Baroque style of writing and states, "Baroque literature is a style of writing that is extravagant, heavily ornamented, and/or bizarre" (Duarte, Explaining Baroque Literature). Just like the music and art of this time, Baroque literature was a reaction to the "civil, political, and religious conflict during that time" (Duarte, Explaining Baroque Literature). One representative piece of literature is Simplicissimus by Hans Jacob Christoph von Grimmelshausen. This series of stories was written in response to the Thirty Years war. The author uses a dramatic style of writing, reflective of the period it was written in, to unmask the horrors that a man experienced in the Thirty Years War and what he learned from it.
The Baroque Period and the Renaissance Period
The art, music and literature of the Baroque period challenged that of the overarching concerns of the Renaissance in many different ways. To begin, in the Renaissance period much attention was drawn to using a humanistic approach. This humanistic approach contrasts with that of the Baroque period because artist sought to use realism as a technique to make the divine "present and palpable". Where as renaissance art, music, and literature, seemed to fail in depicting and evoking emotions through their work, the Baroque era did quite the opposite. Much of the art, music and literature during this era was extremely affective in reinforcing the beliefs of the catholic church in a very exaggerative, dramatic, and engaging way. The Baroque era broke away from artists use of frozen movements, and incorporated aspects such as movement and trauma in their art to intensify the underlying message they were wishing to convey.
The Baroque Period and The Age of Enlightenment & Neoclassicism
The Period that followed the Baroque Period was the age of Enlightenment and Neoclassicism. This style of art broke away from the "emotionally charged Baroque style" and returned back to the classical techniques of art. Unlike the Baroque style, Neoclassical art did not seek to incorporate emotions into the work and was often seen as being "cold" or "emotionless" even though much of the art during this time was centered around emotional topics. Instead of focusing on the suggestiveness of the art from the Baroque period, Neoclassical artists concerned themselves with the symmetry, proportions, and simplicity that was accomplished during the Renaissance Period. Whereas art in the Baroque period focused more so on the divine and the foundations of the church, Neoclassical art aimed to incorporate themes such as patriotism, honor, and human rights. The Age of Enlightenment and Neoclassicism was characterized as having, "sober colors, shallow space, and strong horizontal and vertical lines that render the subject matter timeless", which was quite the opposite of the art that was produced in the Baroque Period.
Compelling Aspects of the Baroque Period
There are many different aspects of the Baroque Period that I found to be compelling. The first thing that I found to be compelling was how the Catholic church used art as a means to reach the uneducated people of the time to gain back loyal followers after the Protestant Reformation. This leads to the next aspect that I found to be compelling of the Baroque Period, which was the contrast of light and dark and the use of dramatic colors. By using techniques such as these, the artist was able to engage the viewer in the overall meaning of the piece of art and thus inspire them to demonstrate the same dedication that was shown in the art of martyrs who suffered and died for their faith. The last thing I found to be compelling in this era was just the overall exaggeration of the art, music and literature that was produced . I found this to be compelling because it contrasted greatly with the Renaissance Period and that of the Enlightenment and Neoclassicism Period. The Baroque period was a unique era of grandiose art, music, and literature that I found to be extremely enjoyable and intriguing.
Credits & Acknowledgements
Duarte, A. (n.d.). Explaining Baroque Literature. Retrieved December 8, 2016, from http://coursesite.uhcl.edu/HSH/Whitec/LITR/4231/models/rp/rp2014/rp1/rp1Duarte.htm
Besides the link listed above, the material used in the presentations was from the assigned readings and videos provided in the course material.