The Baroque and Roccoco Art By Samuel Fesmire
This sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini captures a lot of what made Baroque Baroque. The two people depicted in the sculpture are shown realistically as well as dramatically, aspects of art commonly associated with the Renaissance. But the artwork also has religious meaning, showing the Saint Theresa experiencing a rapture as an angel stands above her, removing an arrow from her heart. The sculpture is very dramatic, with a high level of expression on the faces of both the angel and Teresa.
Although influences from the Catholic Reformation increased the number of religious paintings and sculptures, paintings depicting characters from Greek mythology persisted. In this painting of Medusa on a shield, elements of the Baroque and Roccoco styles are present. Heavy light and shadow contrast create an emotional feel in the painting that is emphasized by Medusa's dramatic expression.
In this Baroque portrait, the patronage of artists during this period is shown. The family depicted is well dressed, so possibly wealthier families were among those that would commission art. Again, the Baroque style brought a dramatic mood in the painting, achieved through heavy detail and contrast between light and shadow.
Apollo And Daphne is an example of Renaissance Humanism's fascination with classical Greek mythology and literature that was still present in the Baroque and Roccoco styles of art. The sulpture shows the myth of the Greek god Apollo, obsessed with the water nymph Daphne, despite her hatred for him. In a dramatic Baroque fashion, Apollo and Daphne form a polarizing reflection in their posing, that well represents their relationship in the myth. This carefully planned pose adds to the mood of the portrait.
The influence of the Catholic Reformation could also be seen in the Baroque and Roccoco styles. After reforms were made to the Catholic Church, there was a demand for new biblical art in the new, more realistic art style. So paintings such as this one maintained the emotional style of Baroque while also depicting the stories and characters from the Bible.
During the Scientific revolution, many new discoveries and theories made religious authorities feel threatened, and especially in the Enlightenment, there was a rise in more secular thought. However, many artists at least were still devoted to Christianity and had some level of a desire to glorify God with their work, as evidenced by this sculpture.
This painting has some of the most obvious medieval and Catholic influences of the paintings seen among that of the Baroque and Roccoco. The painting shows the Virgin Mother Mary being crowned by Jesus and God while being surrounded by angels. The painting is the type of content you would expect to find in a Catholic Church prior to the Renaissance, but it also has aspects of the new styles in it, such as the expression and emotion captured in the painting using the lighting.
The Baroque and Roccoco art styles were results of Renaissance and Enlightenment thinking mixing with religious thought from the Reformation. Realistic artistic techniques and more secular art ideas from the Renaissance mixed with religious content and purpose as a result of the Catholic Reformation and created a new style. The new style had more emphasis on the emotional feel of the art, subjects were depicted with more dramatic, intense, and emotional poses. Baroque and Roccoco differed from the art of the Renaissance in that the emphasis was on the emotional feel of the art rather than the content and the subjects of the painting or sculpture. This style began a noticeable change in the way people looked at art, and what they looked for in art.