Baroque Period Art
There are many famous painters from the Baroque period. The ones I chosen to write about are Rembrandt, Rubens and Rosa. Each had a different style of painting; Rembrandt painted with a more gentle feeling and emotion than any other painter of his time. Rubens painted with an air of pure drama in every brush stroke he made. Rosa scenes are known for their picturesquely wild, romantic qualities. Despite having different painting styles, each one painted a variety of different artworks throughout their lives from landscapes to portraits to even satire paintings.
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is one of the greatest painters and printmakers in both European art history and Dutch history. His contributions to art came in a period that historians call the Dutch Golden Age.
His wife modeled for many of his paintings and etchings. In the painting, “Saskia as Flora”, Rembrandts new bride modeled as the Roman goddess of flowers, springtime and fertility. She is wearing a satin, oriental gown with a crown of flowers in her hair. In her right hand, Flora is holding a stick intertwined with flowers. It is believed he painted this painting just after he married Saskia.
Peter Paul Rubens was a prolific seventeenth-century Flemish Baroque painter. He had an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, color, and sensuality. He is best known for his He is well-known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.
Rubens also had his wife model for a few of his paintings. He married his second wife, Helena Fourment on December 6, 1630, when he was fifty-three and she was sixteen. One famous painting he made is entitled “Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment and Their Son Peter Paul”. In this painting, Rubens is shown standing in a garden with his wife and son in the foreground. In the background there is a parrot which is a symbol of the Virgin Mary. This suggests ideal motherhood, while the fountain, caryatid, and garden setting imply fertility. The garden setting for the painting is similar to Rubens's own garden in Antwerp, where he visited often with Helena.
Salvator Rosa was an Italian Baroque painter, poet and printmaker. He is known as being an "unorthodox and extravagant" and a "perpetual rebel" proto-Romantic painter. Even though he didn’t use his wife as a model for many of his paintings, he did use her in one of his most famous works of art “L’Umana Fragilta”.
In this painting, his wife, Lucrezia, is shown sitting in a chair holding an infant, which is believed to be their son. The child writes, on a sheet offered by a winged, skeletal figure of mortality, "Conception is sinful; Birth a Punishment; Life, Hard Labour; Death Inevitable." In the background there are boys blowing bubbles and lighting candles, and the Roman god Terminus in the shadows. Rosa most likely painted this as a reminder of his baby son who died shortly beforehand due to an outbreak of plague in Naples.
All three of these painters have used family members as models for their artwork. Some, such as Rembrandt, painted portraits of his wife many times. The paintings they made expressed their feelings to not only the model but also about society at the time. That feeling resonated through in how the painting was made, the colors used and the background chosen. The artist decides whether to make happy painting or one of sadness and grief. When Rembrandt painted “Saskia as Flora” he was showing how he felt about his new wife and her beauty showed through in the painting. Rubens was also in love with his wife when he her standing with him and his son in the garden. Rosa, on the other hand, was grieving the death of his newborn son when he painted the gloomy “L’Umana Fragilta”. That painting is dark and sad, showing death coming to take his son.
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