Gardner’s Art through the Ages defines baroque as a blanket term defining the art that was developed between the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries (Kleiner, pg 608). Though the term, baroque, as a generic term does not fully suit the era in which it encompasses; this era includes a wide variety of skills, media, and subjects that each piece includes.
Peter Paul Rubens was a well-educated, high-end artist that gained continuous attention from royal families. Rubens became court painter and was sought be various prestigious families during his career; the dukes of Mantua, friend of the king of spain as well as his advisor, Charles I of England and Marie de’ Medici, the queen of France, were all included amongst this group of wealth and prestige. Ruben’s artwork depicts great emotion and passion, detail and movement, drama and action; the attention to detail and display of tension in each individual surpass just about any other artist’s interpretations prior to Peter Paul Rubens. Ruben showed special attention to the human figure, more specifically to the natural form of women. This passion for the natural depiction of women has adopted the term rubenesque for his display of a woman’s curves and natural form.
Each of Ruben’s pieces of art display chaos and energy with Italian inspiration. In his piece Allegory of the Outbreak of War, in which he completed in 1638 show the form of the human body that he grew so famous for, along with the movement and emotion that fills his art with each stroke. We see a piece that was created during the Thirty Years War and the lack of control that each person has for those around them succumbing to the plague that sough wrath on every person in its path. We see the fight that is had between those who are not suffering and those who are passing to the other side, losing the battle to the plague that took so many. Ruben does an impeccable job of capturing the emotion that must have reined true during the time--...
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