Art Appreciation

Topics: Baroque, Rome, Peter Paul Rubens Pages: 5 (1439 words) Published: June 16, 2013
Running Head: Baroque Works of Art

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Running Head: Baroque Works of Art 1

Baroque Works of Art

The Baroque period of art was from the 1600’s to the 1700’s. This period in art history began with the Catholic Church launching an internal reformation to establish clear definitions of the church’s theologies, as well as their doctrines. A sector of the church’s reform was to educate the members. One way in which this was accomplished was by the implementation of art. Religious art had to be redirected to present inspiration, persuasiveness, and evoke spiritual emotion. Three artist of the Baroque art period that made contributions were Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and Peter Paul Rubens. Each of these artists created powerful religious images that were strong in their statements.

In 1600, Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio was commissioned to paint two portraits of Rome’s patroned saints, Peter and Paul (“Caravaggio: The Conversion on the Road to Damascus” n.d.). Although, Caravaggio did not have a personal philosophy about art, he did however, created his art with the identical components that were evident in his personal character (“The National Gallery” n.d.). His artworks were brimming with violence, arrogance, and rebellion, all of the elements that made for dramatic and controversial images. The image of ‘The Conversion of St. Paul’ was an outstanding representation of the actual moment when St. Paul was converted. It was stated in the Biblical book of Acts of Apostles that Paul had heard the voice of Christ and lost is sight temporarily. This oil painting portrays this act excellently. Paul is lying on is back stunned with his eyes closed after falling off the horse (Preble, 2011, p. 263). He is appearing as though he is in awe while his hands are in the air at the bright light Running Head: Baroque Works of Art 2 from God that is streamed over the horse’s back. This particular piece had a significant meaning to the Roman Catholic Church to validate their theology. Being that the Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio was sanctioned by Roman Catholic Church, his style of painting using chiaroscuro, with his usage of dark and light, worked well in accordance with his controversial style and ideology of religious/human experience, which most definitely made a spiritual impact on the viewer.

‘The Conversion of Paul’: By Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio (1600)

The pronounced artist and Italian architect, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, had developed a personal philosophy in regards to his style of art. He implemented sensuality, immorality, and spirituality in his statues. This type of personal philosophy is what led Bernini to have notoriety, particularly within the Roman society. Gian Lorenzo Bernini created the Baroque image ‘The Ecstasy of St. Teresa’ (1647-1652). This marble, gilt bronze, and stucco statue, which is located in the Cornaro Chapel in Rome, Italy, is a segment of her life that is derived from St. Teresa’s spiritual autobiography (Preble, 2011, p. 264). ‘The Ecstasy of St. Teresa’ is a depiction of a Running Head: Baroque Works of Art 3 cupid-like angel is standing over her, and piercing her heart with a fire gold tipped arrow/spear, this action sends Teresa into a state of spiritual euphoria. With her eyes closed, she is overwhelmed by the love of God and collapses. The statue is the centerpiece of a more complex composition. The artist, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, sculpted his vision for two specific reasons. The first was for the Cornaro family, and secondly, for the worshippers that were faithful. On every wall that is perpendicular to this centerpiece, are the impressions of members...

References: “Peter Paul Ruben’s Biography”. (2013). Retrieved from:
Preble. “Preble’s Artforms: An Introduction to the Visual Arts. (2011). (10th ed.). Pearson.
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