The Pearls of the Baroque
The Baroque was a period of counter- reformation where the church and its teachings became the new focal point of praise in works of art, sculpture and architecture. Spanning the 17th Century, which ranges from 1600-1720, the Baroque was a platform to celebrate spirituality. Those who were artistically inclined during this period made it their goal to express their love of religion and classicism through extravagance and restraint of the figures, clothing and emotions in works created. The Baroque spread from Italy the birthplace of the Renaissance and then throughout Europe. The Baroque that started in Italy or the Italian Baroque gave rise to a great female painter by the name of Artemisia Gentileschi (July 8, 1593 – c.1656). Gentileschi came from an era where women were not welcomed with open arms into the artistic community however she still managed to become the first female member of the Accademia di Arte Del Disegno or the Academy of Art and Design, in Florence. One of Gentileschi’s greatest painting is that of an improvement of a fellow Italian painter, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s (1571-1610) extravagant Judith Beheading Holofernes (1598-1599). Gentileschi’s remake (1611-1612) expresses the strength of women via Judith but also an insight into Gentileschi’s thoughts on herself as she expresses her emotions after being raped. Though the Baroque period was a return to religious fervour that was widespread, some artists decided to stick to depictions of neoclassicism. The French artist Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) characterized the neoclassical restraint that influenced the Baroque but further defined Rococo as the artistic styles of the Enlightenment period (Jenne 34). Poussin’s Et in Arcadia ego (1638-1639) show the inquiry of the unknown by shepherds but also the mysticism that surrounded the Greek region Arcadia. The word baroque is the French translation of the Portuguese word borrocco, meaning misshapen pearl. A
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