How would you compare and contrast Donatello’s, Michelangelo’s and Bernini’s respective representations of
the subject of David?
Gianlorenzo Bernini, Baldacchino, 1624-33, gilt bronze.
Aerial view of St. Peter’s, Rome. Nave and façade by Carlo Maderno, 1607-12; colonnade by
Gianlorenzo Bernini, designed 1657.
St. Peter's Basilica from the Middle Ages to the Baroque.
Plan of New St. Peter’s with Bernini’s Piazza and Colonnade.
Gianlorenzo Bernini, Colonnade. Above left, from entrance; below
left, from pavement disc.
Francesco Borromini, Façade of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, Rome, ca. 1665-7.
Francesco Borromini, San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, Rome, 1665-7 (plan).
Francesco Borromini, San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, Rome, 1665-7 (view of the dome).
Spanish Baroque (1600-1700)
Jusepe de Ribera, St. Jerome and the Angel of Judgment, 1626, oil on canvas 103 x 42”.
Diego Velázquez, The Water Carrier of Seville, c. 1619, oil on canvas41 ½ x 31 ½”.
Diego Velázquez, The Maids of Honor (Las Meninas), 1656, oil on canvas,10’5” x 9’.
Details of the Infanta Margarita, Diego Velázquez, The Maids of Honor (Las Meninas), 1656, oil on canvas, 10’5 x 9’.
Details of Velázquez’s self-portrait and the mirror in the
background, Diego Velázquez, The Maids of Honor (Las
Meninas), 1656, oil on canvas,10’5” x 9’.
Jan van Eyck, The “Arnolfini Wedding,”1434, oil on panel.
Camera obscura (Left) the actual object
(Right) projection using acamera obscura.
Pablo Picasso, Variation on Las Meninas, 1957, oil on canvas.
Francisco Goya, The Family of Charles IV, 1800, oil on canvas.
Francisco de Zurbarán. St. Serapion, 1628, oil on canvas,47 ½ x 41”.
Summary of Italian and Spanish Baroque Art and Architecture
• The Baroque – the dramatic and didactic style of the seventeenth century – started in Italy and spread throughout Europe through the travel of artists and patrons. It conveyed dynamism and strong emotions and was used as the style of the Counter Reformation, to proclaim the triumph the Church over Protestantism.
• Painting in Italy: Caravaggio was the most significant Baroque painter because of his innovations at the beginning of the seventeenth century and his enduring influence. He had many followers in Italy, among them Artemisia Gentileschi, and throughout Europe, especially in Holland and Flanders. His innovations were found in his subject matter: the dramatic treatment of religious subject matter, with half-length, realistic figures set behind a table against a neutral background or life-size figures. Caravaggio is also credited with stylistic innovations: tenebrism, dramatic lighting and the suggestion of temporality. His altarpieces were revolutionary. Annibale Carracci’s art reflects another important trend in Italian Baroque painting, which emphasizes calm, classicizing, monumental forms that are shaped by Roman antiquity and High Renaissance art.
• Sculpture in Italy: Baroque sculpture suggested action, vitality, and emotion – with a single figure such as David or with more theatrical productions. Bernini was the most significant sculptor, both for his own works and, as coordinator of the decoration plan for St. Peter’s, for creating assignments for other artists.
• Architecture in Italy: The new St. Peter’s (begun at the turn of the sixteenth century) was completed during the Baroque period and became the greatest symbol of the revival and triumph of the Church. The central sculptural/architectural focus of the interior decoration was the Baldacchino (central altar) executed by Bernini. The exterior, a monumental elliptical arc, and the piazza, also designed by Bernini, was a remarkable development, suggesting the all-encompassing arms of the Church. Smaller churches, organic and irregularly shaped, with complex domes by Borromini, also became typical of the time.
• Spanish Baroque: Spanish Baroque paintings suggested strong religious piety: they were commissioned by monastic orders, as in the case of Zurbarán.
• Spanish Baroque painting would be largely influenced by Italian art and by Caravaggio through Naples. Ribera’s religious paintings and genre scenes reflect his interest in naturalism.
• Velázquez, the most renowned painter of the Spanish Golden Age, was court painter to King Philip IV of Spain in Madrid, but began his career in Seville. His early style would be influenced by Caravaggio. His later works produced at court would be influenced by the art of Titian, whose works were owned by the king, and, by Rubens, who traveled to the Spanish court and advised Velázquez.