Ralph Larmann

Art Department

University of Evansville

back to: Chapter 4 Art, Issues, and Innovations in the Baroque Era

The Last Judgement of Christ
Italian Mannerism
by Michelangelo

The Madonna of the Long Neck
Italian Mannerism
oil on wood
by Parmagianino


1517- Martin Luther posts his "95 Theses" on the door of the Wittenberg Cathedral Cathedral
1520-Luther is excommunicated and begins a "protest" movement against the Catholic church later called "Protestantism"
-among his concerns was the increasing distance of the lay person from understanding of the Bible and the Mass. Luther maintained that the lay person was no longer playing an active role in the Church and was increasingly removed from understanding the Scriptures because of increasing mystery and ritual. Luther saw visual forms as playing a role in this process of increasing obfuscation.

-Luther advocated hymns as a better way to communicate hard-to-understand mysteries of the Church and made music an integral part of Protestant Church services.


1541- Michelangelo's Last Judgement of Christ is unveiled in the Sistine Chapel. Christ is shown as a young man and the scene is dominated by nude figures. Many criticize the work as an example of the licentiousness that has pervade the church.
1545-The Council of Trent convenes to discuss and consider Luther's Theses.
1563- The Council of Trent finishes their work and makes art an integral part of the process of helping the layperson to understand the Scriptures.


-was a style that followed the Italian Renaissance which put emphasis on the individual style of the artist.
-Most of the works from the period were constructed through the use of conventions

Parmagianino, Madonna of the Long Neck, 1534
-elongated the human figure in order to make it more elegant
-criticized in its time for putting too much emphasis on "style'

Michelangelo, 1475-1564
Last Judgement of Christ, 1541, fresco
-this Sistine Chapel work has an individualized style and some painterly characteristics
-nudity in the work was questioned and eventually the figures were covered.

The Ecstacy of St. Teresa
Italian Baroque
by Bernini

Italian Baroque
by Bernini

The Calling of St. Matthew
Italian Baroque
oil on canvas
by Caravaggio


Sculpture and Architecture


-St. Peter's Colonnade, Rome, begun 1656
-collonade was created for growing numbers who visit the St. Peter's Basilica

-Baldacchino, St. Peter's, Rome, 1624-33, gilded bronze, 95' high
-was created to create a more human scale in the interior of St. Peter's

-The Ecstacy of St. Teresa, 1645-52
-created inside St. Peter's

-David, 1623, marble, lifesize
-a more dynamic and literal version compared to Michelangelo and Donatello

-Baroque painting had many of the same attributes that Baroque sculpture and architecture had: theatrics, sexual innuendo, and violent subjects.
Giovanni Pietro Bellori was an influential Baroque art critic who fervently believed that "ideal" and Classical forms were more desirable than naturalistic or "more realistic" images.

Annibale Carracci(1560-1609) ideal and Classical
-a favorite of Bellori because of his use of "ideal" forms.

The Virgin Appearing to St. Luke and St. Catherine, 1592, Oil on canvas

Carravaggio (1571-1610) naturalistic and "real"
-Italian painter who influenced most of the painters of his time through his use of great contrasts and theatrical lighting
-was a murderer (condottieri) and had a violent nature
-in works are characteristic dark backgrounds and bright highlights called tenebroso
-also uses many diagonals which makes a composition more active

The Calling of Saint Matthew, 1599-1600, Oil on canvas

Judith Beheading Holofernes, c. 1598, Oil on canvas

The Conversion of Saint Paul,1600-1601, Oil on canvas

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653)
-a master female artist from the Baroque era
-did Biblical and mythological subjects which portrayed violent themes

Judith Beheading Holofernes, 1620, Oil on canvas

Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus
Flemish Baroque
oil on canvas
by Peter Paul Rubens

Woman Holding a Water Pitcher
Dutch Baroque
oil on canvas
by Vermeer

The Little Children Being Brought to Jesus (100 Guilder Print)
Dutch Baroque
by Rembrandt

The Company of Frans Banning Cocq (Nightwatch)
Dutch Baroque
oil on canvas
by Rembrandt

Rape of the Sabine Women
French Baroque
oil on canvas
by Nicholas Poussin

Las Meninas
Spanish Baroque
oil on canvas
by Diego Velasquez



Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)
-wealthy trader, diplomat, and artist from Flanders
-influential in art because he bucked trends and worked in a painterly fashion (the brush strokes were active and easily recognized in the painting.

The Garden of Love, c. 1630-32, Oil on canvas

Rape of the Daughters 0f Leucippus- c.1635, oil on canvas, 6.5'x 8'
-active painting with sensual overtones
-mythological subject at the time of the Reformation
-soft, painterly look

The Netherlands

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69)
-conveyed character and drama through his use of dark and light

Self Portraits- conveyed these ideas of character in light and shadow
-they are also a chronicle of a person's life, because he did them each year

-Rembrandt was an excellent printmaker. He used a process called etching. This is a process that involves scratching into a metal plate, which has been covered with an acid-resistant coating, then dipping the plate in acid until it mars the surface of the plate. The plate is then washed, ink is pushed into the grooves left by the acid, and finally it is printed on paper.

The Little Children Being Brought to Jesus ("The 100 Guilder Print"), Completed 1647-49, Etching and drypoint, 1st state

The company of Frans Banning Cock preparing to march out, known as the Nightwatch, 1642, Oil on canvas

Abraham and Isaac, 1634, Oil on canvas

Jan Vermeer (1632-75)
-master of light and perspective.
-works were technically correct to the finest detail
-Dutch banker and mapmaker

View of Delft, c. 1660-1661, Oil on canvas

The Art of Painting, c. 1666-1673, Oil on canvas

Woman Holding a Water Pitcher- c.1664-5, oil on canvas, 16"x 15"
-exceptional perspective, convincing 3-D space
-dramatic lighting
-high detail


Nicholas Poussin
-used Classical subject matter
-allegorical painter (he used a picture of mythological scenes to convey ideas about Christianity) allegories are intended to convey an idea through analogy and metaphor.
-saw a connection between art and music

-Most painters of the 17th and 18th Centuries allied themselves with either the Rubenists (bright vibrant color, painterliness, and exuberant brushwork) or the Poussinists (classical, idealist, and used a limited palette).

The Rape of the Sabine Women, 1636-37, Oil on canvas

Landscape with the Funeral of Phocion, 1648, Oil on canvas

Phocion was a Greek who was executed because he would not conceal the truth. It is a comment on the Stoic nature of Phocion and reflects this in its sharp detail and calm.


Diego Velasquez
-court painter for Philip IV of Spain

Las Meninas, 1656, Oil on canvas

"Maids of Honor" (English translation) is a view into the artist's studio and the Royal family's lives.

Innocent X, c. 1650

Next study guide: Chapter 6

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