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BAROQUE. ART. Hyacinthe Rigaud , Louis XIV , 1701, Louvre . ITALIAN FRENCH SPANISH FLEMISH DUTCH. Bernini, Borromini, Caravaggio, Gentileschi. Louis XIV, Poussin, Lorrain. Philip IV, Velazquez. Rubens, Van Dyck, Charles I. Hals, Ruisdael, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Claesz. Italian Baroque.

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Bernini, Borromini, Caravaggio,Gentileschi

Louis XIV, Poussin, Lorrain

Philip IV, Velazquez

Rubens, Van Dyck, Charles I

Hals, Ruisdael, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Claesz


Italian Baroque

Goals of Art during the COUNTER-REFORMATION

To deliberately evoke intense emotional response from the viewer

To create dramatically lit, often theatrical compositions

To use diverse media such as bronze and marble within a single artwork

To create work with spectacular technical virtuosity


Italian Baroque

Gianlorenzo BERNINI

His works include:

The colonnade of St. Peter’s Piazza

The baldacchino on the St. Peter’s altar

Vibrant marble sculpture of David

Ecstasy of St. Theresa sculpture


Italian Baroque

Gianlorenzo Bernini,


Saint Peter’s, Vatican City, Rome Italy

Long before the planning of the Piazza, Bernini had been at work decorating the interior of Saint Peter’s. His first commission, completed in 1624 and 1633, called for the design and erection of the gigantic bronze baldacchino ( a canopy made of cloth or stone erected over an altar, shrine, or throne in a Christian church) above the main altar under the great dome. The canopy-like structure marks the tomb of Saint Peter. At almost one hundred feet high it serves as a focus of the church’s splendor.

At the top of the columns four colossal angels stand guard at the upper corners of the canopy. Forming the canopy’s apex are four serpentine brackets that elevate the orb and the cross, symbols of the Church’s triumph since the time of Constantine. All over the baldacchino are letter B’s representing the Barberini family (Pope that commissioned the work).


Italian Baroque

Bernini’s sculpture is expansive and dramatic, and the element of time usually plays an important role in it. This marble statue aims at catching the figure’s split-second action and differs markedly from the restful figures of David portrayed by Donatello and Michelangelo.

The figures legs are widely and firmly planted, beginning the violent, pivoting motion that will launch the stone from his sling. If the action had been a moment before, his body would have been in a completely different position. Bernini selected the most dramatic of an implied sequence of poses, so observers have to think simultaneously of the continuum and of this tiny fraction of it.

This is not the kind of sculpture that can be inscribed in a cylinder or confined in a niche; its indicated action demands space around it.

Gianlorenzo Bernini, “David”,

Galleria Borghese, Rome, 1623


Donatello(Early Italian Renaissance)

Michelangelo(High Italian Renaissance)

Bernini(Italian Baroque)


Italian Baroque

This is Another Bernini sculpture that displays the expansive quality of Italian Baroque art and its refusal to limit itself to firmly defined spatial settings.

Saint Theresa was a nun of the Spanish Counter-Reformation. Her conversion occurred after the death of her father, when she fell into a series of trances, saw visions, and heard voices. Feeling a persistent pain, she attributed to “the fire tipped arrow of Divine love” that an angel had thrust repeatedly into her heart.

In her writings, Saint Theresa described this experience as making her swoon in delightful anguish. The whole chapel became a theater for the production of this mystical drama. Bernini depicted the saint in ecstasy, unmistakably a mingling of spiritual and physical passion, swooning back on a cloud while the smiling angel aims his arrow.

Gianlorenzo Bernini

“Ecstasy of Saint Theresa”,

Bernini Cornaro Chapel, Rome Italy, 1645-1652


Italian Baroque

Carlo Maderno,

“Santa Susanna”

Rome, Italy 1597-1603


BAROQUESanta Susanna



Italian Baroque

Carlo Maderno

Restoring Saint Peter’s

Vatican City, Rome, Italy 1606-1612


Italian Baroque

Francesco Borromini,

facade of “San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane”,

Rome, Italy, 1665-1676


Italian Baroque

Francesco Borromini,

plan of “San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane”,

Rome, Italy, 1665-1676

The interior of san Carlo alle Quattro Fontane is not only an ingenious response to an awkward site but also a provocative variation on the theme of the centrally planned church.

In plan San Carlo looks like a hybrid of a greek cross and an oval, with a long axis between entrance and apse. The side walls move in an undulating flow that reverses the façade’s motion.

Vigorously projecting columns define space into which they protrude just as much as they do the walls attached to them. This molded interior space is capped by a deeply coffered oval dome that seems to float on the light entering through windows hidden in its base.


Italian Baroque

Michelangelo Merisi (Caravaggio)

Conversion of Saint Paul , 1601.

Caravaggio painted Conversion of Saint Paul for the Cerasi Chapel in the Roman church of Santa Maria del Popolo. It illustrates the conversion of the Pharisee Saul to Christianity, when he became the disciple Paul.

The saint-to-be appears amid his conversion, flat on his back with his arms thrown up. In the background, an old hostler seems preoccupied with caring for the horse. At first inspection, little here suggests the momentous significance of the spiritual event taking place.



Conversion of Saint Paul, 1601

On display at the Santa Maria del Popolo (Rome, Italy)


Italian Baroque


“Calling of Saint Matthew”

Rome, Italy ca. 1597-1601


Michelangelo, Crucifixion of St. Peter

Caravaggio, Crucifixion of St. Peter, c1600.


Caravaggio, The Taking of Christ, 1602.

"The one I shall kiss is the man; seize him and lead him away safely" (Mark 14:44).


Italian Baroque


“Supper at Emmaus”

National Gallery, London 1601


Italian Baroque


“The Incredulity of St. Thomas”,1602


Italian Baroque

Beyond its ability to move its audience, this composition also had theological implications. To viewers in the chapel, it appeared as though the men were laying Christ’s body onto the altar, which was in front of the painting This served to visualize the doctrine of transubstantiation (the transformation of the Eucharist and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ) -- a doctrine central to Catholicism but rejected by Protestants. By depicting Christ’s body as though it were physically present during the Mass, Caravaggio visually articulated an abstract theological precept. Unfortunately, viewers no longer can experience this effect.





Italian Baroque


Gentileschi used what might be called the “dark” subject matter Caravaggio that favored. Significantly, Gentileschi chose a narrative involving a heroic female, and favorite theme of hers.

The story, from the work of the Old Testament, the Book of Judith, relates the delivery of Israel from its enemy, Holofernes. Having succumbed to Judith’s charms, the Assyrian general Holofernes invited her to his tent for the night. When he fell asleep, Judith cut off his head. In this version of the scene, Judith and her maidservant are beheading Holofernes.

Artemisia Gentileschi

“Judith Slaying Holofernes”

ca. 1614-1620


Judith Beheads Holofernes In Other Works, Too!

Artemisia Gentileschi

“Judith and Maidservant With Head of Holofernes”

ca. 1612-1613


Judith Beheads Holofernes In Other Works, Too!

Artemisia Gentileschi

“Judith and Maidservant Beheading Holofernes”

ca. 1625.


Judith Beheads Holofernes In Other Works, Too!

Caravaggio, “Judith Slaying Holofernes”, ca. 1599.


Judith Beheads Holofernes In Other Works, Too!

Lucas Cranach

“Judith With Head of Holofernes”



Judith Beheads Holofernes In Other Works, Too!

Michelangelo.Judith and Holofernes. 1508-1512. Fresco. Sistine Chapel.


Judith Beheads Holofernes In Other Works, Too!

Andrea Mantegna. Judith and Holofernes. c. 1495


Judith Beheads Holofernes In Other Works, Too!


Discovery of the Body of Holofernes.


Tempera on panel. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy.


Judith Beheads Holofernes In Other Works, Too!


Judith and Holofernes,




Italian Baroque

Cardinal Odoardo Farnese, a wealthy descendant of Pope Paul III, commissioned this ceiling fresco to celebrate the wedding of the cardinal’s brother.

The title interprets the variety of earthly and divine love in classical mythology.

Carracci arranged the scenes in a format resembling framed easel paintings on a wall, but here he painted them on the surfaces of a shallow curved vault.

The Sistine Chapel ceiling, of course, comes to mind, although it is not an exact source. This type of simulation of easel painting for ceiling designed is called quadro riportato (transferred framed painting).

Annibale Carracci

Loves of the Gods



Italian Baroque

Giovanni Battista Gaulli

“Triumph in the Name of Jesus”,

Church of Il Gesu, Rome, Italy, 1676-1679


Italian Baroque

Fra Andrea Pozzo,

“Glorification of Saint Ignatius”,

Rome, Italy, 1691-1694