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ITALY AND SPAIN, 1600-1700. GARDNER CHAPTER 24-2 PP. 657-665. ITALIAN BAROQUE PAINTING. ANNIBALE CARRACCI. ANNIBALE CARRACCI, Flight into Egypt, 1603–1604. Oil on canvas, approx. 4’ x 7’ 6 ” Carracci and Caravaggio are among the two most notable Italian Baroque painters

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italy and spain 1600 1700



PP. 657-665

annibale carracci
  • ANNIBALE CARRACCI, Flight into Egypt, 1603–1604. Oil on canvas, approx. 4’ x 7’ 6”
  • Carracci and Caravaggio are among the two most notable Italian Baroque painters
  • Based on the biblical narrative -> here the pastoral setting takes precedence over the narrative of Mary, Joseph, and the Christ Child wending their way slowly to Egypt
  • Carracci’s landscapes idealized antiquity and the idyllic/pastoral life
carracci loves of the gods
  • ANNIBALE CARRACCI, Loves of the Gods, ceiling frescoes in the gallery, Palazzo Farnese, Rome, Italy, 1597–1601
  • Painted on the shallow curved curve of Palazzo Farnese gallery
  • Arranged the mythological scenes in a format called QUADRO RIPORTATO = transferred frame paintings -> a simulation of framed easel paintings on a wall
  • Flanking pictures are seated nude youths and standing Atlas figures painted to resemble marble statues -> cf. Sistine Chapel
  • Rich colors inspired by the Venetians
  • The one-eyed giant Polyphemus, an unusually appealing Cyclops, plays his pan-pipes on the rocky shore, serenading the sea-nymph Galatea. The arch of rose-pink drapery over her head is an attribute of Aura, Roman goddess of the air. There are no moral lessons being drawn, just an implicit analogy between the beauty and transforming power of the gods and the painter’s mastery of illusion and aesthetic power
  • Michelangelo Merisi ->called Caravaggio, went to Rome in 1592
  • Few artists in history have exercised as extraordinary an influence as this tempestuous and short-lived painter
  • Caravaggio was destined to turn a large part of European art away from the ideal viewpoint of the Renaissance to the concept that simple reality was of primary importance. He was one of the first to paint people as ordinary looking.
  • Painting in the “shadowy manner”, using violent contrasts of light and dark, as in the work of Caravaggio, is called tenebrism. The term derives from tenebroso, Italian for “shadowy.”
  • Caravaggio naturalized both religion and the classics, reducing them to human dramas played out in the harsh and dingy settings of his time and place
  • His style became increasingly popular & his combination of naturalism and drama led to his followers often being referred to as “Carravaggisti”
the cardsharps
  • Caravaggio, The Cardsharps (I Bari),c.1594-1595. Oil on canvas
  • Example of Caravaggio’s naturalism -> everyday human drama of a swindle
  • Caravaggio had outspoken disdain for the classical masters
  • He was denounced as the “anti-Christ of painting”
conversion of saint paul
  • CARAVAGGIO, Conversion of Saint Paul, Cerasi Chapel, Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome, Italy, ca. 1601. Oil on canvas, approx. 7’ 6” x 5’ 9”
  • In his naturalistic treatment of the Conversion of Saint Paul, Caravaggio employs dramatic chiaroscuro effects (called tenebrism) with sharply lit figures seen emerging from a dark background. The dramatic spotlight-like light illuminates the figure of Saint Paul and at the same time serves as the divine source of his conversion
calling of saint matthew
  • CARAVAGGIO, Calling of Saint Matthew, Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi deiFrancesi, Rome, Italy, ca. 1597–1601. Oil on canvas
  • A piercing ray of light illuminating a world of darkness and bearing a spiritual message
  • Stark contrast of light and dark was a key feature of Caravaggio’s style
  • Christ cloaked in mysterious shadow almost unseen -> summons the disbelieving Roman tax collector Levi who will convert and become Saint Matthew
  • Commonplace setting -> tavern with unadorned walls -> typical of Caravaggio
  • CARAVAGGIO, Entombment, from the chapel of Pietro Vittrice, Santa Maria in Vallicella, Rome, Italy, ca. 1603. Oil on canvas, 9’ 10 1/8” x 6’ 7 15/16”
  • Gave visual form to the doctrine of transubstantiation -> painting was behind the altar so it appeared as the body was being lain on the altar -> the body and blood of Christ
  • This work includes all the hallmarks of Caravaggio’s distinctive style

1. The plebeian figure types

2. Stark use of darks and lights

3. Invitation to the viewer to participate in the scene

artemisia gentileschi
  • ARTEMISIA GENTILESCHI, Judith Slaying Holofernes, ca. 1614–1620. Oil on canvas, 6’ 6 1/3” x 5’ 4”
  • Followers of Caravaggio’s style in the 17th century, like Gentilischi, who imitated his use of tenebrism are often referred to as Caravaggisti
  • Tenebrism and gory details
  • Dramatic lighting, emotional pathos
  • Face of Judith -> self portrait -> she identified w/heroic old testament females
  • Gentileschi was raped by a male patron -> an event that went to trial -> highly unusual
guido reni
  • GUIDO RENI, Aurora, ceiling fresco in the Casino Rospigliosi, Italy, 1613-1614
  • Classicist trend in painting -> scene of Dawn leading Apollo’s chariot derives from ancient Roman reliefs -> cupid and the Seasons dance about the heavenly car
  • Quadroriportato
  • Influence of Raphael and Carracci
pietro da cortona
  • PIETRO DA CORTONA, Triumph of the Barberini
  • di sotto in su
  • Symbols of the Barberini family include bees and laurel wreaths
  • Divine Providence, in halo of light, directs Immortality, holding a crown of stars, to bestow eternal life on the family of Pope Urban VIII
giovanni battista gaulli

ITALIAN BAROQUE = drama and theatricality + the fusion of architecture, sculpture, and painting

  • GAULLI, Triumph of the Name of Jesus, ceiling fresco with stucco figures on the nave vault of ilGesu, Rome, Italy, 1676-1679
  • Dazzling spectacle of a ceiling fresco
  • Impresses on worshippers the glory and power of the Catholic Church -> Italian Baroque is the art of the Counter-Reformation
  • Painted in the nave of ilGesu, the mother church of the Jesuits -> the stormtrooper of the Counter-Reformation
  • Ceiling seems to open up and offer a view of heaven
  • Figures painted on 3-D stucco extensions that project outside the painting’s frame
fra andrea pozzo
  • FRA ANDREA POZZO, Glorification of Saint Ignatius, ceiling fresco in the nave of Sant’Ignazio, Rome, Italy, 1691–1694
  • Roof seems to be lifted off and heaven and earth commingle