THE BAROQUE IN FRANCE 17th Century Paris began to take over as the world capital of the arts, instead of Rome. 72 year reign of the “Sun King”, Louis XIV was France’s golden age. o French art, fashion and etiquette was the standard o French language became the diplomatic language o Art and architecture began to serve the king as it had for the Church CHARACTERISTICS Glorify the King’s reign Not extreme expression and enthusiasm of Italy Rational and balanced Classicism (Louis XIVs taste) ARTIST GEORGES DE LA TOUR (1593-1652) Magdalen with the Smoking Flame, 1630-1635 p. 341 Influenced by Caravaggio’s Tenebrism and Realism Often a candle or moonlight as only source of light Dramatic night time compositions Seems like genre painting but actually emotional and sacred Calm Simple and monumental forms Magdalen = symbol of the Catholic doctrine of the forgivenss of sins through penance. ARTIST Nicolas Poussin (1593-1665) The Most Important Painter of France during the Baroque period Worked most of his time in Italy Characteristics: Used coloured glazes inspired by Titian Used simplified sculptural quality of Raphael Elimination of unnecessary detail Inspired by Classical art Subject matter was important. It should be grand, heroic or divine. Sometimes he… Emphasized composition & balance But, sometimes he… Filled his paintings with swirling activity and strong brushwork as in the Rape of the Sabine Women, ca. 1634 (see story of the Sabine women below) Constructed a model stage filled with wax figures ARTWORK Poussin, Holy Family on the Steps, 1648 This painting is a perfect example of Poussin’s characteristics: Subject matter is DIVINE because the painting features Mary, Joseph, Christ Child, Elizabeth and John the Baptist. Setting is CLASSICAL because of columns and urns in background Composition is BALANCED due to the triangular arrangement of figures. Subtle symbolism: Joseph, with his carpentry tools, is located in the shadow of Mary and the Christ Child. o Joseph represents the working life o Mary and Jesus represent the spiritual life. Joseph’s foot is highlighted to create asymmetrical balance. Elizabeth and John the Baptist are cast in shadow to retain the emphasis on Mary and Jesus. ______________________________________________________________________________ HISTORY of the Sabine Women The first generation of Roman men acquired wives for themselves by abducting (“raping” [not in the sexual sense]) Sabine women. The Sabines were an ancient Italian tribe that lived in the Apennine Mountains, which were north of what would become Rome. This became a popular story during the Renaissance and Baroque period. THE BAROQUE IN SPAIN After 1600 ARTIST DIEGO VELAZQUEZ (1599-1660) Appointed court painter by King Philip IV Main focus was portraiture Interested in reality Las Meninas (The Maids of Honor), 1656 p. 361 Combines formality of a royal group portrait with the informality of a more casual genre scene in his studio He represents himself in his studio standing in front of a very large canvas He may be painting the portraits of the King & Queen who are reflected in the mirror on the far wall 5 year old princess, 2 ladies in waiting, her favourite dwarfs and dog Aim – show the movement of light and the ways it can be reflected Line was seldom used by Velazquez, instead he used spots and light define objects ROCOCO 18th Century Commissioned works of art that reflected their wealth and social position Artists not as important as Baroque artists Centered in France Substituted gaiety, charm and wit for Baroque grandeur ARTIST ANTOINE WATTEAU (1684-1721) The Gamut of Love, 1717 p. 365 Shimmering surfaces: would underpaint canvas with white, pale blue and pink, with glazes painted over Sparkle with life, gaiety Capture the essence of fête galante (elegant entertainment) Scenes of elegant society or comedic actors in parklike settings. Glittering and fanciful lives of wealthy Parisians.