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Chapter 19 Baroque

Gardner’s Art Through the Ages,
The Western Perspective
Chapter 19
Italy and Spain,
1600 to 1700
Europe in the 17th Century
• Understand the influence of the Roman Catholic Church on art
and architecture in 17th century Italy and Spain
• Recall hallmark formal devices used by Baroque artists and
• Identify representative Baroque artists and their works
• Identify representative Baroque architects and their works
• Recognize and cite artistic terminology from this period
• Compare and contrast the work of Italian and Spanish Baroque
Carlo Maderno
(b Capolago, nr Lugano, 1555–6; d Rome, 31 Jan 1629).
• Italian architect. One of the most important architects working in Rome at the
beginning of the 17th century, he is credited by some with the revitalization of
the dry, prosaic style that prevailed under Pope Sixtus V (reg 1585–90).
• Maderno’s first important independent commission in Rome was the renovation
(1597–1603) of S Susanna. The interior (previously rest. 1475–7) was revised,
with an encrustation of stucco and painting on the walls and a coffered timber
ceiling over the simple rectangular nave, and two pairs of curving staircases were
built, descending to the oval crypt where an altar tabernacle evocative of Early
Christian examples was constructed.
• For the new façade Maderno used the common Roman type of two story's
joined by volutes.
CARLO MADERNO, facade of Santa
Susanna, Rome, Italy, 1597–1603.
Saint Peter’s
Maderno’s most important project was the completion of St Peter’s, where he had been appointed architect in
1603. After a century of discussion about the ultimate form of the church, it was finally decided that the centralized
design, completed by the early 17th century, should be extended eastward with a nave, narthex and façade.
Maderno tried to respect the centrality of Michelangelo’s design in his extensions, but he eventually recognized
that the church would become a longitudinal structure and that its façade would be an incident in a linear
progression from the obelisk in the Piazza through the nave to the great dome over the tomb of St Peter.
He translated Michelangelo’s continuous exterior wall of giant pilasters, entablature and attic into a symmetrical,
hierarchically ordered façade of giant columns, beneath the entablature and attic.
S Susanna provided the model for the progressive layering of the façade from pilaster-framed outer bays to the four
central engaged columns, united beneath a triangular pediment, and also for such details as the columns set into
channels in the wall and the moulded ornamental panels, niches and window-frames that fill the spaces between
The decision to add bell-towers to the façade of St Peter’s was taken by Pope Paul V in 1612, after construction of
the façade was well under way. The tower bays, overlapping the pilasters at the ends of Maderno’s façade,
obscured the orderly composition of the façade, made it impossible to see Maderno’s formal reference to
Michelangelo’s exterior forms and, because they were not completed but terminated at the height of the attic,
produced the broad proportions with which so many observers have found fault.
The façade was built between 1607 and 1625, and the nave was finally consecrated in 1626; the confessio was
built to Maderno’s design in 1615–16. Restoration of the façade (1996–9) has restated the discreet colour which
Maderno used to enhance the effect of his architecture.
CARLO MADERNO, facade of Saint Peter’s, Vatican City, Rome, Italy, 1606–1612.
Gianlorenzo [Gian Lorenzo; Giovanni Lorenzo] Bernini
(b Naples, 7 Dec 1598; d Rome, 28 Nov 1680).
• Sculptor, architect, draughtsman and painter, son of Pietro Bernini. He is considered the
most outstanding sculptor of the 17th century and a formative influence on the
development of the Italian Baroque style.
• His astonishing abilities as a marble carver were combined with an inventive genius of
the highest order. From the mid-1620s the support of successive popes made his the
controlling influence on most aspects of artistic production in Rome. Although his
independent works of sculpture, both statues and portrait busts, are among the most
brilliant manifestations of their kind in Western art, his genius found its highest
expression in projects in which he combined sculpture, painting and architecture with
deep religious conviction to express more fervently than any other artist the spiritual
vision of the Catholic Counter-Reformation Church.
• He is also known to have designed silver (a reliquary and candlesticks), but none
survives, nor does the coach that he designed for Queen Christina of Sweden (reg 1632–
Bernini and St. Peter’s
Bernini’s greatest architectural achievement is the Piazza S Pietro, begun in 1656 under Alexander VII and
completed in 1667. The construction of the square and colonnade was an undertaking of immense proportions and
In transforming the small existing piazza, Bernini was expected to cater for several functions.
First, he had to provide a suitable space for the throngs who assemble for the papal blessing delivered
from the Benediction Loggia above the main portal of the façade.
He had to allow a view of the window in the Vatican Palace on the north side of the square from which
the pope gives his Sunday blessing.
It was also necessary to create a monumental, dignified approach to St Peter’s, one that expressed its
special status as the primary church of Christendom.
On a more practical level, passageways protected from the elements were required for ceremonial processions as
well as for pedestrian and coach traffic.
Bernini’s solution was to regularize the narrow, sloping space immediately in front of the church—the so-called
piazza retta—and to demolish the medieval and Renaissance buildings impinging upon the planned site.
He laid out a vast oval area, its long axis parallel to the façade of the basilica and with the great obelisk erected by
Sixtus V at the centre.
This space was defined and framed by two immense, curved, free-standing colonnades, each composed of four
rows of Doric columns.
Viewed from the square, these lines of massive columns produce a powerful sculptural effect capped by the
legions of travertine saints populating the balustrade and silhouetted against the sky.
Aerial view of Saint Peter’s, Vatican City, Rome, Italy. Piazza designed by GIANLORENZO BERNINI,
alternate view Aerial view of Saint Peter’s, Vatican City, Rome, Italy, 1506–1666.
Mother Teresa made a Saint 2016
Bernini and the Baldacchino
After the completion of the façade of St Peter’s, attention turned to the decoration of the vast interior of the church.
Bernini embarked on a series of projects that eventually filled the basilica with major works celebrating the primacy
of the papacy and the Roman Catholic Church.
His first effort for Urban VIII, which occupied him and a small army of assistants, including Francesco Borromini, for
more than a decade, was the erection of a monumental structure beneath Michelangelo’s dome in the centre of the
crossing to mark the site of the first apostle’s grave and papal altar.
The famous baldacchino (1623–34), consisting of four colossal spiral gilt-bronze columns set on high marble bases
and joined by a cornice, rises over the high altar.
Above each column stands a twice life-size angel holding in each hand garlands that disappear under the volutes of
the ribbed superstructure as if supporting it.
The form of the columns was inspired by a group of spiral marble columns from Old St Peter’s thought to have been
brought by Constantine the Great from the Temple of Jerusalem.
While it is generally agreed that Bernini was the originator of the overall design, the exact role of Borromini, who was
assigned to Bernini’s team as a draughtsman and technical adviser, is controversial
Saint Peter’s, Vatican City, Rome, Italy,
1624–1633. Gilded bronze, 100’ high.
Bees = Barberini
A Spanish Mannerist – El Greco
•Born on Crete, emigrated to Italy as young man/
absorbed traditions of Late Byzantine frescoes and
mosaic/ connected with Titian’s workshop in
Venice/ went to Rome, influenced by Mannerism/
1577 left for Spain and spent rest of life in Toledo
•Art is blend of Late Byzantine and late Italian
Mannerist elements
•Intense emotionalism – appealed to pious fervor
of Spanish
•Color bound him to Venetian art and to
•Strong sense of movement and use of light –
prefigured Baroque style
•Distinguishes terrestrial and celestial spheres –
Terrestrial: firm realism, individualized features
(portraitist), like conquistadors or Spanish naval
officers (shows his early Venetian style)
Celestial: elongated, undulating figures, fluttering
draperies, swirling clouds (shows his later style)
Figure 23-26 EL GRECO, The Burial of
Count Orgaz, Santo Tomé, Toledo, Spain,
1586. Oil on canvas, approx. 16’ x 12’.
Front view captures full energy of the
impending impact of the stone, creating
heightened expectation of victory
David’s lyre lies on ground before him, a
reference to his youthful musicality,
which he combined with courage and
The body armor that King Saul offered
David is at his feet, he felt that God would
protect him
A full bag of stones is at David’s left hip
Cotemporary literature (17th century)
described Goliath as a depraved monster
and the son of a whore
Commissioned by Cardinal Scipione
Borghese (1576-1633)
GIANLORENZO BERNINI, David, 1623. Marble, 5’ 7”
high. Galleria Borghese, Rome.
Donatello, David, ca. 1428-1432
bronze, 5 ft. 2 1/4 in. high, Bargello,
BUONARROTI, David, 1501–1504.
Marble, 13’ 5” high. Galleria
dell’Accademia, Florence.
Marble, 5’ 7” high. Galleria Borghese,
With the death of Urban VIII,
Bernini’s influence waned and
the new pope, Innocent X,
removed him as chief architect
of St. Peter’s
St. Teresa- nun of Carmelite
order; great mystical saint of
Spanish Counter- Reformation
“One day an angel appeared to
me who was lovely beyond
compare. I saw in his hand a
long spear, the end of which
looked like a point of fire. I felt it
pierce my heart several times,
pressing into my innermost
being. So real was the pain to
that I moaned out loud several
times, and yet it was so
indescribably sweet that I could
wish to be released from it. No
in life can give more
When the angel withdrew his
• Theatrical; evokes sensory
response that
was useful
in of
the Cornaro
Santa Maria della
Rome, Italy, 1645-1652.
• A hidden window lets natural
light stream across the sculpture
GIANLORENZO BERNINI, Ecstasy of Saint Teresa,
Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome,
Italy, 1645–1652. Marble, height of group 11’ 6”.
Santa Maria della Vittorio, Rome, 1605-1620
Francesco Borromini [Castelli], (b Bissone, nr Lugano, 25 Sept
1599; d Rome, 2 Aug 1667).
Italian architect.
• Italian architect. His name, with that of his contemporary and rival Gianlorenzo
Bernini is synonymous with the main phase of Roman High Baroque architecture
between c1630 and 1665.
• Their working methods and perception of art were regarded as incompatible by
their contemporaries, but later their work was synthesized to form the basis of late
Baroque architecture in Rome and the Catholic areas of Central Europe (Austria,
Bavaria, Bohemia, and Silesia).
• In western Europe, on the other hand, a classical Baroque style evolved, and
Borromini’s style was rejected as odd and contrary to the rules.
San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, Rome, Italy, 1665–1676.
The façade of S Carlo, delayed probably by lack of funds, is one of Borromini’s final works, but it is likely that he
designed the main artistic concept for the undulating movement of the wall as early as the 1640s.
The lower part, up to and including the main entablature, had been completed by his death. The columns and walls
stand in much the same relationship to each other as they do inside the building, but the façade is enhanced by the
addition of small columns flanking the major order.
The figures of saints in the niches were executed in the last quarter of the 17th century by pupils of Bernini.
The upper level above the entablature was completed by Borromini’s nephew, Bernardo Castelli, who clearly modified
the original design, with the picture medallion supported by angels in the manner of Bernini and the division of the
upper part of the wall into three concave bays.
This arrangement does not occur elsewhere in Borromini’s work, where he preferred to alternate concave and convex
sections, although at S Carlo the effect is countered by the insertion of a feature resembling a sentry-box in the central
The height of the upper story, which conceals the dome and lantern from the street, is also not authentic.
Perhaps this drawback was accepted so that S Carlo would not appear less important than Bernini’s neighboring church
of S Andrea al Quirinale, completed in 1670.
Style suggests power & movement
FRANCESCO BORROMINI, facade of San Carlo alle
Quattro Fontane, Rome, Italy, 1665–1676.
FRANCESCO BORROMINI, plan of San Carlo alle
Quattro Fontane, Rome, Italy, 1638–1641.
FRANCESCO BORROMINI, San Carlo alle Quattro
Fontane (view into dome), Rome, Italy, 1638-1641.
Annibale Carracci
(b Bologna, bapt 3 Nov 1560; d Rome, 15 July 1609)
• Painter, draughtsman, and printmaker, brother of (2) Agostino Carracci. Since
his lifetime, he has been considered one of the greatest Italian painters of his age.
• His masterpiece, the ceiling (1597–1601) of the Galleria Farnese, Rome, merges
a vibrant naturalism with the formal language of classicism in a grand and
monumental style.
• Annibale was also instrumental in evolving the ‘ideal’, classical landscape and is
generally credited with the invention of caricature.
The Galleria Farnese is a long and
relatively narrow room (20.14 × 6.59 m)
covered by a barrel vault.
Annibale illustrated the set theme—the
power of love—with scenes from
Classical mythology, which unequivocally
and joyfully celebrate profane love as an
all-conquering force to which even the
Olympian gods are subject.
It is unlikely that the program was
intended to convey a moral or religious
message, as was formerly thought.
The choice of mythological subject-matter
appears to have been prompted largely by
the fact that the gallery contained some of
the finest antique statues of the Farnese
Nor does it seem that Annibale was given
a highly detailed program to follow: his
preparatory drawings show that devising
the ornamental framework took
precedence over, and in some cases even
determined, the choice of incidents to be
ANNIBALE CARRACCI, Loves of the Gods,
ceiling frescoes in the gallery, Palazzo
Farnese, Rome, Italy, 1597–1601.
• The largest quadro riportato, the Triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne placed in the centre of
the vault, shows a romping train of satyrs and maenads accompanying the god of wine and
his bride. The impression may be of riotous abandon, but the figure groups are contained
within a symmetrical and carefully balanced composition of strict classical design.
• For inspiration, Annibale turned to ancient Bacchic sarcophagi; other famous prototypes,
both antique and modern, served for individual figures.
• In general, the Farnese ceiling exhibits a degree of idealization and classicism greater than
anything Annibale had painted before.
• The figures are aggrandized far beyond the norms set by his previous works, with enlarged
features and heroic, sculptural bodies.
ANNIBALE CARRACCI, Loves of the Gods, “Triumph of
Bacchus” ceiling frescoes in the gallery, Palazzo Farnese, Rome,
Italy, 1597–1601.
Palazzo Farnese: view of the façade, began ca. 1517
Caravaggio ( Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio ) (1571–1610)
• Italian painter, born at Caravaggio, near Bergamo, and apprenticed in 1584 in Milan to
Simone Peterzano.
• By 1592, with both parents dead, he had run through his inheritance. Soon afterwards he left
for Rome, where he lived in poverty, did various hack work, and then painted fruits and
flowers in the studio.
• Later, he sold his work through a dealer and the Cardsharpers attracted the attention of
Cardinal del Monte who took Caravaggio into his household, probably around 1595–6.
• Del Monte was at the center of the most cultured circles in Rome and Caravaggio made
contact with advanced patrons.
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”. Musei
Vaticani, Rome.
Slaying Holofernes, ca. 1614–1620. Oil on
canvas, 6’ 6 1/3” x 5’ 4”. Galleria degli
Uffizi, Florence.
QUIDO RENI, Aurora, ceiling fresco in the Casino Rospigliosi, Rome, Italy, 1613–1614.
PIETRO DA CORTONA, Triumph of the Barberini, ceiling fresco in the Gran Salone, Palazzo Barberini, Rome, Italy, 1633–
GIOVANNI BATTISTA GAULLI, Triumph of the Name of Jesus, ceiling fresco with stucco figures in the nave vault of Il
Gesù, Rome, Italy, 1676–1679.
FRA ANDREA POZZO, Glorification of Saint Ignatius, ceiling fresco in the nave of Sant’Ignazio, Rome, Italy, 1691–1694.
JOSÉ DE RIBERA, Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew, ca. 1639. Oil on canvas, 7’ 8” x 7’ 8”. Museo del Prado, Madrid.
Serapion, 1628. Oil on canvas, 3’ 11
1/2” x 3’ 4 3/4”. Wadsworth
Atheneum, Hartford (The Ella Gallup
Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner
Collection Fund).
DIEGO VELÁZQUEZ, Water Carrier of
Seville, ca. 1619. Oil on canvas, 3’ 5 1/2” x 2’
7 1/2”. Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
DIEGO VELÁZQUEZ, Surrender of Breda, 1634–1635. Oil on canvas, 10’ 1” x 12’ 1/2”. Museo del Prado, Madrid.
Spain (Fraga Philip), 1644. Oil on canvas, 4’ 3
1/8” x 3’ 3 1/8”. The Frick Collection, New
Maids of Honor), 1656. Oil on canvas,
approx. 10’ 5” x 9’. Museo del Prado,