Baroque Art and Sculpture

 Baroque that was primarily associated with the
religious tensions within Western Christianity:
division on Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. In
response to the Protestant Reformation of the early
sixteen century, the Roman Catholic Church had
embarked in the 1550s on a program of renewal known
as the Counter - Reformation. As part of the program,
the Catholic Church used art of the magnificent
display for the campaign. It was intended to be both
doctrinally correct and visually and emotionally
appealing so that it could influence the largest
possible audience.
 Baroque that use revolutionary technique of dramatic,
selective illumination of figures out of deep shadow - a
hallmark of Baroque painting. Contrary to the
traditional idealized interpretation of religious
subjects, Baroque realistically presents models from
the streets. Caravaggio is key painter of this form of
 Originally named Michelangelo Merisi, Caravaggio
was born September 28, 1573, in the Lombardy hill
town of Caravaggio
 Huge new churches were being built in Rome
in the decades of the late 16th and early 17th
centuries, and paintings were needed to fill
them. The Counter-Reformation Church
searched for authentic religious art with which
to counter the threat of Protestantism.
 Caravaggio's novelty was a radical naturalism
which combined close physical observation
with a dramatic, even theatrical, approach to
chiaroscuro, the use of light and shadow, which
almost in all of Caravaggio’s religious subjects
emphasize sadness, suffering, and death.
 Through the art business Caravaggio met his
first patron Cardinal Francesco Maria Del
Monte, who secured for him his first public
commission. From then on he was flooded
by public commissions. Yet because of his
violent temper he was constantly in trouble
with the law. Since 1600, he is regularly
mentioned in police records, is constantly
under accusations of assault, libel and other
crimes. In 1606, he became involved in
murder and had to flee, finding refuge on
the estates of Prince Marzio Colonna.
 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
 His untimely death in 1610 has puzzled historians
for years; guesses ranged from murder to syphilis.
But the lethal level of lead in his system, due most
likely to the paints he used, is the most probable
cause of death.
 Baroque sculptures tended to consist of multiple
materials (marble, brass, wood….)
 Instead of “stand alone” pieces of art, baroque
sculptures were placed as to appear is part of a scene,
part of the building, or as if the characters are moving
out of their places.