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Submitted By fashionablyfaded
Words 1225
Pages 5
Jessica Shelton
American Intercontinental University
HUMA205– Art Appreciation
May 24, 2013

Introduction The baroque period for art was a very important time. The period contributed a lot to art as we know it now, and it introduced both new techniques as well as new artists. The period lasted roughly from the 16th century, and in some places lasted until the 1750’s. Three important pieces of art from that time are Descent from the cross painted by Rembrandt, Conversion of Saint Paul by Caravaggio and Raising of the cross by Peter Paul Rubens. The three artworks will be described, along with a summary of the artist’s personal views of art. The personal views of the artists are often times influenced by the trends and schools of thought during the time period. Along with being described, the pieces will be analyzed, and how they fit into the time period with be explained. The three paintings will also be compared and contrasted, explaining their similarities and their differences. Description of Works The first painting is Rembrandt’s, The Descent from the Cross. This along with all the other paintings featured is a very moving piece. For religious people, this was a very moving and emotional scene. The painting features Jesus, whom had previously been hanging on the cross. Jesus is being removed from the cross by his followers, the main focus point being Jesus himself and the man who is holding his body while others climb the cross to continue trying to remove him from it. Rembrandt was commissioned to do this piece as a recreation of Ruben’s original Descent from the Cross. It was supposed to have been a smaller recreation, but eventually became only one of the paintings in this series of five. The conversion of Saint Paul, or also known as The Conversion on the way to Damascus is another religiously themed painting. This painting was commissioned for the Cerasi Chapel. The picture features Paul, falling from his horse. The horse is shown with a hoof up, and Paul’s arms are outstretched to emphasis the fall. This is from when Paul heard the voice of Christ, and then fell to the ground, temporarily blinded. The Raising of the Cross was painted for the church of St. Walpurgis. The painting depicts Jesus being raised up on the Cross, very simply. The men are struggling to raise him all the way up, while followers and other people surround them, watching the spectacle. It shows people mourning, as well as the persecutors pointing and encouraging. Jesus and the men are featured in the middle of the painting, and the two surrounding parts feature the other supporting roles.
Schools of Thought The artists featured all came from roughly the same time period. They were influenced by the things that were going on during the time, whether negatively or positively. That time is widely known for religious reform. The conflicts between religions, or newly forming religions were happening a lot and had a great influence on this art. There was a reform, and counter reform going on during the time that made a big difference in life during that time. The Catholics and the Protestants were in conflict about their religions, and this made a big impact on the art world. The Catholics commissioned a lot of artists and art in general for their churches. The demand for at increased because it was used for a lot of different things, such as influence or propaganda. Art was also influenced during that time by the state of the economy. The economy was stimulated in a lot of places because new capitals and places were emerging, and this created a new market for art. People began to have more money to be able to commission art for themselves, which created competition with the churches and other authorities who were getting art made for them for several different reasons. The art was also a way of showing social class, because those who could afford to buy or commission art were normally a higher or middle class. Philosophies were also emerging, new and more complex ones were influencing the artists and how they went about their technique. They became more aware of linear perspective, as well as space and form. One of the most important things that emerged during this time was the use of light and shadow. Light and shadow was something that before wasn’t used a lot, but during this time scientists and philosophers made them more relevant. This was seen with the way a lot of these paintings use the light and shadow to emphasize their subjects, as well as their attention to detail.
Context of Time Period Baroque era art brought about a lot of change in the art world. The old ways were cast out, and a lot of new ones were formed. The previous, outdated art frowned upon the use of realism. It discouraged the use of realism, which is something that Baroque art seemed to bring back. The emphasis that the church put on spiritual things was cast out and traded in for a more realistic representation of the art subjects. These pieces of art are no exception to that rule, and they fit into the description of Baroque art for many reasons. The detail used in these paintings is one of the things that make them fit into the era. They paid attention to the details of people and places, and they put this into their art. They used different techniques in order to make the paintings more lifelike, and in doing that they were slowly bringing back a real feel to their art. This feel can also be translated into the way that Baroque art is known for evoking more emotion that art of the past decade. You can see this in these pieces. All the pieces are somehow religiously driven, but they evoke and show emotion during the time better than previous pieces. They show facial expressions and use representation to make their points, something that makes the viewer actually feel more than those that might have lacked these details in their pieces before.
A lot of important things happened in the art world with the Baroque period. The period defined and reflected the strife and struggle of the time. The artists of the time were subject to a lot of change in the world around them as well as the art world. The reform going on gave a lot of emphasis to their art work, and these three pieces show that very well. They are a reflection of the religious things that were going on during that time, but they put a real feel on stories or pictures from the bible that was important. The discussion of the art and the time period all go into describing the pieces, as well as the comparison and contrast of things.


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