The Baroque period began in Rome in the late 1500s. At this time, the Catholic Church was very focused on spreading their beliefs to others because the Protestants were working hard to spread their beliefs. The Catholic Church decided that art was a great way to do this. Even people who couldn’t read (which was most people at the time) could understand pictures. The Church wanted a lot of paintings of biblical scenes that average people could relate to.
The Baroque style continued where the Renaissance left off. You may remember that Renaissance painters created a lot of portraits and religious paintings. Baroque painters did the same, as you read about last week. In order to make their biblical scenes familiar to people, artists such as Ribera used real people as models for their religious figures.
Baroque artists wanted to show life the way it really it was. In my opinion, there is no better example of this than Velazquez’s Old Woman Frying Eggs (below).
Finally, Baroque painters often painted scenes that took place in bright light against dark backgrounds. This is especially noticeable in Cotan’s bodegones you saw yesterday. To refresh your memory, Quince, Cabbage, Melon, and Cucumber is shown below.
The Baroque period ended in the late 1700s.
And now I would like to ask a question of you readers who have been following this series of posts. Do you like it better when I write about artists and then tell you about the period during which they painted (like this past week) or do you prefer when I tell you about the period first and then about the artists? I would love to hear your opinions!
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