Wednesday, July 16, 2008


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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PeterParis said...

No importance in which order; just follow your inspiration and we will follow you!

I understand why you show the Velasquez "egg painting" several times! It's fantastic! (You have to go to Edinburgh to find the original.)

Jessica said...

Thanks for the feedback, Peter! Have you seen the original? I'm wondering if the surface is crackled like so many old oil paintings or if it has held up better. You can tell so much about an artist's technique by how well his paintings age.

PeterParis said...

No. I haven't seen the original. Have been to Edinburgh, but didn't then know that the painting was there! If I had known...!

missi said...

this is our first time visiting your site! we do the charlotte mason method of schooling, which is heavy on art study. each term we do a different artist. so, artist focus is great, but we really appreciated the read on baroque period as well. thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

I dont really care yu just helped me with my assignment
so much better than wiki which only has those confusing words
i like your child friendly website
wiki i will leave for when i am older heehee