Baroque Rococo Neoclassicism Romanticism


Baroque Rococo Neoclassicism Romanticism
Baroque Art
• Originated in Rome at the beginning of the 17th century
• Ornate, dynamic and filled with emotion - all available space
on a canvas filled with action, detail and movement
• Dramatic action due to crucial moments, gestures, use of
angles for spectator’s view of the scene
• Very elaborate, whether religious in nature (vivid images of
the Bible, saints, miracles and the crucifixion) or secular
works commissioned by rulers and other important people
who wanted to show off their own wealth and power
• Strong contrasts of light and dark (chiaroscuro)
• Caravaggio, Rubens, Velazquez and Rembrandt were
important Baroque artists
• Dramatic
chiaroscuro, “A
word borrowed from
Italian ("light and
shade" or “dark")
referring to the
modeling of volume
by depicting light
and shade by
contrasting them
• Emotional, Biblical
subject matter
• Intensely dramatic
• Twisting diagonal
lines create
Caravaggio, Judith Beheading Holofernes
c. 1598; Oil on canvas
•Diagonal lines
and twisting
forms create
portrayal of
animals from
several angles
Rubens, Daniel in the Lion's Den
c. 1615, Oil on canvas
• Velázquez earned a living as a
court painter
• In the artist’s studio; we see the
artist poised with brush in hand
before easel; interpreters have
suggested that Velazquez was
indicating - by commanding this
unusual place in the painting that this is the rightful position of
the artist in society
• Velazquez reversed the order of
importance by giving more
prominence to Princess Margarita
and her ladies in waiting than to
the royal couple, and even
greater importance to the dwarfs
and to the dog by placing them in
the forefront
• Not idealized – in this sense very
• Viewer is made to feel present –
artist, princess and a couple
attendants are making eye
Velázquez, The Maids of Honour (Las Meninas),
contact – our vantage point is
that of the King and Queen of
Spain reflected in the mirror on
c. 1656, oil on canvas
the back wall
•Rembrandt had abandoned
conventional Dutch smoothness
- surfaces were caked with more
paint than was strictly necessary
to present an illusion
•Vigorously modelled with a
heavily loaded brush - where
others needed five touches he
was using one, and so the
brushstrokes had begun to
separate and could sometimes
only be properly read from a
•The exact imitation of form
was being replaced by the
suggestion of it (note the
gloves): to some of his
contemporaries, therefore, his
paintings began to look
Rembrandt, Jan Six
1654, Oil on canvas
• Western Europe from about 1700 to 1780 (18th century)
• Emphasis on portraying the carefree life of the aristocracy
• Love and romance were common subjects – departure from
historical or religious subjects – light-heated themes
• Playful, showy, and luxurious, with delicate colours
• Often appears in decorative art (tapestries, furniture and porcelain)
as well as other art and architecture..
• Some of the better known Rococo artists were Watteau, Fragonard,
and Boucher
•Lovers coming to seek love
on the island of Cythera,
under the statue of its
goddess, Venus
•developed a new category
of genre painting known as
the fête galante – fanciful
scenes depicting elegantly
dressed young people
engaged in outdoor
•display a sober
melancholy, a sense of the
ultimate futility of life
(ladies looking back with
longing glances), that makes
him, among 18th century
painters, one of the closest to
modern sensibilities
•Watteau's paintings seem
to epitomize aristocratic
elegance, although he never
had aristocratic patrons. His
buyers were bourgeois such
as bankers and dealers.
Watteau, The Embarkation for Cythera
1717, Oil on canvas
• By today's standards Fragonard’s
The Swing is rather tame, but in
the 18th century this painting of a
woman being in a position where
a man can look up her skirts was
considered highly erotic. Note
18th century women did not
wear ‘knickers’ or other similar
undergarment (no funderwear!)
• Soft, delicate colours
• Lush foliage
• High degree of ornamentation
Fragonard, The Swing
1767, Oil on Canvas
• More than any other 18th
century painter, Boucher
achieved success as a court
• Commissioned by Madame
de Pompadour (mistress of
Louis XV) for her residence
• The cupids and the doves are
attributes of Venus as goddess
of Love. The flowers allude to
her role as patroness of
gardens and the pearls to her
mysterious birth from the sea
• Considered # 1 painter of
nudes in the 18th century
Boucher, The Toilet of Venus
1751, Oil on canvas
•In the 1700s, archaeological discoveries in Greece and Rome
revived interest in the study of classical art and literature
•Heroic, moral themes in classical history were used to inspire the
causes of the French Revolution
•Calm, serious subjects presented with simple lines and a sense of
order and purpose
•Better known artists of the Neoclassical style are the painters
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Jacques-Louis David and the
sculptors Antonio Canova and Bertel Thorvaldson
Drawing subject matter from
ancient sources
• Basing form and gesture on
Roman sculpture.
• Dramatic lighting and ideal
forms are emphasized.
• Presenting a lofty moralistic
theme, the work became the
principal model for noble and
heroic historical painting of
the next two decades.
• As the French Revolution
loomed, paintings urging
loyalty to the state rather than
to clan or clergy abounded.
Although it was painted
nearly five years before the
revolution in France, the Oath
of the Horatii became one of
the defining images of the
•There is only clear, hard details and no wispy brushstrokes
like the Rococo; the brushstrokes are invisible showing that the
painting is more important compared to the artist; the frozen
quality of the painting gives it the feeling that it’s rational
unlike the Rococo style.
•David proposed the establishment of an inventory of all
national treasures- making him one of the founders of France's
museums - he played an active role in the organization of the
future Louvre, Paris
David, Oath of the Horatii
1784, Oil on canvas
• Ingres was a student of
• clarity of line and a cool
• preference for drawing rather
than colour
• he said paint should be as
smooth `as the skin of an
onion'--but he was often
attacked for the expressive
distortions of his
draughtsmanship; critics
said, for example, that the
abnormally long back of La
Grande Odalisque (Louvre,
1814) had three extra
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Jupiter and Thetis
1811, Oil on canvas
• This marble statue of
Napoleon’s sister
Pauline in a highly
refined pose is
considered a supreme
example of the
Neoclassical style
• Antonio Canova
executed this portrait
between 1805 and 1808
without the customary
drapery of a person of
high rank, an
exception at the time,
thus transforming this
historical figure into a
goddess of antiquity in
a pose of classical
tranquillity and noble
Canova, Pauline Bonaparte Borghese
1801, Marble
• complete harmony and
balance, marked by great
• Resting squarely within the
Neoclassical tradition,
Thorvaldsen's great talent
was his ability to perfectly
balance his sculptures,
giving them a sense of
Thorvaldsen, Venus
1813-16, Marble
• In the early 1800s, the drama, struggle and emotion of
Romanticism replaced the calm, order and sense of purpose of
• New interests in exotic lands and travel fuelled Romanticism.
In France, despair followed the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and
was reflected in art of the time. Artists painted soldiers fleeing
the battlefield and scenes of death, despair and destruction.
• Painters chose scandalous and tragic subjects from the news of
the day and transferred, in great detail and graphic emotion,
these events to canvas
• Pictures of nature in its untamed state, or other exotic settings
filled with dramatic action, often with an emphasis on the past
• Some of the better known artists of Romanticism are painters
Theodore Gericault and Eugene Delacroix.
•Violent action, bold design, and dramatic color, all evoke powerful emotion in this painting
which is considered one of the first paintings of the Romantic era.
The combination of idealized
figures and realistically
depicted agony, as well as its
gigantic size and graphic
detail, aroused controversy
between neoclassical and
romantic artists
Its depiction of a politically
volatile scandal (the wreck
was due to government
mismanagement) also caused
The captain was a political
appointee, and caused the
ship to sink off the coast of
Africa. The captain and crew
took the lifeboats and 149
French passengers were put
on a raft towed behind the
boats. The ropes were
eventually cut, only 15
survived after 12 days afloat.
Gericault studied the wreck
like a reporter. He was
obsessed with the theme of
struggling for survival.
Gericault, Raft of the Medusa 1819, Oil on canvas
•Friedrich's apparently
paintings contain inner
meanings, clues to which
are provided either by
the artist's writings or
those of his literary
•For example, a
landscape showing a
ruined abbey in the
snow, can be appreciated
on one level as a bleak,
winter scene, but the
painter also intended the
composition to represent
both the church shaken
by the Protestant
Reformation and the
transitoriness of earthly
Friedrich, Cloister Cemetery in the Snow
1817-19 , Oil on canvas
Eugène Delacroix
Delacroix was another leader of the
Romantic movement, painting
scenes of violence and passion
taken from literary sources or
intriguing news of the day.
Delacroix’s work is often
characterized by lush colours,
swirling curves, and animals.
This painting depicts the story of
the emperor Sardanapalus (as told
in the verses of Byron)
The emperor, who was about to be
defeated in battle and lose
everything, ordered that all his
possessions, including his horses
and the women in his harem
(concubines) be destroyed (killed!!).
This painting depicts Sardanapalus’
slaves killing the harem girls.
The very intense colours (bright
red), the writhing and dying bodies
of the girls, and the strong contrast
are all typical features of a
Romantic painting.
“Death of Sardanapalus” 1827, oil on canvas
• The 1800s saw social/economic problems related to the Industrial
Revolution - jobs were hard to find and working conditions were poor
for those lucky enough to find employment.
• Artists and writers became concerned with the troubles of ordinary
people, peasants and the urban working class.
• The subjects were humble citizens doing everyday work, rather than
mythical heroes, Biblical or classical subjects, or portraits of the rich.
• New ways of handling brushes and paint
• At this time, the invention of the camera gave artists the possibility of
working from a photo for the first time, making Realist work all the
more possible to achieve.
• Very interested in painting landscapes from a realistic point of view,
and were especially interested in how the land looked during different
weather and different times of the day. In fact, Realists' desire to paint
in the open air and their interest in how light affected one's perception
of a scene paved the way for the work of the Impressionists.
• Some of the better known Realist artists are painters Gustave Courbet
and Francois Millet.
Gustave Courbet
•On the left of this painting are the ordinary models, on the right are friends of Courbet.
The artist takes centre stage in sharp daylight. Velázquez and Goya had brought the
artist into art, but Courbet went a step further and placed himself as the central figure.
•It’s speculated that the little boy who watches might symbolize the unfettered
admiration an artist craves
•In 1855, the Academy
did not accept his
paintings for the annual
show. As a result, he
built a pavilion and
called it the Pavilion of
Realism. He even
painted himself in
working clothes to shock
people into viewing
common people in a
different way.
Courbet, The Painter's Studio; A Real Allegory
1855, Oil on canvas
Gustave Courbet
• Courbet believed that
“painting is essentially a
concrete art and must be
applied to real and existing
thing.” He is sometimes
referred to as the father of
• This painting, entitled “A
Burial at Ornans” was not
well accepted by critics of
the time. The canvas was
HUGE (22 feet in length)
and never before had an
artist used such an epic
sized canvas to paint a
scene depicting simple,
everyday people. This type
of large scale was usually
reserved for subjects
deemed to be more
A Burial at Ornans, Gustave Courbet,
1851, Oil on Canvas
• French painter noted for
his depictions of
peasant life. The son of
a farmer in Gréville
• In 1849, when a cholera
epidemic broke out in
Paris, Millet moved to
Barbizon and became
devoted to this area as a
subject for his work, and
helped establish the
Barbizon School.
• Though Flemish artists
of the 17th century had
depicted peasants at
work, Millet was the
first painter to endow
rural life with so much
dignity, making the
peasant an almost
heroic figure.
Francois Millet
Millet, The Gleaners
1857, oil on canvas
Some hints…
• You will need to be able to explain both Romanticism and
Realism in your own words. You should know at least 2
characteristics of each movement.
• You will need to be able to recognize the works we have
looked at in class, and give me the title, artist and
movement for each.
• You should understand the subject matter that each artist
discussed was interested in painting.
• All other content is fair game, so review the slides and
your notes please!