Italian Baroque: Gianlorenzo Bernini, Scala Regia, Vatican City, Rome, Italy, 1666.
The Scala Regia is a Baroque architectural piece, commissioned by Pope Alexander VII, was done by Gianlorenzo Bernini and built to connect Vatican Palace with St. Peter's Basilica. Since it is the entrance to the Vatican, Bernini employs the Baroque style to emphasize opulence and theatrics. Above the stairway's arch, two angels flank Alexander VII's coat of arms. The stairwell contains barrel-vaulted colonnades, which make the space appear larger, and a highly decorated arch and ceiling. The opulent and dramatic style used in creating the decoration of this staircase is a precursor to the Rococo movement.
Italian Baroque: Francesco Borromini, Chapel of Saint Ivo College of the Sapienza, Rome, Italy, 1642
This Roman Catholic Church is located in Rome, Italy. This Italian Baroque work uses a centralized plan that probably was modeled after the Star of David. Borromini began his work on the building when the lower stories of the court were already present. The architect emphasized the building's sculptural qualities and adjusted the façade to have a drum like pattern. The building is supported by buttresses and spirals. The most significant feature of the structure is the corkscrew lantern. Borromini used convex and concave forms and was able to merge the façade with the courtyard.
Italian Baroque: Gianlorenzo Bernini, David, 1623. Marble, approx. 5' 7" high. Galleria Borghese, Rome.
Commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, (before Bernini took on his major commissions for Pope Urban VIII), this statue of Davis is life-sized. The body composition is influenced by Hellenistic art and the work Michelangelo. David's body pivots on a spiral axis, the facial features are modeled on those of a lion (facies leonina) and details are delineated through the use of various techniques like undercutting, drilling and polishing. Bernini's sculptures strive for realism and are meant to interact with the space surrounding them (sculpture in the round).
Italian Baroque: Gianlorenzo Bernini, Ecstasy of Saint Theresa, Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome, Italy, 1645-1652. Marble, height of group 11' 6".
Commissioned for a private chapel, this sculptural group honors 16th century saint Theresa of Avila. The angel and saint are located in a variation of a Roman shrine (aedicule) and are meant to be theatrical. The scene is based on St. Theresa's autobiography. The second sculptural group is to the right and depicts donor portraits of the Cornaro family in extreme high relief. The surrounding areas outside of the statues are in coloured marble
Italian Baroque: Calling of Saint Matthew, Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi dei Francesci Rome, Italy, 1601
This Italian Baroque work shows the scene from the Bible in which Christ calls upon Matthew to be his apostle. Caravaggio uses tenebrism by directing two sources of light that come from the right onto the painting. The characters in this work are seen wearing Baroque fashion. In this painting Caravaggio shows sensual figures, with everyday characteristics, which is why it is hard for the viewer to identify Christ immediately. The lighting points directly to Saint Mathew who seems unsure that Christ would select him. Michelangelo's influence can be seen in Christ's hand gesture.
Italian Baroque: Annibale Carracci, Loves of the Gods, ceiling frescoes in the gallery, Palazzo Farnese, Rome, Italy, 1597-1601.
Loves of the Gods, by Annibale Carracci, is a monumental fresco cycle, from the Italian Baroque period. It decorates the barrel-vaulted Farnese Gallery located within the Palazzo Farnese. Carracci decorated the gallery with mythological themes. The center panel, the 'Triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne', depicts a riotous procession bringing the couple to their lovers' bed. This work combines quadro riportato with di sotto in su painting. The figures show idealized bodies, overlapping, and vigorous movements. The rich colors were inspired by the Venetians. Carracci's juxtaposition of classic and baroque styles had a grand influence on 17th century paintings in Rome.
Italian Baroque: Carlo Maderno, Santa Susana, Rome, Italy, 1603.
This Roman church represents the earliest expression of the spirit of Baroque art. This symmetrical facade is similar to that of Giacomo's Il Gesu. It's tall central area juts out, and the narrow scroll buttresses join the two levels of the building. There is an absence of an arch around the pediment, which enhances the vertical thrust of the building. The columns and the pilasters emphasize the central axis. The recessed niches, which hold statues, have shadows in them, accentuating the sculptural effect. Later redecorated by Pope Leo III, it shows a twist on a classical design.
Italian Baroque: Carlo Maderno, Facade of Saint Peter 's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome, 1612.
On the top of this basilica are sculptural statues of Christ as the Redeemer, John the Baptist, and 11 Apostles, Statues of St. Peter and Paul, the patron saints of Rome, are on the side. This was built with travertine stone, and has giant Corinthian columns with a central pediment that stresses the main entrance. This marks the burial site of St. Peter, ordered by Constantine.The dome was designed by Michelangelo, to rival Brunelleschi's dome. The central balcony is the Loggia of the Blessings, where the announcement of the new pope takes place. The relief under the balcony shows St. Peter receiving keys from Christ.
Italian Baroque: Gianlorenzo Bernini, baldacchino Saint Peter's, Vatican City, Rome, Italy, 1624-1633. Gilded bronze, approx. 100' high.
This baldacchino marks the high altar of this church and St. Peter's burial site, but also draws worshippers who enter the nave with a compelling presence.This canopy-like structure is 100 feet tall, with four huge angels standing guard at the corners of the canopy. Four bronze spiral columns, which are somewhat fluted and wrapped with vines, were created by the lost-wax process, and frame the grand sculpture that depicts St. Peter's throne. The extremely decorative aspects reflect the power of the Catholic church and Pope Urban VIII. The serpentine brackets form the apex of the canopy, elevate the orb and cross, and symbolize the Church's triumph.
Italian Baroque: Francesco Borromini
San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, Rome, Italy, 1676