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Art History Exam II

Terms in this set (30)

- Many had seen the Protestant Reformation of the previous century as an outgrowth of Renaissance Humanism with its emphasis on rationality and independent thinking
- In response the Catholic Church took a reactionary, authoritarian position, supported by the new Society of Jesus founded by Ignatius Loyola
-- Christians were enjoined to use all their sense to transport themselves emotionally as they imagined the events on which they were meditating
- Art became an instrument of propaganda and also a means of leading the spectator to a reinvigorated Christian practice and belief
-- Paintings and sculpture had to depict events and people accurately and clearly, following guidelines established by religious leaders
- The goal of the Counter-Reformation was to help worshipers achieve the emotional state of religious ecstasy
- Protestant forces gained control in the north, where Spain recognized the independence of the Dutch Republic in 1648
- Catholicism maintained its primacy in southern Europe, the Holy Roman Empire, and France through the efforts of an energized papacy
- Scientific advances compelled people to question their worldview
- As rulers' economic strength began to slip away, artists found patrons in the Church and the secular state, as well as in the newly confident and prosperous urban middle class
- Intense emotional involvement, lifelike renderings, and Classical references may exist in the same work
- Worked to engage viewers as participants in the work of art and often reached out to incorporate or activate the world beyond the frame into the nature and meaning of the work itself
Gianlorenzo Bernini, 1642-1652, Baroque Italy
- Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome
- The decoration of the funerary chapel of Venetian cardinal Federigo Cornaro
- The Cornaro family chapel was dedicated to the Spanish saint Teresa of Ávila
- A rich and theatrical setting for the portrayal of a central event in Teresa's life
- Represents a famous vision described with startling physical clarity by Teresa charged with erotic associations
-- An angel pierced her body repeatedly with an arrow, transporting her to a state of ecstatic oneness with God
- Gilded bronze rays of supernatural light descend, even as actual light illuminates the figures from a hidden window above
- Covered the walls with multicolored marble panels and crowned them with a projecting cornice supported by marble pilasters
- Good example of the emotional, theatrical style perfected by Bernini in response to the religious and political climate in Rome during the Counter-Reformation, a period of spiritual renewal
- Stucco: a moistened mixture of lime and marble dust that can be molded
- Bernini's skill at capturing the movements and emotions of these figures is matched by his virtuosity in simulating different textures and colors in the pure white medium of marble
-- The angel's gauzy, clinging draperies seem silken in contrast with Teresa's heavy woolen monastic robe
-- Used the configuration of the garment's folds to convey the saint's swooning, sensuous body beneath, even though only Teresa's face, hands, and bare feet are actually visible
- Intent was to capture a critical, dramatic moment at its emotional and sensual height
- Guide viewers to identify totally with the event and perhaps be transformed in the process
Nicolas Poussin, 1640, France
- Perfected the French ideal of the "Classical" landscape and profoundly influenced painters for the next two centuries
- Called a Classicist because he organized natural elements and figures into gently illuminated, idealized compositions
- Designed as a pair with Landscape with St. Matthew and the Angel
- Each painting individually composed to create an ordered whole on its own
- Epitomize and are among the earliest examples of the new style of rigorously ordered and highly idealized Classical landscapes with figures
- Their unity is signaled by the evangelists' postures turned inward toward each other
-- Huge blocks of Classical masonry converge from both pictures as coordinated remains of the same ruined monument
- Large clump of trees at the outside edge form "bookends" that bring lateral closure to the broad panorama
- A consistent perspective progression
- The picture plane backs into the distance through a clearly defined foreground, middleground, and background
- Illuminated by an even light with gentle shadows and highlights
- Sense of composition
-- Strong foreground (2 main elements)
-- Unfolding landscape taking eye all the way to back (depth)
-- Ongoing civilization
- Lines (streaks of light) bring eye back into the painting
- Subtle light - not too dramatic
- The subject is the balance and order of nature
-- Scale of John vs. surroundings
- Fussing Classical world with Christian ideas
- Pastoral landscape
- Roman ruins all around
- John writing in the book of Revelations
- Influenced by Titian

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