Baroque Art – an Overview

Baroque Art

Period for Baroque Art: ca 1590-1700


"Venus and Adonis" by Poussin 1624

This was the dominating style of the 17th century. It is characterized by rich, deep color, great drama, intense light and dark shadows and was meant to evoke emotion and passion. During this era artists chose the most dramatic point, the moment when the action was occurring in a sceene.

The most popular motives were: Religious (saints, martyrs), allegorical figures/motives (peace, faith, shyness, chastity), mythological figures (to enhance the catholic ideals). The style was highly appreciated by the monarchs at the time who wanted to show profane power, lifestyle and wealth. The portraits were often dramatic.

The best art from this period came from Italy, Spain, France, Austria, South Germany, and Central Europe. The church had a very strong influence over the content of the paintings in these countries.

Painters From This Era
Peter Paul Rubens - Rembrandt van Rijn - Caravaggio - Nicolas Poussin - Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez - Johannes Vermeer - Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini - Annibale Carracci - Guercino - Pietro da Cortona - Antonio Gherardi - Bartolomé Esteban Murillo - Guido Reni

Movements During This Era
Bolognese School - Fontainbleau - Academic Art - Dutch realism

Paintings from the Baroque Era


"Las Meninas" by Diego Velázquez 1656


"The Milkmaid" by Vermeer c. 1657–1658 (uncertain date)


"Judith Beheading Holofernes" by Caravaggio 1598-1599


"The Nightwatch" by Rembrandt 1642

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