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Baroque Art Essay Research Paper During the

Baroque Art Essay, Research Paper

During the Baroque period, new ideas and views of society and of religion

spurred up. To express these new ideas many artists used the ideas of past

artists to further expand their own motives. " If I have seen further (than

you and Descartes), it is by standing upon the shoulders of Giants." Sir

Isaac Newton, 1676 The artists of the baroque period were using past ideals as a

ladder to the prevalent and the gallant. Four pieces of art that exceplified the

usage of the great minds of the past were; The Rape of the Sabine Women by

Nicholas Poussin, The east fa?ade of the Louvre Palace, The View of Delft by

Jan Vermeer and The Palace of Versailles. The magnificent artwork of Nicholas

Poussin shows the mixture of Roman architecture and ideas. He copied the body

sculptures and the basilicas of ancient Rome and added them to his medium of

oil. Poussin traveled to Roman museums for inspiration and models. In The Rape

of the Sabine Women, he shows how he balanced his art by carefully arranging

opposites. Since he used statues for models, the people in his painting look to

be chiseled and very statuesque. Poussin also uses a background of a Roman city

to further enhance his love for the classical world. He sought for permanent in

the momentary and the universal in the individual. Many artists of the time

turned to classical Greece and Rome for their ideas. Another prime example is

the East Fa?ade of the Louvre Palace in Paris, France. KING LOUIS XIV

originally commissioned this piece of work to Gianlorenzo Bernini in 1665. The

king’s finance minister felt " it left the king housed no better than

before." so his plan was rejected and a French architect named Claude

Perrault was appointed to finish the job. This palace had to grand enough for

the "sun-king", so Perrault used classical influences to achieve the

proper grandness fit for a king. He used a long Corinthian colonnade, friezes,

and pilasters. This acted as a restraining influence to the baroque ideas of the

time. Greek and Roman art influenced many Europeans, especially the monarchs of

the time. No monarch showed that better than King Louis XIV of France. His rule

of France’s nobles required a large palace to be built to accommodate and

preoccupy the people that could have threatened his absolute power. During his

rule he added the Hall of Mirrors, four large wings, stables, and a chapel to

the Versailles Palace. The palace contains hundreds of Corinthian columns and

pilasters. The columns are ornately decorated with gold leaf and colorful

paints. This palace is an incorporation of grandiose baroque ideas and elegant

classical ideas. The building is symmetrical, logical and is an application of

absolute space composition. As many architects went to classical ideals, many

painters revived Renaissance ideals. In the View of Delft, Jan Vermeer shows the

ideas of landscape and perspective that were discovered during the Renaissance.

This painting is unique because it has no single vanishing point and its

pictorial space is in a horizontal sweep. The light in this painting is coming

from a cloudy sky that is dispersing it unevenly throughout the town landscape.

Using this light method, the city’s buildings are colored by different shades of

the sunlight. Vermeer added his own inventive subjects as well as past ideas to

his paintings. The Baroque period illustrated the respect and the love for

classical art forms as well as other past forms. It was a melting pot of

classical and baroque ideas that further expanded the arts and ideas of the

world. Using past ideas along with current original ideas can make a new art

form. The Baroque period was the epitome of this ideal and showed it very well

with its excellent architecture, paintings, and sculptures.