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Baroque in Flanders Rubens, Allegory on the Outbreak of War Mars has left the Temple of Janus open, normally closed during times of peace Venus and Cupids try to restrain Mars Fury Alecto, torch in hand, pulls him forward Below woman with a broken lute: harmony is destroyed Mother and child indicate fertility cannot bloom Fallen architect symbolizes the fall of civilization Mars literally tramples on literature Crying woman in black is Europe Strong diagonals and masterful use of color Painterly brushstroke Baroque dynamics and composition Developed musculature

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  • 1. Baroque in Flanders
    • Rubens,Allegory on the Outbreak of War
  • Mars has left the Temple of Janus open, normally closed during times of peace
  • Venus and Cupids try to restrain Mars
  • Fury Alecto, torch in hand, pulls him forward
  • Below woman with a broken lute: harmony is destroyed
  • Mother and child indicate fertility cannot bloom
  • Fallen architect symbolizes the fall of civilization
  • Mars literally tramples on literature
  • Crying woman in black is Europe
  • Strong diagonals and masterful use of color
  • Painterly brushstroke
  • Baroque dynamics and composition
  • Developed musculature

2. Baroque in Flanders

  • Rubens,Arrival of Marie deMedici at Marseilles
  • Part of the Marie deMedici cycle of 21 paintings in the Louvre
  • Real people exist side-by-side with nymphs, sea monsters, naiads, genii
  • Neptune and the three sirens, a sea god and a triton escort the boat in the harbor
  • France in blue cape with gold fleur-de-lis falls to his knees before Marie
  • Fame salutes her with two trumpets
  • Arms of the Medici over the arch of the boat
  • Commander of ship wears a cross of the Knights of Malta, is a sharp counterpoint to the other figures in the painting
  • Dynamic movement
  • Rich vivid color
  • Heavily muscled men; ample females
  • Union of Northern and Italian painting that started with Drer

3. Baroque in Flanders

  • Van Dyck,Charles I Dismounted
  • Unstressed royal authority
  • A king and a cavalier
  • Venetian landscape with the Thames behind
  • Charles has dismounted and his horse is being held for him
  • He glances sharply at us from the side
  • Haughty pose
  • Van Dyck established the tradition of the graceful monarch, regal yet at ease

4. Baroque in Spain

  • Velazquez,Surrender of Breda
  • Battle in 1625, Dutch forced to yield Breda to the Spanish
  • Magnanimity, humanity and valor of the victors is stressed
  • Dutch on left seen as youthful, disorganized
  • Spanish on right are dignified, with lances indicating their military precision
  • Key to the city is emphasized in the center
  • Emotional tone of generosity and mutual respect
  • Effect of the battle seen in the smoky background
  • Topography is accurate: artist interviewed participants in the battle and consulted other renderings of the area
  • Light and color are compositional devices that unify the elements

5. Baroque in Spain

  • Velazquez,Las Meninas
  • Velzquez working on a huge canvas that could not fit through the door of the room. He pauses and takes a step back to study us.
  • Velzquez wears the Cross of the Order of Santiago, a symbol of nobility: painter enjoyed a court appointment and desired respect
  • Princess Margarita with two maids-in-waiting is the central focus of the painting
  • Dwarves on right; Philip IV had a large collection of dwarves, no abnormalities are glossed over by Velzquez
  • Blurring of figures on right suggests painters understanding of peripheral vision
  • Older woman is lady of honor, wears a nuns outfit to indicate she is a widow
  • Man in conversation with her is her escort

6. Baroque in Spain

  • Velazquez,Las Meninas (continued)
  • Silhouetted man is Jos Nieto, aposentador of the Queen, head of the Queens tapestry works, rests his hand on a tapestry as he goes out, but pauses
  • Regular rhythm of the frames on the back wall anchors composition as opposed the irregular rhythm of the groups
  • Paintings above are works that illustrate mortals who challenged the gods
  • Perspective pulls you into the painting, but the mirror reflects out
  • Extension laterally: canvas on easel, windows
  • Alternating darks and lights reach into the painting
  • King and Queen are in the mirror, but what is being reflected? The painting Velzquez is working on? The King and Queen themselves? A portrait of the King and Queen hanging on the opposite wall?
  • What is Velzquez painting? This group? A painting of this painting? The King and Queen?

7. Dutch Painters of the Baroque

  • Characteristics of Dutch Art:
  • No church or aristocracy to commission paintings
  • Art has a bourgeois character
  • Paintings used to cover bare walls, give pleasure to the eye
  • Cheerful subjects, unpleasant ones are given a humorous slant
  • Artists worked on the open market, not for patrons: specialization according to subject matter
  • Small paintings for small homes
  • Subjects were easily understandable, some allegorical representations, no religious ecstasies and few pagan myths


  • Judith Leyster,Self-Portrait
  • Smile: she greets us casually, as does the fiddler
  • Self-assured, charming, sociable
  • Meets the viewers gaze, as if to speak to us
  • Signed her paintings with her initials and a star, punning meaning of her name leading star
  • Well-dressed while painting
  • Quick sure brushstrokes

9. Dutch Painters of the Baroque

  • Steen,The Feast of Saint Nicholas
  • Genre painting
  • Saint Nicholas has visited the children with various results
  • A girl grabs her doll as her mother pleads to look at it, or perhaps asks her to share
  • Boy at left is crying over his disappointed gift
  • Chaos in search for gifts
  • Man on right points out to small child how Saint Nicholas descended the chimney
  • Ten figures in a complex arrangement
  • Complicated series of diagonals unify figures that seem to bend this way and that in reflection of one another
  • Adult meaning to this childrens scene

10. Dutch Painters of the Baroque

  • Jacob van Ruisdael,View of Haarlem from the Dunes at Overveen
  • Flat horizon of the Netherlands: sky takes up of painting
  • Sullen clouds, dramatically painted
  • Receding spaces through dark and light passages
  • Bleaching linen manufactured in Holland
  • Long strips of treated cloth were spread out to bleach in the fields
  • Openness and height, very distant and elevated point-of-view


  • Frans Hals,Archers of Saint Hadrian
  • Responsible citizen mentality among the Dutch
  • No static arrangements; no interaction
  • Strong horizontal emphasis with vertical spears punctuating the composition
  • Left group around dominant figure of Col. Johan Claez. Loo, his cane indicates his authority
  • Right group is a separate unit: Lt. Hendrick Gerritsz. Pot holds a book (minutes of meeting?)
  • Back to back groups
  • Distinct individuality of figures
  • Dynamically grouped with strong diagonals of composition

12. Dutch Painters of the Baroque

  • Rembrandt,Anatomy Lesson of Doctor Tulp
  • First great commission
  • Dutch law: open cadavers of executed criminals only, allowed for entertainment purposes like this
  • Specific anatomy lesson in January 1632
  • Lessons took 4-5 days, Descartes may have attended this one
  • Dr. Tulp is singled out seated in a chair of honor
  • He wears a broad rimmed hat: academic badge of chairman
  • His hands (alone) are prominently shown
  • Cadavers body compared to the book at right
  • Caravaggesque background
  • Figures stare out into space

13. Dutch Painters of the Baroque

  • Rembrandt,The Night Watch
  • 18 men portrayed in the commission, represented according to how much they paid, but 29 figures in total, 2 figures cut off when the painting was cut down at left
  • Civic guard group getting ready for a march, makes for a lively composition
  • Captain Frans Banning Cocq holds a baton in right hand and wears a red sash, wears a gorget of steel barely visible under his white collar
  • Captain gestures as if to speak
  • Orders given to his lieutenant to march forward
  • Central figures come forward
  • Use of musket shown: musketeer in red is charging his musket by transferring powder into the muzzle from one of the wooden cartridges attached to his bandolier
  • Figure behind Cocq is firing musket
  • Third figure behind lieutenant is clearing the pan by blowing off the powder that remained there after the shot
  • Deep chiaroscuro
  • Liveliness of figures, psychological penetration

14. The Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq, 1642 15. Dutch Painters of the Baroque

  • Rembrandt,Self-Portrait
  • Probed states of human soul
  • Changing lights and darks suggest changing of human mood
  • Self-satisfied artist at the height of his career

16. Dutch Painters of the Baroque

  • Common Motifs in Vermeers Paintings
  • Checkerboard floor
  • Horizontal beam ceiling
  • Light from the left
  • Heavy drapery and/or map
  • Figures seen from the back or side
  • Figures occupied in daily pursuit
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Back wall is always flat against picture plane


  • Vermeer,The Letter
  • Light filtering from a unseen window at left
  • We look in, they are unaware
  • Figures framed by portal and a curtain
  • Smile on servant, surprised look on the woman
  • Woman is well-dressed, holding a lute
  • A lute was a symbol of serenading, hence of love
  • Is a love letter being brought?
  • Sense of quiet expectation


  • Vermeer,Allegory on the Art of Painting
  • Painters costume, chandelier and maps out of date
  • Woman is Clio, Muse of History
  • Laurel and garland, holds a trumpet of fame in her right hand
  • Map frames history
  • Nostalgia for bygone days of Catholic rule over Holland and Catholic patronage of artists
  • Artist in his studio (Vermeer?)
  • Looking in on figures who seem unaware
  • Quiet and stillness
  • Touches of light flicker across the map, revealing the pulled edges

19. French Baroque Painting

  • Poussin,Et in Arcadia Ego
  • Influenced by Raphael
  • Three shepherds in idyllic landscape of Arcadia
  • And I am in Arcadia, also phrase related to person buried in tomb
  • Death is present, even in Arcadia
  • Shadow of mans arm is the sickle of Death
  • Shepherd places his finger on the tip of the shadow
  • Tomb is ruined
  • Compact, balanced grouping
  • Elegiac mood
  • Woman: ambivalent, expression of joy and sadness. Does she represent Death?
  • Trees turn from green on left to grey and barren on right (life to death)
  • Grand Manner of Painting


  • Rigaud,Louis XIV
  • Majestic, awesome
  • Very richly designed
  • Sumptuous display of garments, drapery, rugs
  • Louis XIV felt he had good legs: they are exposed to view
  • Long flowing wig
  • Stately parade
  • Essence of the Sun King in his glory
  • Baroque ornateness

21. English Baroque Architecture

  • Wren, Saint Pauls, London
  • Exterior:
  • Drum of dome resembles Saint Peters
  • Influence of the Tempietto
  • Three domes: hidden central element is a brick cone that holds the dome up, outside dome gives a rounded shape, the hemispherical dome is of wood and is painted
  • Faade:
  • Two storied faade is classicizing
  • Frontispiece is an equilateral triangle
  • Coupled columns
  • Juxtaposition of concave and convex designs in the towers recalls Borromini
  • Contrasts of dark and light in the porch
  • Interior:
  • Octagonal crossing is the dominant central space in nave