The Baroque Era lasted
began around 1600 in
Rome and spread in
What was going
on in the world
1607: the English settle in Jamestown
1610: Galileo confirms the Earth is round
1643 -1715: Louis XIV rules France
1687: Sir Isaac Newton publishes his “Laws
of Universal Gravitation”
1732: George Washington was born
1744 -1748: French & Indian War
What does the
Baroque is a French word of
Portuguese origins that means
an “irregularly shaped pearl”.
In Italy
Baroque implies strangeness,
irregularity and extravagance.
This style includes light usage, incorporation of
nature and dynamic movement. It is
particularly reflected in opulent and dramatic
churches with irregular shapes and
extravagant ornamentation.
He was criticized for depicting religious figures with stark realism
in contrast to the idealized practice of the Renaissance, as well
as depicting the poor and downtrodden in a realistic manner.
He also brought a dramatic sense of light and space, and a
mastery of chiaroscuro to his work. His approach influenced the
later Baroque painters like Rubens and Rembrandt.
c. 1597
Galleria degli
Uffizi, Firenze
Oil on canvas
37 3/8 x 33 1/2 in
Bacchus, one of Caravaggio's baroque paintings,
depicts the youthful Roman god of wine. This
painting resides in Florence at the Uffizi Gallery.
The inedible fruit in the painting is thought to depict
the idea that time moves quickly and life is short.
This aspect of nature was new to art in the
Amor Vincit Omnia
c. 1601-02
Staatliche Museen,
Oil on canvas
75 1/4 x 58 1/4 in
The Crucifixion of Saint Peter
Santa Maria del Popolo, Roma
Oil on canvas
90 1/2 x 70 in
Caravaggio, The Sacrifice of Isaac (1598-99),
Galleria degli Uffizi, Firenze
perspective brings the
viewer into the actions
and engages the viewers
intensifying the scene
through the use of
dramatic light and dark
contrast. Using theatrical
light from a single
source on the subject,
he concentrates the
viewer’s attention on
the power of the event
Caravaggio favored dark
Annibale Carracci
Annibale Carracci, like Caravaggio,
brought new drama and light to
religious scenes.
But, unlike Caravaggio, Carracci worked in Fresco,
considered highly important at the time, and brought
more intense colors into play, carrying forward the
approach of the late Renaissance painters from Venice.
Annibale Carracci, The Dead Christ Mourned, 1604
National Gallery, London
Unusually, this
picture shows only
women mourners.
Christ rests on the
Virgin’s lap.
Saint Mary
Magdalene is
probably the
prominent kneeling
figure on the right.
Annibale Carracci,
Loves of the Gods,
Farnese Gallery
Bernini’s St. Peter’s
The Piazza and
Colonnade: The
Plaza was designed
to imitate two arms
reaching out from
St. Peters to
embrace the world
and welcome the
pilgrims visiting the
In Italy, the Baroque style is
reflected in opulent and
dramatic churches with
irregular shapes and
extravagant ornamentation.
Basilica di Santa Croce, Lecce
The High Altar with the Doctors of the Church and the
Cathedra Petri
St. Peter’s
Gilt bronze,
Height approx. 100 ft.
Bernini, The Ecstasy of St. Theresa, 1651,
Santa Maria della Vittoria, Roma
The sculptor represents the Saint fainting
on a cloud, her heart having been pierced
by an angel’s dart that infused her with
divine love.
Since the Counter-reformation stressed the
value of church members reliving Christ’s
Bernini induces an intense religious
experience in worshippers by creating not
only the statue but the chapel and all the
decorations that surround it.
By his skill Bernini made the marble flesh
seem to quiver with life, emotion, drama,
and passion.

The Baroque Era