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Humanities Libertexts

9.1: Overview

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    56315
  • The beginning of colonization was dominated by the superpowers in Europe, changing the world and local culture forever, decimating indigenous populations. The stylistic, intricate art of the Baroque and Rococo periods was a depiction of the broader cultural and intellectual divides in Europe. Although the art methods of the Baroque and Rococo may have traveled to other continents through imperialism, it is not always reflected in the art produced in other countries. Art outside of Europe was thriving in Asia, North America, and Africa in other forms with a different look and feel than the Baroque art in Europe; art designed to fit the culture and materials of the country where the artist resided.

    After the Renaissance, new methods and styles developed by artists were everywhere. During the Baroque period, lighting in painting became an essential element, how the use of dark colors created shadows and depth in a painting. The color may appear to be deep brown or black, but close examination reveals a full mixture of dark colors created with successive glazes of color.

    The focus of the painting would be the light source and the highlighted object. Robust and focused light created dark, mysterious shadows, enhanced the object, and drew the eye to a particular point in the scene. Indirect lighting is the illusion of light from a source unable to see in the painting, emphasizing the object against the dark background.

    For thousands of years, artists have been painting on wood panels or fresco surfaces. Canvas stretched over wooden bars became the norm for most artists providing a stable surface covered with Gesso. Canvas is a product made with woven cotton, was sealed with a paint type substance called Gesso. The gesso produced during the Baroque is known as Italian Gesso or glue gesso mixed from chalk, an animal binder (glue), and white pigment. The gesso was painted on the canvas to protect the oil paint from seeping into the canvas.

    The texture was an essential part of all Baroque and Rococo paintings. The artist must paint a realistic look of the texture in a painting, which can be very difficult. The fabrics of the period were silk, cotton, velvet, fur, all highly stylized, and artists had to bring those textures to life. The texture was also crucial in the bronze and ivory work of the Benin to create an exact image of the Oba.

    This chapter, The Beginning of Colonization (1550 CE – 1750 CE), is divided into the Baroque/Rococo art periods in Europe, demonstrating the influence colonization had in Mexico and the art styles occurring in other parts of the world. Some of the styles span a few decades, and others may represent the long reign of a government.

    Movement

    Time Frame

    Starting Location

    Northern European Baroque

    1580s– early 1700

    Netherlands

    Italian Baroque

    1580 – early 1700

    Italy

    Spanish Baroque

    1580 – early 1700

    Spain

    Mexican Baroque

    1640 – mid 1700s

    Mexico

    Rococo

    1730 – 1760

    France

    Benin Kingdom

    1100 – 1897

    West Africa

    Mughal Period

    1526 – 1857

    India

    Qing Period

    1636 – 1911

    China

    Kano School

    Late 15th century –1868

    Japan

    Although each earlier period and style of art had thousands of artists creating a variety of artwork, some artists gained fame in their lifetime or recognition by later discoveries. Beginning with the Renaissance, artists were no longer a numbered artisan in a workshop but talented people who received individual support from wealthy patrons and signed their name to their work.

    Artist

    Country

    Approx. Birth

    Movement

    Peter Breughel the Elder

    Netherlands

    1525

    Northern European Baroque

    Rembrandt van Rijn

    Netherlands

    1606

    Northern European Baroque

    Johannes Vermeer

    Netherlands

    1632

    Northern European Baroque

    Pieter Hooch

    Netherlands

    1629

    Northern European Baroque

    Caravaggio

    Italy

    1571

    Italian Baroque

    Artemisia Gentileschi

    Italy

    1593

    Italian Baroque

    Gian Lorenzo Bernini

    Italy

    1598

    Italian Baroque

    Diego Velazquez

    Spain

    1599

    Spanish Baroque

    Bartholome Murillo

    Spain

    1618

    Spanish Baroque

    Jeronimo de Balbas

    Mexico

    1680

    Mexican Baroque

    Lorenzo Rodriguez

    Mexico

    1704

    Mexican Baroque

    Sebastian Lopez de Arteaga

    Mexico

    1610

    Mexican Baroque

    Cristobal de Villallpando

    Mexico

    1645

    Mexican Baroque

    Francoise Boucher

    France

    1703

    French Rococo

    Jean-Honore Fragonard

    France

    1732

    French Rococo

    Elisabeth Louise Vigee-LeBrun

    France

    1755

    French Rococo

    Unknown

    Nigeria

    Benin Kingdom

    Farrukh Beg

    India

    1545

    Mughal Period

    Ustad Mansur

    India

    1590

    Mughal Period

    Ustadf Ahmad Lahauari

    India

    1580

    Mughal Period

    Wang Hui

    China

    1632

    Qing Period

    Shitao

    China

    1642

    Qing Period

    Kano Eitoku

    Japan

    1543

    Kano School

    Hasegawa Tohaku

    Japan

    1539

    Kano School

    The Renaissance was the time of rebirth, a time of change, and time of reformation in Europe. Complex religious disputes between the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformation drove art into a new direction in Europe. The Baroque period began just before the turn of the 17th century, and the art imitated religious tensions. Rome was the center of the Baroque movement, and it spread outward to all of Europe. The Vatican reasserted itself and ordered large buildings, sculptures, and paintings to glorify their divine majesty in competition with the counter-reformation art.

    Baroque is from the Portuguese barocco, meaning irregular pearl or stone.

    Baroque architecture replaced the conventional Renaissance designs with flowing twists and the effective use of light to create grand illusions or space. It was theatrical, emotional, and emphasized a magnificent story about the church. Royalty also built massive castles with enchanted themes designed to amaze visitors. Baroque art was large-scale paintings and ceiling frescoes filled with biblical themes or allegorical masterpieces, containing swirling, moving figures, heightening the sense of wonderment. Baroque sculpture was carved more substantial than life with dramatic visual movement telling a story as the viewer circumnavigated the statue.