Art Criticism Of The Baroque Era

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The Musicians “In art criticism, the word Baroque came to be used to describe anything irregular, bizarre, or otherwise departing from established rules and proportions,” (Britannica, 2016). Caravaggio, born Michelangelo Merisi (1571), an Italian painter, can be said almost single-handedly to have created the Baroque style during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. None other can be more appropriately defined as “Baroque” than Caravaggio; his character, like his art, was confrontational and uncompromising, and both loved and hated. “He introduced a powerfully frank realism and dramatic, theatrical lighting and gesture into Italian Baroque art. Caravaggio’s unvarnished realism and tenebrism influenced nearly every important European artist of the seventeenth century.”(Stokstad, Cothren). By the end of the 16th century, art began to break away from the refined and disciplined style of mannerism, heavily influenced by the Counter-Reformation of the Church, and emergence of powerful monarchies. This movement comes to be known as the Baroque Era. Baroque artists were particularly focused on natural forms, spaces, color, and the use of light in order to create a strong emotional experience; almost theatrically, inviting the viewer to participate in the story. The Catholic Church found itself needing to influence and rebuild its following; turned its’ attention to the arts. The Counter-Reformation used the arts to appeal as much to the emotions and knowledge
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