French Baroque 1600-1750
Europe in the 1600s was at the end of Counter Reformation, and as the political and cultural shifts took place, we begin to see art, particularly in France, influenced more and more, by the ruling monarchy. The transition from Mannerism into Baroque is not clear, but eventually the arts started to adopt a new look. And feel. Paintings started to become more exuberant, dynamic and ornamented. The scale of work produced during this time increased dramatically. Where Mannerism marked a departure from classical and realistic norms, Baroque becomes a return to these norms, but with an emotional undertow and visual tension. However, through the Baroque pursuit of eloquence, it abandoned the precious and contorted…show more content… The light is always obscured by another element in the painting, which gives it a more dramatic, more human feel, with greater depth. The emotional effect of this is very intimate and human. The duplicitous nature of shadow and light in a La Tour painting could be seen as a metaphor for the good and bad contained within human nature. It is also vague enough to be open to multiple interpretations. In any interpretation this duality is almost given more importance than the subject matter.
The personality of Nicolas Poussin was contrary to La Tour, though both were very rational and humanistic. Poussin sought to enter into the person of his subject, to become immersed in psychological analysis. He combines his love of virtue and his love of landscape by placing tragic figures in richly interesting and complexly constructed, “heroic” landscapes. He produced some of the most demanding, yet satisfying landscape paintings in western culture. He believed passionately that the disposition of the painting as a whole could be constructed to covey a mood or emotion. He also had a unique combination of pagan and Christian themes, often giving a poetic treatment to subjects from classic mythology and ancient history. Poussin was a classicist for whom the aesthetic values of antiquity represented not only a formal ideal, but also a moral standard, a way conceiving a form that cannot be separated from the good and true.
The Death of Germanicus marks the beginning of