Italian Painting From The Baroque Era

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Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation had really stirred the religious pot. In the early 1600’s, the Catholic Church responded with the Counter Reformation which propelled the Baroque movement and its artistic aim of making Catholic theology appeal to the masses. Biblical stories with drama and movement were some of the ways Baroque artists sought to engage the viewer. Baroque dominated most of the seventeenth century Europe and later developed into the Rococo style later during the eighteenth century. Begun in the 1700’s, the Rococo Era was art of the aristocracies for the aristocracies. It was technically flashy, but without deep thought or emotional drama, the Rococo celebrated the leisure activities of the upper class. The Rococo style is above all an expression of wit and frivolity. Rococo style signaled the shift from Rome to Paris as the new capital of culture and fashion in Europe. Both styles were influenced by political, social and religious factors, and there are profound differences between the two styles. For this essay, I chose to compare an Italian painting from the Baroque era with a French painting from the Rococo Era. The two paintings I chose to compare and analyze are Luca Giordano’s Martyrdom of St. Bartolomeo, and Jean-Marc Nattier’s Terpsichore, Muse of Music and Dance.
Luca Giordano’s Martyrdom of St. Bartolomeo from ca 1660 is a painting of martyrdom, in which the human suffering of the saint is shown against a dark background. The painting is in

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