Essay on Art: It underwent great change in the seventeenth century


Thus the artists of Baroque style sought by the skill and grandeur of their treatment to arouse the strongest possible emotions in the beholder. They made emphatic use of colour, gesture, ornamentation and movement and development style that tended to be grandiose and exaggerated in keeping with’ the spirit of times. One of the most outstanding artists of this style of art was Caravagio (1565- 1609), who painted religious themes with rare realism and solidarity.

In Spain Diego Velazquez (1599-1660) developed a new style of natu­ral painting which combined the sensuous exuberance of Rubens and mannerism of El Greco. He did not concentrate so much on the forms or surface as on the movement of light over those surfaces which imparted effect of utmost reality to his paintings. His style left a deep impact on the French impressionists of the nineteenth century.

In Holland art made great progress during the first half of the seven­teenth century. The notable artists of this period were Frans Hals (1580- 1666) who caught with great success the spontaneous fleeting expression of his portrait subjects. Jan Vermeer (1632-75) displayed subtle delicacy in handling the fall of subdued sunlight upon interior senses.


But the greatest painter of all times which lived in Holland during this period was Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69). He won great fame through this straight­forward and realistic works during early age. But later on he shifted to portraits and displayed great psychological and emotional qualities.

While Baroque style was highly popular, some artists continued to follow the tenets of classical art and reinforced it with reason.

A new form of architecture known as Baroque style, also flourished during the age of enlightenment. This new form of architecture is characterized by dynamism and fluidity. It created visual illusions to arouse an emotional response.

The most outstanding architect of this school was Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) who designed the Basilica of St. Peter by making use of vast spaces and carving lines. Bernini also made significant contributions to sculpture, painting etc.


Baroque style of architecture soon grew popular throughout Europe and was patronized by the Catholic church as well as the rulers. Louixs XIV built the luxurious palace at Versailles in Baroque style. In England, however, the Baroque style did not find much support. Still it did influ­ence the English architecture.

St. Paul’s Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren bears a clear testimony to this. This church is a blend of the classical and baroque architecture. The lantern atop its imposing dome and the two turrets flanking the facade were clearly taken from the Baroque style.

In France a new style known as Rococo style made its appearance in the beginning of the eighteenth century. This style mainly manifested itself in interior decoration and painting. Notable contributions to the development of this style of art were made by Jean Antoine Watteau, who died in 1721. He delicately blended the fantasy with acute observation of nature.

In mid-eighteenth century a new style of architecture known as Neoclassical style, made its appearance as a reaction against Baroque and Rococo styles. The best specimens of this style of architecture ‘are found in the Madeleine in Paris and Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. These two monuments were faithful copy of Roman temple and the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens respectively. .In colonial America the art found in reflection in Mount Vernon and mansion of Thomas Jefferson at Monticello.

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