Southern Baroque Art
“Baroque” is an all-encompassing term that has been used to describe an amazing number of seventeenth-century artists and architects: Caravaggio, Artemisia Gentileschi, Bernini, Poussin, and Velázquez to name a few. Rather than trying to convince you that they are in some way similar because they lived in the same era or that we can attribute their respective differences to individual genius, this course will approach the ways that meaningful art is the product of conflicting demands, failures and triumphs, personal initiatives and accidents in the face of social and historical pressures. While students will be introduced to the works of art produced by a select group of individuals from roughly 1590-1670, our focus will be on Rome as an extremely vital cosmopolitan center that was the site of a confluence of artists from all over Europe, an emergent, competitive art market and the spectacular architectural and sculptural patronage of the Roman Catholic church. Rome will be treated as the setting for the careers of seventeenth-century artists who made the city the way it appears today and shaped the direction of art in the modern era.