AP Art History
Baroque & Rococo

Baroque Art (1600-1750) created a combination of the grand scale of the Renaissance to the emotion and intensity of the Mannerism. The term "Baroque" was used negatively to mean flashy, over-extravagant or ostentatious. The Baroque era began around 1600 with Catholic popes financing magnificent cathedrals and grand works of art as part of their 'Counter-Reformation' to recruit new worshippers.
Italian Baroque Painting and Sculpture

In Rome, art academies had been established since the Renaissance, so Baroque artists were already experts in the human figure. Italian Baroque artists thus created extremely detailed works of art set alive with dynamic emotion.

  • Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi), Entombment of Christ, 1602-03.
  • Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi), Crucifixion of St. Peter, 1600.
  • Bernini, David, 1660.
  • Artemesia Gentileschi, Judith and Maidservant with Head of Holofernes, 1625.
Italian Baroque Architecture

Highly decorative, flamboyant and curvy exteriors.

  • Gianlorenzo Bernini, Plaza of St. Peter's, 1656-67, Rome.
  • Borromini, San Carlo alle Quattro Fontaine, 1665-1667, Rome.
Flemish Baroque

The southern Netherlands (called Flanders and eventually Belgium) stayed Catholic during the Reformation, which is why religious paintings continued to dominate.

  • Peter Paul Rubens, Decent From The Cross, 1612.
  • Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Charles I at the Hunt, 1635.
Dutch Baroque

As opposed to its neighbor Flanders, Holland (or The Netherlands) was a democratic, Protestant country. Religious art was forbidden in its plain churches. With no connection to the Church, artists were creating for the general public. The style was realistic, but the subject matter was common and everyday, in the form of portraits, landscapes (with low, spacious horizons), detailed still lifes and genre paintings.

  • Fran Hals, The Jolly Toper (Merry Drinker), 1627.
  • Jacob van Ruisdael, Windmill at Wijk-bij-Duurst-ede, c1665.
  • Rembrandt van Rijn, Self-Portraits and The Nightwatch, 1642.
  • Jan Vermeer, Girl With Pearl Earring, 1665.
  • Willem Claez Heda, Still Life, 1649.
Spanish Baroque

The Spanish Baroque style was pretty much made up of Velazquez... he became a master painter by 18 and was made official portrait painter of King Phillip IV of Spain.

  • Diego Velazquez, Las Meninas, 1656.
  • Diego Velazquez, Pope Innocent X, 1650.


French Baroque

In the 1600s, France was the most powerful country in Europe, and King Louis XIV used his riches to make his palace the most glorious as well. With the creation of Versailles, France replaced Rome as the cultural capital for European art. Through propaganda, wars and great architectural works, Louis XIV launched a vast program designed for the glorification of France and his name. The Palace of Versailles, initially a tiny hunting lodge built by his father, was transformed by Louis XIV into a marvelous palace for meetings and parties: fountains danced; wandering revelers discovered hidden grottos in the gardens.

  • Versailles, c.1680.
  • Nicolas Poussin, Rape of the Sabine Women, 1640s.
  • Claude Lorrain