Encompassing the socio-political, cultural background of the period, this book takes a fresh look at the careers ofthe Baroque Masters and many lesser-known artists. The book focuses on art from Italy, Flanders, Spain, France, the Dutch Republic and England.
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This important new introduction to the major developments in art and architecture that emerged from seventeenth-century Western Europe bridges the gap between the specialized study and a more general survey. Seventeenth-Century Art and Architecture encompasses the socio-political and cultural background of the period. In the process it examines the careers of the most significant painters, sculptors, and architects, and those of less well-known artists.
Italy is the logical place to begin this geographical tour of Europe, not least because it was a magnet for Flemish and French artists, and because Italian artists were highly prized by the Spanish, French, and English courts. In Bologna and Rome, Annibale Carracci and Caravaggio embarked upon a stylistic revolution that deposed the international Mannerist style. The Counter-Reformation Church in Rome offered so many opportunities for artists that the city secured its position as the most vital European artistic center.
Subsequent chapters focus on Flanders, Spain, France, the Dutch Republic, and England. The increasing influence of secular patronage is reflected in the popularity of mythological and biblical themes with obvious erotic content. Commissions that had hitherto been the exclusive privilege of the Church, monarchy, aristocrats, and major guilds now originated from upper middle-class patrons seeking portraits of themselves and their families, landscapes of their own terrain, genre scenes for their entertainment, and still-lifes reflecting their sophisticated tastes.
Major artists covered include Bernini, Borromini, Caravaggio, Carracci, Claude, Girardon, Guercino, Hals, Jones, Le Brun, Le Van, Murillo, Poussin, Rembrandt, Reni, Ribera, Rubens, Ruisdael, Steen, Van Dyck, Velazquez, Vermeer, Wren, and Zurbaran. The seventeenth century also witnessed the emergence of successful women painters such as Artemisia Gentileschi and Clara Peeters, who receive due attention here.
Covering artistic developments across six countries and examining in detail many of the artworks on display, this book demonstrates considerable breadth and depth. Reflecting the latest developments in research, it is more substantial and up-to-date than any comparable survey. Written with great clarity, knowledge, and affection, it is a true tribute to its subject.About the Author:
Ann Sutherland Harris is Professor of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. A specialist in both Italian and French seventeenth-century art, her publications include Andrea Sacchi, Selected Drawings by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and (with Linda Nochlin) Women Artists, 1550-1950, as well as numerous articles and reviews.
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