Today we are going to explore: Baroque Art. It is summer, and art is something that can be relaxing. The run time for this episode is 58:36
Waldemar Januszczak explores the world of Baroque Art. Baroque art spanned the 17th Century, spawning the greatest art. It began in St. Peter’s in Rome. It is an art form that embraces you. It goes big and highlights the drama. It could become dark and edgy. It blurred the divide between art and reality. The Baroque roped in other art forms to bring you into its world. Music, sculpture, and architecture were all impacted by the Baroque arts.
Januszczak begins his exploration of Baroque art in St. Peter’s Rome. He is on top of St. Peter’s Basilica and takes in the scene before him. He talks about the architecture behind St. Peter’s Square. Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed the square, and it could fit 300,000 people. Januszczak notices that the square is one giant hug. Baroque art spread all over Europe.
Januszczak makes his way to Northern Italy. He explores the site where the war of art started. The war of art was between the Protestants and the Catholics. Martin Luther was taking on the church and the whole of Italy when he presented his 99 Thesis. The Council of Trent was formed and the Catholic church plotted against the Protestants. Church officials planned their assault against the Protestants. The Catholic church loved their art and art had its power. Images did not have a place in the new Protestant Faith.
Januszczak examines a map that was created during this period. This map was produced in Amsterdam and the mapmaker would be employed by the East India Trading Company. The map highlights the great European capitals and what people wore.
Rome fought with its hands and the architecture grew prouder and showier. The Baroque went after people with all the arts at once. Painting dramatically changed during this period, and paintings were meant to grab your attention. Dramatic use of dark and light was used. Caravaggio was a master at the play of dark and light in his artwork. He was mostly forgotten in the period, only being rediscovered during the 20th Century. Januszczak feels disappointed at the modern interpretation of Caravaggio. Caravaggio was the most important painter of the Counter-Reformation. He did everything that the Council of Trent wanted. Before Caravaggio, religious art was out there, however, he set his artwork in the here and now. He reinvented art and used every Baroque trick in the book. Just because Caravaggio was good at his job did not mean the church approved of some of his paintings. Januszczak explores the paintings that were rejected. Were these paintings too beautiful for the world? Caravaggio’s influence spread throughout Europe and would transform local art.
Januszczak then talks about Portuguese explorers bringing back pearls and compares the mishappened pearls to the Baroque period while the perfectly formed pearls are like the Renaissance. Rome is a city shaped by the Baroque period. Januszczak explores the architecture of Rome and walks among many treasures. He attempts to draw the plan of one of the buildings. He talks about the creators of the Baroque period. The Baroque period was when the lines of art and architecture were blurred.
Januszczak continues to explore the churches and the art of Rome. He stands before a sculpture of St. Teresa of Avila. The sculpture shows an angel piercing the heart of the saint. It was one of the masterpieces of the Baroque period. So what else does Januszczak learn about the Baroque period? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out more.
Number one, I cannot believe that I found another Januszczak documentary. Lately, the channels I normally use for documentaries have been posting excellent documentaries. Januszczak is an excellent narrator for this series, sorry Rick Steves, I feel it when Januszczak talks about the Baroque period. This would be a very good documentary series to show to an art class because of the heavy emphasis on art and the artists. I could potentially see using this episode in a STEM class because of his discussion on architecture. This is a strong start to this series on the Baroque period.
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