Baroque architecture was designed to produce spectacle and illusion– changing the straight lines of the Renaissance with flowing curves, domed roofing systems, and colorful interiors. The master of this method was Gian Lorenzo Bernini, credited with producing the Baroque sculptural style. He designed grand religious spaces like St. Artemisia Gentileschi and aggrandized the interiors of St. Peter’s Basilica. Those pursuing an art history degree can visit Bernini’s visionary work in Vatican City, and take in a few of the most marvelous Baroque architecture in the world.

The Italian Baroque period was a movement in art, design, and architecture that began in Rome in the late 16th Century. The movement was started by the Catholic Church, which looked for to keep and broaden its influence throughout the Protestant Reformation. Known primarily for its ornateness and control of space, Baroque art and architecture looked for to wow audiences with its grandeur and spectacle compared to the more staid, academic Protestant, and reformed churches. Starting in the late 1500s, the Baroque style is frequently divided into 3 periods: Early Baroque (1584-1625), High Baroque (1625-1675), and Late Baroque ((1675-1750). As its popularity spread throughout Europe, structures in various nations, consisting of France, England, Spain, and Scandinavian countries, began to be affected by the movement.

Some of the qualities most regularly connected with the Baroque are grandeur, sensuous richness, drama, dynamism, movement, stress, emotional vitality, and a tendency to blur differences between the various arts. In its most normal manifestations, Baroque art is characterized by fantastic drama, abundant, deep colour, and extreme light and dark shadows, but the classicism of French Baroque painters like Poussin and Dutch category painters such as Vermeer are also covered by the term, at least in English.

The Baroque style is characterized by overstated motion and clear detail used to produce drama, vitality, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, architecture, literature, dance, and music. Baroque iconography was direct, obvious, and dramatic, meaning to appeal above all to the senses and the feelings.

Roman soldiers were directed to a pure water source by a young girl in 19BC. The discovery of the site is stated to have influenced Emperor Augustus to develop a fountain that served Romans for over 400 years as a public bath, wishing well, and the source of the “Agua Virgo” (virgin water) aqueduct, named after the girl in the story. The charm of Rome’s baroque art contributes to the energy and drama of this unique city, and help to cement (or shape) its status as an incredible research study abroad location.

To figure out which paintings, sculptures, and structures are Baroque. The Church aimed to display parables and religious styles through bright, life-like public art that could tug at individuals’s feelings. Baroque brushwork is velvety and broad (“thick impasto”), with highly pigmented and contrasting color palettes. Sculptures feature glamorous materials like marble, bronze, and gold. Action and movement: Baroque art utilizes swirling spirals and upward diagonals to convey the illusion of motion. New techniques of “tenebrism” (bright, dramatic lighting) and “chiaroscuro” (high light/dark contrasts) were established to make figures appear realistic and dramatic.

Modern art history schools teach that Caravaggio put the oscuro (dark) into chiaroscuro. A prominent Baroque painter in Rome from 1592 to 1610– at which time he was banished for killing a guy in a bar brawl– Caravaggio’s tumultuous personal life is said to have affected his dramatic, emotionally resonant masterpieces. He discovered success due to his mastery of dramatic light and depth that make much of his paintings appear almost 3D. Saint Matthew, the very first of Jesus’ apostles, was a preferred subject of Caravaggio’s paintings. Students who visit the Church of St. Louis of the French can see firsthand the brush strokes that make Saint Matthew’s life, martyrdom, and divine motivation come alive.