Northern Baroque Painting

High School ・Architecture ・MLA

The profound cultural and political changes that occurred in Ancient Europe was represented by Baroque painting. The painting was characterized by many styles but classically, it was associated with two things: grandeur and emotional content. In a more dramatic manner, Baroque painters were in pursuit of evoking emotions through their art. In the 17th century, the year Baroque art emerged, the reason why artist chose to appeal to viewers in this particular way was because Europe had rose to become one of the most two competing powerful forces during that period. For this reason, the Baroque was majorly used for the representation of power and authority. The two authorities wer people that gave full support to the Catholic Church. These were the Divine Kings of Austria, Great Britain, Spain and France. The other side constituted of the protestant movement. The followers of the Catholic Church adopted the use of art and paintings to get to their congregation and impress them. They built high-end churches decorating them with paintings on the walls and the ceilings. They employed the use of quadrature techniques to heighten the piety and to convey their intended magnificence of the divine. Other characteristics that define Baroque art include; classicism and realism or absolutism. An example of artists who were inspired by classism were; Claude Lorraine, Peter Paul Rubens and Nicholas Poussin while the classic example of naturalism was Caravaggio. Baroque art also exhaustively made use of the painting skills of famous painters like Pietro da Cortona. These skills continue to inspire art up to date. Baroque art is celebrated all over the world because of its ability to tell stories. The paintings told stories of histories of dynasties, lives of saints, myths and lives of ancient heroes.

Examples of Baroque painting

Image 1: Samson and Delilah (1609-1610) by Peter Paul Rubens, the great Flemish Baroque painter. Source:

Image 2: The Apotheosis of St Ignatius (1694) San Ignazio, Rome, by Pozzo. One of the Baroque's most inspiring religious paintings ever created. Source:

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