Glories of the Baroque: 17th-Century European Art.
Through September 28, 2014
Artists in seventeenth-century Europe changed aesthetics towards a focus on greater realism, dynamic forms, and dramatic compositions. This Baroque style—developed in and often associated with Rome—spread to affect visual and decorative arts, architecture, and urban design across Europe. The small focus installation Glories of the Baroque features important contributions by two non-Romans who helped shape the development and dissemination of this movement, as well as other works from the period in the Museum’s collection.
Though French by birth, Simon Vouet (1590-1649) studied painting in Rome and became one of the most important artists developing the new Baroque style. On display will be the chalk drawing Two Philosophers, a recent gift to the Museum. Two Philosophers is considered to be a sketch for one of Vouet’s impressive frescoes dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi for the Alaleoni Chapel in San Lorenzo, Lucina, Rome. Vouet is credited with bringing the Baroque painting style to France when he returned at the behest of Louis XIV to participate in the ceiling decoration of Versailles and other royal residencies.
Vincenzo Dandini (1607-1675) was a Florentine painter who also made long-overlooked contributions to the Baroque movement. Dandini’s painting St. Mark the Evangelist—on loan to the Museum by Sir Mark Haukohl in honor of Mark Watson III and Mark Watson IV—illustrates many of the style’s important characteristics. The painting’s intense realism, dramatic lighting, and portrayal of St. Mark as a recognizable character drawn from everyday life are typically Baroque.