The Baroque in Italy Essay Sample

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1. What did Bernini desire to symbolize with his colonnade?
* “The motherly arms of the Church.” –meant embracing the church 2. What is a defining characteristic of Baroque art?
* Baroque art was usually large in scale because of its role to be propagandist in its religious subject. Paintings were usually strong in movement.

3. How did Carlo Maderno transform Michelangelo’s plan for St. Peter’s Basilica? * It extended, never destroyed. Made it more glorious for more people to fit and be inside.

4. How and why did Baroque artistic composition differ from the Renaissance style? *

5. What is the purpose of the sculpted theatre boxes in the Cornaro Chapel? * To witness the vision of Saint Teresa for themselves.

6. In what way does Bernini’s David intentionally contrast with Michelangelo’s David? * Michelangelo’s hero is at rest, in a movement of calm anticipation before confronting Goliath. In contrast, Bernini’s sculpture captures the young hero in the midst of action.

7. What was Bernini’s intended message with his Four Rivers Fountain? * Intended the obelisk to represent the triumph of the Roman Catholic Church over the rivers of the world, represented by the four large figures lying on the stones below- the Danube for Europe, the Nile for Africa, the Ganges for Asia, and the Plata for the Americas.

8. What is the Biblical message of Andrea Pozzo’s dramatic ceiling painting? * Refers to the Jesuit belief in the power of the gospel to transform the world.

9. Caravaggio was a master of tenebrism; briefly describe this painting technique. * It is a style of painting in which light is used to focus
attention on a single figure or particular figures in a composition, with the rest of the painting being in shadow and the background very dark. 10. Why did Artemesia Gentileschi’s indentify herself with the biblical character Judith? * Because Judith is a self-portrait of Artemisia. She transformed her personal tragedy in her painting, “Judith and Maidservant with Head of Holofernes.”

11. Why did Gabrieli organize his compositions around a single or tonic note? * The tonic note provided a focus for the composition. The ultimate resolution of the composition into the tonic, provides the heightened sense of harmonic drama that typifies the Baroque.

12. What was the inspiration of Monteverdi’s first opera?
* It was the musical drama of ancient Greek theater.

13. Why is The Four Seasons known as program music?
* It is purely instrumental music in some way connected to a story or idea.

14. Reading Critically: How would you describe the tone of this poem? Is it sincere? Playful? How does this tone affect how we understand its argument? *

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