Lesson 17: Baroque Art

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What You Will Learn:

  • Explore All Art Movements and Periods

    You will learn about all the leading art movements and periods, such as primitive art, ancient Greek art, the Renaissance, Romanticism, Impressionism, Modernism, and contemporary art. There is also a lot of attention to non-Western art, such as Islamic Art, Hindu Art, Chinese Art, Oceanic Art and African Art, and the globalization of the art world.

  • All Famous Artists and Their Masterpieces

    The course covers important artists like Sultan Muhammad, Fan Kuan, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Utagawa Hiroshige, Vincent van Gogh, Ilya Repin, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Banksy and many more, and discusses their most influential works.

  • Cultural and Historical Context

    Our courses also focus on the study of the cultural, social, political, and economic contexts in which artworks are created.

  • Various Media and Techniques

    You will explore different art forms and techniques, such as painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and digital art.

Introduction to this course:


The Baroque, a style period from around 1600 to 1750, was known for its lavish forms. Especially in churches from this period, you can become acquainted with richly decorated Baroque altars. The church princes of that time were more interested in beautifully decorating their places of worship than in truly experiencing their faith. But paintings, buildings, and statues were also produced in the Baroque style. In the Baroque, painting and sculpture often formed an integral part of the architecture. The word “baroque” came from the Italian term ‘barocco’, which meant whimsical. The style period of Baroque art originated in Italy, especially in Rome, and was characterized by a riot of forms, oblique and wavy lines, asymmetrical arrangements, twisting movements, the use of diagonals, and a strong presence of realism. There was a great intensity in expressing feelings. These emotional effects were achieved in part through the use of chiaroscuro in paintings, which the Italians called chiaroscuro, and through the broad and vigorous gestures of the depicted figures, both in painting and in sculpture. With chiaroscuro, the painters left the background of their composition dark, while they placed the foreground in the light. The painters left ambiguous where the light came from in this technique. In sculpture, the marble statues almost all depict snapshots, on which the feeling of the depicted figure at that specific moment is strikingly expressed. It seems as if the statues are “frozen” in the moment. The Baroque is also seen as the symbol of the triumphant Roman Catholic Church over the Reformation, and the power of the absolute monarchy, of which the French king Louis XIV, known as the Sun King, was a telling example.

Het barokke St. Pietersplein in Vaticaanstad, ontworpen door Bernini in de 17de eeuw.Image: The Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City is filled with Baroque style elements. The image was taken from the roof of Saint Peter’s Basilica. The square, measuring 340 meters in length and 240 meters in width, was designed and built between 1656 and 1667, initiated by Pope Alexander VII, by the sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Bernini wrote in a letter that the two colonnades symbolized ‘the arms of Christ embracing the world’.
Location: The Saint Peter’s Square is located in Vatican City, an independent city-state in the center of the Italian capital, Rome.

Baroque art spread like an ink blot across all forms of artistic expression, from architecture to music and from painting to sculpture, and the design of Baroque gardens. This style period was divided into early, high, and late Baroque, which is also referred to as rococo. This last period lasted approximately from the year 1700 to the year 1760.

In 1684 kochten koning-stadhouder Willem III en koningin Mary II het middeleeuwse ‘t Huys op ‘t Loo, het huidige Kasteel Het Oude Loo in Apeldoorn. Willem III was een liefhebber van de jacht en de aanleg van tuinen. Vandaar dat hij op deze plek een barokke tuin liet aanleggen met waterpartijen, barokke beelden en bijzondere planten. Hij vond zijn inspiratie in de tuinen van Versailles van Lodewijk XIV. Dankzij de lage ligging van het terrein beschikte hij over stromend water voor de planten in de tuinen. De 13 meter hoog spuitende fontein was in de 17de eeuw de hoogste fontein van Europa. De tuin had ook een religieuze betkenis. Het stond symbool voor een paradijs in de woestenij, zoals de Bijbelse Hof van Eden. De waterrijke tuin ligt namelijk midden in de droge gronden van de Veluwe. 
Locatie: Kasteel het Loo ligt aan de rand van Apeldoorn aan het Koninklijk Park 16. De parkeerplaats bevindt zich aan de Amersfoortseweg. 
Image: In 1684, King-Stadtholder William III and Queen Mary II purchased the medieval ‘t Huys op ‘t Loo, now known as Castle Het Oude Loo in Apeldoorn. William III was a fan of hunting and designing gardens. Therefore, he had a Baroque garden constructed here with water features, Baroque statues, and special plants. He found his inspiration in the gardens of Versailles of Louis XIV, the then king of France and Navarre. Thanks to the low location of the Het Loo grounds, he had flowing water for the plants in the gardens. The 13-meter high spouting fountain was the highest fountain in Europe in the 17th century. The garden also had a religious significance. It symbolized a paradise in the wilderness, like the Biblical Garden of Eden. The water-rich garden is situated in the middle of the dry lands of the Veluwe.
Location: Castle Het Loo is located on the outskirts of Apeldoorn at Koninklijk Park 16. The entrance to the parking lot is on the Amersfoortseweg.

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