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  • 1. Baroque in Flanders
    • Rubens,Allegory on the Outbreak of War
  • Mars has left the Temple of Janus open, normally closed during times of peace
  • Venus and Cupids try to restrain Mars
  • Fury Alecto, torch in hand, pulls him forward
  • Below woman with a broken lute: harmony is destroyed
  • Mother and child indicate fertility cannot bloom
  • Fallen architect symbolizes the fall of civilization
  • Mars literally tramples on literature
  • Crying woman in black is Europe
  • Strong diagonals and masterful use of color
  • Painterly brushstroke
  • Baroque dynamics and composition
  • Developed musculature

2. Baroque in Flanders

  • Rubens,Arrival of Marie deMedici at Marseilles
  • Part of the Marie deMedici cycle of 21 paintings in the Louvre
  • Real people exist side-by-side with nymphs, sea monsters, naiads, genii
  • Neptune and the three sirens, a sea god and a triton escort the boat in the harbor
  • France in blue cape with gold fleur-de-lis falls to his knees before Marie
  • Fame salutes her with two trumpets
  • Arms of the Medici over the arch of the boat
  • Commander of ship wears a cross of the Knights of Malta, is a sharp counterpoint to the other figures in the painting
  • Dynamic movement
  • Rich vivid color
  • Heavily muscled men; ample females
  • Union of Northern and Italian painting that started with Drer

3. Baroque in Flanders

  • Van Dyck,Charles I Dismounted
  • Unstressed royal authority
  • A king and a cavalier
  • Venetian landscape with the Thames behind
  • Charles has dismounted and his horse is being held for him
  • He glances sharply at us from the side
  • Haughty pose
  • Van Dyck established the tradition of the graceful monarch, regal yet at ease

4. Baroque in Spain

  • Velazquez,Surrender of Breda
  • Battle in 1625, Dutch forced to yield Breda to the Spanish
  • Magnanimity, humanity and valor of the victors is stressed
  • Dutch on left seen as youthful, disorganized
  • Spanish on right are dignified, with lances indicating their military precision
  • Key to the city is emphasized in the center
  • Emotional tone of generosity and mutual respect
  • Effect of the battle seen in the smoky background
  • Topography is accurate: artist interviewed participants in the battle and consulted other renderings of the area
  • Light and color are compositional devices that unify the elements

5. Baroque in Spain

  • Velazquez,Las Meninas
  • Velzquez working on a huge canvas that could not fit through the door of the room. He pauses and takes a step back to study us.
  • Velzquez wears the Cross of the Order of Santiago, a symbol of nobility: painter enjoyed a court appointment and desired respect
  • Princess Margarita with two maids-in-waiting is the central focus of the painting
  • Dwarves on right; Philip IV had a large collection of dwarves, no abnormalities are glossed over by Velzquez
  • Blurring of figures on right suggests painters understanding of peripheral vision
  • Older woman is lady of honor, wears a nuns outfit to indicate she is a widow
  • Man in conversation with her is her escort

6. Baroque in Spain

  • Velazquez,Las Meninas (continued)
  • Silhouetted man is Jos Nieto, aposentador of the Queen, head of the Queens tapestry works, rests his hand on a tapestry as he goes out, but pauses
  • Regular rhythm of the frames on the back wall anchors composition as opposed the irregular rhythm of the groups
  • Paintings above are works that illustrate mortals who challenged the gods
  • Perspective pulls you into the painting, but the mirror reflects out
  • Extension laterally: canvas on easel, windows
  • Alternating darks and lights reach into the painting
  • King and Queen are in the mirror, but what is being reflected? The painting Velzquez is working on? The King and Queen themselves? A portrait of the King and Queen hanging on the opposite wall?
  • What is Velzquez painting? This group? A painting of this painting? The King and Queen?

7. Dutch Painters of the Baroque

  • Characteristics of Dutch Art:
  • No church or aristocracy to commission paintings
  • Art has a bourgeois character
  • Paintings used to cover bare walls, give pleasure to the eye
  • Cheerful subjects, unpleasant ones are given a humorous slant
  • Artists worked on the open market, not for patrons: specialization according to subject matter
  • Small paintings for small homes
  • Subjects were easily understandable, some allegorical representations, no religious ecstasies and few pagan myths


  • Judith Leyster,Self-Portrait
  • Smile: she greets us casually, as does the fiddler
  • Self-assured, charming, sociable
  • Meets the viewers gaze, as if to speak to us
  • Signed her paintings with her initials and a star, punning meaning of her name leading star
  • Well-dressed while painting
  • Quick sure brushstrokes

9. Dutch Painters of the Baroque

  • Steen,The Feast of Saint Nicholas
  • Genre painting
  • Saint Nicholas has visited the children with various results
  • A girl grabs her doll as her mother pleads to look at it, or perhaps asks her to share
  • Boy at left is crying over his disappointed gift
  • Chaos in search for gifts
  • Man on right points out to small child how Saint Nicholas descended the chimney
  • Ten figures in a complex arrangement
  • Complicated series of diagonals unify figures that seem to bend this way and that in reflection of one another
  • Adult meaning to this childrens scene

10. Dutch Painters of the Baroque

  • Jacob van Ruisdael,View of Haarlem from the Dunes at Overveen
  • Flat horizon of the Netherlands: sky takes up of painting
  • Sullen clouds, dramatically painted
  • Receding spaces through dark and light passages
  • Bleaching linen manufactured in Holland
  • Long strips of treated cloth were spread out to bleach in the fields
  • Openness and height, very distant and elevated point-of-view


  • Frans Hals,Archers of Saint Hadrian
  • Responsible citizen mentality among the Dutch
  • No static arrangements; no interaction
  • Strong horizontal emphasis with vertical spears punctuating the composition
  • Left group around dominant figure of Col. Johan Claez. Loo, his cane indicates his authority
  • Right group is a separate unit: Lt. Hendrick Gerritsz. Pot holds a book (minutes of meeting?)
  • Back to back groups
  • Distinct individuality of figures
  • Dynamically grouped with strong diagonals of composition

12. Dutch Painters of the Baroque

  • Rembrandt,Anatomy Lesson of Doctor Tulp
  • First great commission
  • Dutch law: open cadavers of executed criminals only, allowed for entertainment purposes like this
  • Specific anatomy lesson in January 1632
  • Lessons took 4-5 days, Descartes may have attended this one
  • Dr. Tulp is singled out seated in a chair of honor
  • He wears a broad rimmed hat: academic badge of chairman
  • His hands (alone) are prominently shown
  • Cadavers body compared to the book at right
  • Caravaggesque background
  • Figures stare out into space

13. Dutch Painters of the Baroque

  • Rembrandt,The Night Watch
  • 18 men portrayed in the commission, represented according to how much they paid, but 29 figures in total, 2 figures cut off when the painting was cut down at left
  • Civic guard group getting ready for a march, makes for a lively composition
  • Captain Frans Banning Cocq holds a baton in right hand and wears a red sash, wears a gorget of steel barely visible under his white collar
  • Captain gestures as if to speak
  • Orders given to his lieutenant to march forward
  • Central figures come forward
  • Use of musket shown: musketeer in red is charging his musket by transferring powder into the muzzle from one of the wooden cartridges attached to his bandolier
  • Figure behind Cocq is firing musket
  • Third figure behind lieutenant is clearing the pan by blowing off the powder that remained there after the shot