Baroque: The Visual Encyclopedia of Art” explores the captivating and diverse expressions of the Baroque age, a period whose definition remains debated among critics and historians. In its commonly accepted interpretation, Baroque art emerged in the 17th century, with Rome as its sumptuous epicentre, challenging the proportions and static harmony of the Renaissance. The Baroque movement disrupted the foundations already undermined by Mannerism in the previous century, employing curves, dynamic forms, illusionism, and theatricality to create a visually striking experience. Key figures such as Bernini, Borromini, da Cortona, and Rubens exemplify the transformative power of Baroque art.
While theatrical expressions were prominent, the art of the 17th century encompassed a range of contrasting trends. Caravaggio’s works embraced naturalism, the Carraccis and Poussin embraced classicism, Vermeer offered intimate scenes, and Rembrandt and Velazquez crafted atmospheric paintings. The advent of the 18th century witnessed the birth of Rococo in France, characterized by its ethereal forms, arabesques, elegance, and luminous colour palettes in painting, sculpture, and architecture. Departing from heroic or sacred themes, Rococo portrayed a more lighthearted perspective, capturing aristocratic and everyday life with elements of joy and frivolity. Noteworthy artists of this style included Watteau, Fragonard, Boucher, Canaletto, and Bellotto in painting, while Neumann and the magnificent Residenz in Wurzburg stood out in architecture.
With its lavish illustrations, insightful analyses, and comprehensive coverage, “Baroque: The Visual Encyclopedia of Art” invites readers to delve into the complexities and rich diversity of the Baroque age. It offers a profound understanding of the art, culture, and historical context that shaped this influential period, capturing the grandeur and the nuanced nuances of artistic expressions that define Baroque art. This book is an invaluable resource for art enthusiasts, scholars, and anyone seeking to explore the fascinating tapestry of the Baroque era.