Baroque and Rococo

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The Baroque period of art began around the turn of the Sixteenth century. This period from around 1600-1750 AD, began a more secular view of the world. Art became accepted by the masses. Opera became popular and great emphasis was placed upon virtuosity and technical flair in music. Literature and thought became less religious (Benton, J. & DiYanna, R., 2002). The artists of this time were encouraged to express their own emotions in their art. The thought behind this was that if the artists could allow their feelings to flow, the feelings would then be more genuinely reflected in the art. The Baroque style is characterized by great light and dark within a painting to emphasize certain points as well as dramatic poses and theatrical compositions which lend more realism to the work. Optics and perspective became an important skill to develop as the artists attempted to mirror real life. Baroque art seemed formal, rigid and heavy. Many economic and social conditions appear to have contributed to the Baroque period. Christians were leaving the Catholic Church to join Protestant sects. The Catholic Church was weakening and losing influence and power due to financial abuses, corruption and other indulgences among the clergy. In response to the Protestant Reformation on European Society, The Council of Trent (responsible for the Counter-Reformation) made a mandate to create a form of art that, through realism, would stimulate faithfulness and religious zeal and ultimately could draw people back to the church. Thus, emotionally excess Baroque was established with its piety, morality, reason and self discipline. A more intellectual approach to the challenges of being human (Cunningham L., & Reich, J. 2002).
Directly following the Baroque period was the Rococo period. Rococo style of art appeared in the early Eighteenth century and was relatively brief, 1700

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