Objectives Of Baroque Art

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Objectives of Baroque Religious Art Similarly, Bernini perfectly exemplifies the style and purpose of the Baroque religious art in his work St. Theresa in Ecstasy, created for the Cornaro Chapel of the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome. Bernini designed the entire chapel, a subsidiary space along the side of the church, for the Cornaro family. In his work, Bernini portrays a critical moment in the life of Teresa of Avila. Teresa was a Spanish nun that was later made a saint. When she was 40 years old she began to experience mystical religious visions. In her writings, she described the love of God as piercing her heart like a burning arrow (“Baroque Art and Architecture”). Bernini literalizes this image by placing St. Teresa on a cloud while an “implicitly erotic swoon” holds a golden arrow and smiles down at her (Sayre 810). The angelic figure is not preparing to plunge the arrow into her heart; rather, he has withdrawn it, leaving St. Teresa in a state of pure satisfaction. What is amazing about this piece is not just the sculpture itself, but also the fact that it was positioned underneath a marble canopy from which rays of light come in through and therefore light the statue from above as if it were the light of Christ. Also, the light rays and arrow are made from bronze, as to better reflect the light and further enhance the dramatic feel of the piece. Other unique features that give this piece a true Baroque feeling of grandeur and involvement is the placement of the Cornaro family. The life-size marble recreations of the family lean out into the chapel as if they were witnessing the vision of St. Teresa for themselves. Similarly, the dramatic contrasts of the light and dark tones serve to move the viewers and draw them into the emotional element of the representation at hand. Standing in front of the sculpture makes the
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