CARAVAGGIO-BERNINI.BAROK IN ROME;
THE BAROK THEMES ARE STILL RELEVANT TODAY
This special exhibition tells the story of the enormous artistic élan in Rome and the radical innovations
in art, roughly between 1600 and 1640. With Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio as the master
of chiaroscuro, dramatic narration and the direct message, aiming at a shock effect on the viewer.
And Gian Lorenzo Bernini as a genius all-rounder, who pushed the boundaries of sculpture to the limit.
The entourage of the Rijksmuseum and this Corona era fit in well. Missing a piece of moving
background music, such as an opera by Caccini, I took for granted.
THE POWER OF INNOVATION
At the beginning of the 17th century, Rome is the cultural place to be in Europe. From all over Europe, artists come to the Eternal City. They are attracted by the remains of Antiquity, the new impetus of the Catholic Church and the innovative art of Caravaggio and Bernini. This innovation eventually reached so far, that these barok craftsmen inspired many next generations, including our Dutch Masters. That is why I bought the book “Rembrandt – Caravaggio” after the exhibition; a direct confrontation between the two masters, who are both world famous for their portrayal of emotion, use of light, realism and dynamics. More about this in a next blog 🙂
THE POWER OF COMMUNICATION
Based on this powerful Baroque style (Barocco), Caravaggio and Bernini seduce their audience with works of art that contain a lot of emotion (affetti), so that the viewer immediately gets the message. Concepts such as wonder (meraviglia), liveliness (vivezza), movement (moto), banter (scherzo) and horror (terribilità) continuously alternate. For Baroque artists, the horror of a subject and the beauty of the artwork could go hand in hand. Evoking emotions and conveying the message therefore became a measure of artistic quality. Emotional overwhelm took on positive value.
THE POWER OF COLLABORATION
Another characteristic of this revolution is the artistic fraternization. For the first time a close collaboration between painters, sculptors and architects manifests itself. Strong together, but while retaining the strength of the individual. Combining capacities and talents so that they do not get in each other’s way, yet complement each other. And these collaborations not only resulted in new insights, but also expanded their reach. Because the Baroque eventually manifested itself in all kinds of areas of culture, including literature, music and interior design.
It’s interesting to see how the themes of innovation, communication and collaboration from that time are also relevant in 2020. Perhaps more than ever?