Comparison/Contrast: Baroque and Rocco

Baroque and Rococo were two artistic movements that pned the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with Baroque coming first. Even though they were different period, both have stood the test of time and the works that were produced are still admired today. Baroque was the artistic movement started in Italy in sixteen hundred and was supported by the church because of the religious themes that were the focus of the works of art. However, Rococo was an elaborate style that was popular in eighteenth century France. The contributions to art made during these two periods were extremely popular in their times.

The Baroque period of the seventeenth century, focused on Christian religious subjects and the dramatic happenings in their lives. The scenes were depicted in splendid and majestic ways. The nobility in Italy saw Baroque art and architecture as a way to impress others. The more religious a person was could be shown through the art work and therefore demonstrated power. The architecture was grand with central courtyards for entertaining as well as meditation and worship. Reception rooms and grand staircases dominated the homes.

The art and architecture was lavish and ornate. One particular painter that painted during the Baroque Period, but was not Italian and did not use religious themes was Diego Velazquez. His painting of The Toilet of Venus is one of the only nudes painted during this period that exist. Most were destroyed by the Spanish Inquisition, but Velazquez’s masterpiece was saved from destruction. Even though the painting can only be considered religious if one were looking at a polytheistic culture, it can still depict the natural beauty of the nude body as created by God.
Rococo was like Baroque in that it was lavish and detailed. However, Rococo was not limited to religious themes. With the change in rule to Louis XV, Rococo was the new style to decorate the palaces. The interiors were ornate with the new use of the shell curve as a decoration. In fact the curve was used in all of the paintings of the time as well as the use of delicate colors. Jean – Antoine Watteau was the perfect example of an artist who incorporated all of the styles of the French inspired artistic movement.
His painting The Embarkation for Cythera is a perfect example of this style. In it the colors are so delicate that sometimes the subjects are blurred rather than to make harsh lines. The subjects are elaborately arrayed even on this journey. Both the Baroque and the Rococo artistic periods were shown in the video. Because of the depictions and examples used, it was easy to see the differences of the two movements, but also how one built on another. The information presented was understandable and informative.


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