Baroque Still-Life Painting Professor Will Adams Valencia College Fall 2011
BACKGROUND BAROQUE Baroque works were produced during the 17th and 18th centuries. The term Baroque comes from the Portuguese word “barocca”, which means “an irregular pearl”. The first Baroque works appeared in Italy and the style spread north into Europe. Baroque still-life was hugely popular in the Netherlands and Flemish society. Still-life had symbolic meanings that people at the time understood, which usually taught moral lessons.
Characteristics of Baroque Painting Chiaroscuro Painting from life Extreme detail Dynamic arrangement and lighting Rich colors
Famous Early Italian Baroque PaintingsCaravaggio’s “The Conversion of Artemisia Gentellischi’s “Judith Saul”, c. 1600 Beheading Holofernes”, 1614-1620
Hunting Dead animals from a hunt were a popular subject. They are a great way to show off technique Be sure to look for: – Textures like feathers, tassels, velvet, etc. – Strong composition – Realism – Details (Find the fly!) – Lighting effects (chiaroscuro)
Frans Snyders’ “Still Life With Dead Game, Fruits And Vegetables In A Market”, 1614
FRUIT Traditional, this is what we usually think of when we hear “still-life”. Originally fruit was symbolic of the good, sweet things in life, abundance, sexuality, or even sin.
Examples of Fruit Still-LifeCaravaggio’s “Still-Life with Fruit”, Willem van Aelst’s “Still-Life with 1601-1605 Fruit & Crystal Vase”, 1652
LIGHTING Look at the way the light affects how we see the different forms –How does light affect the textures, reflections? –How does light and shadow affect the mood?
Jan Davidsz de Heem’s “Still-Life with Fruit and Lobster”, 1648
NOTICE THE COMPOSITION Composition: The arrangement of elements and objects around the picture plane. Your eye travels from one point to another around the picture in a clockwise path. Good composition keeps your eye moving on an harmonious path. The triangle is a traditionally strong compositional path.
LOOK!Can you find the triangular composition?
FIND THE BUG! Insects were often added to a table setting within the still-life’s composition. They symbolized the decadence of the “good life” They also warned the viewer of the temptations of too much sweetness “Too much of a good thing”
THE FIVE SENSES As still-life became more popular and began to evolve, its symbolism became more profound Objects symbolizing the five human senses were arranged on a table: – Sight – Sound – Smell – Touch – Taste Objects were chosen to symbolize pleasure!
Ways to control eye movement Folds of cloth Positioning of objects, bodies Repetition of colors Emphasis from either highlights or shadows. Height of objects Details, textures, or negative space Eyes/gazes
VANITAS This type of still life was meant to remind the viewer of the fleeting quality of life. Life is wonderful, but goes by very quickly! What do you think each object symbolizes? VANITAS is about the swift approach of DEATH!
Hendrick Andriezsoon’s “Still-life composition with human skull, globe, books, crown, miter, bubbles, mussel shell with bubble pipe, holly crown on skull, watch on table, candlestick (with reflection of artist’s portrait)”, 1650
Vanitas homework Plan and create (either by drawing, Be sure to include the same collaging, painting, or compositional elements that photographing) a vanitas, either for yourself, someone you know, or the Dutch Masters did: someone famous. – Game – Lighting Your still-life should be based on your own life and community, and – Compositional paths should measure no smaller than 8” – Insects x 10”. – Vanitas elements On the back of your vanitas, list Your still-life will be due at and explain the objects/elements the beginning of class on you included, and what they Tuesday, November 15th. symbolize/represent.