The Elaborate And The Delicate Essay

779 words - 4 pages

The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Europe brought about sincere and contrasting artistic movements characterized by both the Baroque and Rococo Styles. With two distinct epochs we find one overly ornate with dramatic tendencies, while the other expressed a more playful, light hearted sensibility within the elaborate landscape. Ecstasy of St. Theresa by Bernini created during the High Roman Baroque period embodies both great similarities and contradictions to Rococo’s Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s, The Swing in composition and theme. Both the Baroque and Rococo masterpieces were influenced by the cultural and political temperaments of their time and space.

The Baroque aesthetic was serious, while the Rococo style featured a lot of fantasy.
In Baroque art, bold contrasts of bright light and dark shadows were used in the form of tenebrism. However, the lighting in Rococo art works was applied to create warmth and intimacy. Baroque color palettes were dynamic and rich, while the Rococo favored ubiquitous golds and pastels. The Ecstasy of St. Theresa, by Bernini was housed in the Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome, where Bernini also designed the stucco and paint of the exterior. Bernini created a total environment and setting for the subject matter of Theresa that truly captures the viewer's attention. He used strong contour lines and built exquisite texture in the polished marble medium. On both sides of the sculpture, there are relief sculptures illustrating the male members of the Cornaro family, who commissioned the work. Gesamtkunstwerk is the german term for a "total work of art" that employs more than one medium such as paint and sculpture, which is what Bernini mastered here when the term was coined. There is incredible contrast with the bright and perfectly angled lighting that is shed upon the floating figure. The Rococo style was built upon practiced wit and flattery, giving way to what they called “eye candy”, and doing away with any religious influences. Rococo was a departure from the serious subjects of the Baroque. Architecture of this time was light and airy, and designs were often asymmetrical. Fragonard was a master colorist who was known for his sense of humor and lightheartedness. The Swing is a diagonal composition bringing about visual movement. The use of soft greens, and fleshy pinks are used to create contrast in a very...

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