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The Fall Of Phaeton Essay

736 words - 3 pages

The Catholic Baroque period of the 17th century set forth an artistic style that used a much more dramatic use of color. Furthermore, contrasts between light and dark became more apparent as darks became darker, and brights became brighter. Images often depicted grandiose visions, martyrdom, intense psychological moments, intense light, ecstasies and conversions. Paintings became more direct and dramatic as well, attempting to draw the viewer into the scene to participate. Depictions during this era also felt emotionally straining, on top of feeling physically and psychologically real. The era was dominated by several figures; for example, Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini, Caravaggio and Rembrandt, but the metaphorical crown of the Catholic Baroque era goes to Peter Paul Rubens.
Peter Paul Rubens was and is one of the most celebrated artists in Europe; both throughout the course of his lifetime, as well as throughout the entire Catholic Baroque era. His works are currently on display in some of the most prominent museums around the world; including the Musee du Louvre in Paris, The Metropolitan Museum in New York City, The Getty Museum in Los Angeles and many more. Peter Paul Rubens is accredited as the master of the Baroque period by many, and with his art he unknowingly created a set of rules that almost all Catholic Baroque art follows.
One of Peter Paul Rubens most distinguished and discussed works is The Fall of Phaeton, an oil painting on canvas. Created between 1604 and 1605, and reworked in 1606 and 1608, the painting features Phaeton, Apollo’s son begging for his father to permit Phaeton to drive the chariot across the sky. The work is 38 3/4 inches by 51 5/8 inches across, which is a relatively large canvas for this period, seeing as how the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci was 30 inches by 21 inches. The larger size of The Fall of Phaeton is in part to create a shock value, and is an essential part of Catholic Baroque art. The Fall of Phaeton was also painted in Rome, and was influenced greatly by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael. This can be seen through Peter Paul Rubens’ attention to complex poses and a very powerful sense of...

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