From Rome to St. Petersburg, Portugal to Brazil, the Baroque was the first art movement to span not only countries but distant continents. This stunningly illustrated book takes us on a breathtaking pilgrimage through its endless variations over some two hundred years, beginning in the early seventeenth century. Readers are treated to such wonders as Bernini's intensely powerful sculptures and his immense colonnade on St. Peter's Square, imposing palace facades, painted ceilings, crucifixes, angels, demons, piazzas, villas, gardens, and more. Though once viewed in Europe as decadent compared to Renaissance art, the Baroque is seen today as the ultimate manifestation of a style that expanded the bounds of reality and engendered a "culture of visualization," prefiguring the modern age.
Combining Ferrante Ferranti's magnificent color photographs, many never before published, with Giovanni Careri's absorbing prose account of the Baroque in chapters arranged by theme, Baroques marks the first time the topic has been treated so comprehensively, going well beyond Italy as far as colonial Latin America.
The materials used in Baroque churches, palaces, gardens, and cities were meant to dazzle-but they did much more. Whether marble, stucco, or gilded bronze, each in its own way captures the fleeting interplay between the overt splendor of fireworks and the secret, conceptual complexity of allegory. The Baroque is an art of passions and ecstasies, but it is also a political art: it conveys an image of power charged with new energy, an image that inspired awe, fear, and respect. Above all, it is a total art: painting, sculpture, and architecture come together in Baroques as a whole that invites the reader into its transforming universe.
"A fresh and compelling view of the Baroque spirit in art. . . . The 250 striking color plates found in this book are unusual both in the objects shown, which range far beyond the standard statuary and architecture, and in the views taken, which emphasize the dramatic and evocative qualities of the art."--Library Journal
"[T]his is above all about the art of the festival, as evident in the astonishing--in the literal sense of the term--photographs, which substantially renew our vision of the Baroque. That is to say, this paean to the Baroque manifests its worth and constitutes a brilliant publishing success."--Gazette des Beaux-Arts
"Careri writes knowingly and convincingly of the currents that spawned this artistic movement and its unusual power to entice artists of varying places, temperaments and talents to a unified statement. No other artistic achievement even comes close to the pervasive power of baroque. The photography, by the way, is stunning."--Glenn Giffin, The Denver Post
"This is a book that I would not hesitate to hand to a person whom I wanted to introduce to the intoxications of the baroque."--Jed Perl, The New Republic
"This book--a celebration of the Baroque--is first and foremost a presentation of splendid photographs, all taken from unique viewpoints, in magical light and remarkable detail. The photographs are complemented by eloquent essays that describe the monuments in depth while defining the emotional, spiritual, and formal characteristics of Baroque art. . . . Baroques is indispensable for all students, connoisseurs, and scholars of this remarkable artistic era."--Choice
Table of Contents:
A Bel Composto 27
The Place of the Viewer 61
Images of Power 133
Nature, Landscapes, Gardens, and Fountains 173
Ceremonies and Entertainments 213
Index of Monuments and Works of Art 245
Photography and Translation Credits 248