Baroque art in Italy

Dramatic lighting, movement, art that activate the viewer's space.

1600 - 1700

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Il Gesù, Rome
Il Gesù, Rome

Created at a dramatic moment in European history, this explosive ceiling fresco celebrates the triumph of Jesus.

Artemisia Gentileschi, <em>Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes</em>
Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes

Artemisia Gentileschi's image of Judith and her maidservant powerfully showcases the artist's ability to create a dramatic moment

Restoring ancient sculpture in Baroque Rome
Restoring ancient sculpture in Baroque Rome

Restoration of ancient sculptures was a big business in 17th-century Rome.

Caravaggio, <em>The Conversion of St. Paul</em> (or <em>The Conversion of Saul)</em>
Caravaggio, The Conversion of St. Paul (or The Conversion of Saul)

That hoof, that sword—everything is so close! This chapel gives us a privileged view of a private conversion.

Andrea Pozzo, <em>Glorification of Saint Ignatius</em>
Andrea Pozzo, Glorification of Saint Ignatius

Pozzo’s fresco reaffirms the authority of the Catholic Church and hails its expansion across four continents.

Annibale Carracci, <em>Christ Appearing to Saint Peter on the Appian Way</em>
Annibale Carracci, Christ Appearing to Saint Peter on the Appian Way

Lord, where are you going? As Peter recoils in astonishment, a muscular Jesus points the way to Rome.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, <em>Pluto and Proserpina</em> (or <em>The Rape of Proserpina</em>)
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Pluto and Proserpina (or The Rape of Proserpina)

Pluto hoists up Proserpina. She resists, pushing him away. Their desires clash, creating a dynamic composition.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, <em>Bust of Medusa</em>
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Bust of Medusa

She’s a monster, but in this poignant marble bust, Medusa becomes a victim of her own plight.

Caravaggio, <em>Death of the Virgin</em>
Caravaggio, Death of the Virgin

Uniting spiritual and earthly realms, Caravaggio has left a space open for us in this circle of mourners.

Caravaggio, <em>Narcissus at the Source</em>
Caravaggio, Narcissus at the Source

Embracing his own reflection, Narcissus falls in love with himself—and into the water. Good thing it’s just paint!

Caravaggio, <em>Crucifixion of St. Peter</em>
Caravaggio, Crucifixion of St. Peter

A world turned upside down? Caravaggio not only upends St. Peter, but also turns artistic convention on its head.

Caravaggio, <em>The Supper at Emmaus</em>
Caravaggio, The Supper at Emmaus

As the apostle’s tattered green shirt suggests, this is a rough and tumble world, far from the pomp of the Church.

Selected Contributors