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Roman High Baroque

Rome, which alongside Bologna was already a centre of early baroque art, remained the capital of art during the high baroque period. This was partly due to the presence of the papal sponsor, who used art to represent sacred and profane claims to power. Giovanni Lanfranco (1582-1647), from the Bolognese Academy, removed himself from this dominant school in Rome, and executed bold, illusionist ceiling paintings, such as those in the Casino Borghese, which illustrated the transition from Carracci school mannerism to Piertro da Cortona’s high baroque art. Cortona (Pietro Berrettini, called da Cortona, (1596-1669) was a successful architect and painter, and represented the dynamic, swirling, and ornament-rich style of the blossoming Roman high baroque. His main works were the ceiling paintings in Palazzo Barberini, which were commissioned by Pope Urban VIII, an important patron of the period.
Pietro da Cortona’s work was not only influential in Italy, but also in the whole of Europe, until the transition into the late baroque era at the end of the century.
Alessandro Algardi’s (1598-1654) sculpture represented the strict style of the Bolognese school. François Duquesnoy executed works in a tranquil Hellenistic style. Both sculptors worked in the classical baroque style, which contrasted with Gianlorenzo Bernini’s (1598-1680) high baroque oeuvre. Bernini’s early works, such as his Borghese sculptures, displayed a dynamic and richly surfaced style. He also became a highly successful architect, and subtly introduced the surrounding architecture into his sculptural work.
Bernini thus created emotionally staged Gesamtkunstwerke, such as "The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa" in S. Maria della Vittoria. His portrait busts were characterised by a refreshing naturalism, like those of Costanza Bonarelli. Roman high baroque sculpture was shaped and dominated by Bernini and his numerous followers, the so-called "Berniniani".


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