High Baroque in Italy

The Italian high baroque produced stylistic developments in all forms of art. In architecture, the nave-like building and new floor plan designs such as the oval, superseded the centrally planned buildings so popular during the renaissance and created an entirely new kind of spacious interior. Both interior and frequently superimposed exteriors were richly decorated and played with the light and shadow effects of overlaying and indentations. Key early Italian high baroque artists included the Romans Maderno, Bernini, Borromini and da Cortona, and Guarino Guarini (1624-83) and Filippo Juvarra from Turin. Longhena was the key exponent of Venetian high baroque architecture, which was still influenced by Palladio’s classicism. Gianlorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) was the leading architect of the era, and his work had an impact on artists such as Antonio Raggi and Ercole Ferrata. Alessandro Algardis’ oeuvre was more restrained and sober: Brussels-born François Duquesnoy’s (Il Fiammingo) work was influenced by Hellenic sculpture. In baroque painting, the Carraccis’ work had a more profound effect on other artists than Caravaggio’s. Guido Reni, il Guercino, Francesco Albani and Domenichino were among the key exponents of the powerful, monumental, and rather strict Bolognese style. The work of Lanfranco and Pietro da Cortona in particular were more dynamic, and the epitome of high baroque art. The Neapolitan school produced Salvator Rosa (1615-73), who became famous for his landscapes, and Luca Giordano, who executed important compositions such as ‚The Archangel Gabriel’ (Vienna Art Historical Museum), the style of which was influenced by da Cortona and Caravaggio. The new spatial illusion borne of baroque art was clearly visible in Andrea (del) Pozzo’s ouevre, particularly in the ceilings of Sant Ignacio in Rome (1692-94), which blurred the boundaries between image and architecture. Ricci, Piazzetta and Tiepolo were key Venetian fresco artists of the late baroque period.