At the end of the High Renaissance the artistic bar for painting was set very high.
The Mannerist style that followed (c1520-1580) (as named by art historians) copied
certain elements or mannerisms of this earlier period, and is identifiable by its
exaggerated human proportions while striking difficult poses, complicated compositions
and acidic colours.
Caravaggio (c1571-1610) broke with these conventions, using “real people” as models,
simpler compositions than Mannerists, and dramatic lighting. This style influenced
other artists, and to bring this closer to home, you can see an example locally,
Georges de la Tour’s (1593-1652) ‘The Dice Players’ at Preston Hall museum in Stockton-on-Tees.
The Baroque period (c 17th cent) was a religion influenced style during the Protestant
Reformation and Catholic Counter Reformation.
Peter Paul Rubens of Antwerp (1577-1640) was the chief and most successful artist
of this period. He had learned “courtly manners” as a page in his youth, which helped
him in later life as he worked for the Royal houses of Italy, Spain, England (theBanqueting House ceiling for Charles 1), France and the Netherlands. He was businesslike;
he had a studio of assistants, and charged accordingly for work by himself, or his
During the Golden Age of Dutch Painting (17th cent), there was a period of peace
in Holland and Flanders when the Dutch became very prosperous in manufacturing and
trade. They had the freedom to accept their own society and depict it. They developed
pride in their landscapes, townscapes, genre, still life and floral paintings. The
volume of paintings increased as they were not all done on commission, but for sale
at art fairs, and so the prices became lower and were much more available to the
Rembrandt (1606-69) and Vermeer (1632-75) worked during this time.
Still to come are the painters Velázquez, Carracci, Poussin and Claude.
If you have a desire to know more about the paintings you see at in art galleries,
Brian’s extensive knowledge and enthusiasm make his courses a pleasure to attend.
Wear a Hat for Children in Need
Members of the Bridge Group which meets each Thursday at the Convent, raised a magnificent
£80 for Children in Need. Well done to everyone for joining in and as always we had
a very enjoyable afternoon.