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  • Early And High Baroque In Italy
    into being took place in the third decade The little church of Santa Bibiana in Rome harbors three of the key works that ushered in the High Baroque all executed in 1624 26 Gian Lorenzo Bernini s facade and the marble figure of Santa Bibiana herself over the altar and Pietro da Cortona s series of frescoes of Bibiana s life painted on the side wall of the nave The rich exuberance of the compositions is a prelude to the gigantic Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power which Pietro was to paint on the vault of the Great Hall of the Palazzo Barberini Rome 1633 39 Pietro continued with this style of monumental painting for the remainder of his career and it became the model for the international grand decorative style which by the close of the 17th century was to be found in Madrid Paris Vienna and even London Despite the continued triumph of High Baroque illusionism and theatricality in the hands of Bernini and Pietro da Cortona from the 1630s the forces of classicism now headed by the painter Andrea Sacchi and the Flemish born sculptor François Duquesnoy gained the upper hand in the 1640s after the death of Pope Urban VIII and for the remainder of the century the Baroque versus classicism controversy raged in the Academy in Rome Sacchi and the classicists including the Frenchman Nicolas Poussin held that a scene must be depicted with a bare minimum of figures each with its own clearly defined role and compared the composition to that of a tragedy in literature But Pietro and the Baroque camp held that the right parallel was the epic poem in which subsidiary episodes were added to give richness and variety to the whole and hence the decorative richness and profusion of their great fresco cycles The lyrical landscapes of the French painter Claude Lorrain are among the finest expressions of High Baroque classicism and they exerted a continual influence throughout the 18th century particularly in Britain Even in Rome itself however a number of painters of importance succeeded in remaining more or less independent of the two main camps Sassoferrato 1609 85 for example painted in a deliberately archaizing manner carefully reproducing Raphaelesque formulas The cryptically romantic movement centered on Pier Francesco Mola Pietro Testa and Salvator Rosa was more important and together with the landscapes of Gaspard Dughet was to have considerable repercussions in the 18th century Claude Lorrain also adopted an independent stand despite the highly developed classicism of his poetic landscapes and seascapes both of which but especially the latter featured much splendid architecture The Roman Baroque dominated the first two thirds of the 17th century in Italy and few painters elsewhere provided serious competition Reni who returned to Bologna from Rome in 1614 and remained there until his death in 1642 remained the strongest artistic personality in that northern city but steadily abandoned the strong plasticity of the Carracci for a much looser style with a pale

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  • The Baroque Era In Architecture
    architecture a means of propagating faith in the church and in the state Baroque palaces expanded to command the infinite and to display the power and order of the state Baroque space with directionality movement and positive molding contrasted markedly with the static stable and defined space of the High Renaissance and with the frustrating conflict of unbalanced spaces of the preceding Mannerist period Baroque space invited participation and provided multiple changing views Renaissance space was passive and invited contemplation of its precise symmetry While a Renaissance statue was meant to be seen in the round a Baroque statue either had a principal view with a preferred angle or was definitely enclosed by a niche or frame A Renaissance building was to be seen equally from all sides while a Baroque building had a main axis or viewpoint as well as subsidiary viewpoints Attention was focused on the entrance axis or on the central pavilion and its symmetry was emphasized by the central culmination A Baroque building expanded in its effect to include the square facing it and often the ensemble included all the buildings on the square as well as the approaching streets and the surrounding landscape Baroque buildings dominated their environment Renaissance buildings separated themselves from it The Baroque rapidly developed into two separate forms the strongly Roman Catholic countries Italy Spain Portugal Flanders Bohemia southern Germany Austria and Poland tended toward freer and more active architectural forms and surfaces in Protestant regions England the Netherlands and the remainder of northern Europe architecture was more restrained and developed a sober quiet monumentality impressive in its refinement In the Protestant countries and France which sought the spirit through the mind architecture was more geometric formal and precise an appeal to the intellect In the Roman Catholic south buildings were more complex freer and done with greater artistic license an appeal to the spirit made through the senses Treatises on the orders and on civil and military architecture provided a theoretical basis for Baroque architects While many 16th century architects published treatises on architecture or prepared them for publication major 17th century architects published very little Two fragmentary volumes by Francesco Borromini appeared years after his death and Guarino Guarini s major contribution though he brought out two volumes on architecture before he died did not appear until well into the 18th century Other Italian publications tended to be repetitions of earlier ideas with the exception of a tardily published manuscript of Teofilo Gallaccini whose treatise on the errors of Mannerist and early Baroque architects became a point of departure for later theoreticians In France François Blondel and Augustin d Aviler published notes for lectures given at the Academy of Architecture but the most important publications were those of Fréart de Chambray and Claude Perrault Perrault attacked established Italian theory Other notable French works included writings by René Ouvard André Félibien Pierre Le Muet and Julien Mauclerc In England Sir Henry Wotton s book was an adaptation of Vitruvius and

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  • Bernini, Gianlorenzo
    such as the Abduction of Proserpina 1621 1622 Galleria Borghese Rome present the spectator with a single primary view while sacrificing none of the drama inherent in the scene During the 1620s Bernini also executed his first architectural projects the facade for the church of Santa Bibiana 1624 1626 in Rome and the creation of the magnificent baldachin 1624 1633 or altar canopy over the high altar of Saint Peter s The latter commission was given to Bernini by Pope Urban VIII the first of seven pontiffs for whom he worked This project a masterful feat of engineering architecture and sculpture was the first of a number of monumental undertakings for Saint Peter s Bernini later created the tombs 1628 1647 and 1671 1678 respectively Saint Peter s of Urban VIII and Alexander VII that in their use of active three dimensional figures differ markedly from the purely architectural approach to the sepulchral monument taken by previous artists Bernini s immense Cathedra Petri Chair of Saint Peter 1657 1666 in the apse of Saint Peter s employs marble gilt bronze and stucco in a splendid crescendo of motion made all the more dramatic by the golden oval window in its center that becomes the focal point of the entire basilica Bernini was the first sculptor to realize the dramatic potential of light in a sculptural complex This was even more fully realized in his famous masterpiece Ecstasy of Saint Teresa 1645 1652 Santa Maria della Vittoria Rome in which the sun s rays coming from an unseen source illuminate the swooning saint and the smiling angel about to pierce her heart with a golden arrow Bernini s numerous busts also carry an analogous sense of persuasive dramatic realism whether they are allegorical busts such as the Damned Soul and Blessed

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  • The Baroque Era In The Arts
    Baroque Main Page The Early and High Baroque In Italy Baroque Architecture Bernini Baroque Paintings Baroque Style Of Art

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  • Middle Ages, Political Organization
    times the competition among Charlemagne s successors for the available supply of mounted knights led not only to the wholesale granting of benefices but also to making the benefice hereditary On the death of the vassal the benefice passed to an heir instead of reverting to the king Hereditary benefices were commonly called fiefs The third basic element the exercise of governmental power by private individuals also had antecedents in late Roman times As the imperial government weakened the powerful Roman landowners organized their own private armies to police their estates and fend off governmental agents particularly tax collectors The emperors also favored certain estates with grants of immunity from imperial authority a practice the Germanic kings often followed and that became the rule with Charlemagne s successors in their competitive efforts to fill their armies with mounted fief holding vassals And where immunity from the king s authority was not freely granted it was often usurped With the combining of these three elements a definable although highly complex and variable governmental pattern emerged in the West by the end of the ninth century The Theoretical Feudal Hierarchy In theory feudalism was a vast hierarchy At the top stood the king and all the land in his kingdom belonged to him He kept large areas for his personal use royal or crown lands and in return for the military service of a specified number of mounted knights invested the highest nobles such as dukes and counts in Britain earls with the remainder Those nobles holding lands directly from the king were called tenants in chief They in turn in order to obtain the services of the required number of mounted warriors including themselves owed to the king parceled out large portions of their fiefs to lesser nobles This process called subinfeudation was continued until the lowest in the scale of vassals was reached the single knight whose fief was just sufficient to support one mounted warrior Subinfeudation became a problem when a conflict of loyalties arose Since the Count of Champagne for example was vassal to nine different lords on whose side would he fight should two of his lords go to war against one another This dilemma was partially solved by the custom of liege homage When a vassal received his first fief he pledged liege or prior homage to that lord This obligation was to have top priority over services that he might later pledge to other lords Except for the knight with a single fief a nobleman was usually both a vassal and a lord Even a king might be a vassal John of Britain was vassal to King Philip of France for certain French lands yet he in no way thought himself inferior to Philip By maintaining a king at the head of the theoretical feudal hierarchy custom kept the traces of monarchy intact Although many feudal kings were little more than figureheads who might be less powerful than their own vassals the institution of the

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  • Middle Ages, Church In The Early Middle Ages
    The zeal with which the monks approached their faith often extended beyond the monastic walls One of the earliest Christian missionaries to the Germans was Ulfilas c 311 383 who spent forty years among the Visigoths and translated most of the Bible into Gothic Ulfilas and other early missionaries were followers of Arius and so the Arian form of Christianity was adopted by all the Germanic tribes in the empire except the Franks and Anglo Saxons As we saw earlier the Franks adoption of Roman Catholicism produced an important alliance between Frankish rulers and the papacy Another great missionary Patrick was born in England about 389 and later fled to Ireland to escape the Anglo Saxon invaders As a result of his missionary activities in Ireland monasteries were founded and Christianity became the dominant religion In the late sixth and seventh centuries a large number of monks from the Irish monasteries went to Scotland northern England the kingdom of the Franks and even to Italy The Irish monks eagerly pursued scholarship and their monasteries became storehouses for priceless manuscripts When Gregory the Great became pope the papacy joined forces with monasticism to take an active role in the missionary movement Gregory sent a Benedictine mission to England in 596 Starting in Kent where an archbishopric was founded at Canterbury Kent town Roman Christianity spread through England and finally even the Irish church founded by St Patrick acknowledged the primacy of Rome The English church in turn played an important part in the expansion of Roman controlled Christianity on the Continent Boniface the greatest missionary from England in the eighth century spent thirty five years among the Germanic tribes Known as the Apostle to the Germans he established several important monasteries bishoprics and an archbishopric at Mainz before he turned to the task of reforming the church in France There he revitalized the monasteries organized a system of local parishes to bring Christianity to the countryside and probably was instrumental in forming the alliance beween the papacy and the Carolingian house Roman Catholic missionaries also worked among the Scandinavians and the western Slavs The Preservation of Knowledge One of the great contributions of the monasteries was the preservation of the learning of the classical world and that of the church Learning did not entirely die out in western Europe of course Seeing that the ability to read Greek was quickly disappearing the sixth century Roman scholar Boethius an administrator under the Ostrogothic king Theodoric determined to preserve Greek learning by translating all of Plato and Aristotle into Latin Only Aristotle s treatises on logic were translated and these remained the sole works of that philosopher available in the West until the twelfth century Unjustly accused of treachery by Theodoric Boethius was thrown into prison where he wrote The Consolation of Philosophy while awaiting execution This little work later became a medieval textbook on philosophy Cassiodorus a contemporary of Boethius who had also served Theodoric devoted most of his life to the

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  • Middle Ages, Conclusion to Pages 1, 2 and 3
    Life Cultural Expression Dynamics of the Middle Ages Influences of Christianity Monks and Monasticism Monetary System Peasant s Life The Rise of Towns The Middle Ages Date 1992 Conclusion to Pages 1 2 and 3 Conclusion During the period known as the early Middle Ages 500 1000 the focus of European civilization shifted from the Mediterranean to France The conversion of Clovis to Christianity and the subsequent Frankish alliance with the papacy united the most energetic of the Germanic tribes with the greatest existing force for civilization in western Europe the Christian church The foundation of the new Europe was completed by Charlemagne but his empire depended too heavily on the forceful personality of its founder and did not survive his less dynamic successors After the Carolingian collapse new political and economic patterns evolved to meet the turbulent conditions of the time The decentralized political systems and customs of government during the early Middle Ages are sometimes generally referred to as feudalism This term is helpful in describing a theoretical pattern of government although in reality local diversity and custom were more the rule Blending of Germanic and Roman practices to suit regional needs resulted in a great variety of

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  • Middle Ages, Making Of Modern Britain
    tenants in chief swore this loyalty which meant that a disgruntled noble could not call out his own vassals against the king because every person owed his first allegiance to William The Domesday Survey which was originally a survey for payments of money to buy off the Danes from Anglo Saxon territory was retained by William and turned into an efficient source of royal revenue Because William as all medieval kings constantly needed money he ordered an accurate census of the property and property holders in his realm as a basis for collecting all the feudal aids and incidents owed to him In line with his policy of controlling all aspects of the government William revamped the old Anglo Saxon Witan which had elected and advised the kings The new Norman ruler changed its title to the Great Council also called curia regis the king s council or court and converted it into a body composed of his tenants in chief The Great Council met at least three times a year as a court of justice for the great barons and as an advisory body in important matters At other times a small permanent council of barons advised the king William also dominated the English church He appointed bishops and abbots and required them to provide military service for their lands Although he permitted the church to retain its courts he denied them the right to appeal cases to the pope without his consent Nor could the decrees of popes and church councils circulate in England without royal approval William II who succeeded his father in 1087 was an ineffective king who inspired several baronial revolts before being shot in the back accidently it was said while hunting Succeeding him was his brother Henry I 1110 1135 a more able monarch who easily put down the only baronial revolt that challenged him While the Great Council made up of the chief nobles occasionally met to advise the king the small permanent council of barons grew in importance From it appeared specialized organs of government The exchequer or court of accounts supervised the collection of royal revenue greatly increased with the revival of a money economy Notable was scutage or shield money a fee the king encouraged his vassals to pay in lieu of personal military service The well trained barons of the exchequer also sat as a special court to try cases involving revenue Henry I s achievements in strengthening the monarchy were obviated by the nineteen years of chaos that followed his death Ignoring their promise to recognize Henry s only surviving child Matilda wife of Geoffrey Plantagenet count of Anjou in France many barons supported Henry s weak nephew Stephen During the resulting civil war the nobility became practically independent of the crown and secure in their strong castles freely pillaged the land Henry II Anarchy ceased with the accession of Matilda s son Henry II 1154 1189 the founder of the Plantagenet or Angevin House in England As a result of his inheritance Normandy and Anjou and his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine the richest heiress in France Henry s possessions stretched from Scotland to the Pyrenees Henry s great military skill and restless energy were important assets to his reign He quickly recaptured the rights and lands of his grandfather Henry I and began rebuilding the power of the monarchy in England Henry s chief contribution to the development of the English monarchy was to increase the jurisdiction of the royal courts at the expense of the feudal courts This produced three major results a permanent system of circuit courts presided over by itinerant justices the jury system and a body of law common to all England Itinerant justices on regular circuits were sent out once each year to enforce the King s Peace To make this system of royal criminal justice more effective Henry employed the method of inquest used by William the Conqueror in the Domesday Survey In each shire a body of important men were sworn jure to report to the sheriff all crimes committed since the last session of the circuit court Thus originated the modern grand jury that presents information for an indictment Henry s courts also used the jury system to settle private lawsuits Instead of deciding such civil cases by means of oath helpers or lengthy trial by ordeal the circuit judges handed down quick decisions based upon evidence sworn to by a jury of men selected because they were acquainted with the facts of the case This more efficient system caused litigants to flock to the royal courts a procedure facilitated by the sale of writs which ordered a sheriff to bring the case to a royal court Henry s judicial reforms promoted the growth of the common law one of the most important factors in welding the English people into a nation The decisions of the royal justices became the basis for future decisions made in the king s courts superseded the many diverse systems of local justice in the shires and became the law common to all English people See Dominions Of Henry II Thomas A Becket Victim Of Church State Rivalry Although Henry strengthened the royal courts at the expense of the baronial courts he was not so successful against another rival the church courts When he appointed Thomas a Becket archbishop of Canterbury the king assumed that his close friend and former chancellor could easily be persuaded to cooperate but Becket proved to be stubbornly independent and upheld the authority of the church courts over Henry s In 1164 Henry stipulated that clergyman found guilty by a church court of committing crimes such as murder and grand larceny were to be unfrocked and tried by a royal court where punishments were more severe Henry s idea was to prevent the abuses resulting from benefit of clergy the principle that the church alone had legal jurisdiction over its clergy Becket refused to yield claiming that

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