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Baroque  

Gauvin Bailey and Jillian Lanthier

Term used to describe one of the first genuinely global styles of art and architecture in the Western canon, extending from its birthplace in Bologna and Rome to places as far-flung as France, Sweden, Russia, Latin America, colonial Asia (Goa, Macao), and Africa (Mozambique, Angola), even manifesting itself in hybrid forms in non-European cultures such as Qing China (the Yuanming yuan pleasure gardens of the Qianlong Emperor) or Ottoman Turkey (in a style often called Türk Barok). The Baroque also embraced a very wide variety of art forms, from the more traditional art historical media of painting, sculpture, and architecture to public spectacles, fireworks, gardens, and objects of everyday use, often combining multiple media into a single object or space in a way that blurred traditional disciplinary boundaries. More so than the Renaissance and Mannerist stylistic movements which preceded it, Baroque was a style of the people as well as one of élites, and scholars are only recently beginning to explore the rich material culture of the Baroque, from chapbooks (Italy) and votive paintings (central Europe and Latin America) to farm furniture (Sweden) and portable oratories (Brazil). Although its precise chronological boundaries will probably always be a matter of dispute, the Baroque era roughly covers the period from the 1580s to the early 18th century when, in places such as France and Portugal, the ...

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(b Paris, Nov 1, 1636; d Paris, March 13, 1711).

French writer. His influence on art was indirect: although he made no claim to knowledge of art, he unwittingly played a part in the development of historical painting during the second part of Louis XIV’s reign and particularly in the development of the theory of art in the 18th century. At the beginning of the personal reign of Louis XIV he was at first excluded from the distribution of pensions awarded through the mediation of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, the particular function of which was to lay down the iconography to be used in works that the King had commissioned; through Charles Perrault, it to some degree dominated the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. In 1683, after Boileau had finally obtained admission to the Académie des Inscriptions, it ceased to deal with iconography, and from then on artists working for the King enjoyed greater freedom.

However, Boileau’s main influence on French art was through his didactic poem ...

Article

(b London, Feb 26, 1670/1; d Naples, Feb 15, 1713).

English philosopher, aesthetician and patron. Shaftesbury has been described as the first great aesthetician that England produced, and his writings were both original and influential. His education was entrusted to the philosopher John Locke, who had him instructed in Greek and Latin from an early age. So quickly and thoroughly did he learn these languages that by the age of 11 he could read and discuss the Classics, an interest he was always to maintain. During his three years of travel in Holland, France and Italy he learnt French and developed his taste for modern and Classical sculpture, architecture, painting and music. He served in Parliament for three years and succeeded to the earldom and a seat in the House of Lords in 1699. Shaftesbury’s interest in art and aesthetics developed considerably in his final years, after he moved to Naples for his health in 1711.

Shaftesbury’s dialogues, letters and miscellany do not form a systematic doctrine, for he despised philosophical systems; rather they stand as elegantly composed and passionate topical essays. His posthumously published treatises on art, ...

Article

Edwina Burness

(b Aldwincle, Northants, Aug 9, 1631; d London, May 1, 1700).

English writer. After graduating from Trinity College, Cambridge, he settled in London for life in 1654 and never travelled beyond England. In 1668 he was appointed Poet Laureate, and Historiographer Royal two years later, but he lost both posts on the overthrow of James II in 1688. He wrote, adapted or collaborated on nearly thirty plays, as well as publishing numerous critical essays and poems, notably the two-part political satire Absalom and Achitophel (1681–2). His translations into English include Virgil’s Works (1697). Throughout his career Dryden was interested in debates on the respective values of particular forms of art. In several poems, including the ode To the Pious Memory … of Mrs Ann Killigrew (1686) and his verses To Sir Godfrey Kneller (1694), he explored the various parallels to be made between the arts, regarding painting as the ‘dumb sister’ of poetry. Kneller, who painted several portraits of Dryden (e.g. ...

Article

Bruce A. Coats

(b Mino Prov. [now part of Gifu Prefect.], 1544; d Osaka, 1615).

Japanese samurai and master of the tea ceremony. He strongly influenced the development of tea aesthetics in the late 16th century and early 17th (see Japan, §XV, 1). He was reportedly born into the Kuwahara family and then adopted by Yoshida Shigesada (d 1598). He became known as Oribe after his appointment as a military official, Oribe no Kami, of Mino Province in 1585, at which time he became commander of Nishigaoka Castle at Yamashiro, near Kyoto. Oribe distinguished himself in the service of the military dictators Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi and through them met Sen no Rikyū, the foremost practitioner of the wabicha tea ceremony, which was based on the concept of wabi (‘simple, austere natural beauty’). By 1590 Oribe was one of Rikyū’s most promising disciples, and the two exchanged poetry and attended tea ceremonies together. Remarkably, Rikyū chose Oribe as his successor in preference to his own sons; similarly, when Rikyū died in ...

Article

Alexandra Skliar-Piguet

(b Clamecy, Nièvre, Oct 7, 1635; d Paris, April 5, 1709).

French amateur painter, engraver, theorist, critic and diplomat. Following studies at Nevers and Auxerre, from c. 1651 he lived in Paris, studying philosophy at the Collège du Plessis, and then theology at the Sorbonne. Not being inclined to enter the Church, he became a member of the literary circles of Paris and at the same time began to study painting with Claude François. His sole extant work is an early unsigned etching (published posthumously) after Charles Le Brun’s portrait of Charles-Alphonse Du Fresnoy (Paris, Louvre). This has been associated with a group of fine portraits (untraced; known from engravings) that de Piles painted late in his career: François Tortebat (before 1682), engraved by Gérard Edelinck; Gilles Ménage (before 1692), engraved by Pierre-Louis van Schuppen; Nicolas Boileau (1704), engraved by Pierre Drevet; and a Self-portrait (1704), engraved by Bernard Picart. They demonstrate an undoubted talent for portraiture and a rare psychological insight....