Baroque Art and the Counter-Reformation

Next the Counter-Reformation had a great influence on religion but also heavily influenced the type of art that was being produced. During this time period the Catholic Church was facing a large threat from the Protestants and were actively involved in bringing people back to the Church. As a result, the Catholic Church became a strong and powerful employer for many young artists, including Bernini. They commissioned these artists to create a new wave of religious artworks that acted as religious propaganda to convince their former followers to rejoin the Catholic Church.

This new type of art had many common themes, including first a new focus on realism in the figures being portrayed. This included realistic portrayals of emotions in the faces of the figures painted, sculpted, etc, realistic clothing, and skin textures. Second and third are very emotional and dramatic artwork that used a strong contrast of light and dark. Fourth was movement , energy, and tension. Finally fifth very spiritual, escatasies, martyrdom’s, scenes from the Bible, and more were very common themes in Baroque Art.


Sullivan, Edward J. “Baroque.” Baroque. University of Bergen, 1994. Web. 04 Nov. 2013.


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