What is Baroque?

In the early 18th Century, the term "Baroque" describes the exuberance of a raw, irregularly formed pearl. From there, one used it to describe the ideological imagery, of which catered to the princely absolutism, the Church contra-reformation and bourgeois moralism. This imagery is seen in the painting and sculptural art, in the architecture, in music and literature. A strong pervading illusionism, stateliness and abundance needed to convince the viewer of an internal message. The Baroque aspired to a power of persuasion of its own against the rationalism of the Renaissance. The representation of emotions is no longer a taboo: realism makes its entrance and shall serve as a counterpoint to the traditionally venerated theory of art.

The term "Baroque" covers a variety of levels and sometimes causes confusion, but is staunchly entrenched in today's parlance. In addition, the boundaries of the Baroque period are also disputed. Artistically speaking, the time period generally begins with the generation of Caravaggio (1571-1610), the brothers Annibale (1560-1609) and Agostino Carracci (1557-1602) and Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640). Yet also with the religious revolution of the Council of Trent (1545-1563), this could be considered a beginning. In the Southern Low Countries, the Baroque roughly coincides with the historical period between the Fall of Antwerp and the Treaty of Utrecht, when the Spanish territory fell into Austrian hands. This website takes the latter definition into account and deals with artists active between 1585 and 1713.

Nico Van Hout (Conservator at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp)

Thematic collection: SPECIALISATIONS: Still Life Kitchen and Hunting Piece

Frans Snijders, Still Life, KMSKA, Antwerp.
In the 16th Century, there is evidence of an increased interest in the world and of Nature. The scientific importance is the driving force behind the will to make an inventory of Nature and is reflected in the arts. In...
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Frans Vekemans  - Cornelis de Vos - circa 1625

Frans Vekemans - Cornelis de Vos

Museum Mayer van den Bergh Antwerp
Tomb of Monseigneur Antonius Triest - Jerôme Duquesnoy II

Tomb of Monseigneur Antonius Triest - Jerôme Duquesnoy II

Saint Bavo Cathedral Ghent
Bouquet in a Niche - Osias Beert - circa 1603 - 1605

Bouquet in a Niche - Osias Beert

Museum Rockoxhuis
Saint Martin - Anthony van Dyck

Saint Martin - Anthony van Dyck

Saint Martin's Church Zaventem
Assumption of the virgin - Peter Paul Rubens - 1625 - 1626

Assumption of the virgin - Peter Paul Rubens

Cathedral of our Lady Antwerp
The annunciation - Jan Janssens

The annunciation - Jan Janssens

Museum of Fine Arts Ghent
Christ Crowned with Thorns - Jacob van Oost I - 1661

Christ Crowned with Thorns - Jacob van Oost I

Groeninge Museum Bruges
The adoration of the Magi - Peter Paul Rubens - 1624

The adoration of the Magi - Peter Paul Rubens

Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp
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Exhibition 'De andere verbeeld / Verbeeld gevaar'

De andere verbeeld / Verbeeld gevaar Exhibition on image forming in religious art One meets people from other cultures...
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Restoration of the Rubens Self Portrait

The Self Portrait by Rubens that graces the Rubens House is being restored. Visitors wishing to view the painting...
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