14 the baroque age glamour and Grandiosity, 1603–1715 Teaching Strategies and Suggestions

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Glamour and Grandiosity, 1603–1715

Teaching Strategies and Suggestions

The instructor can begin the Baroque Age with a Standard Lecture, using a Historical Overview to summarize the historical and cultural events that determined the shape of this glamorous epoch. The lecture should stress the central role played in continental politics and culture by Roman Catholic rulers and patrons, particularly the Italian popes and the French king Louis XIV, perhaps the most powerful Western monarch ever. The instructor can then adopt a Comparison/Contrast approach to show how political and cultural developments in Protestant Europe, notably in England and the Netherlands, differed from those in the Catholic world, though there were some similarities. It is necessary to describe these contrasting developments in some detail because from this background arose three variations on the international Baroque: the Florid Baroque, the French Baroque, and the Protestant Baroque.

The arts and architecture are the supreme expressions of Baroque taste; hence the best approach to the three separate and distinct manifestations of the Baroque style is through a series of Slide Lectures built around a Comparison/Contrast strategy. A film on the Baroque arts and architecture would also help students understand the nuances of this international style. The Comparison/Contrast strategy can also be employed to deal with Baroque literature, especially the works of Roman Catholic France and Protestant England. In addition, a Music Lecture can be used to introduce students to opera, a major innovation of the Baroque era, and to Bach and Handel, two Baroque composers who rank among the West’s musical immortals.

A summary lecture will probably be needed to draw the diverse aspects of this sprawling age together. To this end the instructor can choose a Spirit of the Age approach to demonstrate the unity beneath the period’s often tumultuous events. And that unifying idea can be expressed as follows: The Baroque writers and artists, sensing themselves adrift in an ever-changing universe, created a style that mirrored their age’s expanding horizons and territorial expansion.

Lecture Outline

I. Brief Historical Overview

A. Stylistic meaning

B. Baroque versus Mannerism

C. Turbulent events

D. Scientific discoveries

II. Absolutism, Monarchy, and the Balance of Power

A. Rise of absolutism

1. The emergence of a system of

sovereign states

2. The five great military states and

the balance of power

a) Kingship

b) Bureaucracies

c) Diplomacy and warfare

d) Standing armies

B. France: the supreme example of absolutism

1. Henry IV

2. Louis XIII

a) Cardinal Richelieu

b) Cardinal Mazarin

3. Louis XIV

a) Public style and policies

b) Self-glorification

C. England: from monarchy to republic to

limited monarchy

1. James I

2. Charles I and civil war

3. The Commonwealth

4. The Restoration: Charles II and James II

5. Glorious Revolution: William and Mary

D. Warfare in the Baroque period:

maintaining the balance of power

1. Role of warfare in power configuration

2. The Thirty Years’ War, 1618–1648

a) Religious consequences

b) International consequences

c) The new role of France

3. The wars of Louis XIV, 1665–1713

a) Summary of four wars

b) Results
III. The Baroque: Variations on an International Style

A. Origins and development

1. Meaning

2. Variations

B. The Florid Baroque

1. The Council of Trent and the

seventeenth-century popes

a) Dominance of religious values

b) The aesthetic program

2. Architecture

a) The church of St. Peter’s, Rome

(1) Maderno’s nave and facade

(2) Bernini’s colonnade

b) Impact of this style

3. Sculpture

a) Reintegration of sculpture with architecture

b) Bernini

(1) Decorations for St. Peter’s: the baldacchino

(2) The Ecstasy of St. Teresa

4. Painting

a) Reintegration of painting with architecture

b) Caravaggio

(1) Style characteristics

(2) The Martyrdom of St. Matthew

c) Artemisia Gentileschi

(1) Style characteristics

(2) Judith and Her Maidservant

with the Head of Holofernes

d) The illusionistic ceiling fresco

(1) Description

(2) Pozzo, Allegory of the

Missionary Work of the Jesuits

e) Velázquez

(1) Style characteristics

(2) Las Meninas, or The Maids of Honor

f) Rubens

(1) Style characteristics

(2) The Education of Marie de’ Medici

C. The Classical Baroque

1. Definition of style

2. Architecture

a) The patronage of Louis XIV

b) The redesign of Versailles Palace

3. Painting

a) Influence of Classicism and Caravaggio

b) Poussin

(1) Characteristics

(2) Et in Arcadia Ego

D. The Restrained Baroque

1. Painting

a) The setting in the Calvinist Netherlands

(1) Rembrandt

(a) Style characteristics

(b) The Blinding of Sampson

(c) The Militia Company of

Captain Frans Banning Cocq

(d) Self-portrait

(2) Vermeer

(a) Style characteristics

(b) The Lacemaker

(3) Leyster

(a) Style characteristics

(b) Self-portrait

b) The setting in Anglican England

(1) Style characteristics

(2) Van Dyck

(a) Dutch background

(b) Lords John and Bernard Stuart

2. Architecture

a) Characteristics

b) Wren

E. Literature

1. Drama as enduring legacy

a) Drama and epic

b) Characteristics of the literary Baroque

2. Baroque literature in France

a) Characteristics

b) Tragedy

(1) Corneille

(2) Racine

c) Comedy: Molière

3. Baroque literature in England

a) The epic

b) Milton

(1) Background

(2) Paradise Lost

c) Behn, England’s first professional

woman of letters

(1) Background

(2) Oroonoko

F. Music

1. Trends

2. The development of opera

a) Monteverdi and Italian opera

b) Popularization

c) French opera: Lully

3. Climax of Baroque music, after 1715

a) Bach in Germany

b) Handel in England
IV. The Legacy of the Baroque Age

Non-Western Events


In Africa, downfall of African

kingdoms of Kongo and

Ngola, 1665–1671; British

Royal Africa Co. chartered,

1672; Portuguese

dominance of African east

coast city-states, 1505–1650;

growth of African slave

trade, 1500–1800; rise of

Asante empire, based on

Gold Coast trade, 1700–

1750; rise of Segu and

Kaarta kingdoms on the

Upper Niger, 1660

In China, Ming dynasty,

1368–1644; tea trade begins

between China and

Europe, 1609; Beijing’s

Pao-ho-tien (1627),

one of the three Great

Halls of the

Purple Forbidden City;

Tartars of Manchu invade,

1616–1620; Manchu

dynasty, 1644–1912; the

Manchus tried to avoid

assimilation and imposed

their customs on the

Chinese; prosperity,

followed by complacency,

and a sharp rise in

population under the

Manchus; authoritarian and

hierarchical state; people

forced to shave their

heads and wear the queue

(pigtail); Jesuit missionaries

active, 1550–1650; Beijing’s

Great White Pagoda, 1652;

Tibetan influences in

Pagoda building;

Kao-ts’en, Autumn

Landscape, famous Chinese

india-ink drawing, 1672;

Emperor K’ang-hsi founds

factories for development

of art industries in China,

1680; Manchus conquer

Formosa, 1683; A Night’s

Talk, a collection of

proverbs published under

the pseudonym of Mr. Tut-Tut

In Himalaya region, in Tibet,

Lamaistic state, about 1450 to 1950s

In India, Mogul Empire,

1526–1858; Europeans

establish trading posts,

Dutch, 1609, English, 1612,

French, 1674; British East

India Co. chartered, 1600;

Maratha Confederacy, 1650–

1760; Jahangir, 1605–1627;

Shah Jahan, 1627–1658;

Aurangzeb, 1658–1707;

Shah Jahan builds Taj

Mahal, 1632–1647;

compilation of Adi Granth,

the sacred scriptures of the

Sikhs, 1604; the

construction of the Peacock

Throne for Shah Jahan,

1627–1634; Golden Temple

of the Sikhs, Amritsar,

seventeenth century;

Great Mosque at Lahore,

late seventeenth century;

Tulsi Das, Hindu poet, 1532–1623

In Japan, Edo, or Tokugawa

period, 1603–1867; Japanese

isolation, 1637–1854; the

castle of Edo (now part of

modern Tokyo), the seat of

power for the Tokugawa

Shogunate; unified country

under a military

government with 250 years

of secluded peace; rich

urban, middle-class culture

with innovations in the

economy, literature, and

the arts; decline of daimyo

class; Jesuit missionaries

active 1550–1650; revival of

Shintoism; Mitsui family’s

trading and banking house

founded, 1673; Pagoda at

Nikko, 1636; by 1600, more

than 300,000 Christian

converts in Japan; a

Christian rebellion in 1637

led to a civil war in

which the Christian

communities were

exterminated; first

chrysanthemums arrived in

Holland from Japan;

Takemoto Gidayu began

“joruri” puppet theater

in Tokyo, 1684; Shusse

Kagekiyo, famous

puppet play by Chikamatsu

Monzaemon, performed

in Tokyo, 1686;

under Tokugawa

Shogunate, the rice

economy gave way to a

money economy, with an

increase in industry,

commerce, and national

wealth, but also with

economic unrest; the first

Japanese-built Western-style

ship sailed for New Spain,

1612; removal of women

from Kabuki Theater at the

order of the shogun, who

claimed that it is immoral

for women to dance in

public, 1629; The Life of an

Amorous Man by Ihara

Saikaku, 1682; Hishikawa

Moronobu (1618–ca. 1694)

pioneered ukiyo-e prints that

depict scenes of everyday

life; Ogata Korin united the

two imperial schools of

painting, the Kano and the

Yamato, 1702; poems of

Matsuo Basho (pseudonym

of Matsuo Munefusa), 1644–

1694, helped popularize

haiku poetry; sukiya-style

domestic architecture

emerged, a wooden house

erected on raised stone

platform, often two stories

high, with rooms divided

by sliding walls and

screens, and with floors

covered with mats; limits

set for building heights; the

Shugakuin and Katsura

villas, Kyoto, the

architectural masterpieces

of this period, early 17th century

In Korea, Li dynasty, 1392–

1910; the city walls and

gates of Suwon, 1794–1796;

a vassal of China and

isolated from all except

Chinese influence,

seventeenth century

In Muslim world, in Persia,

the Royal Mosque in Isfahan, 1617

In Native North America,

founding of Santa Fé, New

Mexico, by Spanish, 1605;

founding of Jamestown,

Virginia, by English, 1607

In South America, founding

of Jesuit state of Paraguay, 1608

Learning Objectives

To learn:

1. The major historical developments that occurred in the Baroque period and how they helped shape the dominant cultural style

2. The impact of the balance- of-power principle on international affairs in the Baroque period

3. The leading characteristics of secular monarchies in the seventeenth century

4. To trace the development of absolutism in France and the defining role played by Louis XIV in shaping the Classical Baroque

5. To trace the development of limited monarchy in England and the defining role played by England in shaping the Restrained Baroque

6. The characteristics of the variations on the Baroque style and how each reflected its historical setting, such as how the Classical Baroque reflected French court society, how the Florid Baroque reflected papal court circles and the imperial worlds of the Spanish and Austrian empires, and how the Restrained Baroque reflected English and Dutch society

7. The role of the wars of Louis XIV in establishing the primacy of French culture on the continent

8. How the church of St. Peter’s, Rome, expressed the Florid Baroque building style

9. The leading artists and architects of the Florid Baroque, the Classical Baroque, and the Restrained Baroque—and their contributions

10. How Versailles Palace expressed the Classical Baroque building style

11. The characteristics, major figures, and chief literary genres of Baroque literature and the differences and similarities between the French and the English Baroque

12. The four chief trends operating in Baroque music

13. The reason that opera is the quintessential symbol of the Baroque

14. The sources and early developments of opera

15. The contributions of the Baroque composers Bach and Handel

16. The historic “firsts” of the Baroque age that became part of the Western tradition: the system of great states governed by a balance of power, France and England’s dominance of culture and politics, the concept and practice of “world war,” mercantilism, the illusionistic ceiling fresco, opera, and oratorio

17. The role of the Baroque age in transmitting the heritage of the past: redirecting Classical ideals into the grandiose and exuberant Baroque style; giving permanent stamp to the religious division of Westerners into Protestant and Catholic camps; bringing the monarchical tradition to its height in France; launching the trend toward rule by the people in the limited monarchy that developed in England; and carrying Western values to overseas colonies

Suggestions for Films, videos, and cd-roms

The Age of Charles II. Films for the Humanities, 50 min., color.

J. S. Bach. Films for the Humanities, 26 min., color.

The Baroque Period. Films for the Humanities, 60 min., color. (painting)

Civilization: Grandeur and Obedience. Films for the Humanities, 52 min., color.

Daily Life at the Court of Versailles. Films for the Humanities, 60 min., color.

Diego Velasquez. Films for the Humanities, 48 min., color.

Echoes of Georgian England. Films for the Humanities, 39 min., color. (Handel)

The English Civil War. Films for the Humanities, CD-ROM.

Fire and Fever: London 1665–1666. Films for the Humanities, 53 min., color.

George Frederick Handel: Honour, Profit, and Pleasure. Films for the Humanities, 70 min., color.

J.S. Bach: A Documentary Portrait. Films for the Humanities, 60 min., color.

J.S. Bach: Magnificat for Solo, Chorus, and Orchestra, BWV 243. Films for the Humanities, 35 min., color.

Milton by Himself. Films for the Humanities, 27 min., color.

Music at the Court of Louis XIV. Films for the Humanities, 53 min., color.Old Masters. Films for the Humanities, 29 min., color.

Peter the Great. Films for the Humanities, 53 min., color.

Restoration England: Charles II, the Arts, and Pornography. Films for the Humanities, 25 min., color.

Sacred Space: Art, Architecture, and the Role of the State. Films for the Humanities, 59 min., color. (Roman, Gothic, Baroque, and Rococo religious art)

The Seasons and the Symphony. Films for the Humanities, 60 min., color. (Vivaldi, Gluck, Bach)

Versailles: Le Petit Trianon and Louis XV. Films for the Humanities, 25 min., color.

Vivaldi. Films for the Humanities, 25 min., color.

Suggestions for music

Bach, Johann Sebastian. The Art of the Fugue. Hill, harpsichord. Music & Arts CD-279.

———. Bach’s Greatest Hits. Leonhardt Ensemble. Pro Arte CDM-801.

———. Brandenburg Concerti (6). Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Virgin Classics VCD

7 90747-2.

Handel, George Frederic. Giulio Cesare in Egitto. Popp, Ludwig, Wunderlich, Nocker, Berry, Leitner, Bavarian Radio Symphony and Chorus. Melodram 37059.

———. Messiah. Te Kanawa, Gjevang, Lewis, Howell, Solti, Chicago Symphony and Chorus. London 414396-2 LH2 (cassette); 414396-2 LH2 [CD]; 414396-1 [digital].

———. Water Music: Suite. Van Beinum, Concertgebouw Orchestra. Philips 420857-2 PM.

Monteverdi, Claudio. Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda. Clemencic, Clemencic Consort. Harmonia Mundi HUA-190.986.

———. L’Incoronazione di Poppea. Donath, Soderstrom, Berberian, Esswood, Harnoncourt, Vienna Concentus Musicus. Teldec 35247 ZC.

Suggestions for Further Reading

Adam, A. Grandeur and Illusion: French Literature and Society 1606–1715. Translated by H. Tint. New York: Basic Books, 1972. A brief and solid introduction to how French literature both reflected and transcended French history, politics, and society.

Anthony, J. R. The New Grove French Baroque Masters: Lully, Charpentier, Lalande, Couperin, Rameau. London: Macmillan, 1986. In the series of composer studies, this volume has been updated with a new essay on Rameau.

Avery, C. Bernini: Genius of the Baroque. New York: Bullfinch, 1997. Well-illustrated study.

Beik, W. Louis XIV and Absolutism: A Brief Study with Documents. Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000. An accessible survey with an excellent selection of primary sources.

Burke, P. The Fabrication of Louis XIV. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994. Brilliant account of contemporary representations of Louis XIV. A study of the relationship between art and power.

Childs, John. Warfare in the Seventeenth Century. London: Cassell, 2003. Richly detailed picture of military life and how technology transformed warfare.

Christiansen, K. Orazio and Artemesia Gentileschi. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001. Beautifully illustrated and interesting accompaniment to a recent exhibition of the works of Artemesia and her father, Orazio.

Glueckel. The Memoirs of Glueckel of Hameln. New York: Schocken, 1987. Begun in 1690, this fascinating diary of a forty-four-year-old German Jewish widow, mother of fourteen children, tells how she engaged in trade, ran her own factory, and promoted the welfare of her family.

Kahr, M. M. Dutch Painting in the Seventeenth Century. Rev. ed. New York: Harper & Row, 1982. A solid survey that sets the artists and their works within their respective historical, cultural, and social backgrounds and also demonstrates how Dutch tastes and the international Baroque movement affected artists and their styles.

Kamen, H. European Society, 1500–1700. Rev. ed. London: Hutchinson, 1985. Fully revised and updated from the 1971 edition, it contains chapters on demographics, prices and wages, capitalism, popular culture, the family, and social organizations—excellent as a survey of social history.

Orrey, L. Opera: A Concise History. Rev. ed. London: Thames and Hudson, 1987. Perhaps the best brief history of opera. In the Thames and Hudson format, it includes photographs of scenes from operas, costumes, opera houses, composers, and performers set within a historical narrative that examines the impact of the major social and cultural trends on opera.

Schama, S. The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age. New York: Knopf, 1987. A brilliant analysis of the Dutch way of life that weaves together society and the arts.

_____. Rembrandt’s Eyes. New York: Knopf, 2001. Beautifully written and illustrated biography of Rembrandt. Schama places Rembrandt in the context of the Dutch Republic, and he also contrasts him with Rubens.

Schulenberg, D. Music of the Baroque. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. Extensive, well-written survey.

Skrine, P. The Baroque: Literature and Culture in Seventeenth Century Europe. New York: Holmes and Meier, 1978. This closely argued thesis that looks at the relationships between absolute monarchy and the theatrical stage to explain the Baroque style will attract the serious student.

Treasure, G. R. Seventeenth Century France. Rev. ed. London: John Murray, 1981. A standard account, newly revised, that traces the evolution of the modern state—in this study, France.

key cultural terms


Florid Baroque style



Classical Baroque style

Restrained Baroque style



bel canto




Windows on the World Background



West Africa Yoruba culture. Benin, a flourishing state, built on the Atlantic slave trade; area called the “Slave Coast” by Europeans; slaves were mainly war captives seized from what is now modern Benin; led to depopulated areas and militarized society; voodoo religion exported along with slaves to the New World, especially to Haiti.


Latin America South America. In the viceroyalty of Peru, a troubled period, partly reflective of the internal decay of Spain, the mother country: contraband trade with non-Spanish merchants, attacks by pirates, and growing corruption among public officials. Decline in production of precious metals. Mexico. Northern frontier of New Spain near the present Mexican-U.S. boundary. Began conquest of modern New Mexico in 1598; founded Santa Fé (in modern New Mexico), 1610; Indian rebellion, 1680–1692.

Native North America Southwest. Pueblo Indians (including Rio Grande, Hopi, and Zuni), the descendants of the Anasazi peoples; centered in northeastern eastern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico; lived in settlements called pueblos (Spanish pueblo, “village”). Farming (maize, cotton), using irrigation, and hunting; each pueblo governed by a council made up of heads of religious societies; the societies were headquartered in kivas, underground ceremonial rooms. Led by Popé, a member of the Tewa people, the Pueblo drove the Spanish from their territory around Santa Fé from 1680 to 1692—a feat unmatched by any other American Indian people.


China Ch’ing Dynasty, began 1644. An expansionist state; population growth. Manchus tried to assimilate into Chinese culture, which led to conservative, Confucian political and cultural attitudes; much interest in collecting, cataloging, and commenting on Chinese traditions; fine painting and porcelain.

India Mogul Empire. Zenith of Mogul culture under Shah Jahan (r. 1628–58); great age of architecture; his wars nudged empire close to bankruptcy; deposed by Aurangzeb (r. 1658–1707), his son, who abandoned policy of religious toleration and brought empire to its greatest extent.

Japan Tokugawa period. Starting about 1600, Edo, the shogun’s city, was transformed by the influx of people from the lowest level of society, unrelated to the temples or court and without any civic rights. Through native talent and genius, they initiated a new artistic form, the ukiyuo-e print, the art of the floating world.



West Africa Yoruba culture European Soldier with Firearm. This statuette depicts a European (most likely a Portuguese) soldier, poised to discharge a firearm. Its style reflects the influence of European realism on Benin sculpture. The Portuguese began to trade in the area in 1553, though they explored the coast in 1472.


Latin America South America Detail, Façade. Jesuit Church. One of the first churches in the New World to blend the Baroque with native elements was the Jesuit Church in Arequipa, Peru. The exuberant Baroque design on the façade includes pre-Hispanic forms such as birds, Indian heads, and ears of corn.


China Ch’ing Dynasty. Pao-ho-tien (Hall of Preserving Harmony) was part of the complex of Beijing’s Forbidden City, the seat of government and the residences of the imperial family. The Forbidden City was so named because access to the area was forbidden to most. Even state officials and members of the imperial family had limited access. The emperor alone could move at will.

India Mogul empire Shah Jahan. Indian miniatures also included the making of portraits, usually of imperial courtiers or even the ruler himself, as in this portrait of Shah Jahan by the court artist Bichtir. The likeness, while dignified and refined, is made lifeless and remote by the formal pose and awkwardly placed feet. Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is actually a mausoleum complex that includes main gateway, garden, mosque, jawab (a building mirroring the mosque), and mausoleum with four minarets. It is built in a blend of Indian, Persian, and Islamic styles.

Japan Tokugawa period General View of Shoin. The Katsura imperial villa complex (residences, gardens, and tea house) was conceived by Prince Toshihito in about 1624. Inspired by the Tale of Genji and a 16th century text on gardens, he created a setting where court scholars and poets could meet. Building was supervised by Enshu (1579–1647). Five pavilions used as meeting places for poets or the tea ceremony stand beside a lake with three islands in it. The villa’s design established an aesthetic standard that influenced Japan’s architects for centuries.

personal perspective background

Samuel Pepys, On the Great Fire of London, 1666

The Diary of Samuel Pepys (1633–1703), written for his eyes only, helped establish the diary as a legitimate literary genre, when first published in 1825. The Diary, covering the period from January 1, 1660, to May 31, 1669, paints a fascinating portrait of London’s official and upper-class world in which its author was a welcome figure. Despite commoner origins (his father was a tailor though the family was small gentry in Cambridgeshire), Pepys was one of the great men of his day. Among his many accomplishments, he was England’s first secretary of the Admiralty, sat as a member of Parliament, and served as president of the Royal Society. A confidant of King Charles I, as the Personal Perspective shows, he was also friend to virtually every great scholar of his day.

Louis XIV and St. Simon

The Duc de Saint-Simon (1675-1755) provided intimate knowledge of King Louis XIV and his court in his Memoirs. The Duc was a member of the landed aristocracy who chose army service as the avenue to advancement in a society dominated by Louis XIV. His plans went awry when he resigned (1702) after a quarrel with Marshal Luxembourg; he was a victim of his own arrogance and poor judgment. In 1710 he was invited to court; and, although he disliked the king, he took up residence there. After Louis XIV died, Saint-Simon served ineffectually as a member of the regency council and as a special ambassador to Spain. Subsequently he retired to his estates. Between 1739 and 1751 he wrote his Memoirs which were based on notes he had recorded beginning in 1691,as well as on contemporary journals and memoirs. The quality of his work is uneven and is marked by a disregard for literary technique and grammar; nevertheless, his Memoirs is a monument French literature.

Saint-Simon had the prejudices of his class, resenting the accretion of royal power at the expense of the aristocracy. He also resented the rising power of the bourgeoisie. He blamed Louis XIV for all his personal frustration; and, not surprisingly, his Memoirs is highly jaundiced in his treatment of the Sun King. The Duc characterized the king as having “natural talents...below mediocrity.” Louis XIV, as portrayed by Saint-Simon, craved glory and praise, and he liked nothing better than flattery. His vanity led him to involve France in four costly wars, wars fought for purposes of state and to feed the king’s monumental vanity. The king loved magnificence and splendor, and his court reflected these preferences.

Saint-Simon drew brilliant sketches of the king, his generals, and the court despite his biases. Of particular interest is the psychological insight he brought to character analysis. Indeed, his Memoirs is an indispensable historical source.

Discussion/Essay Questions

1. What was the original meaning of the word Baroque? How is this term defined and used today?

2. Identify the three variations on the international Baroque style. What were the leading formal characteristics of each?

3. How did political systems develop in France, England, and Holland during the Baroque age? What impact did they have on the evolution of the Baroque cultural style?

4. Discuss the reign of Louis XIV of France as a personification of the type of government known as absolutism. Why did Louis determine to become an absolute ruler?

5. What were Louis XIV’s political aims? How did he use propaganda in achieving those aims?

6. What influence did religion have on the Baroque style? What values in Protestantism and Catholicism made for different developments? Discuss one example each from Florid and Restrained Baroque painting.

7. Define Florid Baroque. Which building best embodies the style of the Florid Baroque? Explain.

8. How did the Council of Trent affect the ideals of the Baroque arts and architecture?

9. Compare and contrast the Baroque buildings of St. Peter’s inRome with the Palace of Versailles.

10. What new musical form developed in the Baroque period? Why is this new form so expressive of Baroque cultural values?

11. Who are the two best-known Baroque composers, and what are their major contributions to Western music??

12. Describe Caravaggio’s painting style, focusing on one of his works. How did his work influence that of Gentileschi?

13. How do you think Artemesia Gentileschi’s identity as a woman might have influenced the style and themes of her work?

14. Discuss the Classical ideals within the Classical Baroque. Why was Classicism such a prominent feature of France’s cultural life?

15. Discuss Baroque artistic developments in the Netherlands. How were they related to conditions in the Calvinist Dutch republic?

16. What are the characteristics of Baroque literature? What literary forms flourished during the Baroque era?

17. Compare and contrast literary developments in England and France during this period, focus on one author from each place.

18. Compare and contrast Baroque literature as expressed in the plays of Racineand Molière. Which cultural influences helped shape these playwrights’ subjects and styles?

19. Discuss Baroque literature in England, focusing on John Milton and Aphra Behn, their accomplishments, and the cultural influences that helped shape their writing.

20. What are the four chief legacies of the Baroque age to the Western tradition?

Multiple-Choice Questions

1. The term baroque probably derives from the Portuguese word barocco meaning:

* a. an irregular pearl (p. 379)

b. a sinking boat

c. a labyrinthine palace

d. a concave mirror

2. During the Baroque period Europe was:

a. undergoing an era of peace

b. experiencing the rise of industrial capitalism

* c. engaged in religious wars (p. 379)

d. withdrawn from the world
3. True or false? European politics in the seventeenth century was characterized in most places by absolutist monarchies. (T, pp. 380-381)
4. The most spectacular representative of absolutism in the Baroque age was:

a. James I of England

* b. Louis XIV of France (p. 381)

c. Charles II of England

d. Henry IV of France
5. Which of the following is true of politics and power in the seventeenth century?

a. Kings and their advisers did not want to share power with church officials.

b. The heads of state claimed their power by divine rights arguments.

c. Machiavelli’s influence was evident in the acts and thoughts of many of the rulers.

*d. All of the above. (pp. 381-382)
6. Under France’s King Louis XIII, actual power was wielded by:

a. his wife Anne of Austria

b. his son Louis XIV

c. his brother Gaston d’Orléans

*d. Cardinal Richelieu and Cardinal Mazarin (pp. 381-382)
7. During Louis XIV’s reign:

a. Political power was in the hands of the business class.

b. The state teetered on the edge of revolution.

c. All religious faiths enjoyed toleration.

* d. The government emphasized the power and glory of the king. (p. 382)
8. Louis XIV’s economic policy was called:

a. laissez faire

* b. mercantilism (p. 382)

c. the guild system

d. capitalism
9. Which state briefly became a republic (called the Commonwealth) in the mid-seventeenth century?

*a. England (p. 383)

b. France

c. Spain

d. Austria
10. Over the course of the seventeenth century, England:

a. enjoyed a hundred years of domestic peace

b. reconverted to Roman Catholicism

* c. underwent a power struggle between the monarchy and Parliament (p. 383)

d. entered the industrial age
11. By 1715 the principle that government should rest on the consent of the governed was successfully established in:

a. France

* b. England (p. 383)

c. Prussia

d. Austria
12. The Thirty Years’ War was fought largely in:

a. France

b. Italy

* c. Germany (p. 384)

d. Bohemia
13. Warfare in the seventeenth century helped establish which diplomatic principle?

a. the Monroe Doctrine

*b. the balance of power (p. 385)

c. might makes right

d. the end justifies the means
14. The Baroque artistic ideal can be characterized as:

a. repose

* b. exuberance (p. 385)

c. a single, static perspective

d. a design complete in itself
15. Which of the following helped to spread the Baroque style across Europe?

a. Long-distance trade gave business people opportunities to see the style at firsthand in new settings.

b. Sons of the wealthy went on the Grand Tour and brought back Baroque art to their homelands.

c. Scholars, enamored of the Baroque style, moved from region to region.

*d. All of the above. (p. 385)
16. The Florid Baroque:

* a. was a product of the Counter-Reformation (p. 385)

b. was aristocratic and courtly

c. had a strong Classical dimension

d. was centered in the Netherlands
17. The Classical Baroque:

a. was dominated by Roman Catholic religious ideals and themes

* b. fit well with the absolutist policies of Louis XIV (p. 385)

c. was middle class and respectable

d. was characterized by extravagance and profusion
18. The Restrained Baroque was:

a. aristocratic and courtly

* b. in keeping with Protestant values (p. 385)

c. centered in Italy and Spain

d. dominated by Christian themes
19. The supreme expression of Florid Baroque architecture is:

a. St. Paul’s Cathedral, London

b. the Palace at Versailles

* c. St. Peter’s Church, Rome (p. 386)

d. Villa Rotondo, Vicenza
20. The Council of Trent called for a new art that portrayed the church’s holiest figures as:

a. simple people leading ordinary lives

b. athletic nudes engaged in heroic action

*c. real people caught in dramatic, emotion-charged moments (p. 388)

d. actual people with historically accurate faces and clothing
21. Caravaggio’s painting style is characterized by:

a. antinaturalism

* b. dramatic chiaroscuro (p. 388)

c. simplicity

d. serenity
22. Gentileschi’s painting style was:

*a. flamboyant and dramatic (p. 389)

b. devoted to grave beauty and illusion

c. characterized by ripe sensuality and gorgeous color

d. geared to domestic subjects rendered in basic colors (mainly blue and yellow)
23. Which was a new art form developed during the Baroque era?

a. in art, the illusionistic ceiling fresco

b. in music, the oratorio

c. in music, the opera

*d. all of the above (passim)
24. In The Ecstasy of St. Teresa Bernini was able to:

a. create a sculpture that characterized the Restrained Baroque

b. carve, in marble, a saint administering to the poor

c. make the saint appear in a state of forgiveness

* d. capture a moment when the saint senses the Holy Spirit (p. 387)
25. Pozzo’s Allegory of the Missionary Work of the Jesuits illustrates the Baroque love of:

* a. infinite space (p. 391)

b. repose

c. serenity

d. antinaturalism
26. A Baroque theme in Velázquez’s painting Las Meninas, or The Maids of Honor, is:

* a. the interplay of space and illusion (p. 391)

b. the love of infinite space

c. the intersection of the supernatural and the natural

d. monumentality
27. Rubens’s paintings are known for their:

a. disciplined order

* b. ripe sensuality (p. 392)

c. calm beauty

d. domestic tranquility
28. The dominant influence on the Classical Baroque was:

a. Gothic civilization

* b. Greco-Roman tradition (p. 393)

c. Byzantine culture

d. Christian doctrine
29. What was the distinguishing quality of the Classical Baroque?

a. glorification of the common people

b. simplicity in the service of God

c. exuberant expression of emotions

* d. influence of the royal court (p. 392)
30. Versailles’s decorations were intended to identify King Louis XIV with:

a. Jesus Christ

b. the Roman leader, Julius Caesar

* c. the Greek god, Apollo (caption for Fig. 14.13, p. 393)

d. the French ruler, Charlemagne
31. The Education of Marie de’ Medici can be characterized as a:

a. work in the Mannerist style

b. painting that deals with the subject’s psychological state

* c. work that combines Roman mythology with the queen’s life (pp. 392)

d. painting produced at the command of Louis XIV
32. What about the Palace of Versailles is Baroque?

a. the grandiose decorative plan

b. the great size of the central structure

c. the monumentality of the setting with support structures, all placed in a vast park

d. all of the above (p. 393)
33. The Netherlands in the seventeenth century:

a. was ruled by an absolutist king

b. lagged behind Europe’s other trading states

* c. was dominated by the sober values of the Calvinist religion (p. 394)

d. was conquered by Louis XIV of France
34. True or false? sSeventeenth-century Dutch art was created in response to the demands of one of the first art markets. (T, pp. 394-395)
35. Rembrandt’s painting style was typified by all of these EXCEPT:

* a. portrayal of figures modeled on ancient statuary (p. 395)

b. use of dramatic chiaroscuro

c. forceful expressiveness

d. ability to depict the full range of human moods and emotions
36. The Dutch painter Vermeer specialized in:

a. still lifes

b. landscapes and seascapes

* c. domestic genre scenes (p. 397)

d. portraits
37. Painting in seventeenth-century England:

a. reflected the fluctuation of the local art market

* b. was controlled by the courtly but restrained taste of the aristocracy (p. 397)

c. responded to the demands of middle-class patrons for a civic-minded art

d. had religious themes as the dominant subject
38. Anthony van Dyck’s painting style was characterized by:

*a. elegant likenesses and psychological insight (p. 397)

b. dramatic chiaroscuro and emotionalism

c. quiet elegance and detached feelings

d. “night pictures” and moody expressiveness
39. True or false? Judith Leyster’s career as a Dutch artist brought her fame and fortune equal to any male painter.(F, p. 397)
40. The inspiration for the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, was the dome of:

a. the Pantheon, Rome

b. Santa Sophia, Constantinople

* c. St. Peter’s, Rome (p. 399)

d. San Vitale, Ravenna
41. Baroque writers made major contributions in all of these genres EXCEPT:

* a. romance (p. 400)

b. tragedy

c. comedy

d. epic
42. The zenith of Baroque drama was reached:

a. at the papal court in Rome

* b. at the court of King Louis XIV in Versailles (p. 400)

c. in the commercial theaters of Amsterdam in the Netherlands

d. at the court of King Charles II in London
43. Which is NOT correct for seventeenth-century French drama?

a. It observed the unities of time, place, and action.

* b. It dealt with the lives of ordinary people. (p. 400)

c. It was governed by strict rules laid down by the French Academy.

d. It employed elevated language and focused on universal problems.
44. Racine’s tragedies were characterized by which of the following?

a. penetrating psychological insights

b. a study of sex as a motive for action

c. lofty language

d. all of the above (p. 400)
45. Molière’s plays were:

a. verse tragedies based on Spanish legends and Roman themes

b. psychological dramas that pitted the struggle between the will and the emotions

*c. satiric comedies that exposed the follies of French society (p. 400)

d. romantic dramas devoted to exploring the varied forms of love
46. The Baroque literary work Paradise Lost is a:

* a. Christianized epic (p. 3401)

b. satirical epic based on a trivial episode in middle-class life

c. continuation of Homer’s Odyssey, picking up the story where the original work ended

d. historical epic based on the English Civil War
47. In Oroonoko, Aphra Behn:

a. repeated the themes found in Paradise Lost

b. examined political tensions created by the reign of Louis XIV

* c. wrote a love novel set in a non-European land (p. 401)

d. relied on Neoclassical themes to illustrate her beliefs
48. True or false? In seventeenth-century music, there was one single musical ideal. (F, p. 401)
49. Two Late Baroque composers who flourished after 1715 were:

a. Monteverdi and Lully

b. Haydn and Mozart

c. Palestrina and Byrd

*d. Bach and Handel (p 403)
50. Which of the following was an important legacy of the Baroque age?

a. the concept and practice of “world war”

b. a system of great states governed by a “balance of power”

c. artistic ideals of grandeur and spectacle

d. all of the above (p. 404)


1. All of the following matchups between a book and the historic period in which it was written are correct EXCEPT:

* a. Early Middle Ages—Hildegard of Bingen’s Scivias

b. High Middle Ages—Dante’s The Divine Comedy

c. Northern Renaissance—Shakespeare’s Hamlet

d. Baroque age—Milton’s Paradise Lost

2. Which development in Western religion is mismatched with its corresponding historical period?

* a. the final split between Western Christianity and Orthodox Christianity in the Early Middle


b. the birth of the friar movement (Franciscans and Dominicans) in the High Middle Ages

c. the Babylonian Captivity of the Church in the Late Middle Ages

d. the split of the Western church into Protestant and Roman Catholic branches in the sixteenth century

3. Which musical development is mismatched with its corresponding historical period?

a. the rise of monophony and polyphony in the Early Middle Ages

b. the development of musical notation by Guido of Arezzo in the High Middle Ages

c. the origination of harmonious composition, using major and minor scales and their related harmonies by Josquin des Prez, in the Early Renaissance

* d. the birth of opera in the High Renaissance
4. Which is the correct historical sequence of art styles, beginning with the earliest?

a. Rococo, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Mannerist, Baroque

*b. Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Mannerist, Baroque, Rococo

c. Gothic, Renaissance, Mannerist, Baroque, Rococo, Romanesque

d. Renaissance, Mannerist, Baroque, Rococo, Romanesque, Gothic
5. The middle classes contributed to these developments, EXCEPT:

a. the upsurge in town culture during the High Middle Ages

*b. the spread of the romance literary genre in the High Middle Ages

c. the staffing of official bureaucracies in the nation-states of the Baroque period

d. the rise of an art market in Venice (16th century) and the Netherlands (17th century)

Sister Juana Inés de la Cruz, Poem and Essay

Molière, Selection from The Misanthrope

John Milton, Selection from Paradise Lost

Apra Behn, Selection from Oroonoko

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