Baroque art of Italy
Italians consider Caracci (1560-1609) and Michelangelo Caravadzio (1573-1610) as the pioneers of Baroque painting. Both of them had good relations with each other and both agreed on the idea that it was necessary to take concrete steps to free Italian art from the confusion of formalism.
But there was no similarity in the art styles of both, rather looking at the difference in their drawing methods and the individual characteristics of their depiction, it is difficult to believe that both of them were contemporary painters working in the same city.
In 1595, Cardinal Odo Ardo Farnese of Rome invited Anivale Caracchi from Bologna to decorate the gallery on the first floor of his palace.
His brother Agostino and disciples supported him in this work. The subjects of his fresco paintings were love stories of ancient gods.
To some extent, there was a clear impression of traditional characteristics on the figurativeness of the depiction, but there was a manifestation of new aesthetic elements in them. These fresco paintings seem to contain the seeds of early seventeenth century painting.
These are depicted in the ceiling paintings of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Obviously, this is a follow-up of the figures of Karachi painted within the architectural environment, similarly, the effort to create the impact of clarity of ancient classical art is also reflected in the dramatic event through human attraction to the viewer.
There is no doubt that the element of humanity was a new invention in the field of art. According to Vasari, the main objective of the mannerist artists was ‘display of talent’ and for this reason the elements of pretentiousness and opposition to meaningless tradition were strong in their art.
But Karachi combined the major art elements of the great ancient tradition and modern inventions with the study of nature. In addition to the elements of solidity and compactness of classical art, his naked figures also have a surprising naturalness which is lacking in the works of Italian traditionalist artists.
This idea is also applicable to his nature depictions. In his nature scene-oriented paintings like ‘Exodus into Egypt’, he has clearly adopted the idea of combining natural scenes from the underground nature depictions of Veronese and Tichen, but he has made those scenes real through direct study of nature.
This painting ‘Lamentation of Virgin Mary on the death of Jesus’ is one of the best and representative paintings of Aniwale. Before this he had made a very deep study of Corrazzo and the Venetian style. Had studied the art of Raphael in Rome.
There is a natural philosophy of leisure in the picture and there is stability in the shapes. Being ideal, the human figures have become heart touching with appropriate emotions. The effect of gentle light is natural and the horror of death does not seem so intense due to the attractive glow of human figures.
Despite not being among the finest works of art, the painting has undoubtedly become quite influential. It would have been better if Aniwale had limited his art to tripod painting because his talent was not so suited to wall painting and this becomes clear from his fresco paintings made in the Cardinal’s palace.
Michelangelo Ameringhi da (1573-1610) – At the time when Anivale Caracchi was busy painting the ceiling of the Palace of Farnese in Rome, he came to Rome from his birthplace Caravadzio and started art surgeon.
Before coming to Rome, he had received initial Tantric training in art as a novice from Simone Petersano, a simple painter in Milan.
His art work in Rome mainly consists of small paintings based on allegorical stories, an example of which is the Bacchus kept in the Uffizi Museum.
In this the depiction of inanimate objects is dominant. Although the marking of the shape of the walk is somewhat harsh, it is visually attractive. But there is a lack of planning in the depiction of the background.
The soft outlines of the figure and the feminine all round beauty were the characteristics of Karavadyo’s art, examples of which are his paintings ‘Veena Vadak’ and ‘Vijayi Prem’.
There is an extreme contradiction between Karavadjo’s personal character and his art. Due to his aggressive nature, his entire life was spent in fights with others or officials. Many times he was sent to prison, from where he was often freed due to the efforts of one of his friends, Chitraka or some other influential person.
In which fight in 1606, he killed a person and also got injured. After running away from there, he went to Nepal and there he started painting in churches.
At the beginning of the next year, he made personal portraits and altar paintings in Malta. After that, while serving his sentence in Sant’Angelo, he escaped from the prison and went to Sicily where he painted altarpieces for the churches of Syracuse, Messina and Palmetto.
The following year he returned to Naples again. He was so badly injured in the attack there that the news of his death reached Rome. In 1610, he left for Rome by ship but was again caught by mistake and lost all his property.
He died in a poor state, suffering from malaria, in a small village on the way. Looking at his extraordinary biography, one wonders how such a person was able to create the best paintings on religious subjects.
Some evidence which reveals the disgusting side of his character is certainly found in his works of art, but there are also such evidence which reveal the softness, sympathy and true religiousness of his nature.
Due to the conflicting elements within his nature, the audience experiences dramatic exaggeration in his art also. Density analysis and realistic philosophy are the basic characteristics of his style.
The elements of unadorned reality and neglect of idealism are clearly visible in his early painting ‘Inspiration of Saint Matthew’. This picture is now destroyed.
In this picture, Saint Matthew has been depicted like a farmer with a muscular body and his hand placed on the book is being guided by an angel from behind.
This picture was made for a church in Rome, but seeing the idealistic accuracy of the picture, the religious authorities objected and he had to make another picture as per the instructions of the religious authorities.
Karavadjyo often depicted the subjects on a plane of observation that was parallel to the ground, so that the viewer could see the scene as it was happening on the nearby surface and felt intimacy towards it.
He adopted a similar approach in his painting ‘The Burial of Christ’, which became very popular in the seventeenth century. Due to his tendency to not give importance to leisure, there is often an absence of natural scenes in the background of his paintings.
Later, in some paintings like ‘Raising of Lazarus, ‘Beheading of Saint John’ etc., there is no doubt that he has depicted some limited effect of the holiday, but for that he has depicted buildings in the background, due to which there is no special depth in the picture. .
‘Invocation to Saint Matthew’ is a very effective example of the revolutionary experiment of density measurement which he started and due to which he became famous.
The dramatic light in the picture is completely different from natural light and has a supernatural aura. All these experiments were done with the aim of accurate marking, planning of the scene on a plane parallel to the ground, combination of subject matter in the foreground, lack of depth in the background, effect of dramatic lighting, making the subject more humanistic and awakening the audience’s affinity towards the scene. Went and Karavadbhyo succeeded beyond imagination.
This was his greatest achievement and contribution to Baroque art. ‘Sacrifice of Saint Matthew’, ‘Conversion of Saint Paul’, ‘Death of Virgin Mary’ are his other famous paintings.
The art of both Annibale Caracci and Caravadjyo influenced the art of the seventeenth century. Caravadjyo did not have any studio or disciples, but as he gained fame in Rome, the number of his followers increased.
His style spread to France, Germany and Holland. His imitators were influenced by the attractive elements of his style like density and composition rather than his individual approach.
The same principles were followed and at some places those elements were gradually modified and implemented. AD After 1620, the influence of Caravadjyo’s style began to decline.
Aniwale Caracchi established an art institute in Bologna and guided the apprentices and many good painters in Rome were his followers, whom he accepted as disciples or assistants and trained them in painting.
The Baroque art of Italy was developed by these painters in the last twenty-twenty-five years.