McA2

During the Baroque Era, art became very realistic and emotional due to the profound political and cultural changes that were emerging across Europe. Artists wanted you to feel the emotion of the event depicted in the piece of work along with feeling that particular emotion. Art became more and more dramatic and appealing to the human senses by using shading, detail, and realism. 

The Cardsharps, Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi), c. 1595, From the collection of: Kimbell Art Museum
In this oil-painting, men are playing a soon to be violent game of cards. Caravaggio displays great emotion and many acts of events all in one picture. He makes it so you can understand what is happening, and what will happen in the near future.
The Crowning with Thorns, Michelangelo Merisi, called Caravaggio, 1602/1604, From the collection of: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
This piece of work is displaying a time of darkness. One skill Merisi possessed was great detail and shading, and here he shows both. One can easily depict what is taking place and feel the raw emotion of this event.
Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness, Michelangelo Merisi, called Caravaggio, 1604 - 1605, From the collection of: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Although many painters have painted Saint John the Baptist, many have not achieved this level of emotion. Merisi captures the human body with shading and soft colors and shows his struggles.
Portrait of a gentleman (Scipione Borghese?), Michelangelo Merisi known as Caravaggio, 1598 - 1604, From the collection of: Fondazione Musei Senesi
From the face, to the simple one colored background, Caravaggio displays great techniques in shading. With his soft touch, he turns a simple portrait into a detailed piece of art. In each of his pieces, he gives them a light source to aid in the shading.
Woman Holding a Balance, Johannes Vermeer, 1664 - c. 1664, From the collection of: National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Lady at the Virginal with a Gentleman, 'The Music Lesson', Johannes Vermeer, c.1662 - 1665, From the collection of: Royal Collection Trust, UK
Like Merisi, Vermeer understands the magic of light and placement of shading. Here, the light coming from the windows is reflected across the room and casts shadows.
Lady at the Virginal with a Gentleman, 'The Music Lesson', Johannes Vermeer, c.1662 - 1665, From the collection of: Royal Collection Trust, UK
If zoomed in, you can see the grand detail of the reflection of the mirror in the back of the room.
The Love Letter, Johannes Vermeer, Around 1669, From the collection of: Rijksmuseum
This painting shows shading, perspective, contrast, and everything you could imagine in a professional piece of work. Everything in the front is shaded just enough to depict what they are, but as if you were standing in a dark room.
The Love Letter, Johannes Vermeer, Around 1669, From the collection of: Rijksmuseum
Even in the far distance, you can see the emotion and feelings of the women's reactions.
Girl Reading a Letter by an Open Window, Johannes Vermeer, ca. 1659, From the collection of: Old Masters Picture Gallery, Dresden State Art Museums
Yet again, Vermeer proves that he knows where shadows belong and that he is capable of placing realistic detail where needed. You can even see the girls reflection in the glass of the window. Even the green drape to the right has noticeable creases and ripples.
Credits: All media
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